I’ve been trying to come up with a word to describe this evening’s run – tired, flat, disappointing, but none of them quite hit the mark. They all seem a bit too negative and although it wasn’t the best run, it wasn’t that bad either.
When I got home from work, I wasn’t sure if I should go out running or not. Physically, I was feeling pretty tired but mentally I felt that I needed a bit of a boost, so I thought why not? Just a quick 5K to get the blood pumping and practise some speed work. So, I ate a banana, drank a small glass of water, tied on my trainers and headed for the seafront.
It was a pretty calm evening, with no wind or rain to battle against and the temperature was around 5C, which made it nice and cool for running. I figured that this would be a good opportunity to try to pace myself into some negative splits, possibly using the same technique that I used on my last couple of runs where I picked up the pace for short bursts between lamp posts.
I set off fairly slowly to make sure that I didn’t burn up all my energy too soon and gradually picked up the pace for each kilometre as planned. This worked really well for the first four kilometres but by the time I got into the fifth, I was starting to run out of steam. I’m not sure what it was. Perhaps I just hadn’t eaten enough earlier in the day, or maybe my body was still recovering from Monday evening’s 10K, but I just didn’t have any oomph left in me.
Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t feel that I needed to stop. I was still doing ok. It was just that I was finding it difficult to maintain my pace, never mind pick it up for a strong finish. So I decided to just relax and let myself slow down.
To be honest, I felt pretty flat and more than a little bit disappointed that I couldn’t find what I needed to push on; but the more I thought about it, the more I realised that it had still been a pretty good effort, all things considered.
Besides, with just over two weeks until race day, there’s no point in taking any unnecessary risks. Better to slow down now and preserve some energy for a more beneficial workout later in the week than over train and run the risk of injury.
How much effort do you put into your training runs? Do you always try to run at maximum effort, or do you find it pays to take things a bit easier from time to time? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments.