After a couple of fun summer races, it’s back to regular training for me. It’s amazing how quickly the fall season sneaks up on you, but I’ve only got around 12 weeks until the next planned marathon. I got back out there with Matt Kruger on Wednesday this week and ran a simple 5 mile tempo. It’s amazing that even though I haven’t taken any significant time off, how quickly you can mentally get out of training mode. Without that twice a week workout routine for about 6 weeks, my will to push myself in a workout has diminished quickly.
Kruger and I didn’t plan on going out to quickly, so I knew that I could hit the pace. But even one mile in, I felt like I was trying too hard to hit the pace. I find that happening sometimes with the longer workouts. Early in the workouts I try to feel too easy, thinking “I have to make this pace feel comfortable, like I could run it forever.” But that can cause me to devalue the workout because ultimately the point of a hard effort is just that, to give a hard effort. If this is confusing, let me give you an example. If you’re running a 10 mile tempo, you don’t want to be hurting one mile in, but you also don’t want to go out lollygagging at a 6:00 pace. It’s a very fine line between keeping yourself both engaged and relaxed.
During the tempo this week, I wasn’t engaged enough. We were planning on starting at 5:30’s. And in my head I thought, “5:30’s should feel easy, I’ve done faster than that pace for 3 times, as far. But about a mile and half in, Kruger began to open up a gap. I started to let him go thinking, “I shouldn’t be working this hard early in the tempo.” But I quickly reminded myself that it was a workout and I needed to try to push myself. I closed the few meter gap between us, but for the rest of the workout accordioned back and forth with Kruger.
In the end we both ran good workouts finishing the 5 miles in 27:03, but it definitely pushed me mentally as much as physically. It’s good to be back in workout mode and I hope that I can keep pushing myself through some hard efforts going forward.
5 mile tempo on the 3 mile road loop in Forest Park. Went with Kruger and was trying to hit around 5:30’s for the first workout back. Had pretty good weather and we got out right on pace hitting 5:33/5:30/5:27/5:19/5:14=27:03. Solid work as I’m building mileage back up.