Week five marks the half-way point of the ten-week aerobic conditioning period. Without a doubt these are the hardest, loneliest and most logistically taxing weeks for a non-professional runner.
Most of the aerobic work is done on your own whenever you can fit it in, the miles are long and you always have to put in an honest work effort, day in and day out, and with the dimming light of the current time of year combining with work hours, there is no room for mistakes if you want reasonable quality work done.
Five weeks of 2011
So, looking at the status after five weeks, the effort has nevertheless been worth it and, for the most part, has been quite enjoyable as well. In five weeks, I’ve increased my mileage by eighteen percent while taking twenty-six seconds off the average pace of every single mile run in the last week compared to the first.
More importantly, I have put in more than double the mileage I did in the same period last year at substantially better pace and doing significantly more valuable workouts. While this should tell in summer, you cannot take it for granted, as you can undo all your good work easily in the final 14 weeks of preparation.
I am looking forward to my upcoming physical assessment to get a precise idea of how far I have progressed since my peak physical fitness in (probably) mid-2008 and then I will continue to work from there.
What’s really important is that my training paces are now well over a minute quicker per mile than they used to be in 2008, 2009 and 2010. It is a mystery to me, how I ever ran the eighty-two minute marathon on the type of training I was doing, that I could race at 6:18 miles over long distances and be fresh enough to finish with a 5:49 yet never remotely approached this during aerobic training. Now the goal is to never look back and continually perform better.
Another day, another performance
Every day I step out for a run, except my Friday jog, I know I have to perform. This was burdensome at the outset but now I relish it and suspect it will help me at each race start this season. It will be nothing new now, just an extension of what I do every single day. There’s no daydreaming, just the concentrated listening to tapping feat, feeling the rhythm of my legs moving at the desired pace and intensity and calculating away at my performance. An interesting side-effect is that I rarely think anything during runs now, I am so absorbed in the act that there’s little conscious thought. This can only be a good thing…