week 7: step back week

This week was kind of rocky.  I came off of a weekend of heavy eating, drinking, and not nearly enough sleep.  Don't get me wrong, it was totally worth it, and it came at the right time in my training, but I was feeling the effects through Wednesday at least.  I think I answered some questions for myself about drinking the week of/night before a race, for sure.

For step-back week, my plan was to take a week off of lifting except for the core/stability/PT stuff (no weights), cut back all of my runs (not just the long run), and go easy on the swimming and cycling.  I achieved all of these things.  It was the right week to step into new shoes, which I'll run in for 3 weeks & then at the half.  I took a full rest day the day before my long run, which is the first time I've taken the rest day on a Friday in this training cycle, and learned that it's not actually the best place for it.  Most Fridays I have been either cycling easy or swimming VERY easy and short, and I think that's a much better way to approach the day before the long run.  Saturday morning I felt like I never quite warmed up. I was sluggish and slow even riding the downhills back to my car, which did a number on my already-stressed-mental game about the long run as related to race day.  I did have a great tempo run Thursday evening, taking almost a minute off of my 4M tempo from the week before, but I think I'm going to mentally struggle with the slow long run until I execute on race day.

I also spent quite a bit of time this week thinking about my transition from half marathon training to half IM training, and I'm working on what that schedule will look like.  It won't be too much different than what I'm doing now, but I feel like I need to be on the bike at least 3x a week, which hasn't been happening.  I think I might replace one of my speed workouts on the track with a brick: speed workout on the bike + easy run.  All of my cycling in this cycle has been easy volume only, and I'm pumped to put quality workouts in back on the bike.  I'm also excited about elongating my swim workouts, which have been climbing as I've recovered from my pulled intercostal but have essentially just brought me back to my base in the pool.  Pool running and lifting will round out the schedule.

All in all, It was nice to have the step-back week, but by Wednesday I was feeling itchy and rested and ready to start hammering again.  Which is exactly what I'll do this week, the last high-mileage week of this training cycle.  Next week I'll step back the running mileage but keep up the cross-training, and the week leading up to the half I'll cut everything back and probably be crabby and tired just like I was this week.  And hopefully by then I haven't lost the itch to go out and race, the itch that I've had since I ditched my 10M race last weekend for a long run, the itch that I'm feeling as a lot of my friends are starting in on their spring races.  It's been a long road back from surgery, and I'm ready to go out and stomp on this 13.1.

Monday: 35 minutes lifting (core/stability), 19 minutes/1100 yard swim
Tuesday: 35 minutes/4M track workout
Wednesday: 55 minutes/5M pool run, 40 minutes/2100 yard swim, 35 minutes lifting (core/stability)
Thursday: 56 minutes/6.34M tempo workout
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 1:34/10.25M long run, 2:10/35M ride
Sunday: 40 minutes/4M recovery run, 1:15 yoga


  1. You totally rocked that tempo on Thursday! I can't WAIT to see your tapered legs fly at National! Saying that probably doesn't help your race itchiness though. Sorry :)

  2. A full minute off on the tempo? That's huge!

    And, tapers routinely create madness but produce awesome results in the end!

  3. Agreed on the full minute on the tempo being AMAZING (hence your blog, I guess).

    Regarding the Friday rest day -- I'm the same way. Full rest just leaves me sluggish as all heck; I do much better with low key easy activity. Heck, my best tempos have been when I did a 30 minute pool-run the night before.

  4. Nice work on the tempo run! Rest day placement can be tough. I think I do best with my rest day after speed day. But everyone is different.

  5. step back week is over! hoooooray!

    t-minus 19 days until you kick the shit out of national.

  6. Don't you love it when cutback weeks appear when you need them most?!?!? Great job out there darling!

  7. Great job on surviving the cutback week and congrats on the strong tempo!

  8. Girl, you are ON FIRE! Step back weeks, like tapering, can drive you nuts-o. But soooo needed. Your body craves that rest and that chance to heal and get ready for what you have in store for it!

  9. STOMP, girl, STOMP! As a former Olympian and athletic trainer in Gainesville once told me: "Repeat after me: Rest is training. Rest is training!"


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