Week 8 of my quest to set a 5k PB in 2020, the recovery week, is now officially behind me.
If you’re interested in learning about the journey so far, I encourage you to click through to, Diary of My Attempt to 5km PB In 2020.
For the first time in a long time, I’ve done an honest recovery week, with short, easy efforts and a gradually picking up of intensity, albeit lightly, as the week went on.
Do I feel recovered? Well, that’s hard to say. Coming into the week, I was a wreck, now maybe, not so much. Although I feel slow and untrained, I hope that I’m a few hard efforts away from being back and better than ever.
The best part of the week is that it gave me some time to reflect and focus on what I hope will be the keys to success over these next seven weeks.
The Mental Side of Running
The most significant thing to come out of this week was an analysis of my mindset and its impacts on performance.
This focus came from a few areas including the fear of running a PB without the distraction of a large event, the mental challenges of overcoming the pain during a longer event, and the impact that mindset has had on some of my past race performances.
With that, what started as a small part of this post, turned into a much larger post titled, The Mental Side of Training and the Power of Positivity.
I highly encourage you to click through the link and I welcome any comments you have about how you push through the pain and drive success when training and/or life get tough.
How’s 80/20 Running Going?
I’m into week three, and so far, the most significant change is a dramatic increase in training volume. Where I was once targeting 30-40km per week, I’m now closer to 55km, and for the most part, by running the majority of it at an easy pace, it hasn’t been hard to do.
My only fear with the 80/20 rule is a loss in mental toughness. In the past, I would train and train hard, perhaps to my own detriment. My reasoning had always been that I needed to suffer, to train the mind to accept and welcome suffering, I guess you can say the David Goggins approach. But in doing so, I was never able to achieve the volumes I’ve so far achieved this month.
I’m cautiously optimistic that by building up my endurance through lots of easy runs, then building speed through short, albeit extremely intense hard runs, and finally sprinkling in a little positivity, 2021 will become the year of the Personal Best.
The Tannenbaum 10k is Back
The 2020 edition of the Tannenbaum 10k was just announced. If you’re new to the blog, the Tannenbaum is where this current journey all began, when I set my 5k and 10k PBs in 2016.
Although I doubt I’ll be ready to PR in the 10 this year, my new plan, to set my 5k PB in early December as planned, then a few weeks later, relive the magic, support the cause, run the Tannenbaum, and target my 2nd best all-time 10k.
If you are looking for a virtual event, the Tannebaum 10k supports a worthy cause, raising much-needed funds for Community Centre 55 in Toronto, ON. Plus, they have great swag.
October 19, 2020 – 30 Minutes of Zwift
It’s a strange feeling when you wake up in the morning, get out of bed, head downstairs and realize, “I feel my tendons.”
And with that comes the realization that I’m in store for my first real recovery week. Not a light recovery week like the one I took a few weeks back, but a true recovery week of very light efforts and easy runs.
Coming into today, my feet are swollen, my legs are aching, it’s safe to say I’m sore, I almost wonder if I’ll ever be able to run again.
With the sole intent of trying to flush out some of the lactic acid buildup, I hopped on the trainer for an easy thirty minutes of Zwift.
October 20, 2020 – 5km Easy Run
Going into Saturday, I was overconfident, hoping that the nearly 1,000kms of biking in August, combined with the hard running in September, would be my ticket to the success of a sub 3:30 marathon.
I had hoped that, like last year, I could pull off a miracle, only it didn’t work out that way. I realize now that biking and running are like apples and oranges. Although they share some similarities, they definitely aren’t the same.
Last year I ran, and I ran a lot, my strategy for the half-ironman, was to focus on my strength, to run more, and bike less, and it worked.
After the half, my running dropped dramatically. In its place, the return to hockey happened, along with some hard efforts of single track mountain biking. I now believe that by race day, I probably maintained or increased my leg strength, maintained my leg endurance, and fell into my best pre-race taper ever.
The difference is this year, I came in with lots of biking in August and only a month of running with efforts, leading to legs that just weren’t ready for the demands of 42k.
That’s a long preamble to say… I get it, I ran a marathon on Saturday, and wow, this still hurts, a lot.
Even though it does, it feels like I should at least get out for a bit, ultimately leading to today’s thirty-minute recovery run, where I felt every bit of it.
October 21, 2020 – 60 Minutes of Zwift
I no longer feel my tendons. That’s good, I think.
When I went into last weekend, my original plan was to head north to the Burks Falls Loop and my first fall colours ride. For various reasons, that didn’t pan out, so I ended up running a marathon instead.
Not wanting to miss out on the colours, I’ll be heading east to head east to Durham this weekend to ride a new route crafted by gravelroad.ca.
It’s going to be good. I’m looking forward to it, but at the same time, I hope I’m ready for it.
I guess there’s no better time than now to ramp up the training a bit more, so I put on some Netflix and hopped on Zwift for an unstructured hour of moderate sustained efforts, including some harder pushes on the climbs.
I’m not sure how Saturday will go, I’m sure I won’t be myself, but hopefully, I’ll be good enough.
October 22, 2020 – 3x1km Recovery Effort Intervals
So far, so good. The hour on the trainer went well yesterday, with no ill effects to show for it. I’m recovering, of course not as fast as I’d like but recovering all the same.
Today I wanted to run, to push myself just a bit more. Coming off yesterday’s success, I decided to run some light intervals today, consisting of an 8km run, including 3km of light intervals.
In case you’re new to the blog, my target for 1km intervals is my 5km race pace or just below 4 mins/km.
Today, I dialled it back. Instead of hard efforts, I took it easy, running with just a bit of effort, ending up with a 4:50 average pace, and although my cardio was good with it, my legs wondered how I ever ran sub 4 before :).
The intent today, remind my legs not to get complacent, to still rest, but not too much.
As I mentioned in my week 7 review, next week I’ll start following Lionel Sanders 5km PB training plan on my hard efforts. Life is going to get tough, and I need them to be ready for it.
BTW, congrats to the man that inspired this quest, Lionel Sanders, for setting his 5km PB earlier this week. Hopefully, his plan works as well for me as it did for him.
October 24, 2020 – 63km Easy Ride North of Durham
October’s been awesome, with some record fast runs, a surprise marathon on two weeks of training, and some great pacing towards my 5k PB goal.
As great as it’s been, it’s also been lacking in balance. With a laser focus on 80/20 running, and a few surprise changes to my planning, I’ve only managed one outdoor ride this month, a short and fun 10k ride with my kids through the park.
In short, I miss the bike.
Today that all changed when I had the pleasure of joining the man behind gravelroad.ca for a 60k tour of the lands north of Oshawa and Bowmanville.
With quiet roads, incredible scenery, and relentless hills, it’s safe to say Durham doesn’t get the respect it deserves. If you’ve yet to ride here, reach out, and I’ll point you towards a few great routes. You won’t be disappointed.
Thanks for the company instagram.com/gravelroad.ca, looking forward to doing it again sometime soon.
October 25, 2020 – 1 Hour Easy Recovery Run
It’s been eight days since the Toronto Waterfront Virtual Marathon. The recovery week has gone well, and for the most part, I feel okay.
Where I went to bad on Friday with a little tightness in my left knee, after Saturday’s ride, the pain is gone, and I’m almost back to normal.
The final part of my very unscientific recovery plan was planned as a short, long run, consisting of 12k at the upper end of my endurance, aka Zone 2 pace.
Pace wise, the final result… not good, not bad either. A decidedly meh one hour run. I ran a little faster than I should of with an equal split between endurance pacing/hr and dead zone pacing/hr, where, according to 80/20 running, I’m not building endurance or working on speed.
Feeling wise, I’m not going to lie. It felt harder than it should have. Not that I was pushing myself hard, but that my legs still felt a little dead. Another way of putting it, this easy run was not that easy or enjoyable, feeling more like a July run when I just returned from injury than an early October run where everything was beginning to click.
On the bright side, according to Training Peaks and their Running Performance Chart, for the first time in a long time, I’m properly rested.
Next week will be a big week, so hopefully, there’s some truth to that.