Erosene Winds? Close, but not quite. Marathon Training Week 5

23 09 2012

The Erosene Winds, an atmospheric phenomenon on the planet Alastria, were featured in an episode of Star Trek: Voyager.  They are said to begin just before dawn and will evoke a feeling of euphoria in anyone who encounters them.  Now that would have been pretty nice here yesterday instead of the 25 mph gusts of cold Canadian air we got instead, but believe it or not I am NOT complaining.  The time I lost with them blasting me backward was well reimbursed with the tailwind on the second half of the run, and I actually did feel giddy with delight a time or two.

Week 5 of marathon training concluded on a high note with an excellent long run, faster than the schedule required, and a feeling that I have made great progress over the past month.  Run Less, Run Faster is the best training plan I have ever used.  I don’t know what I was doing messing around with all those other ones over the years.  Other than Couch to 5k, which got me started as a runner, RLRF is the only method that produced measurable results in such a brief time span.  And it’s perfect for an old body like mine that simply doesn’t do well if asked to run on consecutive days.  There are times I am skeptical about the short sessions of cross-training required on the in-between days because it seems unlikely that a mere 45 minutes of cardio will advance my fitness, but it is working so there’s the proof.

Here’s the breakdown for the past week:

Week 5 of 16

Sunday 9/16 —  Bike ride: 7.88 miles in 43 minutes on the old slow bike.

Monday 9/17 —  rest day

Tuesday 9/18 —  6 mile Tempo run:  2 miles easy, 3 at tempo, 1 mile cool-down.  It went well despite a slow start and I ended up with negative splits, finishing faster than I started.  All together that brought me in right on target for speed.

Wednesday 9/19 —  Upper body and abs workout.

Thursday 9/20 —  Speedwork:  Supposed to have been 3 x1600 meters with a warm-up and cool-down on each end, but the loop I like to run in the abandoned construction zone nearby is only 1400 so I did that at a slightly faster pace than the training plan called for, with each round faster than the last.  It was great.  I was amazed.  I know the weight loss has helped too, but I felt my old speed returning (still not “fast” by any means but fast for me) and I was very very grateful.

Friday 9/21 —  Bike ride 30 minutes easy followed by a long session of corework.

Saturday 9/22 —  Most excellent 14 mile long run at a full minute per mile faster than my expected marathon pace.  What a confidence builder!  After the past couple of crappy weeks, it was quite welcome to have a run like this.

Hopefully this is a harbinger of a good fall training season to come and I will find myself at the starting line in December confident and uninjured.  In my mind’s eye, I see it happening.  I feel the euphoria of the Erosene winds.

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