Friday, January 25, 2008

And on the 7th day . . .

No, I am not comparing marathon training to the biblical account of creation, but I am starting to appreciate rest days. Until very recently, I was trying to run 5 days a week, and cross train/weightlift/stretch on the other 2 days. I've taken one day off completely over the past few weeks, and I'm realizing that it's a very good thing. The rest day is either Monday or Friday, and I find that on Sunday or Thursday, I really look forward to that upcoming day of rest. On the actual rest day, I end up very much anticipating the next day's run. Feels like I'm at least getting something right in all this.

Looking forward to this weekend's runs, with 4 miles scheduled on Saturday (though I think I'll do 5, but very easy) and 12 on Sunday. In my limited serious running experience, the runs of 10-16 miles are my favorite workout. I like not worrying too much about running a fast pace, and it's enough time to get into a rhythmn and think about all sorts of things. One of my favorite things to do on a medium-long run is start the run with someone who's only looking to run, say, 5 miles, then listen to a podcast or some music, then just be inside my own head. I like to visualize my races, and I can report (anecdotally, at least) that my best performances have been in races where I engaged in the most sustained and detailed visualizations: imaging my warm-up, the start, the crowd, the course, the point at which I'd start to kick, even seeing my goal time on the race clock. I need to remember to do that more often, especially for more meaningful races.

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