Monday, August 15, 2016

Dog Days of Summer

After what appeared to be a solid base season to prepare for half marathon training, I have completely hit a brick wall within the past two weeks.  My legs have felt heavy, dead, and extremely sluggish.  I didn't have a good reason for this fatigue, and began to wonder if I had burnt out.

Looking back through my logs here is some criticism I have for myself:

  • I often added a second run in the evening at one of the run clubs, but no more than twice a week
    • Despite this second run being no more than 3-4 miles tops, I may have pushed the envelope a bit too much for myself.
  • Not enough emphasis on quality work during base training
    • The tempo runs I did do felt strong, but I didn't do them consistently each week and neglected strides more than I should of.  I prioritized mileage above all else.
  • My week by week mileage increases are by no means overly aggressive
    • But it's possible I'm not able to adapt to the higher mileage quite as quickly as many of the base schedules out there suggest
    • It could be that my weekly increases were fine, but my overall mileage increase from low 30s to high 40s was too much for me in one cycle.  I should have been more realistic and stopped around 40 to adjust more.
  • I hit two hiccups in training
    • Once in June to travel home to PA, and once in July for a weekend in DC.  Both trips involved not enough running and too much craft beer
  • Out of my control, but it has been profanely hot this summer
    • I recall last year having a couple week period where the heat was rough, but I made a big adjustment to it and it wasn't so bad.
    • Speaking to other runners, I've had pretty much universal agreement that this summer has been much worse for running than last years
Over the past two weeks I have taken several days off and my runs have been very easy 3-4 miles with an emphasis on strides and drills.  This morning was the first time it felt decent.  I'm going to continue this plan for the rest of this week and possibly next before I reevaluate.  Even in a best case scenario, I'm not optimistic about my fall half marathon and made need to start a new and improved base cycle.