I’m still getting out there 3-4 days a week running, putting in long runs every weekend. Last weekend I did 15 miles for my long run and it felt pretty good. I think I may have learned a couple things that might be helping me out this year.
First, only running 3-4 days a week. Last year I was running 5-6 days a week, I topped out at a long run of 19 miles. But last year I was pretty sore all the time and my speed slowed way, way down. By comparison, this year my speed is actually creeping up on my mid-length runs and staying pretty steady on my long runs at around 10min/mile. I don’t find myself being sore very often either. I have done a bit of cross-training on my roadbike, but not much. Once I get past this marathon and start planning for my first Ultra next year I think I might have to bump up to 4-5 days a week running, but I’ll see when I get there.
Second is nutrition. I have started drinking a high protein smoothy or sports drink within the “magic” 30 minute window after each run. I had really not given this advice much weight before and tried it my own way. Well, I was wrong, it does work very well. Drinking a smoothy within the first 30 minutes makes a huge difference in recovery and it helps with your next run. When I’m not finishing up my runs at home or when I’m traveling I swear by the ABB Blue Thunder recovery drink. It’s marketed to body builders, but it works great and tastes not bad for a drink with 30 grams of protein.
Tomorrow with be a 17 mile long run and it’s supposed to be hot. I’ll be putting my headlamp to work again and plan on completing the run just as the sun comes up. Good thing I spent all those years in the Army as a grunt walking around with NVG’s on all night, makes running with a headlamp a pleasure.
Nec Aspera Terent