Things changed a bit for me after last Wednesday’s long run. Because of a busy personal/work schedule, I didn’t run at all on Thursday and Friday, and only did short runs on Saturday and Sunday.
The outcome of that change was pretty good, though.
With my new take on “unstructured” training (i.e., running for that sake of running, not as a means of “goaling” a race), I didn’t worry about the gaps in my running schedule. Because I didn’t worry, I didn’t get stressed. Because I didn’t get stressed, I was able to be a little more creative about the runs I did on the weekend.
On Saturday, I did my usual 8K run around neighbourhood side streets. It’s normally the only run I do all week that’s on pavement rather than sidewalks. So I usually take it easy, checking out people’s flower and vegetable gardens, looking for lawn sprinklers to run through, just running along at an easy cruising pace. This time, though, I was rested and rarin’ to go. So, quite uncharacteristically, I mixed up a strong, steady pace with a few fartlek sets. Worked hard at them, coasted back down into the steady pace, and found myself smiling through it all.
On Sunday, I had to do another short run, as I had to leave for a (non-running) commitment early in the morning. So I did the 8K route once again, but this time at a strong, quick, and steady pace. I ran much more quickly than I thought I would, even through the heavy rain that came near the end of the run. Sometimes I have added “tingliness” at the end of a hard barefoot run, but not this time. Everything was good.
Today, I was back to my easy-paced barefoot commute to the office. I’ll do it again this afternoon to go home, and will repeat the set tomorrow. Then comes Wednesday, which is normally another long run day. Given my experience on the weekend, though, I may try something shorter. Perhaps some hill repeats? Does that sound like fun?