Up and Down and Back on Track: 5 weeks till Tokyo Marathon

I was running strong, stronger than ever. Finding gears I didn’t know I had. Pushing harder on longer runs. I noticed improvements on my heart rate which corresponded to the feeling that I was running faster with less effort required. I was recovering quickly from hard workouts. My weight was down to lower than ever, maybe even lighter than when I was in high school 25 years ago. My marathon PR of 2:56 would be easy. Maybe it would be closer to 2:50.

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Stepping up and out of the comfort zone

I just finished running 21 miles this morning and so that makes a grand total of 73 miles for the week. That’s the most I’ve ever run in one week (by 3 miles). Hurray! True, tracking miles per week is no guarantee of quality training. There are other important considerations like pace, intensity, and elevation. But I have to say that 73 miles of road running is not too shabby, especially given that I did maintain a decent pace for most runs. The target pace for my medium and long runs of 7:20 is getting closer, although I’m still suffering a bit in the heat.

The trick to building miles is of course doing it gradually. But the other thing is to run really slowly on some days. Recovery runs for me are done at an easy jogging pace. Around 9 min miles or sometimes even slower. The purpose of these runs is to get the blood moving and burn some calories; it’s not the time to gain fitness. Since I’m in my 40s now I need to be especially careful about recovery. I ran 10 miles at recovery pace this week, 7 miles at general aerobic pace (around 8 min miles), one tempo run, and the rest in my target zone which at the moment is around 7:20 – 7:45.

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