Good and Bad News Regarding My Endurance

>> Monday, September 12, 2016

When I started my "back to running" plan in late July, I didn't know what kind of shape I was in. I hadn't biked since the end of April because that was upsetting to my lower back injury. And I started running with a week (3 days) of 5x(1 min running, 4 min walking), so it felt HARDLY like running.

Four weeks later, when I "graduated" to straight-through runs of 25 minutes (3 days a week), the runs were "easy," but they still felt pretty labored. A few runs later, and I realized my endurance was shit. "Easy" runs felt harder than they should.

Two weeks ago, I looked back in my training log to last November. I took a few weeks off in October after the "Loony Challenge" (a race weekend of a 10K and 5K on Saturday, and then the TC 10 Mile on Sunday). When I started back up in November, I started logging miles much like I am now: 3 runs a week, all easy, adding 5 minutes to the runs the next week. Here's what 2 weeks ago looked like, along with the same week of 35 minute runs back in November of 2015:

My runs 2 weeks ago were done at 7:40, 7:51, and 7:07 pace (that last one being where I was trying to run fast as I posted about on Wednesday). Last November, those same 35 minute easy runs were done at 7:33, 7:43, and 7:16 pace, which averages a LITTLE faster than 2 weeks ago, but THEY WERE ALL DONE PUSHING CHARLIE IN THE STROLLER.

As I looked at last November, I saw why "easy" runs felt "easier" back then.

First of all, I hadn't taken as much time off. I took 17 weeks off this summer (and then started back up really slowly), and I took less than 4 weeks off last October.

Secondly, I was biking a lot back in November. That month, I logged over 200 miles outside, and another 3+ hours on the trainer (for a rough equivalent of 260+ miles biked). These past 4 weeks, I've done 5 rides while pulling the boys for a total of just under 60 miles. And I hadn't been on my bike before that since April.

So the BAD news is that my endurance is shit and I'm working to get it back.

The GOOD news is this proves that I'm not just "born with it," and that I need to work for it too.

I know I have some natural ability (of COURSE), but this shows that I can really impact my endurance by the amount of training I'm doing. That's kind of a silly "silver lining," but it DOES make me feel a little better in my current state.


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