I did a slow 20 kilometres yesterday for my weekly long run – average pace of just over 9 minutes per kilometre and keeping my heart rate at the higher end of zone 2. I used to try and do all my long runs at 7:30 minutes per kilometre. Bearing in mind that my race pace will be 7:00 mpk for a marathon and 7:30 mpk for an ultra, this means that I was always trying to maintain race pace – in my new way of thinking that is a recipe for disaster, or at the very least a poor aerobic base!
That brings me to the rest and recovery part of my post. I have always had a rest morning on a Monday after the weekend’s long run. I now reckon that if my body is not trashed from pushing too hard (which it never will be with zone 2 training) I can pop in a gentle 5 or 6 kilometres on a Monday morning. I hopped on the treadmill with my Polar heart rate strap and managed just that – no sore legs at all. I did notice that my heart rate pushed out of zone 2 quicker than normal but I guess that’s just my body telling me I ran far yesterday! No problem, I just added more walking at a brisk pace.
I’m aiming to cover 50 kilometres per week. I managed 52 kilometres last week all in zone 2 and I’m feeling really good. But to cover those kilometres at the pace of a geriatric tortoise, one needs to run almost every day. Friday will be a day off though – one needs to give conventional wisdom a nod here and there!