"Off" Days | 80/20 Endurance

“Off” Days

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    Surely I’m not the only one here who has those occasion “off” runs. When for various reasons, the run just feels more difficult than it should for a given effort. This morning was one of those. It was supposed to be a hill repeat workout. However, because of a scheduling conflict Saturday morning, I switched days and did my long (10+ miles) run this morning.

    It was OK, but not great. The humidity was rough and made the run a lot harder than it should have been. I ran by power and didn’t have any trouble holding my target. But I finished feeling more drained than I normally would for a long run. In retrospect, I probably should have just turn off the power screen and run exclusively by RPE.

    Anyway, because today was harder than it should have been, would you suggest adjusting Saturday’s run to maintain a better intensity balance? In other words, just making Saturday a regular foundation run rather than a hill repeat. Thanks in advance.

    Matt Fitzgerald

    I’d wait to see how you feel Saturday morning. You can even wait until after you’ve warmed up to decide. If you feel good, run the hill repeats. If you still feel flat, do an easy run. And if you feel so-so, you could do a scaled-back hill workout.


    Curious… did you notice any change in your breathing during the run, and if so, did you try to maintain a certain pattern despite not feeling at your best? (This goes back to something i posted a few weeks ago). Thanks


    You know, I think I could have maintained the same breathing pattern the whole time. But it got to where I was feeling winded at the end of each exhale, so I eventually changed the pattern. Next time, I’ll probably just turn my power screen off. Because I could see it, I think I was subconsciously adjusting my effort to keep it the same throughout the entire workout. In this case, it might have been better to allow myself to decrease the effort.


    It’s not that the temperature was all that hot, but with the high level of humidity, I couldn’t cool down for anything. So I was pouring with sweat and it was burning my eyes, so I know there was a high salt content. Afterwards, I ended up with a headache that lasted for several hours. The more I think about this, the more I’m wondering if it was a hydration or overheating issue.


    Thanks for the response. Certainly sounds like it could have been heat related. I am in NY where it definitely gets hot/humid here during the summer. A few times in July and August I had some long runs that were quite painful. These runs had a negative effect mentally. I was concerned I couldn’t go marathon distance. Making an extra effort to hydrate, especially during my 9/19/21 marathon, helped a lot. I’m sure you know all this, being a 5-time marathoner yourself. Just pointing out a similar experience bummed me out until I reviewed the runs and cut myself some slack. … constant learning.
    For the breathing I mostly kept to what I am accustomed to and kept aware of it. There was a point during the marathon where I tried to force myself to breathe 2-inhale/2-exhale in an effort to speed up, but I quickly stopped and resumed what I was accustomed to (2/3). Mid-race is not a good time to experiment (ha!).

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