Monday, April 27, 2015

Earn Your Easy Week

"Earn your easy week."

Is it weird that about 9k into my 20k long run the voice of Coach Troy, star of my favourite Bending Crank Arms video, popped into my head?

In that video, the toughest cycling video we have, Coach Troy tells us that it is a very challenging workout and suggests that we take the next day as an easy day. He then laughs and says that the day after that and possibly the day after that will also be easy days.

And during the video, when we are holding squats for 60 seconds on trembling legs or when we are pushing through a five-minute, hardest gear on the bike, slog, he will say "earn your easy day".

I've done that video enough to know that I would never do it the day before a long run and I would not be able to do it the day or two after a long run. Bending Crank Arms is a Wednesday workout or it doesn't happen. It's just too tough to tack on to another tough workout.

So on Saturday, as I was nearing the half way point in my long run, his voice popped into my head.

"Earn your easy week."

This 20k run is always a tough one in my half-marathon training cycle. It's the third Saturday in a row of long runs that are getting progressively longer (16, 18 and then 20k). My legs are tired and achy.  My body wants a rest.

It's an important run though. Running 20k on tired legs is part of the training. After that run, I get an easy week of 5k runs and a 10k run next weekend. Then the last part of the training cycle begins.

race day

No run in the training is as tough as that 20k. Even the 22k, which is longer, is easier because I do it after coming off of an easy week. No tired legs to contend with.

So when I started to channel on Saturday Coach Troy, it felt right. Don't just finish the run. Finish the run well. Earn your easy week.

And earn it I did.

I ran 20k. I stopped only once, at 12k, to refill water bottles, check my blood sugar, and assure Doug that I was fine.

Every step I took was a step I ran.

I sipped water or Nuun every kilometre as is my new routine. I kept my heart rate in check. My ears did not plug up. My energy did not flag and my blood pressure before and after the run were almost identical.

I finished my run well and I earned my easy week.

Thanks Coach Troy!

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