Run training diary, week 5: Maintenance, mindset, recovery and heat

This isn’t my first time around on this training plan for this particular race. It’s held the first Saturday in November each time, but each time I start I forget that if you roll back 20 weeks from the first Saturday in November, most of the first half of the training is going to take place before Labor Day.

Which means hot and humid.

Many of you know that my “day job” wraps up at 2 or 3 a.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights, which means that any runs Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday aren’t going to happen before or only shortly after sunup, like I manage for my weekend runs.

And in coastal Georgia, that means heat indexes over 100 degrees by the time I get out. Usually it’s pushing 90-92°F with humidity approaching 90%. Not ideal.

But those runs are maintenance runs, not races. Sometimes I forget that.

I altered my run schedule so we could celebrate our anniversary Friday without having to go to bed silly early so I could wake up silly early Saturday (it also meant I could pug out a little more).


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#anniversary dinner with @shearlyorganized and the wee human.

A post shared by Josh Shear (@joshshear) on

My Tuesday run was, pardon the language, dog shit. I know I’m going to have to walk for stretches, but I pushed too far, running the first 1.75 miles. By 3.5 miles into my 5-mile run, i gave up on running and texted my wife that it would be another half hour. I did managed to job the last third of a mile or so. I spent the afternoon busted tired and dragged myself into work in the evening.

Wednesday, I was barely recovered, and still disappointed in Tuesday’s run. But I vowed to make it a better experience. I am dead set on running the first mile, but I knew, whether or not I needed it, I would start walking once I got my one-mile notification.

It was during that first mile on Wednesday I remembered, the whole purpose of these mid-week runs is maintenance — putting in the time on the road is more important than putting in the speed. Saturdays, typically my longest run of the week, are meant to (eventually, as distance grows) be the emulation of the race. Sundays are just to keep moving.

So Tuesday’s run was, as I mentioned, dog shit.

Wednesday I went the same five miles I went on Tuesday. None of the miles was as slow as Tuesday’s average, and I took over a minute and a half off per mile.

Friday I went out for my long run — six miles this week — and I managed to get out earlyish (not quite as early as I wanted, but sometimes ya gotta be a dad, ya know?). I ran the first 4.5 miles before a walking interval — not fast, by any stretch, but actually fairly consistent in terms of pace, but the longest continuous run I’ve made so far — and by the end of it, none of the six miles was as slow as Wednesday’s average, and I took another minute off per mile.

Onward, then.

I explained all the measuring in the Week 1 post.

Starting weight: 176

Date Prescribed Actual Time Pace Avg HR Max HR Sleep Recovery Strain (run only)
7/21 5 5.01 1:19:25 15:51 146 183 67 47 16.8
7/23 5 5.01 1:11:27 14:15 151 180 46 27 16.6
7/25 6 6.02 1:19:45 13:15 157 197 85 94 17.9
7/26 2-3 2.62 33:41 12:51 144 178 63 73 12.2

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