The 4th week on my schedule is always a recovery week. And one that is well deserved.
The last 20 mile run on Sunday showed why a built in week of recovery is needed in any endurance training schedule. 3 weeks of accumulated fatigue was setting in on that run, and I had to struggle with mental focus as well as physical lethargy.
In other words, it was time for the body to recover for a week.
Two days into the week and I only ran 4 easy miles so far. I'm only doing 30 miles this week.
This also gives me the extra time I need to tackle other things that I've had to put off for a couple of weeks. In other words, the recovery week provides a bit of balance in my life as well. And the balance between work, play, family, etc. is absolutely critical for a full life.
The bottom line is that it is absolutely critical to build in rest periods into your schedule to give your mind and body time to heal up as well as focus on other things in your life. Without this you are at higher risk of mental burnout and physical injury, especially in long distance events like Ironman and ultra-marathons.
Next Saturday I continue with the Greenbelt group trail run of the High Rock Challenge. We meet at 8AM in the High Rock Parking Lot at the end of Nevada Ave. (off of Rockland Ave.).
Sunday I will be in Middletown, NJ for the Indian Trails 15k Road Race. This is a real challenging course with 4 significant climbs. Once done with those climbs one is rewarded with a nice view of Lower New York Harbor with the silhouette of NYC in the distance as you run down the last hill of the course on mile 9.