Faster "Recovery"

I'm on my fourth week of half-marathon training. Today, I had to run "40 minutes in heart rate zone 2," which I have taken to calling a "40 minute Z2 recovery run."

Each one of the runs on this Garmin half marathon training schedule include a "5-10 cool down" segment, which I have taken to just interpreting as "keep running for another 5 to 10 minutes." It's an easy way to squeeze an extra mile into your workout for no reason other than, hey, let's go nuts. So, today, I went nuts-er than usual and ran the full 10-minute cool-down in addition to the 40 minutes prior, for a grand total of a 50 minute Z2 recovery run.

Put your calculators down, I'll help you with the math. I averaged 7:22 per mile, which is not particularly fast for running in general, but as a recovery pace, it's a little interesting.

But what makes it really interesting is how it compares to my recovery runs from the last few weeks. I kicked off this half marathon schedule with a recovery run, and I ran it at an 8:10-per-mile pace. Granted, I had really high blood sugar that morning, but still, if that were my Z2 benchmark, I've almost increased my recovery pace by a minute per mile.

More accurately, here is every recovery run pace charted against date, with a trend line added so that you can better see how I'm improving:

Not too shabby, considering that the overwhelming majority of workouts on this schedule so far have been recovery runs. I'm about done with Z2 -- psych! There's still more than twelve weeks of this to go!

But I'm not really getting tired of it; after all, it's working. The data is right there. Aside from that, my qualitative analysis is that these runs are getting easy. I know they're easy runs to begin with, but they feel like strolls to me now. I feel as though I could go outside and Z2 myself all the way to Abilene, if I had to. Double entendre intended.

More data to come.

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