Someone asked me the other day why I cut back a run to 3K. I realized that I was so focused on the numbers that I forgot to explain exactly what I did and why.
I used to run 8K on Tuesdays and in order to add an extra day of running, I split the distance into two runs. Because I'm now running 2 days back-to-back, one day should be shorter than the other. This is especially important because I need to slowly expose my muscles to the concept of running 2 days in a row, without a rest period in between.
While I deal with that, I won't be increasing my mileage or doing any speedwork. This is a really conservative approach, intended to avoid injury. I'll maintain the 4x a week and a long run of 13K.
Why? The rule of thumb for runners is that too much too soon (TMTS) will result in an injury. Almost every kind of injury is caused by this in some way shape or form... whether it's too fast, too far, too long. In the end, it's all too much, too soon.
The 3K run on Monday felt good. But, short. I was just getting into a groove and then it was over! Tuesday's 5K was good. It felt like more of a workout than a run around the block. My legs were a little cranky halfway through, and the mainly up-hill route didn't help either.
Now I feel like I should be running again tonight. I must be patient!