It’s been a little over 3 weeks since my last race. Time to get back into training.

When I first started running ultras, it would take about this long for my legs to heal up enough for me to return to my base training mileage (40mpw +/-). The first week would see me hobbling around like a geriatric. The next week would be better, but far from normal. The following week would be able to do any of my typical runs.

I recover much quicker physically these days. After 4-5 days, my legs now feel 95% back to normal. While I could be back to running 40mpw, I don’t largely because I don’t wanna. My mental recovery is now the gating item on when I get back to decent mileage as the snooze alarm is once again my friend. Even though I have Capitol Backyard Ultra at the end of May, I hadn’t been champing at the bit to get back into training because I still have four more races to do through September. It’s a packed schedule so I don’t want to burn myself out before we even get into summer.

Last weekend though, the switch flipped and I wanted to start running more. I added an extra 1.5 miles to my standard 7.5 mile route just because. I never do this. I have set routes I run and I alter them only a handful of times over the course of the year. This was my subconscious’ green light to start getting back at it.

I took the next step yesterday and did a hill repeat workout. Outside of long runs, hill repeats are basically the only run I do that I feel good about labeling a workout. There’s a quarter mile long hill with decent elevation gain two miles from my house that I do repeats on. Today was 6 repeats or 7 total miles. The hill is steep enough that I don’t run up the whole thing. Or even half of it. For me, the bigger benefit is quad-proofing my legs by bombing the downhill. This also helps with leg turnover and loosening up my hips as I really stride out downhill portion vs. my normal short choppy stride. I will look to add a mile per week to this workout over the next month.

Pretty soon it’ll be time to add back in the long run. But not this week.