Woo hoo! You’ve come a long way since Week 1, way to go!
Good progressive programs have cycles of increased workload followed by lesser workloads for recovery. This exists in your program both within the micro-cycle of every week of training, as well as within the macro-cycle within each month of training.
Each week, you'll notice that Session 1 is the toughest session of the week with the harder efforts in the brisk intervals. Session 2 is a recovery from Session 1 and is the “easiest” session of the week. Finally, Session 3 is generally moderate between the two with medium volume and a little more running overall.
In the larger monthly cycle I like to “build” through 3 weeks and then you can expect a 4th week of recovery with lesser workloads. This helps your body recover, rejuvenate and ready itself for another climb in volume and fitness.
You’ve earned this break and it’s important to enjoy yourself exactly where you are.
No brisk intervals this week as we simply stay comfortable with your continuous steady rhythm and/or solidify your 10-and-1s, depending on where you are at.
Resist the temptation to do more, even though you may want to. No more and no less! Keep your pace comfortable and be proud of where you are at so far!
Pay attention to any aches or discomforts in your body that do not seem to be going away. Imagine a scale of 1-10, with 1 being very little discomfort and 10 being extreme discomfort. Be aware of that scale whenever you run, and rate any discomfort you experience.
A "1 or 2" is probably ok and simply your body adjusting to these new physical demands. If it increases to a "4 or 5", start paying closer attention. If that awareness continues to increase to a "5 or 6 or higher", then it may be time to re-adjust your program.
Perhaps you've missed a few days, or you need a new pair of shoes for better support, or you need to run on a softer surface. It's also possible the program is simply too much for you right now and you need to do some cross training for awhile to remove the impact of running and allow your body to heal.
STRETCH a little more this week after your runs. Consider adding body strength sessions once or twice a week to help you become stronger and prevent injury.
More on cross-training next week!