OK, so I'm approaching 4 weeks in my "RW Run Streak" for the 2011 holiday season, and I have to say I'm very encouraged by the results.
First, and I don't know if I can attribute this to the colder temperatures, but my heart rate has been tracking much lower than usual on my runs. I'm finding it much easier to keep my heart rate below a 70% threshhold on my easy runs, and on my training runs, it's not terribly high.
Second, I'm finding that my recovery time has diminished to almost nothing. I can do a long run on Sunday, and I wake up Monday morning with no soreness, and with the vigor to do a short run later on Monday afternoon, and following that up with a Tuesday morning run. This was one of my big concerns going in to this, that I would be constantly sore. Other than right after my long runs, my body is adapting nicely.
And lastly, my speed has actually improved as I pile on the miles. An "easy" run for me just a few months ago would mean close to a 10 minute mile. In the past 4 weeks, my easy runs have fallen within the 9:25 to 9:45 range, depending on time of day. Early mornings, my pace is slower for some reason.
As I stated in my last posting, I'm seriously considering continuing this 7-day a week running after the "streak" is over. I've trained much smarter during this period, given my history of calf injuries, and it seems to be paying dividends. There are 90 days to the Rock & Roll USA Half Marathon on March 17th, and I'm really hoping to PR; if I do, I have the RW Run Streak to thank.