The last three weeks, I've started to feel my fitness move as I've gotten into the flow of training. The emphasis has been on maintaining volume (91, 93, and 88 are my weekly mileage totals), staying within myself, and being consistent. I probably violated that principle a bit this week with a couple of spontaneous tempo runs that left my legs a little tired. But hey it feels good to feel good.
Aside from those two steady runs, most of my training has been easy running, between 7:15 and 7:45 pace. I've run 4 workouts and a 5k race (16:35) over the three weeks. Nothing too intense, mostly high-end aerobic surges and moderate efforts with plenty of rest. Everything up to this point has been mainly preparatory for more intense training later this summer.
One element that I've added has been more consistency with strides. I've been doing them 2-3 times a week, and I've noticed over these few weeks that they've gotten easier and I've gotten more fluid and a bit faster.
Next Saturday will be a real test of what I'm sensing: that the work is beginning to add up to some improved fitness. I'm running a 5000m track race--my first race on the track since college. My goal is to run under 16:00. It's a bit of a stretch, but if I can do that without any real specific 5k pace work, that bodes well for where I am fitness-wise.
We will see.