While I agree with people regrading doing something on your rest day, I would not reccommend weights. If its all upper body stuff it is still giving your body a chance to recover however the fact you say mainly seems to imply you atleast do a bit.
Allowing regeneration within the muscles is a bit part of improving. For me i would focus on stretching or yoga on your rest day to increase bloodflow and aid recovery.
For me a "rest day" consists of 4-5 miles recovery (approx 2 min slower than easy pace per mile) followed by stretching and have found this has worked great for me
The running motion on this day is important as it helps maintain the role of the central nervous systemin long distance running
To give you some perspective I hit 70 mpw average training for 5-10ks so you dont have to worry about it compromising your speed as so many people believe is the case. My advice would be training for 5-10k till the end of may and then slowly change the emphasis of your sessions to more marathon specific but keep the odd 10k pace session in the plan for variety.
Looking at your training from this week. STOP!!!! you should not be running anything fast for the next week or two. your body needs time to recover. though you may not feel it you will be doing yourself more harm than good. General rule for racing is 1 day easy for each mile raced. While this may be extreme 2-3 weeks of easy running (no tempos or intervals) should proceed a marathon effort. Think of it as a bit of a base phase.
EC, I can see your point. Same variables, just different ones held constant. However your care in approach belies your well structured points on years of miles-in-legs when successfully entering a marathon career. I'm not so sure the poster is 'only after marathon' but could be persuaded that there are other distances! I hope so, anyway!
Oh my reference was not about him being exclusive to the marathon but rather only completing one 4 days ago
I am a big follower of using the base of a marathon runner as a weapon in their arsenal to tackle the shorter distances As Lydiard would say "every runner should have the aerobic base of a marathon runner" that does not mean that every who runs a marathon cant be a 5k/10k guy
@ Ratzer: To be honest as a coach I am a big fan of lower distance reps @ more moderate and higher volume especially in the earlier phases of speed work and aim to bring the times down gradually while keeping the recovery very short.
I would only throw in higher intensity stuff in the month or so preceeding goal races to shapen but given the poster is only after marathon it would not suggest jumping straight into higher intensity.
10k paced sessions can show dramatic increases in five k performance i have found especially if supplimented with strides on easy days to develop leg turnover.
There is always a way of finding more time than you think you have for these kinda things. I used to be the same working 50+ hour weeks and other responsibilities but sat down looked through my daily habits and by making one or two adjustments i now manage to get an extra 4-5 hours a week for yoga and stretching and it has stood to me
When watching tv rather than sitting there why not do a few yoga poses etc as you are watching it. Say during your favourite program and you have an extra half hour of injury prevention or the dinner is cooking 10-15 min of few stretching poses. All the minutes add up in the end and most people who feel they are too busy with their schedule are usually just not utilizing their time to its maximum potential