Between Races

One week between the 10km cross country and the half marathon. To get the peak right, this is where experience and the art of training really comes into play. There just isn't enough science to give definitive guidelines here. That leaves me working from a subjective base.

This is not a typical training week. I have built all the fitness I can. Instead, the training and resting is only about being able to get the most out of myself for a top half marathon on Sunday. Rest hard, recover and spike the system to prevent a loss of form and grease the groove to feel natural on race day. Sounds almost like a near meaningless mission statement. Time for what really happened.

The 10km cross country, was run within my abilities. Even with a fast surge for a bit over 1km, I didn't overly extend myself. That combined with a mixture of gravel and grass for half the course, meant my legs weren't too beaten up. I pulled up with just some moderate tightness and no injury concerns. So on the day after (Monday), I was feeling pretty good. Without the need for significant recovery I decided to carry the form over into a half marathon pace run. I put in what I thought would be about the right average intensity for the upcoming race over one repeat of my very familiar 7.6km course. I was very happy with the time and the heart rate profile.

After the previous two days of racing and race pace work, I made sure I was now going to get the recovery I needed. A very, very slow 40 minute jog was enough just stimulate some blood flow into the muscles and allow for some good stretching. Then absolutely no running on Wednesday. I felt heavy, and the legs were clearly repairing themselves. A little bit of massage and ice work hopefully helped the process.

On Thursday, I was feeling pretty comfortable. The legs were good, so it felt right for that last spike before race day. Down at the track I covered 1x400m and 4x200m with a very slow 200m jog in between. No time goals here. I just let my body feel fast and flow, instead of trying to muscle through any extra effort. This resulted in each 200m being faster than the previous, to a level that I was quite surprised with. After the cool down, I felt I was ready for a hard run.

Friday was completely off. Here all the little extras of muscle and connective tissue repair can occur. Plus, muscle glycogen storage can take plus unheeded. That leaves me with a very, easy run for Saturday morning. Just 30 minutes performed as a race warm up, without pushing into the faster speeds that usually make up the last part of my warm ups.

In the end that's two complete days with no running, and two days of very easy running, plus a significant lid on any volume. Quite a bit less, than I have tended to do over the majority of years, but I have been a lot of good results with more drastic reduction in training load like this week. Of course, the race will provide the truth.


  1. That was a nice post, great ideas and information shared. Great job well done in your marathon training, good luck in the marathon race. Thanks for sharing this to us !

    1. Thanks Crossfit. I always hope someone can take a thing or two of benefit from my posts. Maintaining a peak for more than one race, seems to be topic that doesn't get much attention, but is something many try to do. Of course what I did this week, is influenced by the weeks of training leading in. Oh, and you gave the distance a little extra, the upcoming race was a half marathon.


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