That’s the big question on my plate right now. I finished the Romeo 2 Richmond Half Marathon almost two weeks ago; the Detroit Free Press Half Marathon is a little over 3 weeks away; and I already reached my goal for the year of breaking the 2 hour barrier.
So What Do I Do Now?
Of course I would like to stay under 2 hours for a second time, come Detroit. It’s an easy course, but not as easy at the Macomb Orchard Trail.
The week following R2R, I had planned a week-full of easy 3 milers, followed by a weekend 10 miler. In reality, I managed 2 weekday runs totaling 6 miles and skipped the long run altogether. I felt pretty crappy for slacking, and it happens almost every time following a race (I slacked for a month after Back to the Beach). Trying not to be too discouraged I started this week on the right track and did my planned 5 mile run Tuesday morning.
Today, Wednesday, is my weekly speed session. Each week I have been either doing 400 intervals or a tempo run, increasing distance each week. Walking into work, gym bag in hand, I wondered what I would do for today’s speed session. And here lies the title question.
Maintenance or Improvement?
Should I just try to maintain for the next 3 weeks or do I add miles/speed/intensity? The answer is simple enough when the races are far enough apart (push harder) or really close together (rest and maintain). 5 weeks seems like a gray area. With 1 week of recovery and tapering on race week, that leaves me with 3 weeks. Is 3 weeks enough time to make some improvements, or am I just risking injury so close to the race?
My Answer: Compromise
I decided to make a compromise on how to play out the remaining 4 weeks until Detroit. I will simply repeat the last 4 weeks that led up to R2R. Granted I missed some of those workouts the first time around, so technically the miles will be more, but no more than I had planned before. I have one exception the to copy/paste strategy and that starts today – speed day.
Up until now, I have been doing 400s. I think a safe way to up intensity without burning out, is to switch over to 800s with the same total distance. Maybe I’ll even throw in a little hill-work to prepare for that Bridge and Tunnel.
Update, post-lunch workout. I did 4 x 800 today with a 400 hill-climb in the middle. An idea that I got from this Competitor article.
Put It In Writing
So here it is. The end of my Detroit Half Marathon training cycle. The remainder of the year will be geared towards maintaining my fitness, losing some weight and preparing for Kahtoola 2014.
|12||Stretch & strength||4 m run||30 min tempo||2 m run||Rest||Rest||Romeo 2 Richmond|
|13||Stretch||3 m run||3 m run||3 m run + strength||3 m pace||10 m run||Rest/
|14||Stretch & strength||5 m run||4 x 800
|3 m run + strength||Rest||12 m run||Rest/
|15||Stretch & strength||5 m run||45 min tempo||3 m run + strength||5 m pace||13 m run||Rest/
|16||Stretch & strength||5 m run||5 x 800
|3 m run + strength||3 m pace||11 m run||Rest/
|17||Stretch & strength||4 m run||30 min tempo||2 m run||Rest||Rest||Detroit Half Mar.|