>Racing>Pfitzinger's Plans and Tune Up Races
In his 18/55 marathon plan, Pfitz calls for 3 tune up races in weeks 6, 4, and 2 leading up to the goal race. The first two call for 8K-15K, the last 8K to 10K.
I honestly don't want to seek out races that fit this criteria, because I know it will mean driving all over the greater NE Ohio area and that it will mean I'm shelling out another $60-100+ for races that aren't my goal (I'm kind of a cheapskate).
Additionally, Pfitz assumes long runs on Sundays, I've moved the schedule so long runs are on Saturdays. Making it hard to fit races easily into my schedule
That said I am planning on running a half marathon 7 weeks out as a tune-up/evaluation of fitness.
I'm wondering what any of you folks that have used this plan or similar would do in place of the races?
Tempo runs of equivalent distance? Time trials (which seem unlikely to offer similar performance)? Something else?
Nothing beats races for race practice, but yeah, sometimes that doesn’t fit our plans/budgets.
I do my long runs before work on Fridays to minimize family disruption, so sort of a similar situation. I did race 6 out, but for 4 and 2 I just replaced with hard solo tempo efforts. Not perfect. We do what we can. To be clear, racing would have been better.
I am right at the end of this right now (just did the last 17 miler this morning after a “hard tempo” race replacement yesterday). These are the worst two days of the program in my opinion.
Anyway, good luck on your cycle.
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I re-read the section in the book regarding tune up races and was a bit surprised he didn't offer alternatives. I definitely see the benefit in racing over "simulating" race efforts, but like you say, you do what you can. Thanks for advice.
As I was looking over my plan, I saw those back to back runs and thought they looked brutal, congrats on getting through them.
+1 to Gville Kevin - nothing beats races. When I train for early spring races, I sometimes have trouble finding races in the winter. In those cases, I try to at least race once to get a sense of where my fitness is. So, running that half should be helpful. (I think it would be better if it was closer to race day, though). One of the things I do try to do though, and may help if you're not doing this already, is make those last two MP and super longs runs dress rehearsals for my goal marathon. That way, I have to deal with "race" anxiety, fueling, time on my feet, what I want to think about when... The other purpose of tune-up races is to prepare you for other aspects of racing that we sometimes neglect day-to-day.
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All my three tune up races were trials. I agree with others that the actual race is the best way to find your fitness and the race experience. However, I think the trials also serve the purpose if not the best. I certainly suffered the pain from the trials. It may not give you the best fitness indication but you can learn to get used of the full out (pain) experience or bring you back those memories if you don't race often. They all serve as a preparation for your marathon goal.
I personally interpret that the main purpose of the tune up races is to wake up my pain nerves, apart from the experience to cope with the race anxiety, diet, etc. Tempo effort is not enough.
5k - 20:56 (09/12), 7k - 28:40 (11/12), 10k trial - 43:08 (03/13), 42:05 (05/13), FM - 3:09:28 (05/13), HM - 1:28:20 (05/14)
I assume the races are meant to get you psychologically prepared for race day. They will be counted as a hard workout contributing to vo2 training as well as endurance.
I would assume that you could substitute in a vo2 workout in place of the shorter races and maybe some tempo or cruise intervals in place of the longer races.
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PR's - 5K - 20:47 (2013) | 10K - 45:23 (2013) | 13.1 - 1:53:44 (2013) | 26.2 - N/A
2013 Goals - 1500 kms (897.22kms July'13) | sub20 5k | sub 45 10K | sub 1:45 13.1 |
Flatout 5k - 4/14/13 - 23:23
Tely 10(miles) - 7/28/13 - 1:14:46 PR
Provincial 5k - 9/8/13
Mudd Immortal 5k - 9/21/13
Coleman's Half Marathon - 10/6/13
Cape to Cabot 20k - 10/20/13