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Help!!! My plan is shot and I have 3 weeks til taper for HM...what do I do?? (Read 141 times)

kristin10185


I race in SparkleSkirts

    Okay friends, I'm bugging out a little.....

     

    HELP!

     

    So I am training for a half marathon on October 12th. It will be my first. I decided on a 20 week Running Wizard plan. For those not familiar, Running Wizard works off of Lydiard's principals, and works in phases. The first phase is very long. It is the Aerobic phase.  The exact plan is customized to me. For me, Aerobic Phase was is mostly easy miles with a weekly up-tempo "out and back" that is on the short side (between 3 and 4.5 miles depending on the week), an "easy fartlek" of about 30-40 minutes with a warm-up and cool down, a medium long run (5-6 miles) and a weekly long run (longest was 11 miles). That phase went swimmingly. Of course there was some hiccups, but overall I completed most of the planned runs.

     

    Then the plan moves into more quality work phases. The next phase is Hill phase for leg strengthening--this phase was supposed to be 3 weeks long for me, but I missed the first week due to my knee bugging me and wanting to go easy to pre-empt injury, but completed the workouts in the last 2 weeks of the phase.

     

    And that is when things fell apart. The next 5 weeks were supposed to be speed training. 2 weeks of Anaerobic phase (with interval workouts) and 3 weeks of Coordination (with cut-downs). I blew these phases. I just couldn't handle the speedwork. Running has NOT been going well lately. The total unraveling of my plan went as follows:

     

    What was supposed to be my first week of Anerobic phase I was on vacation. I was able to get several runs in, but as they were in new and unfamiliar territory and the weather was less than ideal (I was in Southern Florida so either it was ridiculously hot and humid or POURING rain for all my runs there) so I skipped the intervals. What was supposed to be week 2 of Aneorbic phase....last week....I sucked at LIFE. The weather was mostly humid (I do NOT do well in humidity) and something was just WRONG with my body. My calves were cramping way way more than normal (this is a problem I have had in the past), my legs have felt like lead. I have struggled to even maintain EASY paces (seriously I have found myself slipping ABOVE 14 MINUTE MILES.....which I was not even that slow a year ago when I was a brand new runner)..... I have struggled not to WALK during my runs, and have a few times for the first time in like a year. I have been cutting runs short and skipping runs. And I have not done a single damn interval workout. The only run that has felt good in like 2 weeks was a 4 mile race on Saturday in which it was a somewhat challenging, hilly course (Central Park) and I easily maintained paces in the low-to-mid-10s without putting forth "race" effort. Annnnd I have also not done a long run in like.....oh god.....3 or 4 weeks?!

     

    I am supposed to be in Coordination phase. But since the phases are supposed to build off each other I think I am just scrapping the plan. I have the rest of this week, and then 2 weeks left until taper starts. I am throwing my plan out the window. I like Running Wizard, and will probably try it again for my next half but not this one. And I am willing to readjust my time goal. Running Wizard seems to be delusional and thinks I will finish in 2:06:XX with a 9:41 pace or something ludicrous. I finished a 15K at a 10:08 pace last month that was not completely all-out, but I don't know if I could have sustained much faster if I had to go over 3.5 miles further. I think the best I can reasonably hope for is probably a 2:15:XX finish/between a 10:15 and 10:20 pace. AT BEST. And that's fine.

     

    Just.....what should I do in these last 3 weeks before taper to best benefit my half? My plan was supposed to be speed heavy but not mileage or distance heavy right now, but that is assuming I have worked up to doing the speed workouts, which I haven't.

     

    HELP!

    PRs:   5K- 28:16 (5/5/13)      10K- 1:00:13 (10/27/13)    4M- 41:43 (9/7/13)   15K- 1:34:25  (8/17/13)    10M- 1:56:30 (4/6/14)     HM- 2:20:16 (4/13/14)

     

    I started a blog about running :) Check it out if you care to


    Hip Hip Hooray

      OK, I'm answering this as a noob who was in a similar position, not from a ton of experience... so take that with a grain of salt. Smile

      I would concentrate on mileage, at this point.  I think you are too low mileage overall to worry about speed workouts.

       

      I got screwed up several weeks before my first half.  So the last three weeks ended up at about 20mpw with a long run of 10, 11 and then 10, before the taper.   I finished that in 2:16 without too much of a fade.  YMMV, but that's what I did!

       


      Bad Ass

        How many anaerobic workouts are you supposed to do per week?

         

        To me, it sounds like you have not recovered from either the vacation or the constant racing.  Can you take a few days off and do the rest easy this week and see how you feel by next week?

         

        I would modify the plan, reduce the speedwork to no more than 1-2 a week and do the rest easy.  Good luck!

        Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner

        Blog

        "The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."

        meaghansketch


          What have the last 2-3 weeks of your running looked like?

          Things are starting to cool down so you have that in your favor, at least.

          You don't necessarily need a long taper for a half so with 3 weeks to go I'd focus on running as much as you can safely for 2 weeks and then only tapering for one week.  If you do that you can have 2 more long runs before the HM.  I would try to do at least 9 miles in each of those.  Your other most important run should have a little work at race pace.  A 2:15 half is 10:15 pace IIRC.  So you could start with 2x1 mile at HMP, then 2x1.5 miles. Add a warmup and a cooldown and those can be 6-7 miles-- that gives you 4 workouts between now and race day that are at least half the race distance. I don't know if you've been doing much speedwork lately but that shouldn't be too taxing a workout since you're doing races around those paces.  You're not going to get too much fitness improvement in the next 2 weeks but that at least should give you some practice at 'race pace'.

           

          Don't beat yourself up too much-- just move forward from where you are.  You can't change the past few weeks, but if you can race a 15K, you can run an HM.

           

          (ETA: My mistake, 5 weeks to the race, not 3.)

          Up next: Front Runners New York LGBT Pride 5-mile  06/28 |  NYRR Team Championships: Women (5M) 08/02

          Goal race: NYCRUNS Haunted Island 10K 10/25

          Awood_Runner


          Smaller By The Day

            It's really hard to tell what needs to be done at this point, because there seems to be something going on that needs to be addressed before you can really make a plan.

             

            If you've been updating your training log, then the last couple of weeks should have left your legs feeling pretty fresh.  Yet, you say your legs feel heavy and you're struggling to maintain your paces.  I'd say that it sounds like over training, but it doesn't seem like it's from running.  How is your sleep, nutrition, etc?  Have you been overly stressed lately?  If so, this isn't helping I'm sure.

             

            With what's going on, I'd say that you may have to play it one week at a time.  We could sit here and revamp your schedule, and there's no guarantee that you're up for plan B right now either.  I'd look at non-running issues.  Make sure you're sleeping well, and plenty.  Set aside some time each evening to clear your head an relax a bit.  Make sure you're eating good foods, and getting proper nutrition.

             

            Forget about the plan for now, and when you go out to run leave your watch and try make it a fun run.  If you're draggin' ass, hang in there and see if it gets better.  If it gets worse, and you're just not feeling it go for a long walk.  Clear your head.  Run what you can, when you can.  I'm not going to tell you to drop the HM, but give yourself permission to drop it.  Take some pressure off.  Find your groove again.  If you feel up to a long run this weekend, then by all means get out there and do it.  Until you figure out what's dragging you down though, you'll be banging your head against the wall.

            Improvements

            Weight 100 pounds lost

            5K 31:02 Sept. 2012 / 23:36 Sept. 2013 (Same Course)

            10K 48:59 April 2013

            HM 2:03:56 Nov. 2012 / 1:46:50 March 2013

            MARATHON 3:57:33 Nov. 2013


            Hip Hip Hooray

              What have the last 2-3 weeks of your running looked like?

              Things are starting to cool down so you have that in your favor, at least.

              You don't necessarily need a long taper for a half so with 3 weeks to go I'd focus on running as much as you can safely for 2 weeks and then only tapering for one week.  If you do that you can have 2 more long runs before the HM. 

               

              I thought she meant 3 weeks to taper, not 3 weeks to race - Kristin, is that right?  Is it 5 weeks to race, or 3 weeks?

               

              meaghansketch


                 

                I thought she meant 3 weeks to taper, not 3 weeks to race - Kristin, is that right?  Is it 5 weeks to race, or 3 weeks?

                 

                My mistake-- 5 weeks to the race (counting this one).  HM is 10/12.

                Up next: Front Runners New York LGBT Pride 5-mile  06/28 |  NYRR Team Championships: Women (5M) 08/02

                Goal race: NYCRUNS Haunted Island 10K 10/25


                Hip Hip Hooray

                   

                  My mistake-- 5 weeks to the race (counting this one).  HM is 10/12.

                   

                  OOPS, yeah, I see the date now in the OP.  lol

                   

                  kristin10185


                  I race in SparkleSkirts

                    I have taken WAY too many rest days lately.... I have barely run in the past 1.5 weeks, and have done nothing over 4 miles, most of that easy....like pathetic easy (13 minute miles with walk breaks....ugh). I think I am ready to get focused and get out there running....I do think I had mental and physical exhaustion and needed to listen to my body and take a little break even at the expense of my plan...but now I'm done with that. Time to run! I have had several races lately, but not "race effort," my 4 mile race was within the pace guidelines of a "Progress Calibration Run" that was scheduled on my plan, if I was still following it. I didn't push myself much, the pace came easy and I found myself telling myself to slow down a few times (I saw 8:30 at one point on my Garmin, granted it was a downhill, but that was unnecessary). I haven't had a truly all-out-pain-cave effort since my 5K PR race on May 5th. So I don't think racing is to blame.....but traveling and then adjusting back to work after may have had a bit to do with my yucky running week last week. I should upload my runs off my Garmin onto my log, which I haven't done in like 2 weeks, but there were a few runs that I was going so slow and taking walk breaks and feeling so pathetic that I turned the Garmin off so there are no record of them anyway.

                    PRs:   5K- 28:16 (5/5/13)      10K- 1:00:13 (10/27/13)    4M- 41:43 (9/7/13)   15K- 1:34:25  (8/17/13)    10M- 1:56:30 (4/6/14)     HM- 2:20:16 (4/13/14)

                     

                    I started a blog about running :) Check it out if you care to

                    kristin10185


                    I race in SparkleSkirts

                       

                      I thought she meant 3 weeks to taper, not 3 weeks to race - Kristin, is that right?  Is it 5 weeks to race, or 3 weeks?

                       

                      5 weeks til race, 3 til taper. My plan had a 2 week taper.

                      PRs:   5K- 28:16 (5/5/13)      10K- 1:00:13 (10/27/13)    4M- 41:43 (9/7/13)   15K- 1:34:25  (8/17/13)    10M- 1:56:30 (4/6/14)     HM- 2:20:16 (4/13/14)

                       

                      I started a blog about running :) Check it out if you care to

                      Bin Running


                        Scrape the plan.. Do a 1 week taper.. Run easy for the rest of the plan.. maybe 1 speed work a week if you feel up to it.

                         

                        You have race a 15K, you can do a HM.. walk the water point and respect the 1 week taper..

                        2014 races

                        2XU HM - 02 Mar (1:44:55)

                        BeHero 10K (Hong Kong) - 23 Mar (46:13)

                        JP Morgan 5.6K - 24 Apr (25:54)

                        Run350 10K - 27 Apr (56:04)

                        Sundown 10K - 31 May (59:00)

                        Sundown HM - 31 May (2:50:00)

                        Pocari Sweat 10K - 08 Jun (50:03)

                        Army HM - 31 Aug (2:30:00)

                        Yellow Ribbon 10K - 14 Sep (52:21)

                         

                        Newton 32K - 26 Oct

                        Stand Chart FM - 07 Dec

                        kristin10185


                        I race in SparkleSkirts

                          I'd say that it sounds like over training, but it doesn't seem like it's from running.  How is your sleep, nutrition, etc?  Have you been overly stressed lately?  If so, this isn't helping I'm sure.

                           

                          Nutrition..... didn't consider that!!! Well I ate every single meal out for almost 3 straight weeks, more dessert and booze lately than I've had in months, and gained 5 pounds. Oops?  And my sleep schedule has been all over the place, though I haven't had a lack of sleep, just different hours as I've been off work for a month and did a lot of traveling. But this is my first full week back to work in a month so that should settle down now and I am getting back to my usual eating schedule, diet and sleeping schedule.

                          PRs:   5K- 28:16 (5/5/13)      10K- 1:00:13 (10/27/13)    4M- 41:43 (9/7/13)   15K- 1:34:25  (8/17/13)    10M- 1:56:30 (4/6/14)     HM- 2:20:16 (4/13/14)

                           

                          I started a blog about running :) Check it out if you care to

                          kristin10185


                          I race in SparkleSkirts

                            double post

                            PRs:   5K- 28:16 (5/5/13)      10K- 1:00:13 (10/27/13)    4M- 41:43 (9/7/13)   15K- 1:34:25  (8/17/13)    10M- 1:56:30 (4/6/14)     HM- 2:20:16 (4/13/14)

                             

                            I started a blog about running :) Check it out if you care to

                              A few thoughts.

                               

                              I took a look at your log.  Honestly, you don't have the base to support speedwork.  I am one of those who advocates beginning informal speedwork as soon as a person can run about 3 miles or 30 minutes.  By informal, I'm talking about fast finishes, strides, and maybe some fartleks.  I think you need to be regularly putting in 5+ mile runs before you start with formal speedwork including tempo runs, VO2max intervals, and repetition speed training.  Mind you, that's just my personal opinion and others may well disagree but if they do, they're likely to think you need more than what I'm suggesting before starting speedwork.

                               

                              You're running about 20 miles per week but you have some long runs that are over half of your weekly mileage.  That makes no sense at all.  Your long run shouldn't be more than about a third of your weekly mileage.  Moreover, and I'm not sure why you did this, but you suddenly went from 5-6 miles a week in late May to 20 miles per week a month later.  That's a crazy increase.  I doubt any plan has you quadrupling your mileage within a month and if it does, you should shred it immediately.  Recently, you've been inconsistent with a weekly high of just over 20 miles and a weekly low of under 5 miles.

                               

                              Your best bet would be to scrap the race.  It's not like half marathons aren't a dime a dozen.  I'm guessing you aren't willing to do that.  Absent following the wisest course of action, the worst thing you could do is to try to suddenly start cranking out lots of mileage.  I won't tell you what to do to get ready for the race because there's not much you can do.  Just do what you can do and prepare to suffer.  Once you get the suffering out of the way, here's my suggestion.

                               

                              Start from square 1.  Forget you finished a half marathon and other races.  For the rest of the year, focus on being consistent.  Focus on getting out there 4-5 days per week.  Skip the long run altogether during that time.  Increase your mileage by increasing the rest of your runs rather than trying to get half your mileage knocked out in a single day.  Start with about 10 miles per week.  Stay there for a couple of weeks.  Drop back a week and then increase the 13 or 14.  Again, hold there for 2-3 weeks before dropping back and then increasing again.  If you do that, you should be consistently running 25-30 miles per week by the end of the year.

                               

                              At that point, you can begin incorporating speedwork into your routine.  Don't worry about some damn plan.  Just start doing one hard speed session each week.  A tempo session one week.  VO2max intervals the next.  Hills the week after that.  Etc.  Start re-incorporating a long run but don't make it more than 1/3 of your weekly mileage.  Race occasionally but not too often (maybe every 6-8 weeks) just to calibrate your fitness.  I can almost guarantee that if you have the patience to do what I'm suggesting, you'll see significant improvements and I doubt you'll run any real risk of injury or burnout.

                              Short term goal: 17:59 5K

                              Mid term goal:  2:54:59 marathon

                              Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life.  (I started running at age 45).

                              kristin10185


                              I race in SparkleSkirts

                                LTH- May was a terrible month for me running wise. Lots of personal stuff going on...switching jobs the most major of that. High stress, being incredibly busy and not getting more than 3 hours of sleep did not make for good running. The week where my plan was supposed to start came upon me, and I was advised to ease into it, but to start it all the same. I ran the low end of the suggested ranges for a week or 2, and then ran the full plan. As long as I was feeling good, I stuck with it. My body was giving me no indication that I was doing too much, so I stuck with it. Completely the opposite, actually. Once I started running 20 miles per week or more, a lot of the aches, pains, ect that had been nagging me went away. ITBS disappeared entirely. Everything was clicking and I was feeling great. Until the fussy knee, and then the past 2 weeks, things had been going really well all summer.

                                PRs:   5K- 28:16 (5/5/13)      10K- 1:00:13 (10/27/13)    4M- 41:43 (9/7/13)   15K- 1:34:25  (8/17/13)    10M- 1:56:30 (4/6/14)     HM- 2:20:16 (4/13/14)

                                 

                                I started a blog about running :) Check it out if you care to

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