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To continue building the Running Wizard base or to sharpen? (Read 179 times)

    I'll be running a half marathon in three weeks. It's not a "goal" race, but I plan on running hard to see where I'm at. I'm also (casually) following the Running Wizard marathon base-building schedule, but probably won't actually run my next marathon until next spring; just base-build until I pick a race fourteen weeks out, then start on hills. The schedule is my first run-every-day routine, too. I'm on day #36 of the streak, and feeling good. How should I run the next three weeks to give myself the best shot for the race in June, but also not "mess up" the rhythm I've got going? These are the options I'm considering:

     

    1. Follow the last three weeks of the marathon plan - one week coordination, two weeks taper (lots of fast stuff in that taper!)

    2. Continue following the base building schedule, then taper the week before

    3. Keep base building, don't change anything other than that Saturday's outnback to an easy jog, and Sunday's long run to the race.

     

    My half marathon PR was recently (mid-March) on a hilly course (last four miles almost all up) and only a few weeks after a hard "goal" marathon. The course in June is flat with a long downhill from miles seven to nine. I figure I should be able to PR so long as I'm feeling good, which I am. Will a little speedwork now help prepare me for the effort? Or would speedwork now be too little too late, and just leave me tired on raceday? Or does it really make no difference, and I should just shut up and run?

      I'd probably go with #3 given your recent PRs, when you did them, and your current volume. 3k PR suggests you've gotten some speed work in, even if it's only the race itself.

       

      I would really hesitate to skip the hills, then go into the other phases which depend on the hill strength.

       

      What I would do, depending upon how much hill or downhill work you do normally is to add some downhill work this week. You should still reap the benefit in 3 wks. I'm not sure what "long downhill from miles seven to nine" is - about 1% drop (about 100ft) or 5% or 10% or...  You've still got 4 mi to go after that drop. I wouldn't do it any closer than 3 wks out since if you misjudge, it could mess you up. If you have a similar grade hill near you, run that or part of it.

      "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog

        I live in the foothills in NC, so every day is hill day (although no big monsters like out west). On Wednesdays I've been fartekking, which include lots of strides up and down. When I find my next marathon, the hills will not be neglected, I promise!

         

        The drop on the otherwise pretty flat course (it runs along the strait of juan de fuca) is about 150ft mile seven to eight, then 50ft to mile nine. Nothing huge, just enough to pick up some pep before the last four miles of super flatness. 

         

        Thanks for the advice - I'll focus on descents this Wednesday for sure. 

         

        I'd probably go with #3 given your recent PRs, when you did them, and your current volume. 3k PR suggests you've gotten some speed work in, even if it's only the race itself.

         

        I would really hesitate to skip the hills, then go into the other phases which depend on the hill strength.

         

        What I would do, depending upon how much hill or downhill work you do normally is to add some downhill work this week. You should still reap the benefit in 3 wks. I'm not sure what "long downhill from miles seven to nine" is - about 1% drop (about 100ft) or 5% or 10% or...  You've still got 4 mi to go after that drop. I wouldn't do it any closer than 3 wks out since if you misjudge, it could mess you up. If you have a similar grade hill near you, run that or part of it.

          Ah, ok, if you're already doing some hills, then that downhill shouldn't be a big deal - just a nice speed booster for the same effort. And it's not steep enough that you'll feel sluggish after hitting the flat. Some overspeed work flowing downhills can help you capitalize on it. And since you're doing some hills most of the time, you should have a feeling for what your recovery rates are - much better than a stranger on the internet would. Wink

           

          Have fun and good luck.

          "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog

            Re recovery, that's certainly true. I just wonder if there's anything I could/should do to give the half a little added "umph." But umph development requires more than a week, I suppose.

             

            Thanks!

              Here's some background information on my comment about 3 wks out for downhill training. 

               

              The types of training that I've found can benefit for some umph in a couple sessions are neuromuscular training - the graceful flowing down a long downhill, maybe some agility, etc. You'll always be better with more, but my experience has been that some recent is better than none. And they're usually easy to recover from.

               

               

              FWIW. My experience has been that coming down some of our big hills (3000ft drop in 2.2mi, but gotta come down if we want the up part of that workout) when untrained, I'd be really sore for a few weeks - and that was mostly hiking. With the amount of hills that I've done over the last 8 yr or so, it might affect me a little at any time, but usually at most a week at start of snow-free season. (downhills on snow are different). That's why with someone who I don't know anything about their training, I'll suggest 3 wks out - to be on safe side.

               

              Keep in mind I'm on the slow side and in mid 60s now, so err on side of caution.

              "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog

                Yeah, that's beyond my range of comprehension. I'm proud of surviving marathons that gained 3000 feet... over the entire 26.2.

                  Josh, I agree with AKTrail. You are running great from the looks of things, since you haven't focused on strength and speedwork the past few weeks like the running wizard plan build you up to do, i don't think it will be beneficial to you to cram some in right now. i think just run your base miles, maybe throw in some fartlek runs to keep your legs loose and then follow the taper week before your race. at this point less is more.

                   

                  good luck on your half marathon!!

                    Yeah, that's beyond my range of comprehension. I'm proud of surviving marathons that gained 3000 feet... over the entire 26.2.

                    Hey, congratulations on doing those types of marathons. Many people get scared off by hills like that.

                    "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog

                      Josh

                       

                      is that the North Olympic Discovery Marathon on 6/2?   if it is thats pretty cool that you are coming all the way from N.C.  vacation?   someday I want to run that as I know it is a very beautiful area.   I live in the Seattle area & have been out to the Olympic Peninsula a few times but not to do that run.   Please give us a race report

                        That's the one (although I'm doing the half - last marathon was in March, and I'm trying this whole "run responsibly" thing I keep hearing about). Unless some insurmountable obstacle gets in the way, we'll be living there by the end of the summer. And yes, there will be a race report!

                         

                        Josh

                         

                        is that the North Olympic Discovery Marathon on 6/2?   if it is thats pretty cool that you are coming all the way from N.C.  vacation?   someday I want to run that as I know it is a very beautiful area.   I live in the Seattle area & have been out to the Olympic Peninsula a few times but not to do that run.   Please give us a race report

                          obviously you have researched the area up in the Olympic Peninsula.  Pacific northwest has some beautiful areas & the Olympics are near the top of that list.    some areas up there are surprisingly dry while just a few miles down the road you will get all the rain that you want.