Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The perils of not listening to Hal

My boyfriend Hal Higdon doesn't abandon his runners after the marathon. He has a program for the next five weeks to enable them to recover, without losing ability.

Zero week - don't do much of anything. Perhaps a 2-miler on Thursday, maybe 3-4 miles on Saturday, but don't do too much. Take it easy. Rest. Recover.

Weeks 2-5 - sloooooowly build mileage up to long runs of 6 miles. He calls it a "reverse taper," or a slow gradual build up of miles.

After the Free Press, I was doing great, following him to the letter.

After Indianapolis, I had an inkling I would do Columbia City the following weekend, so I did Tuesday and Wednesday runs of 4.85, nothing more.

After Columbia City, I was flying high. I figured it had taken me so long to get in shape, that it was tons easier to just stay in shape. My legs felt good, so on Tuesday I was back to my normal 4.85 mile route.

Why oh why oh why didn't I listen to Hal??? He's been training runners longer than I've been alive! Why did I ever think I knew what to do?

Columbia City was 8 weeks ago and I didn't take off any time since then. Is it any wonder my glutes and hamstrings are aching? I thought I designed a good program last night so I biked 45 minutes today, then had to go to yoga to work my glutes. Booo :(

SIGH. New plan. Interrupt training to take the break I should have taken 8 weeks ago. I've only run 3 miles this week, so this is now zero week. Maybe next week will be zero week part 2. Then the next four weeks will be low low low mileage. In February, I'll pick up with his novice 2 program. It's ironic because he addressed almost the same question today.
HAL’S ANSWER: Let's back up to the program you “should have” started on Monday last week after your marathon. My Marathon Recovery Program begins with a “Zero Week” and continues with a 4-week build-up to a 10-K that signals you are ready to start another marathon or half marathon program, if you so choose. So let’s wait a while before you jump back into Novice 2, overlooking the fact that you might be "losing time" on your next marathon build-up. Once finished with Marathon Recovery (and hopefully recovered) segue into Novice 2 at whatever week will get you to your next goal race. There's a mileage gap between your recovery program and your marathon program, but you should be able to bridge that easily. 

As usual, Hal knows best... 

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