Choosing a training plan for FUA 4

  • Creator
  • #61277
    Melanie Hunter

    Hi Maya and Carolyn,

    After a year of great progress with both my running and hiking with FUA (using the intermediate plan for the last 2 rounds), my overall energy levels have dropped the last few weeks. So, for this last 4 week block of training I backed off, started substituting hiking for running, took some extra days off, and was generally more unstructured about aerobic training. (Actually, even though my aerobic progress has slowed as a result of my lower energy levels, my strength/gym work continues to improve.)

    I do much better in my whole life with some kind of training structure and very much enjoy this group so I’m excited to start another round, but I’m wondering if the lower training load of the beginner plan might be a good choice for me this winter. In general, I tend to be slow to recover and seem to do better with more days off, but I don’t know how much I need to cut back to start improving again. I do have a longer term mountain marathon goal, but I can only get there as fast as my body will get there, if you know what I mean!

    Thanks for running such an outstanding group. 🙂


  • Keymaster
    Coach on #61303

    Hello Melanie,

    This is a great question! This goes back to our conversation about deeper recovery throughout the year. It sounds like winter might be the time your body needs a bigger break. I think doing the base plan for the next cycle would be a great way for you to take a break from a higher training load while still staying active. I agree that you can only do as much as your body will allow! It sounds like you are doing a GREAT job of listening to where you are and what is best for you and your recovery.

    Jane Mackay on #61337

    You might also try modifying the plan to a 3-week instead of 4-week cycle. That’s what I did in this last round and it worked well. In a 3-week cycle you build for 2 weeks and then have the recovery week. So over 12 weeks you have 8 build weeks and 4 recovery weeks, which is one less build week.

    Here’s how I modified the plan this past three months. The week numbers refer to the week numbers in the ORIGINAL plan.
    1 2 4
    3 5 4
    7 9 8
    10 11 12

    The build week that I eliiminated was week 6, and you can see that I repeated week 4 as the additional recovery week.

    Melanie Hunter on #61352

    Thank you, Maya and Jane! Maya, the talk you and Carolyn gave about recovery, specifically “deep recovery” was clearly very well timed for me. 🙂

    Jane, I have been considered something like the approach you’re taking but haven’t actually executed, so I appreciate you laying out how you approached it!

    Happy New Year!

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