Goal race date extended an extra week—how to adjust training plan?

  • Creator
  • #53059

    I’ve been following Mike Foote’s Big Vert plan in preparation for a mountain race in early June. Training has been going well! (The race is only 12 miles, so I’ve scaled the plan down by 50%, and it seems perfect.)

    But there’s a small hiccup: the race is usually the first week of June, so I’d organized my training plan around that date. But the official date was just announced, and it’s a week later than usual. So instead of being 8 weeks away, the race is now 9 weeks away.

    So now I have an extra week to work into my training plan. That’s not usually a problem early in the season (I even sometimes leave a bit breathing room for an extra “lost” week due to illness or additional recovery). And it’s certainly better than losing a week! But this close to a race, I’m just not sure where or how to include it in without disrupting my training. Here’s the remainder of my plan, not yet adjusted for the additional week—today is the start of week 13:

    Week 13: Build
    Week 14: Build
    Week 15: Build
    Week 16: Recover
    Week 17: Build
    Week 18: Build
    Week 19: Taper
    Week 20: Race Week

    I’m assuming it’s best not to tinker with the weeks closest to the race, so I’ll have to insert another build or recovery week soon, but with such a compressed schedule I’m not sure where to fit it. Or are there other possible strategies, like including a moderate “maintenance” week?

    Thank you, I’m very grateful for any suggestions!

Posted In: Mountain Running

  • Participant
    russes011 on #53083

    My amateur opinion:

    Add another build week between week 16 and 17. It can be less volume or intensity than week 17. For example, if week 17 is similar to week 15, then make the new week similar to week 14; if week 17 is more than week 15 than make the new week like week 15. If you’re feeling strong (honestly), you could also just add another build week after week 18, that’s more of a build. I think as long as weeks 19 and 20 are stable, and you take a rest week every 3-4 weeks you’ll be fine. Also, I like to put my longest long run about 3 weeks before the race, some do it more like 2 weeks–so this depends somewhat on when day each week of the training plan starts for you, etc.

    — Steve

    Zac on #53153

    Steve, thank you! I appreciate your insights, very helpful. Nearly all of my training injuries and failures have been from trying to do too much rather than too little, so I’ll probably play it safe and add an easier build week between 16 and 17 as you recommended. That seems to make a lot of sense. But it’s also good to know that I have solid “upgrade” alternative if I do feel really strong a few weeks from now.

    Thanks again!

    TerryLui on #53418

    play it safe and add an easier build week between 16 and 17

    Good idea.

    “upgrade” alternative if I do feel really strong a few weeks from now.

    Avoid getting greedy thinking that an increase in training shortly before the race will give you wings. Your wings will have been developed in the prior 18 weeks of training, not a week or 2 out. If you notice any PRs in the last 2-3 weeks before the race, that’s the time to begin reducing training intensity/volume. You achieved a PR because you exerted high effort which means your body needs rest from that high exertion.
    A common mistake for people to make is assuming they feel great, got a PR, and should continue pushing it…when in reality you should be resting/tapering in order to achieve Supercompensation.

    Reed on #53570

    +1 on taking a conservative approach! In the past I have made good progress on a 3-week build, 1-week recovery cycle. There was an element, though, of pushing the envelope and being close to my limits. Scaling back to 2-week build, 1-week recovery was a nice change for me. And even alternating 1-week hard, 1-week easy can be great. If you’re feeling strong a few weeks out from your race, fight against the temptation to get some great workouts in – save it for the race!

    Anonymous on #55236

    What Reed & Terry said!

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