Friday, January 20, 2012

EricG's Running Tips #29 Playing Catch Up

No No No!!!
A while back I wrote about goal reassessment in my eighth "running tip". It was specific to reevaluating circumstances during a race as things don't always go as planned. Training does not always go as expected either, and sometimes we may need to change our perspective on an upcoming race, long before it begins.

This comes to mind for me now as I am 3 weeks into training for my next race in April and I have been limited to few runs and even fewer days at the gym. It's always difficult to layoff but sometimes as I have said time and time again there is no avoiding it.  Illness, injury, family and countless other facts of life that take precedence over running.  That's right, as much a part of our lives as running is, there are things that are more important, or simply unavoidable.

Anyway, the issue at hand is what to do about it.  Miss a run here and there, no big deal. Miss a week, probably still not a big deal.  Miss 2 or more weeks especially at peak training where long runs are likely the longest and most important? Well then I think it may be time to reassess our race goals and plan.  Trying to make up for the lost time is likely to yield the desired outcome, and in fact may further drain your race potential with over training or injury.

As an example, my training plan called for 20 milers both Saturday and Sunday this weekend. My longest run since November has been 19, and I have had no back to back days of significance. Therefore  I am going to ramp up a little first. I will build a bit over the next couple of weeks before my very hard training really kicks in. Maybe I am somewhat conservative, but I think it is prudent to ease in and be ready to work hard and steady throughout, rather than dive in hard now and risk falling apart within weeks.

Last year I went into the spring season with numerous things that interrupted my training. I decided to forgo the Bear Mountain 50 in May due to injury but set PR's at the Umstead 100 Mile Endurance Run by 3.5 hours and TNF 5o Miler in DC about 9 minutes. I thought I was significantly under trained for both.

In summary, don't try to make up for lost training.  Take your time, ramp back up and train hard when you are ready.  Adjust your race day plan and goal and who knows, you may surprise yourself and actually exceed all expectation new and old. If not, at least you will get to the event and have an amazing time running.


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