TSB Before ‘A’ Race

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  • #15050

    Hey all!

    Some background real quick. I just did Worlds 70.3 in late September. Took a week off and then jumped midway into a Level 2 HM Plan for a flat race coming up (Savannah) this weekend. With the goal of finally getting sub 2hrs. Current HM PR is from 2014 – I haven’t done one since. It was 2:07:23 on a hilly’ish course.

    I was being coached (for Worlds), and my ‘Fitness’ leading up to that event was over 107+.

    I have been doing well on the plan b/c you guys rock. My training has all been based on a THR of 165 from a 10k race I did this summer.

    As the race is nearing, I wanted to sub some of the long runs with races to test out the legs. On the 17th I raced a hilly 10-miler and got a PR of 1:27. (8:43 pace). It was amazing. I hit new peaks all around – 6:47 800m, 7:33 mile, and even a new 10k PR 8:40. FWIW – Peak 1hr HR in that race was 162 – and overall 160.

    The following week I raced a local trail 14k. I actually placed 1st overall. Beating two dudes was kinda awesome.

    Another incredible race – felt amazing – and rocked my pace on this course by leaps and bounds from previous efforts. 627ft climbing, just shy of 9 miles – 9:42 pace (but peoples reads were sorta all over the place as trail races tend to be). HR avg of 162. New peak 1hr HR of 164.

    That one left me with some grumpy knees and I’ve pulled back on the mileage a bit since to rest. Putting my money on ‘hay is in the barn’ and I’d just do more harm than good. I ran a total of 3hrs last week – but did eek in a final long run of 10 miles Sunday which was quite possibly one of my best training runs ever. HR avg of 154 (low Z3) but tried to keep it in ‘nose breathing’ range – 8:56 pace excluding the 5min Z1 warm up.

    According to Joe Friel, ideal race readiness ‘Form’ is +15-25. Currently I am 81 fitness / 4 form.

    The plan had me scheduled for Fartlek run yesterday – but I swam for recovery instead and moved it to today. Then RF26, RFF31, and RF21 on Friday.

    Given all this information I have 2 questions!

    1. If I follow these final workouts, is that going to set me up in the best position (form!) to race on Saturday?

    2. Any tips for pacing/goals (regarding pace and/or HR) etc – considering my goal of sub-2hr seems well within reach and I don’t want to leave anything on the table! I’m not sure what to expect really, other than to run the first 6miles ‘easy’ish like this last weekend run, and then start to slowly pick it up keeping HR around this 160 range, and try not to blow up before I make it to the finish???

    Look forward to hearing your thoughts!

    *I am also racing another HM on Thanksgiving – so not really sure where to pick up in training after this…

    • This topic was modified 2 years ago by thegapitts.
    • This topic was modified 2 years ago by thegapitts.
    Matt Fitzgerald

    My assessment is that you’re racing WAY too often and should race much less often in the future. Your body doesn’t distinguish between workouts and races. All it knows is that you are assaulting it with tremendously stressful challenges week after week after week. In essence, frequent racing turns a good training plan into a not-so-good training plan. Here’s a little more on the subject:

    Racing Is the Enemy of Training


    Womp womp wommmmmmp.

    Well shit. I wasn’t expecting you’d say that.

    I def. don’t want to race just to race. I want 100%. Perhaps I’m a little over zealous here in my ‘come back’ season.

    With this observation – what then would you recommend if I were your athlete at this point, having already paid for this weekends Half and the one in 3 weeks?

    I feel like I’m flirting with injury for sure – so I’m not entirely surprised either. Is there some general advice you could give for me in terms of training for the 3 week out race once I rail myself this weekend? Maybe ‘Do that one for fun’zees?’ – as though that is even possible….but a nice thought. Ugh.

    Matt Fitzgerald

    I’m famously blunt. Do what you will this weekend, and then dial way back for the next two weeks. Treat them as true taper weeks, maintaining your normal frequency and still getting in some work at higher intensities but keeping the volume minimal. You won’t lose fitness and you might recover/heal enough to go to the well and not come up empty. Good luck!

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