Spread the Wealth - Mercy Medical Center

Spread the Wealth

Posted on: December 7, 2011

As you prepare for upcoming training and racing, sometimes it's tough trying to get a proper mix of hard, medium and easy runs in your schedule. We get locked into work weeks, being on a seven day cycle, and feel that's how our training schedule should lay out as well. But actually it is very difficult to hit all the necessary energy systems (aerobic, anaerobic, lactate, etc.) that make up a well-rounded training plan in a seven day cycle. Collegiate and Olympic runners have long used longer cycles to get in their training.

I would suggest extending the cycle to not only get in your hard days, but maybe even more importantly your easy, recovery off days. This is especially important for the new runners and masters runners. (You'll notice I didn't call you "older" runners for I myself am in this category.) You can pick what length of cycle best suits your schedule and routine, possibly extending it to a 10 or 14 day cycle. This allows you to get in two hard/medium runs one week and possibly three hard/medium runs the other week.

Now you have spread out the workouts, allowed time for better recovery in between and can hopefully be healthier in the process. What specifically you put into these cycles is another topic all in itself – we'll talk about that another time. Remember, the rule of thumb for training cycles is that you need approximately 10 weeks of buildup for a half marathon and 16 weeks for a marathon. You have plenty of time to get ready for June, but all the base work you're doing now will only help those future cycles be more effective and productive.

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