28 March 2013

fail to plan, plan to fail - part deux

ever had those times where you solve a problem in your sleep?

the sleep two nights was one of those nights for me.

not that i went to bed thinking that i had a problem ... but it may have been an instance of my body revealing something to me that my mind had not yet perceived.

with 5-1/2 weeks left to go in my marathon training, i have on my schedule for this sunday (yes, easter sunday) to run what the hansons call "the simulator" - a 26.2k marathon-pace training run designed to psychologically and rhythmically put one through the paces of the actual race.  only a scaled-down version.

however, what has me concerned is that i'm doing this dance with overtraining.

in the previous "fail to plan, plan to fail" post i'd noted that the program that i'm working with now operates on the principle of cumulative fatigue.  train on tired legs, and that will prepare you for running the latter part of the marathon.  i get that (and believe me, i feel that) - but combined with the 34% total mileage increase over my peak month during the last training cycle (even my first month of training for this race exceeded my peak month for my previous race) i'm concerned that i might be pressing for too much too quickly.  it's not that i'm picking up on any of the telltale signs of overtraining - my mood's alright, i'm not finding my constitution particularly rundown, and i haven't acquired any injuries - but i do think that i know enough about myself to anticipate that running a marathon simulation (even the kilomathon version) might bump me over that edge.

so, as i've ofted told myself, i'm going to trust my training.

the inclusion of the simulator was my tweaking of the prescribed plan, and not originally part of the program.  i've already doctored a number of the training runs to include hill sprints, 10x1min. fartleks, 6x100m strides as well as tacking on extra kilometres here and there.  so while it's far from unadulterated, at this point i don't feel like backing off from the simulator is a serious detraction from my training.  i still put in my regular MP run today, and will instead stick to the originally scheduled long run for this sunday.

have you ever found yourself overtrained?  what were the real red flags for you?  and how did you escape that spiral?

p.s.  make sure to check out stan's last two posts about marathon training and his progress toward boston - they're top notch.

1 comment:

  1. You, my friend, are wise beyond your years. Missing, or in this case altering, a session will not make or break everything you've worked for all these weeks. Getting injured however will potentially do so.

    If it offers you any comfort, in both my previous races I've never come close to running at race pace for long distances during training. Best i could manage was maybe around 12km at most...certainly not close to 26 at all!

    Overtraining is certainly a problem for me. You may have noticed from my posts that I am kinda competitive. I hate taking days off from training and it took a long time to realize that a recovery day is just as important as a hard session.

    Keep up the great running and I will see you cross that line in 3:14:59 or less.