Better to be under-trained and fresh, than to be over-trained and drained. A runner who is rested and energetic will race faster than a runner who has put in more miles and/or more intense training, but is tired in the days leading up to the race. Again, simple concept, but an important one for both coaches and athletes.
Guest post by Patrick Wales-Dinan
I was talking to an athlete today about training. That morning, he had set out to do a 8 mile threshold run. He warmed up and began his workout, but after about 2 miles his legs felt heavy and trashed. He properly recognized that it was not his day and called it quits. He finished up with 6 more miles of easy running. As we discussed the run, he told me he had decided he would try the workout again tomorrow. He said he called it quits after 2 miles because he determined that he would be rested and recovered enough to do the workout again the next day.
Now pause for a second; raise your hand if you think this is a good idea. If your hand is raised or if you have done something like this before, I am writing this entry for you. After thinking about this athlete’s decision, I concluded that this is likely a mistake many of us make in our training. We have this sense that we are making a smart decision by stopping a workout or training session when we feel terrible because we are listening to our body. But we don’t follow that up by asking, “What would be best for my body going forward?” Instead of resting the next day and preparing for the next important workout in our schedule, we go ahead with the workout the next day because in our minds we have to make sure we get that training session in that week.
All of this got me thinking about marathon training. [Read more…]