"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Periodization 8: epilogue

I may take a break from posting for a while, as I'm getting tired of writing about running as well as tired of running itself (and, oddly, I expect that will mean I'll run more). I did promise an end to this series, however.

From crash training, I take the idea of two weeks of high volume and two weeks of low volume and, from Galloway, I take his percentages of mileage for easy weeks, but put the easy ones back-to-back. From glycogen depletion and loading plans, I put a string of hard days together, followed by a string of easy days. I add the standard weekly schedule from one of my previous series of: Tuesday intervals, Thursday speedwork (hills and/or sprints), Saturday races and Sunday long runs.

There are two ways to increase volume; one can either increase the duration of individual runs or increase the frequency. I have one week of two-a-day short runs and one week of longer runs. Then a week of lessened mileage but increased intensity follows. Lastly, there's a week of low mileage and only one hard workout (generally a race or time trial).

Because I like three easy days before a race and another three after a race, if the race is on Saturday, the low mileage week runs from Wednesday to Tuesday, a completely unnatural feeling idea. No one keeps track of their week starting on Wednesdays, but it's useful for planning. The schedule ends up looking like this:

Week 1 (100% mileage): Two runs each day. A fast continuous run (e.g. tempo run) on Saturday, long run on Sunday, intervals on Tuesday (stressing short recovery).

Week 2 (100%): speed on Tuesday, tempo Saturday, long run Sunday, intervals Tuesday (stressing long repeats).

Week 3 (70% mileage): speed on Thursday and Monday, tempo Saturday, long run Sunday, intervals Tuesday (stressing pace intensity).

Week 4 (50% mileage): race or time trial on Saturday.
This is very much the way that I trained when I was a 32 minute 10K runner (rather than doing strict track intervals, I did timed fartlek sessions). Why did I stop training that way? I hate running two-a-days, but it seemed worthwhile when I was running my best. I also need more recovery now that I'm older. I can recall being constantly tired for weeks at a time when I was in peak shape, but willing to go through it for the results, but that kind of commitment doesn't make sense for what I can accomplish now.

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