Trouble after picking up the schedule again

by Tom O'GARA

Trouble after picking up the schedule again :

"Hi Marius

I'm following the 3h30 plan and just did a 20km (no half marathon available) for week 11.

Earlier in the season I did a half marathon in 1h42m my best being last year doing 1h37.

Today I did the 20km in 1h48m! This followed my 10km test of 49mins earlier in the program.

Naturally I'm very disappointed and am confused what to do next.

To be honest I was knacked at the end which I don't understand. I started with a pace of around 4m40secs and felt comfortable for the 1st 5kms but went down hill from that point. Finishing with times of around 6m30s-7mins!

My goal now is to go under 4hours but don't know how I should react for the next weeks of training beofore I start tapering off. I've not missed a session since stating back and I am hitting the goals in heart rate and speed in the 3h30 plan and don't feel stressed in doing so.

Would it be a reasonable idea to move up to the 3h15m plan to try and improve my level of fitness:speed:endurance for the remaining of the program?

My problem is that after the 5km mark I just feel like I have nothing left in the legs. It feels despartely frustrating to be going backwards rather than improving.

Answer: Hi Tom, this may very well be connected to the previous trouble you've had in the schedule (missing the first 5 weeks due to the back problems). And the relative stress on the body after this just being too much. It leads to relative overtraining due to a too fast increase in relative stress.

The best shot would be to cut down (not step up) training by 20-30 %, add in there SS (Smart strides) after all the hard runs, but a few more in total (10-15 strides) plus go really hard on ice baths and self massage.

This is really your best shot. Do this for a couple of weeks now before going into the taper for the last two weeks !

Then, be very conservative in the marathon itself and play it a bit as you go along. Taking into account the whole buildup you've had this time this is definitely the way to go.

I wish you all the best,

kind regards,

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