Runner’s World June 2006
By Jeff Galloway
The Starting Line
Don’t Race Without Them
Before you put your body to the test in a race, reduce your training
so that your muscles are rested and ready. While the taper typically
ranges from one to three weeks depending on the distance of the
race, limit your training to mostly easy runs, every other day,
the week before your event. If you’ve been doing regular speed
sessions, do one shortened speed workout no later than Tuesday of
race week. Most training schedules, including those in my book Running:
A Year Round Plan, have the taper built right in, but the following
guidelines will help you plan your own.
Last long run: 7-10 days before race
Reduce training: 7 days before race (run easy every other day)
Max speed week of race: 3 to 4 x400 meters at goal race pace
Last long run: 2 weeks before race
Reduce training: 10 days before race (run easy every other day)
Max speed week of race: 4 to 6 x400 meters at goal race pace
Last long run: 2-3 weeks before race
Reduce training: 2 weeks before race (run easy every other day)
Max speed week of race: 3 to 4 x800 meters at goal race pace
Last long run: 3-4 weeks before race
Reduce training: 3 weeks before race (run easy every other day)
Max speed week of race: 2 to 3 x1 mile at goal race pace
The EXCUSE (and how to beat it)
I don’t run because of the impact.
According to physiologists, humans were built to run. So with proper
form, our bodies absorb most of the impact. Try these strategies
to help reduce the bang to your body. Alternate high-impact days
(running) with low-impact days (swimming, biking, hiking). Take
walking breaks: Try running for three minutes and walking for one.
Keep your feet low to the ground. Run on grass, dirt trails, or
a treadmill to counter the higher impact of road running.
(SAY WHAT?) Running jargon, translated
Running Economy: The amount of oxygen used when running at a steady,
less-than-all-out effort. An economical runner uses less energy
to maintain the same pace. This leaves the more efficient runner
with greater energy reserves for later in a workout or race.
Q: How can I maintain fitness on vacation without spending
all my time running?
A: By scheduling long runs before and after your vacation, you won’t
have to run much while traveling to maintain your running fitness.
In fact, treat your time away as recovery from your long workouts.
The reduced mileage should revive your legs, leaving you ready to
train hard when you return. Do one long run (at the distance you’ve
currently built up to) the week before your vacation and one about
the same distance the week after you get back. During vacation,
run for 10 to 20 minutes every other day. And don’t worry
about speedwork. Instead, do four to six accelerations in the middle
of one of your runs, gradually picking up the pace to a hard effort
for 30 to 90 seconds.
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