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This topic contains 8 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Zeke 14 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #2058

    I read arecent post, by who I dont recall, and it mentioned running an upcoming race as a gauge of fitness. I was thinking that I should do the same because I havent raced much this year and Id like to know where I am as far as fitness goes, but more imprtantly to help determine what my training paces should be. My problem is that I have already started the 24 week pfitz 55mpw program and Im not sure how to fit a race in.

    Heres my question: is a five miles enough distance to be useful in determing training paces for a marathon? And if so, How do I fit it into my schedule without losing mileage? I realize this means not tapering for the race and therefor the results would have to be factored for this.

    I have a race in mind but it falls on a day when I am supposed to do 17.

    The week is supposed to look like this:

    M off

    T 9 w/10x100m strides

    W 5 recovery

    TH 10

    F off

    S 5 recovery

    S 17

    Is it possible to shuffle this schedlue to fit in a 5 mi race on Sunday without being totally exhausted for the race and also not doing too much so that the next week I will still be recovering. Mondays are alway off.

    Is this worth it? Thanks for any and all advice,


  • #17000


    No offense, but given this question and your question last week, I think you’re worrying too much about details the are very trivial. Of course you can move stuff around. If you get your mileage in and get your main workouts in, you won’t be able to tell the difference come race day.

    I would say a 5 mile race in enough to get you in the ballpark for determining training paces.

    There are lots of ways to fit in into your schedule. Here are some ideas that come to mind.

    #1 The easiest would be to run long on Saturday and race on tried legs on Sunday. Your time might be a little slower than you hoped, but that’ll just let you be a little conservative when you set your training paces.

    #2 You could do your normal week, then just do a long warmup and long cooldown on race day. 7 mile warmup, 5 mile race, 5 mile cooldown.

    #3 Another choice, but could be a challenge with scheduling is to run 17 instead of 10 on Thursday. Seriously, it’s only about an hour more that day, then you just put in 10 on Sunday, including the 5 mile race. Again, scheduling that will probably suck, but it might be the “best” solution.

    #4 Another idea is to forget about the 17 and try to get your weekly total. That would mean you’d have to run something on either Monday or Friday. It looks like you’re still early in the program, so bagging a 17 wouldn’t be a huge deal.

    #4 could look like this. You lose the 17, but you bump up your mid-week medium-long run.

    M off

    T 9 w/10x100m strides

    W 5 recovery

    TH 12

    F 5 recovery

    S 5 recovery

    S 10 w/ 5 mile race

    Be creative and remember one run and one week doesn’t make a program.

  • #17001

    Zeke thamks for the adviece, lots of ideas to consider. I am most worries about pushing myself too hard too early, which is what happenende to me last year and lead to injury. Im am sweating the details, but Im trying more than anyrthing to be cautious. Thanks agajn, Tim

  • #17002
    Run wrote:
    I am most worries about pushing myself too hard too early, which is what happenende to me last year and lead to injury.

    Then I’d say, if you really want to gauge your fitness right now, do the race and bag the 17 miler this week. Another option would be to find a race closer to Pfitz’s “Lactate Threshold & Endurance” phase, since you don’t do a whole lot of hard workouts prior to that.

    Also, there are lots of ways to “push yourself too hard”. Could be pace, could be weekly mileage, could be bumping your long run too much, could be lack of periodization, etc. Make sure you understand what happened last year that lead to your injury and how you can avoid it this year.

  • #17003



    First off, I think Zeke is right. I believe I stated it elsewhere on this forum recently, it seems like a lot of people spend too much time thinking about training and not enough just training. Those schedules aren’t meant to be followed to the letter. If someone gives you a schedule out of a mass produced book and tells you it must be followed to the letter, I would suggest being very skeptical.

    As for fitting this one into the schedule, I’d probably either bag the long run or do a long cooldown after the race. I’ve run races where I would run 10 or more miles after the race in order to get the race and the long run in all at once. They have gone just fine for me.

    One final note, I also think Zeke is right on when it comes to the injury thing. I see a lot of people blame their injuries on this mystical “overtraining” thing and never figure out the root cause. Even if it is “overtraining” was it caused by too much, too quick, too soon, or some other factor? I have discovered that a lot of people blame their injuries on doing too much without thinking about their easy day paces. I recently exchanged e-mails with someone who was convinced he couldn’t run over 30 mpw without getting injured. It turns out he was never running slower than 10k race pace. Well, never running slower than that pace, I’m surprised he could get up to 30 mpw. A couple of years ago, I had a discussion with someone who couldn’t go over 50 mpw without getting injured but he never ran slower than marathon pace. It took a few discussions for me to convince him that training slower could lead to racing faster but he is now running 70 mpw typically and running faster and healthier than ever. Also, keep in mind that I have discovered many injuries blamed on “overtraining” trace back to shoes. Were you wearing worn out shoes or were you wearing a new pair of shoes that was different than your last pair?

  • #17004

    I agree with the overtraining causing injury being more myth than anything else. I blamed my recent injury on the fast runs and a couple of real long runs without much buildup. then I realized that my shoes had nearly 600 miles on them and the cushioning was completely blown out. The new shoes were broken in last night and what a difference they made. I felt like I was running on air – it was great. Look into all aspects of running – the shoes – the surface – how your laces are tied – etc… You can find all sorts of things to tweak to prevent injury.

  • #17005

    Another option I didn’t list would be to do your week as normal. However, instead of doing 17 on race day, do what you can for a warmup, race and cooldown. Then in the evening go for another 4-5 mile jog. You might end up at 17 for the day, could 14 or 15.

  • #17006

    I think Im probably going to run to the race, about 5 miles, race, then run home. Total of 15. Thanks for all the advice. The race is the day after Christmas, Ill let you all you know how it goes.


  • #17007


    How’d the race go?

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