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Monday, October 5, 2015

No wonder that hurt.

I am seriously questioning this Hal Higdon half-marathon plan I have been loosely following. I actually have a more detailed post about that half-written, but what really jumped out to me as I nursed my sore hamstring this week was the week following my half marathon. Here's what the plan looks like:

(Instead of a 10k race, I ran a half-marathon)
So you see, the plan calls for some tapering prior to the race, which I was happy to do since I was on vacation that week anyway. That makes sense, but the week following the race - not only is there no recovery period at all, the intensity increases!
- The speed work intervals jump from 400m to 800m for the first time
- The tempo goes back to 45 minutes, which it's only hit once before in the entire training cycle
- The long run extends to an hour and 45 minutes from 90 minutes
- AND it's a 3/1 run, which means the final quarter of the run is run at fast finish
- The day before the long run is switched from "easy" to "pace" - which means race pace miles, usually reserved for weeks when the long run is not fast finish
- AND the "pace" miles jump from 3 miles to 4 miles.

So let's see - the week after a race I'm increasing speed workouts, intensity, and distance? No wonder my hamstring hurt.


  1. Yeah, I never understood training programs, that expect to you to resume speedwork/interval training two days immedietly following a race....

    I think racing takes much more out of you, than just tempo running.

    I do like Hal Higdons training programs though...

    Hope the hammie is feeling better.

  2. Well, bear in mind, you were supposed to race less than half the distance you did! The schedule basically wanted a 40 minute tempo run on the weekend, instead of an hour and a half. But yeah, I still generally follow the "1 day recovery for every mile raced" rule -- not taking 6 days off after a 10k, but 6 days off track and tempo (just doing easy/recovery and/or pace work).

  3. I've always had my plans written for me by a coach and they usually include a recovery week after a race but not all the time. It depends on whether the race is within a block where I'm training for an A race and it's only a B race. But there's always my responsibility to monitor how I'm feeling and take off extra days if necessary or make a hard session into a light one.

  4. As you know, I've been really healthy throughout all of my miles - but the single biggest thing that will hurt me, is not the long mileage ... but 100% the speed at which I do the run. I do far less speedy miles than I used to because that's the quickest way for me to injure myself. It also seems like you're running a lot, with 6 days. But you know your body. But watch the speed and tempo work.

  5. I think that following a 10k race with 800's at 10k pace is better than at 5k pace? But I would probably rest a bit more. How beat up are you after a 10k usually? Maybe there is a component to the lower mileage of the 10k race verses the half. Who knows! I've never done a higdon plan and definitely don't know how to train for races without getting hurt. ha! I might have gotten lucky once. I hope your hamstring is all better soon!

  6. That sounds bananas. Although, usually when speedwork intervals go from 400s at 5K to 800s at 10K they're doing something slightly different. (Only 4x800? That seems like a short speed session to me...but what do I know.) Get some rest till your hammie feels better!

  7. When I was training with a VERY successful running group in DC, the coach's rule was NO hard runs for 1 week after a half marathon. He would send you home for an easy run if you showed up to a track/tempo workout if you were in the 7-day window. So yeah, it made sense that your hammie started acting up the week after when you upped your intensity.