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The proper form for speedwork the week of your goal marathon:

Just kidding – sort of….

Today I had conflicting workouts scheduled: Hillview club run to Vinces and the weekly HDR speed workout. First, this is the last week of school at Hillview. Tomorrow the 8th graders graduate and Thursday they go to Magic Mountain. (Friday is one of those unpaid days off – a furlough day.)  So, today was the absolute last chance to do a Hillview Running Club club run. I always end the school year with a run to Vince’s Pizza. This becomes an end of the year party! The conflict was that if I ran to Vinces and ate some pizza – as much as I LOVE PIZZA – I would be in no shape to do a speed workout with the HDR club at 6!  Fortunately, with my O2O marathon coming up on Sunday, I did not need a speedworkout anyway!  I ran to Vinces with the kids. I had some pizza. Then I went to Joe Walker for the HDR workout – with a chair!!

I had the club do the same workout as last week: 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.  We had a pretty good turnout. We had our speedy group – minus Miguel. You may have noticed the boot on his right foot – basketball injury – prognosis: quick recovery. Actually, it was Miguel who brought out a chair first! I got mine out of the van after I saw him relaxing in his!

Several of the runners out there tonight, Lance, Dave, Bev and Deborah are running half or full marathons on Sunday. I cautioned them not to run too fast. What I told them was that there was nothing that they could do this week that would make them faster in their race on Sunday, but they COULD do a workout that they would not be fully recovered from on Sunday. I was trying to remember the details so I just looked them up. Here is what I found, summarized from this Running Times Article.
At any given moment your fitness is based on:

1) fatigue from hard training in the last five days. That would be bad when going for a marathon or half marathon PR.

2) stress starting to make positive changes from hard training 5 to 8 days ago. This is of minimal value as the stress is only STARTING to help.

3) Stress that caused positive changes from workouts 8 days to 3 weeks ago. This is good!

4) Stress which is losing its effect from workouts more than 3 weeks ago. This is also good!  Though you might think, if that stress is losing its effect, why train for so long?  The workouts done early in a program provide the benefit which allow you to do the workouts later in the program which provide the benefit you need to race well!

So, the last week before the marathon should not include any workouts you would not be 100% recovered from! There is not enough time for these workouts to provide any positive benefit. Yet, even if you feel great there could certainly be some residual fatigue from them. Runs of short to medium distance leave one with little fatigue. Runs as fast as marathon pace, should leave one with little fatigue as well. So the last week before a marathon, marathon pace is my speed limit. Sunday I ran the last couple at that pace (well, a little faster.) Tomorrow, as long as it feels easy I will do a mile or two at that pace.

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