Most runners we come across have hard weeks and easy/broken weeks, but nothing in between. Fact is that the weeks of training at sub maximal effort are the most vital for your long term prospects of staying injury free and progressing.
Without them you’ll find yourself on a roller-coaster ride where the highs are far below your true potential and the low’s last longer and longer the older you get.
If you’re coming back from a short break or easy week in running then it could be a week of wreckage or reward. After a single week of lighter running or complete rest you should be pleasantly surprised at how good you feel. Your body has recovered from and adapted to the harder weeks so you’ve now got more potential than you did two weeks previous.
To Run a Personal Best or Get Back to Training
What you do with this new found potential is up to you.
- Race or run a time trial to find out where you’re at
- Smash yourself with a hard week on realising your new found ability
- Rebuild your running fitness for even more returns in months to come.
What you decide to do should depend on where your next peak event is. If you want to peak for an event this very week then do one or two short, fast runs then smash your Personal Best on Race Day.
If you want to peak for an event in 2-3 weeks then shocking your system with another hard week, before tapering, could give you a final kick of gains.
If you’ve got more than a month before you want to be at your best then read on…
Now you’re fitter, you shouldn’t have much trouble taking on the hard week you performed no more than 2 weeks ago. A week with runs averaging 85-90% should now feel closer to 75-80% and although it may not sound as exciting as finding the limits of your new found ability, you should get a real kick out of smashing, what used to be, a hard week for you.
You’ll get to enjoy running fast and reasonably long without having to bust a gut to finish each run or suffer the consequences of it. Your first rebuilding week should have you rating each run around an 8 out of 10.
Your Second Rebuilding Week
Similar to the details discussed in our post “How to Train for Non-Stop Improvements in your Running“, your second rebuilding week should be fairly tough but not maximal effort.
It should be harder than in your second week back from a long break from running, but you should also be better prepared for it. You should certainly run faster and further but hold something back or you’ll have nowhere to go in your next Hard Week!