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Working Out Before A Race
 
 
jcwolnik jcwolnik is offline
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03-11-2013, 12:41 PM
 
Hey Coach -

What type of effort do your runners put in the week before a big race? Do you have a reduced work load to keep them fresh for race day? Or is it business as usual right up to the starting pistol?

My first race of the year is coming up in 2 weeks. Just looking for a little advice. I'm not putting much into it since I haven't done much serious running this year yet. Its just a 5 k and I'm treating like an ice breaker more than anything.

Thank you for any help you can give,

Have a great day!
JW
 
 
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CubaLibre CubaLibre is offline
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03-13-2013, 04:14 PM
 
Hi, JW. I’m not a coach, but consider myself a semi-competitive amateur runner. So, for whatever it’s worth, I’ll offer my advice. Sorry if this turns out kind of long (some people will laugh reading that, b/c I make the same apology in replies to personal messages). I don’t know what your level is, but I think the following would be good advice for a beginner level person who’s going to run a 5K in say 24 - 28 minutes.

If your goal is to just run hard and have fun, but not to notch a “best effort” time to benchmark future “best efforts” against, then tapering doesn’t make sense. In that case, tapering won’t measurably affect the quality of your race. For a person new to running and races, I’d suggest a just-run-hard-and-have-fun approach to their first few races.

If you DO want to run “all out” and have a benchmark performance to measure future progress against, then tapering will help you run a faster race. If you’re going to be running races more than once a month, you don’t want to be tapering that often, it will slow your progress. Pick races to taper for, maybe one every 3 months or something. Though tapering will not result in deconditioning, it does put further conditioning “on hold” during the taper period while your body restores it’s strength and reserves to 100 percent.

There are complex approaches to tapering, but early-on you can get about the same benefit from a straightforward break. I would suggest a three day rest prior to the race. So, for a Saturday morning race you’d do no running (and no other leg exercise) Wednesday through Friday. Some might say do some light jogging or etc. I’d say three straight days of nada. You will not de-condition in those three days. Saturday morning your legs will feel fresh and RARING to run.

The training program I follow for the Miami marathon calls for a three week taper. Twenty-one days before the race, the program calls for a 29-mile run. Over the next three weeks, with the exception of one run of 12-14 miles, not a single run exceeds 7 miles, and the week before the race, only two runs of about 5 miles each. Pretty serious taper for a 26.1 mile race! This is a typical taper period for many marathon training programs. Sounds crazy, but it works. All that is to say, don’t worry about de-conditioning by not running for 3 days.

The coach whose training program I follow has great programs for beginner through advanced, 5K through marathon. Lots of great free resources. He’s a former Olympian. He took me from an occasional 5K guy to “I just finished a marathon!” I’d be happy to give you website information in a private message.
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Last edited by CubaLibre; 03-13-2013 at 04:23 PM.
 
 
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monty monty is offline
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03-13-2013, 04:54 PM
 
Hi Guys,
I think Cubalibre did a good job of answering your tapering question. I even think you could run 2/3 miles easy with some light strides two days out and would not hurt you. I am not a big fan of big tapers. When running competitively I cut my mileage 40% but that was for Marathons and I was running 100mpw a week. I think you will be fine if you use common sense and take 2/3 days easy before your 5k.

Cubalibre wondering what system you are using for your thons? I like to see what is out there and what works for peeps. Let me know. Thanks.

Have fun!!!
Monty
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CubaLibre CubaLibre is offline
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03-13-2013, 06:17 PM
 
Hi, Monty. I use Jeff Galloway's system. It's been very good for me for marathon training. It's flexible enough that I've been able to continue using it as I've improved. (Hope I'm not violating a forum policy by posting his name.)

Most of my training is marathon-oriented. So, a tempo run on Tuesdays, longer-distance repeats on Thursdays, and a long run on Saturdays. One other day per week I may throw in a few "junk miles", but I find myself doing that less frequently.

I don't do many 5Ks or 10Ks, but if I do train specifically for that, then for a few weeks prior to the race I simply switch to shorter (90-second) repeats at a little under race pace.

On 'repeat days' I'm usually pretty generous on the recovery walk/jogs!

I want to race good times, but I also want to keep training simple and keep running in it's proper place in my life (it's WAY down there on the list). Galloway's system works well for that category of runner.

Thanks for being our 'coach' here on the forum.
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monty monty is offline
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03-13-2013, 07:59 PM
 
Cubalibre,

Oh yeah Galloway has been around for a long time, good to see your doing tempos and some intervals.
I know the 3 day a week running routine works for many and it does not consume a person. It gives them a purpose for every run.

Glad it is working out for you and most of all your enjoying it.

Thanks
Monty
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Indigon Indigon is offline
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04-16-2013, 06:17 AM
 
workout for the body in any aspect definitely gives good response to the body therefore it is better to suppose taking any race must be warm up the body means to say easy to win the race.
 
 
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