A blog by runners. For runners.

Rest for the Wicked

One thing I like about following a pre-defined training plan by someone in the know is that they actually schedule the rest days for you. Following Hal Higdon's plan I get Monday and Friday off completely and Sunday is reserved for leisurely cross training so a little swimming eases up the muscles for me after the ever increasing long runs on Saturday. The other respite in the plan comes from the fallback every third week, of which this week is one for me. Basically, you increase your long run by a mile each week and then on the third week you fall back to a lower number before picking up the following week. For the marathon plan the first 6 week long runs go: 6 miles, 7 miles,5 miles, 9 miles, 10 miles,7 miles.
This kind of ramp up and fall back makes it easier to deal with in your mind while feeling like you are making progress. The other key element to this plan is the steady ramp up of weekly miles, which gets your body used to the distances. It's seven miles tomorrow for me so I'll talk to you then.