Whippet Wisdom: Handling a down week and training assessment

Some folks may have noticed the total weekly mileage and Thursday’s workout are ‘lower’ or ‘easier’ than the past several weeks for both the Whippets marathon plan and the 5K-half marathon plan.  Trust us, there is a reason.

Since Team Champs, the all Whippet training plans have featured three straight weeks of increased mileage (both in long run and in total) so this provides a good opportunity to check in with yourself – both mentally and physically – regarding your marathon training.

  • How is your training going so far?  Are you achieving your mileage, training pace and long run goals? Does it feel easy or is it very hard?
  • Do you have any minor aches/ pains?  If so, take care of them.  Ice.  Foam roll. Extra hour sleep.  Whatever will make the pain go away, do it!
  • Are there any types of workouts to which your body has shown either a very positive or very negative response?  That is, do you consistently react in an extreme way to tempo runs, hill work, short fast repeats, long slow distance, etc?
  • Have your sleep patterns changed significantly? What is your energy level at very start and very end of the day?
  • Has your mood been generally stable, or more up-and-down than usual?  Have you noticed any shifts to your mental outlook?

Depending on the answers, it may be time to reevaluate your goals and/ or plan and adapt going forward while there remains plenty of time to make adjustments.

For those marathon training, this weekend’s long run is to be completed at 5% slower than marathon pace. This is a step up from 45 to 60 seconds slower than all previous runs up to this point.  As an example, if your goal pace-per-mile is 7:00, that converts to 420 seconds.  Five percent of this value 21 seconds.  Therefore, if your goal is 7:00 pace, the long run should average 7:21 pace.  Depending on the answers to the questions above with regards to your training, it might be best to run most of the long run at the normal pace and accelerate down to this pace in the latter stages of the run.  Regardless, at some point in the run, hit the recommended pace for an extended stretch but, ideally, the entire run.

Do not think you are doing yourself any favors by going “above and beyond” the training program this week – especially those marathon training.  Following this week, the total weekly mileage each of the next four weeks will increase as will the workout intensity and long run distance.  The next low mileage week is scheduled the week leading into Grete’s – 5 weeks away!

Please let us know if you have any questions.  Enjoy the ‘down’ week!


More about Chris Forti

Chris grew up just outside of Boston where he competed at the high school and collegiate level. In Boston, he coached athletes with varying objectives - from youth to high school to adults - and went so far as to marry his favorite athlete. He joined the Whippets in 2013 and is excited to be coaching for this highly motivated group. He works at siggi's yogurt in New York City as a demand planner and can be found playing "catch the red laser dot" with his favorite kitty, post-run. He calls himself "40" because "Forti" is evidently too many typeface characters to handle and can be found on Facebook, Twitter (@chris40runs), and Instagram (@chris40runs)

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