How's your week looking?

Published 5th May 2021 by mymo

There’s a school of thought that says, very sensibly, around 80% of your running each week should be at easy pace. This approach to training builds the ‘engine’ of great endurance, but it takes patience and a trust that you can pull it out of the bag to run harder for that 20% of the week without question. So what does your running week look like?

Spoiler alert!

You really don’t have to approach the week in weekly cycles, even if that’s what your friends do, or what your latest downloaded running plan looks like. Work out what’s best for you, whether that’s building your training blocks into fortnightly sets or just looking at it day by day. Just because a working week takes place over usually five days, doesn’t mean your running has to be regimented in the same way. Mix it up and experiment!

What makes it matter?

First of all, always think about what makes your training week (or month, or fortnight, or cycle) positive. What is it that gets you out there? Which are the runs you look forward to the most and why? Be reflective before you start planning. Think about your time budget too, and weave into that any time commitments like shift work that may impact you running specifically. Most importantly, you’re going to probably have some plan somewhere in your mind of a goal race or event on the horizon so keep that in mind.

You might need to make it specific

This is common sense to most, but make sure that if you have a specific event coming up that you’re doing some specific training. It’s no good running all of your miles on the road if your event is all on hilly trails, for example. Track racing similarly has a way of destroying your lower legs if you haven’t sufficiently trained them up for the task. Keep some specifics in mind when you’re planning your training weeks either alone or with a coach.

Mix it up!

Your running weeks should always contain a mixture of running both to build your fitness and to break the boredom. We like to have a lot of base building slower or steady runs (a little faster than ‘easy) with one or two faster runs a week. Think about the tempo run as a vital part of your fitness-building and try to include some tempo running around once a week, and add in some faster interval sessions and workouts with hill-specific work where you can to build strength and endurance.

Don’t overlook the rest

The best adaptation happens when you’re not running, so consider where to build rest in and think of it as a vital part of your training week (or cycle). Rest is the best way to allow your body to recover and adapt to the training, so don’t overlook it as an important part of your running.

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