2 Races: Adjusting Training

Tuesday, August 6, 2013 | By Hal Higdon
 
 
 
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Got a question about running? You're in the right place. Every Tuesday, world-renowned coach, author and athlete Hal Higdon posts and answers athlete questions here. You can submit your question by joining the discussions on Hal Higdon's Virtual Training Bulletin Boards.

QUESTION: 

I signed up for my first half marathon in October at St. Louis! Of course, I've caught the bug. I'm in week 4 of the Novice 1 Half Marathon program and will finish well in advance of the half race date. I have quite a bit of travel scheduled this summer (for fun and business), so between days in the car and flights, I thought I should start early. But I've been sticking to the plan and so far have not missed a run. It looks like I'll be able to keep with the schedule with only minor juggling necessary. Meanwhile, there is a half in my hometown in September one week after I'll wrap up the 12-week program, so I could easily adjust the schedule to accommodate that race. Now, I'm trying to decide if I can/should race both—then adjust my training during the 5 weeks between the two races. Most information I have found has been geared towards more experienced runners, so I'm looking for some guidance for someone with a lower mileage base.

HAL’S ANSWER: 

Why don't we forget about Race #2 for the time being and focus all your attention on Race #1? Since my 12-week schedule apparently ends near that date, make that your goal race and put the other race in the back of your mind. First half marathon finished, then you can turn your attention to the second. Buzz over to my website and check out my Post Marathon programs. Yes, I know, you are only running a half, but although recovery usually is easier after going only 13.1 miles, the principles remain the same. My marathon recovery programs go 5 weeks, so the fit is perfect for you. Maybe this offers more rest than you need, but you can plug in a few more miles if you get restless. The goal race as stated in my program is only a 10-K, instead of a marathon, but I don't see this as a problem either. Supersize yourself. Enjoy the first race, then go to the second with a relaxed attitude, and success is guaranteed.

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