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After the wildy successful “How do I get a 5k parkrun PB this saturday” comes the much-awaited “How do I get a 5k parkrun PB next month”. And here it is.
OK, it’s a bit of a tongue-in-cheek title and intro but I’ll try to be serious. The point of the PB-this-saturday-post was that you can’t really achieve anything ‘this saturday’ by training. Or not much at any rate.
Well ‘next month’ is maybe 4 weeks away (OK it could be tomorrow or it could be 8 weeks, but humour me for a minute). Now 4 weeks away is sufficiently far in the future to get in half-a-cycle or so of training and a decent taper and you maybe, just maybe, could change a few technical things as well.
1. Maximum Training Effect: Today! Get out there NOW! The closer you get to your race day the LESS effective your training will be for your race-day performance. At least that is true from about today onwards. 4 weeks before your race day is about the day when what you do has THE MOST EFFECT on your performance-to-be. So train hard. With about 10 days to go your training might start to have a negative effect.
2. I’m writing this in mid May 2012. I’m not sure when the Olympics are exactly. But put it this way, let’s say they we’re a month away then I can assure that that Mo Farrah will not be focussing on long slow runs. He might do them, but I doubt it, other than for recovery purposes. You’ll be coming to the end of ramping up your LTHR (VO2 to a lesser extent – although that is CRITICAL to race performance much of it is genetic).
3. Tapering. You’ll start this about 10 days out. Because of the reason mentioned above. You want your body to start recovering and you do this by resting. BUT your fitness can decline so you will do short sharp stuff to try to keep your fitness up. If you overdo it you have a bad race. It is a hard balance (Look for Training Stress Balance on the net).
4. Technique. Yours is probably ‘wrong’, like many of us. If your important race/PB is 4 weeks to go do not try and change it. Then again you have to change it at some point…when WILL be a good time?
5. Diet. make sure you are giving your body what it needs to recover from your hard exercise ie to refill and rebuild the muscles you have just destroyed by training !! . That’s mostly: carbs, protein, water.
6. Exercises: You want go far wrong by doing these ‘straightforward’ sessions.
7. Getting cute? Look at super-compensation for your taper. Get it wrong and you might mess up big time.