QUESTION: Three weekends ago, I ran a 10-mile race and felt phenomenal. I trained well and performed well, no injuries even. Unfortunately, the past two weeks I have not had a chance to run much due to a busy schedule, including travel. I have worked out some on weights, but that is about all. This coming weekend I have a half marathon - I know this should be a taper week, but what do you suggest as far as getting back into running? I don’t want to injure myself trying to do a lot of miles the week before the race, but how many miles should I do?
HAL’S ANSWER: I would stick with the training plan, doing the workouts in the schedule for the race. You do not want to do more. Given the fact that you lost a couple of weeks of training, you probably should do less. I wish I could offer you a quick-comeback plan, but such a plan does not exist—nor should it exist. Running is not like a History exam. You cannot cram for it. There are no "CliffsNotes". To race well, you need to taper. I would not agonize too much about this coming half marathon. You can run it, but don’t take it too seriously. Run relaxed, and who knows: You may surprise yourself—and me. Then focus your attention on a future race when you can give full attention to it with fewer distractions.
Hal uses TrainingPeaks to power his interactive marathon and half marathon training plans. Check out more of Hal Higdon's training plans here or on his website. Archived Q&A's from Hal can be found here.