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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Training While Sick

I've been sick for the last few days, which has caused a bit of grief in my training schedule.

My original long run (LSD) plan:

Week 7: 29K run (last weekend)
Week 8: 32K run
Week 9: 20K run (taper start)
Week 10: 13-15K run
Week 11: Toronto Marathon, 42.2K

I missed the 29K - I was just feeling too lousy, so I backed off to a quick 10k instead, and followed it up with a 15K Monday.

Question 1: Do I try to make up the missed long run? Or skip it?

Answer: Skip it. Based on all that I've read and the advice of those more experienced than myself, making up missed runs is a bad idea. I'm not at 100% yet after being sick, and that would give me a short 5 day recovery before the scheduled 32K run.

Question 2: Now that I've skipped the 29K, do I do next week's 32K as planned?

Answer: No.

My longest run before this was 26K... going straight to 32K is a big jump, violates the "10% rule" and then some. So I've decided to knock that down to a 30K. The extra 2K isn't really worth any risk of injury. I would have liked to have got to 32K, but it's not going to make or break my marathon. And I have a solid endurance base from all the cycling this summer, including the 5+ hour effort for the century ride, so I'm far more concerned in just getting those running muscles clicking.

Revised schedule:
Week 7: 10K + 15K while sick, resting
Week 8: 30K run
Week 9: 24K run (taper start)
Week 10: 13-15K run
Week 11: Toronto Marathon, 42.2K

Lessons Learned from Being Sick

This was just a cold - sniffles and a raspy sounding cough. My lungs weren't completely clear, but it didn't impact my breathing too badly. The biggest symptom was lethargy, I felt bagged all day.

I was able to run, but I could feel my energy was much lower than usual. I kept the runs short but tried to maintain the intensity, and skipped my long run.

If it weren't such a key time in my marathon training, I would have probably backed off even further and skipped some of those runs... I don't think it pays to push it, better to recover as quickly as possible by resting to be fresh for the next training sessions.

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