Substituting a Tough Workout for a Race
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If the training plan calls for a 5-K race, and there are no such races available on the weekend because of sub-zero weather and too much snow, what is suggested to do instead? I am in Week 3 of the Intermediate Half Marathon program.
Almost all of my training programs are calendar neutral. While I do offer a Winter Running program, where I suggest runners consider cross-country skiing or snowshoeing as options, I schedule most workouts without taking into consider that Mother Nature holds the trump card. Problems can arise also in the summer if a day on which a long run is scheduled dawns hot and humid.
No 5-K in your neighborhood? You can substitute a 3-mile run at or near pace for that race, but I concede that if the roads are covered with ice and snow, even running that distance as a workout may be a near impossibility, at least outdoors. Earlier in the same training schedule you are following, I prescribe 5 x 400 meters at 5-K pace. Also tough to accomplish in the snow. Better get out the snowshoes. Or do the workout on a treadmill.
Or juggle the days on which you do certain races or workouts. No 5-K this weekend? Maybe you can find one a weekend later, or the weekend before. Or maybe there is a 10-K race that can serve as substitute. Dare I suggest you jump on a plane and head for Florida or Arizona?
The bottom line is: Remain flexible. Although my training programs work best if followed with some precision, sometimes we need to adapt those programs to face reality.