Cutting Back


Monday: 7.5 tempo (2m warm up, 3 @ 6:53/pace, 4 x 2:00 @ 6:18/pace, 1m cool down)

Tuesday: 4m easy 9:45/pace + 2m walk w/LE

Wednesday:Β 6.9m easy 8:41/pace

I feel like every blog i’ve read this week have mentioned a cut back week in their training. A cutback week is when you cutdown your mileage as a way to recover from the constant increase of mileage and intensity from harder speed workouts. This training cycle has been going extremely well. One of my 2016 goals is to run 5 days per week and strength train without feeling burnt out or getting injured. As i’ve mentioned, running my easy days at a 9:00+ pace (much slower this cycle than in the past) I’ve been able to easily run 5 days per week and have had a healthy, happy and productive first few weeks.

Last Thursday was the first time a workout left me extremely fatigued. Granted the workout was HARD (2 x 3 miles at my goal half marathon pace -6:52). As tiring as this workout was, it was the first time i’ve been able to consistently hit my actual goal half marathon pace. <–this is a big deal. If I can do 3 miles at a time at a 6:50ish pace not once, but TWICE, i should be able to hit my 1:30 goal within this year. This workout left me mentally strong and is the type of quality workout that will carry me 13.1 miles at a fast-for-me-pace.

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With all the progress, I decided to take a cutback week. Not necessarily because I’m feeling the training (which i am) but because it’s supposed to be 70 degrees Saturday and I signed up for the Rock n’ Roll DC 1/2.

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You know me, i like doing a half marathon as a check-in to see how much work is left during training. I’m not planning on going full out since this is a very hilly course and I haven’t been training hills that much. I might attempt a course PR, but overall this is meant to be a tempo/hilly/long run that is accompanied by thousands of other runners and gatorade stations. πŸ™‚

So that’s it! That’s the current news. Training is going well, the weather is beautiful and i’m out to run half marathon #14 in DC!

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Last Week

Monday: 3m easy 9:55/pace, 45min total body strength

Tuesday: 5m easy 8:56/pace

Wednesday: Rest

Thursday: 7m MP tempo (1m warm up, 5 @ 8:00, 1m cool down), 30min TRX upper body + core

Friday: 9m tempo (2m warm up, 2 x 3 @ 6:53/pace, 1m cool down)

Saturday: 10.3 easy 9:30/pace

Sunday: 2m walk w/LE

Total Miles: 34.3

Anyone in DC running the Rock n’ Roll?

Who takes cutback weeks?

Author: She's Going the Distance


16 thoughts on “Cutting Back

  1. Nice job with the miles and with taking a recovery week! Last week was my cutback week. But it also included a race, so I don’t know if it can be called a recovery week! I like to use races as check points throughout my training, too. I like that it gives you practice racing, and also gives you some insight as to where you are in your training. But I also just like to race. I know, if I’m training for a race it should all be geared towards that race, but if I’m in race shape I want to use that to my advantage and run a few races. If I were winning Olympic medals here, I would probably be more reserved in signing up for additional races during training…but let’s be real. That’s not happening for me πŸ™‚ Great job and good luck with the half!!! You will crush it!

  2. I think the idea of using a race for training or a check-in is great! So glad your training is going well – can’t wait to read about your PR πŸ™‚

    I think the idea of cut-backs is REALLY important! I do it my own way – through pace or taking a day off or whatever. But this weather is INSANE … I really pushed the pace the last couple of days and it was just awesome to be out today in 55F weather at 4AM! It makes it hard to be sensible πŸ™‚

  3. Six years ago, when I announced my wife was pregnant with our first child, my running coach at the time jokingly asked me in front of a group of people how I had time to have a baby with all my marathon training. My two-word response: “Cutback week.”

    I have no idea whether that was true or not (actually it was probably false), but it seemed like the best possible quick response to that question.

    Good luck in your half! Running in DC is great… I did the Marine Corps Marathon this past October.

    • cutbacks are crucial! sometimes i plan my training around cutbacks (no kids yet, but for vacations or when i need a mental break from training). Marine Corps seems brutal, but i’m sure i’ll do it one of these years!

  4. I love zooma runs! Ran the cape cod one a couple of falls ago, and am looking forward to my next run! I am definitely taking a step back week- not only in my running, but blogging and socializing as well! I needed a week off from everything to regroup! πŸ™‚

  5. I take cutback weeks when I am training, and I have also realized I need them even when I’m not officially “training”. My body definitely gets tired some weeks and needs an extra day off or just lower/easier mileage!

  6. Umm – I have a couple of cutback weeks with weekend races planned for this training cycle. They aren’t goal races but it’s nice to work through any racing nerves. Hope you have a great half this weekend!

  7. A cutback week sounds dreamy! I didn’t take a cutback week last month and now? i’m injured. Christ alive that was a dumb idea. So this week is now a recovery week, hoping that my poor strained calf gets its act together for a final 2 weeks of training before the taper! x

    • aww, i’m sorry you’re injured! Never a fun thing to deal with, but in the future, always remember a cut back is better than a set back! Good luck with your calf, i hope everything heals up quickly!

  8. I also like to use checkpoints in my training. I feel like they are much more motivating than say a normal/regular workout. I’m glad the cutback week was good for you. I always find I feel so much more refreshed afterwards as well.

    • that’s why i like practicing with a race, i know i’m going to push myself more than a “regular” workout and it gives me a much more realistic idea of how much work is left for the remaining weeks.

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