What happens after the first X months
I am following (assiduously) a MAF plan, and staying injury-free for once! The plan is for a half-marathon and lasts 12 weeks and soon I will graduate. I do not want to run a marathon, but I want to continue improving.
But what happens next? Do I change from a week with (for example) 18 miles split over 3 mi, 4mi, 3mi, 8mi to 23 miles split 4mi, 5mi, 4mi, 10mi - in other words just increase the miles?
Or do I go back and build once more from the beginning?
Hi Matt, thanks for your question.
That's great that you are training for a half marathon and staying injury free, its a nice feeling isn't it?!
I am a big believer in cycles. If you carried on increasing mileage month on month, you could well end up inured and burnt out.
After your half marathon, I would take 5-7 days off running and then gradually pick up the mileage over a couple of weeks. Assess how you feel (aches and pains, weariness etc) and do a MAF test.
If you don't have any races planned for after the half marathon, then I would look at maintaining consistency, rather than increasing mileage. If your MAF tests shows that you are still improving then stick to MAF. Your half marathon training will have already set you up with a good amount of mileage per week and there is no need to maintain that higher level all the time unless you have the time and are feeling strong. Some people cut back a session and others cut back 10-20% of the time. Remember that rest is just as important as training.
From a personal perspective, after I have trained for a race, I'll then go back into total MAF training mode until I start training for another race. I also cut back on the number of running sessions and try and replace one with a cross training session. If I keep going at the same rate as my race training, then I feel tired and sluggish and mentally I start to feel unmotivated.
I don't know what training plan you are following but you may find there is a "maintenance" training plan which is what people often use between races. I hope that helps.
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