Need Some Training Advice

A really bad thing happens to me once I get interested in something.  I become a sponge, soaking up as much information as I can on it.  The problem with this is that because I read it, I know it to be true.  It’s kind of like that quote from Abraham Lincoln about not trusting what you read on the internet, you know?  So I read up on form to try to determine the best way to avoid injury, and next thing you know I’m judging the way everyone else runs.

Today’s Daily Calvin and Hobbes, courtesy of

The worst of it was when I stopped at a shoe store and after getting me up on a treadmill the guy was telling me I should be landing on my heel.  I immediately blew him off as some typical sales guy who’s bought into all the shoe company hype about how shoes are all about fixing what’s wrong with us.  After all, I’ve read Born to Run you know.  I come to find out later that one, he had been a world class marathoner, two, he is a pretty highly regarded physical therapist who specializes in sports injury rehab, and three he just happens to own the store.  That’s a hard pill to swallow that he might just know a bit more about running than I do.  All that said, it says enough about my own stubbornness or something that I still don’t land on my heels.

All that to say, I’m now at a point where I would love to get some advice, especially from any of you who have been doing this a lot longer and have been through a few marathons and half marathons.

I’m just under 3 weeks away from my half marathon.  I have runs this week of 4 miles on Thursday and 3 miles on Friday, rest Saturday and then Sunday’s long run which is 11 miles.  This is more or less the last big practice run before the half marathon as the following week is the taper.

So here’s the dilemma.  A good friend of mine is very involved in an organization that helps kids, and they are having a 5k fundraiser on Saturday morning.  It’s a great cause and I’d love to support them by running in this.  I know I could pretty easily just buck up the registration as a way to support them but the participation is a way of going further and providing moral support as well, you know?

So my question is, how important is that rest day actually?  I think well, I could move my Friday run to Saturday, and run it like a training run, not going for a personal record or anything like that (although my past 5K speeds have been so slow I could probably PR it without trying).  But this 11 miler is huge.  To me it’s the most important run other than the race itself and as far as I understand a lot of the reason for the rest day is to build up some energy reserve before the big run.  But is an easy 3 miler (who ever would have thought THOSE words would come out of my mouth?) going to hinder me for that big run?

Any thoughts?


About Ron Walter

I'm just a guy who was so out of shape he couldn't run to get out of the rain. I'm taking my life back. It's not always perfect, not always successful. The victories though are greater than the defeats. I plan to keep it that way.
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3 Responses to Need Some Training Advice

  1. Denny says:

    If it were me, I’d probably skip Fri, run the 5k Sat, and do my long run on Sunday. But being a bit more of a veteran runner makes this an easier thing to do. As a newbie, approaching an unknown training run distance, it would probably be best to take Saturday off and run fresh on Sunday.

    Is there anyway you could help out at the race Saturday as a volunteer? That way you’re still participating, just not running?

  2. I love that idea. You make a good point – it wasn’t that long ago that a 5K was a pretty major milestone, now it’s ‘just’ 3 miles so I can see being more flexible once you’ve got a couple three under your belt. I’ve volunteered at races before and had a blast, so that’s actually a great way to provide real support and not tamper with the training routine. Thank you!

  3. EverydayGirl says:

    We’re at the same level, so I’d definitely hesitate to run a 5k right before your longest run ever. Love the volunteer idea… waiting to see how your long run goes. 🙂

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