I’m officially in peak week.
In case you aren’t familiar peak week is a time during marathon training where you reach your highest mileage. It’s typically 4-5 weeks out though I have also seen plans that peak 2-3 weeks out. If you are running an October marathon, then most likely your peak week is quickly approaching.
Peak week can be a little overwhelming in the beginning. You’re already tired from 14-15 weeks of training, and now you’ve got more miles than you’ve had all season.
So, how do you go into peak week and approach it in the right way?
One Day At a Time
Focus on each day at hand. Don’t think ahead, don’t think about yesterday just focus on the job you have to do that day. Each run has its purpose: speed, tempo and even easy days are all important.
Make Easy EASY
Your easy days are vital to staying sane, especially during peak week. Don’t worry about pace, just go by what your legs are telling you they can run. It may be some of your slowest easy runs of the season, and that’s okay!
My Monday morning easy run was about 45 seconds to a minute slower than normal. It was also greatly needed! It also really helps when you can get back in bed afterwards, but that is a rarity!
Be Ready for Motivation To Fade
I used to be under the impression that I was going to be on a high and full of motivation for the entire training cycle. I quickly learned this was not the case.
During peak week it is completely normal for your motivation to fade. In fact, you may even question “why the heck am I doing this?” several times throughout. It’s okay. It’s normal!
Adjust if Necessary
I never make adjustments just because I don’t feel like dong something, but if I can tell that something is wrong or that my body isn’t recovering properly then I’ll make adjustments.
Don’t feel like you are cheating yourself if you need to change things up a bit.
Focus on Recovery
Aside from your long run, the most you’ll be running is between 1-1.5 hours per day on the average. The other hours of the day it is even more important to focus on recovery.
Stretch, foam roll, eat the right foods, and get sleep. Do the best you can especially during this week to put these things as a focus.
Some days it just takes a big focus and gritting your teeth. It’s not always easy but these are also the weeks that can help you for the day itself. It’s not going to be easy all the time, but it’s those hard moments that really make us.
Peak week comes for all of us, and it’s usually at the point in training where we are most exhausted. Trust your training and keep pushing forward!
When is your peak week?
What’s your average mileage?