You’re running the George Washington Parkway Classic 10 Miler, and we are less then a week from race day. What should you do to get ready? It’s a seemingly straightforward question, but the answer depends on whether this is your goal race for the season, or if you’re running GW Parkway as a tune-up for another race a few weeks down the road.
If your intention is to really get after it at GW Parkway, the week prior to the race should be focused on some light sharpening work, and rest. It’s counter-intuitive, but the more training you do the week before a goal race, the slower you’re going to run when the gun goes off, as the only thing hard training the week prior to the race will do is tire you out.
My Northern Virginia Running Club athletes who are shooting for big PRs at GW Parkway will do a light workout on Tuesday on the track to the tune of 4-5 x 800 meters at no faster than 5k race pace, some easy strides on Thursday, and the rest of the week they will decrease their normal weekly mileage, and keep the paces on their easy runs very easy. Taking Friday off, and doing an easy 10-15 minute run on Saturday morning plus some easy strides, will have them ready to go on Sunday.
I hasten to add that if you haven’t done any interval training this season, the week before the big race is most definitely the time to start, so for you, the key is lowering your mileage, and getting rested.
If your intention is to run GW Parkway as a means to be ready to run a big PR at another race later in the season, you’ll want to maintain your normal routine the week of the race. My athletes who are training through GW Parkway will do approximately 4 miles of interval work on Tuesday, and they won’t decrease their weekly mileage more than 10 percent leading up to the race.
The training these athletes do the week before GW Parkway will not help them on Sunday, but it will help them down the line at their goal race. Whatever your plan is for GW Parkway, if you run even pace, stay relaxed, and have fun out there, the time will take care of itself. Good luck!