So you toil away for months without any sign of improvement and then all of sudden make a breakthrough. Every training session takes on new meaning. Intervals get faster – on tempo runs your feet barely touch the ground – and most importantly of all: race times improve.
So what do you do when your form jumps onto the upward curve? Is this the right time to add some extra miles or repetitions to your intervals in pursuit of even greater improvements? After all, you’re absolutely buzzing with how things are going. Surely, more is more?
Several times in the past I have thought so and took the aforementioned course of action, and it absolutely didn’t work for me. It just resulted in bringing a premature end to my run of good form. Increasing training at a time when things are going well often results in fatigue and the loss of form you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
Maybe this relates more to quantity than quality. At the moment I’m flying when it comes to intervals and tempo runs. I have no problem with working harder on these sessions, as long as I resist the temptation to supplement them with extra training, and keep the easy days as they are.
When you’re in the middle of a purple patch, there’s no way of knowing how long it will last. Making the right choices may prolong it, but making the wrong ones will certainly shorten it.
The above was written in November. No pb’s since then but I’m consistently racing faster than usual for the time of year. Looking forward to what’s to come in 2017; hopefully, better race times are ahead!