Ok, so I have gotten a few emails regarding this topic and I have decided on adding the discussion to the forthcoming Hansons Half Marathon Method book. (Publish date- I have no idea)
Here’s the basic question- “I have been following the basic ideals of the marathon method, but was wondering about switching days around for the Tempo.” In most cases, the runner wants to have a week that looks like this:
Tuesday: Speed or Strength
Sunday: Long or longer easy run
If you are familiar with the traditional structure, then you know that the tempo is typically on Thursday. The second part of the the question is, “Will this be detrimental?”
The answers to these questions are 1) That is fine to switch these days around and 2) No, it will not be detrimental. Here’s why: Having a second day between the speed and tempo is not going to harm the idea of cumulative fatigue. If you were to take two off days between the speed and the tempo, then it would be a different story. Also, you are allowing more recovery between the speed/strength day, but you are cutting the recovery short between the tempo and the long run. So, in my mind, you are trading six for a half dozen. Although, I can clearly see an advantage of one more recovery day from a high intensity workout. It’s usually easier to bounce back quicker from a “moderate-high” intensity workout to a long run than high intensity to a moderate-high intensity workout. Lastly, whatever keeps the runner healthy and on track is always a good option. If you are getting the workouts in, staying healthy, and improving, then the system works. If you aren’t doing these things, then the system needs to be changed. That’s a quick and easy change that doesn’t alter the overall philosophy at all.
Feel free to discuss below!