At the end of May I have my main goal of spring: the “20km door Brussel”. The distance is close enough to the half marathon distance, so I decided to use Pete Pfitzinger’s half marathon plan. I have however two issues with this plan:

  1. It assumes tune up races on Saturdays. Nearly all races near me are on a Sunday.
  2. It assumes I can find a race in the week he wants me to. Due to transportation issues I am confined to races within Brussels.

Some people decide to solve this by replacing the tune-up races in his plan with a tempo run. However, a race has a decidedly different atmosphere making you push yourself just that little bit more. As such, I find a tempo run a lousy replacement.

With that in mind, I set my eye on two Sunday races. Neither of these fall in a week that he envisions as a tune-up race week. Neither of these fall on his beloved Saturday.

The first adjustment comes in terms of swapping weeks around. The first race is in week six, not in week eight. The second race is in week nine, not in week ten. To minimize the shuffling between weeks, I shifted the entire week eight upwards before week six. This in turn pushes week six and seven back one week. I also swap week nine and ten. Nine was already a week after a race, so that should work out at least. I feel these changes still give me enough recovery after each race. If I notice they do not, it is simple enough to take the Tuesday or Wednesday runs a bit easier, for example by dropping the hill speed work. So after these changes, Pfitzinger’s weeks are ordered as follows: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 6, 7, 10, 9, 11, 12. The only thing I still worry about in this scenario is that the peak week moves a week closer to the final goal race.

This second adjustment moves the race to a Sunday rather than a Saturday. To do so, I give up on the idea of running the Sunday after a race on “tired legs”. Instead, I move Sunday’s run to Wednesday. By keeping the long run in, I maintain the weekly distance. I will have to evaluate later on if this gives me enough rest to do well in the tune-up race. If not, the endurance run may have to be taken as a general aerobic run. Wednesday’s general aerobic gets pushed to Thursday and Friday becomes a rest day. The pre-race recovery run that was on Friday moves to Saturday. The final week looks like this: Rest/cross, GA+speed, Endurance, GA, Rest, Recovery, Race. The changes are the same for both race weeks.