First, the background to this post- I have a pretty big "A" Race that i'm training for right now. It's a little event that's been around for over a hundred years, and for those in the running world, it's kind of like the Super Bowl, Stanley Cup, and World Series all rolled into one morning over the course of 26.2 miles- the Boston Marathon.
This race has been my goal for the past couple of years, and now that I'm finally on my way, I'm training harder than ever to make sure that when I step up to the start line I'll be in the best shape I can possibly be in. So far, the training has gone really well, and I have about 10 weeks of training left. There isn't a whole lot to distract me between now and then, but I do have a couple of local snowshoe races that I want to perform well at, and this coming Saturday is one of them.
Here's my dilemma- I've been trying to figure out how keep up with my training for Boston as well as make sure that I have somewhat fresh legs on Saturday, and up until this afternoon I hadn't come up with a good solution.
Each week I have 2 speed sessions- intervals on Tuesdays, and marathon pace run on Thursday. When trying to figure out how to work out this week's scheduled a was toying with several options- maybe moving my sessions to Monday and Wednesday to give my legs an extra day of recovery before racing on Saturday, or maybe substituting Thursday's session for an easy run, or maybe cutting back the speed and distance just a bit- but I couldn't shake the thought that I didn't want to sacrifice my training for Boston. Then I gave it a bit more thought, and decided that between the two speed sessions, the marathon pace run is the one that I value more, so I decided to move that run to Tuesday, so shorter intervals on Thursday, have Friday to recover, and then race on Saturday.
Having an "A" race goal doesn't mean that you have to put everything else on hold, but if you want to have your best performance for your "A" race you have to be willing to give a little bit somewhere else. I would probably have a better race this coming Saturday if I used this week to taper, but I'm not willing to give up a week of Marathon training.
As with everything else in life, it's about priorities. You need to decided what's important to you, and focus on that. It doesn't mean that you have to give up everything else, just figure out a way to do those other things while not allowing them to push your priorities out of the front and centre.