Most of us exist in a 7 day week. Work commonly begins on Mondays, ceases on Fridays and the weekend is our transition. It is our set calendar and one many of us live by religiously. Runners too commonly live in the pre set 7 day week – – Sundays are long run days, Tuesdays are tempo day and Fri / Sat is the window for intervals or a race. The following week becomes more of the same and so goes the typical cycle.
More and more, however, particularly on the collegiate and post collegiate scene, competitive distance runners are setting up training blocks of 9 – 12 days rather than 7. Put simply this is a schedule with the same outline of a. Something longer b. Something shorter and quicker and c. Something steady and sustained, aka tempo. However, unlike the traditional 7 day training window, it allows for an extra 1-2 days between longer or quicker days.
The late Ron Clarke of Australia (owner of 17 World Record runs) was one of the first athletes to openly work with a 10 day week. He told “Inside Sport” Magazine in 1994 “Most driven athletes like me don’t recover readily enough between the days they are really hitting it,” said Clarke. “By expanding my week to 10 days with a day extra between the tough stuff I stayed healthier and was more effective on those quicker harder days.”
Scheduling can be a bit of a challenge in setting up a 10 day week. Could you do a long run on a Wednesday morning if it fell mid week ? What about a Sunday interval session? For a while an expanded week might feel unusual for those set in their system, but over time rest assured you will feel better, recovery more quickly and have more effective harder sessions.
Expand your week!