Step it back


I keep hearing about the so-called “stepback” week and was curious to what it was all about.

So I looked to Hal Higdon for some answers.

If you look at most marathon training plans you will notice that the “long” runs start to get progressively longer, but every third week the mileage is reduced to allow you to gather strength for your next big run.

This third week is referred to as the “stepback” week. A time in which your body is given a bit of a rest. Which is very important for any training program.

I just realized that I am currently in my “stepback” week and am relishing in ALL the glory of it. {Okay, trying to}.

And yes this week has given me time to give the shins & hip flexors a bit of a rest & even made time for a whole date night with J. Alabama. 🙂

But then I sit here and think about all the times I pushed my body to places I never knew were possible. For example, my 14 miler, 16 miler and 18 miler runs.

Now that I am hanging out in my “stepback” week,  it kinda feels weird to look at the ole training sched and see a 10 miler staring at me and not something scary like a 18 miler.

I understand the importance of letting my body & muscles rest, as I have been putting it through quite a beating the last few months.  But it just feels weird to not be breaking some personal distance record, or blocking out half of saturday morning for a several hour run.

Okay, so I’m trying to be stoked about the stepback week as it gives me permission to take the training down a notch and let my body & muscles recover, but at the same time I feel as if I should be doing more. The big 26.2 is literally 1 month away!!

But I’m going to do exactly as Hal says and chill out. Follow my training plan and “stepback” for a bit. As this is the time to re-gather my strength for the big day.

So I will wait it out for the next two weeks until I can shriek and squeal about the big 2-0 as that will be the last of the scary pre-marathon long runs.

Yup, one 20 miler is all she wrote and then they let me loose to run 26.2 with the rest of ’em.

I will stepback until then, but I seriously can not wait! 🙂

How do you deal with your stepback week? 


And don’t forget to enter in my CSN Giveaway  if you haven’t already. I will be picking a winner tomorrow morning.


11 thoughts on “Step it back

  1. Sometimes I get a little edgy with a step back week, itching to do MORE MORE MORE, but I try to appreciate them. Like you said, your body really does need it. it’ll help you in the long run! You’ll be raring to go for that 20 in a couple weeks.

  2. I’m dealing with my stepback week by going to the Physical Therapist. I went for a short run for the first time since Saturday last night and my body hated me. Usually I run on Monday or Tuesday after a long run like the 18, but my PT said no way. Anyway, Linzi, I’m super excited to be on this journey with you. You are an amazing person and I’m super glad that you, me, Maricela, Kandace, Macey and Tricia get to fly together to San Fran!!!! Hopefully we get to go do and see some fun things before the BIG DAY!

  3. Since March last year I’ve been running and running almost every week till I felt my body was tired a few weeks ago and I didn’t like running that much anymore. So I searched the internet and had help of a blogger friend and added recovery weeks to my schedule. I’ve had one so far and loved it. I will now have one week after every 3 weeks of normal training.

    In my recovery week I take one day of rest extra and instead of 4 runs I only do 2 runs, the other days I do strength or cardio workouts.

  4. im having a step back too. actually its more like a no-step week, but whatever. its been crazy busy this week at work and im just exhausted. but its cool.
    im enjoying my time with my dog and the bf and im doing some great cooking and some reading. its nice.

  5. Hey, that’s what I’ve got on schedule this week. I call them Recovery Weeks (Hi Fran! heehee) – same idea, different name. I’m dealing with mine by being sick as a dog and unable to run as often or as long. Worked out kind of convenient if you ask me. At least I don’t feel guilty about missing my long run this week and really I’m not loosing any training so it worked out well.

    Just think back to not to long ago when 10 miles WAS your long run. 🙂

  6. Step back weeks are so important! I have only trained for a half marathon, so obviously everything was on a lesser scale than marathon training is for you, but I always loved those weeks of a little relaxation. I’d say just take advantage of them and just know that next week you can run a new long distance : )

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