Post-Race “Maintenance” Plan

So, I realize that all I’ve ever posted about recently is all about my fitnessey goals, but this will be my last one for at least a few months. I promise. Then I’ll start posting solely about Cherry Pepsi and Pirate’s Booty.  and Survivor. err… I already did the Survivor one, huh? I guess I’ll need to find a new hobby before next Tuesday. (open for suggestions)


After I finished my half-marathon, I felt a little bit of a lack of purpose. Not really existentially so much… (but, I mean, why ARE any of us here?!) but more just as far as working out was concerned. There is no bigger motivator than a date for a race that you’re not sure you can physically complete. Then when you DO complete it, and you’re supposed to just go straight to IHOP to eat all your feelings and then  go home and immediately take a 4 hour nap, you sort of feel like you’re straight on the path to post-race obesity.

After working up to such long distances (for me), I didn’t want to lose any of that fitness and have my lungs get fat and lazy again. But I also didn’t really want any more Saturdays taken over by long training runs. I needed a plan that kept me in long-distance shape with a minimal time commitment. I also wouldn’t hate it if somehow my next batch of run training helped me to kick up the pace a little for my next race (which will be quite a few months away).

After I got back from the race, I read this little article addressing my whole “what now” dilemma:

The author suggests three phases:

-passive recovery (1-3 days completely off)

-active recovery (7-10 days of low intensity, shorter workouts)

-maintenance phase (getting back into your distances, running 15-23 miles/week, with once per week long runs alternating between 6,8 & 10 miles.)

She also recommends incorporating cross training days and some speed work on shorter mileage days. And I’m trying to get more into the habit of weight training too, so there are days designated for all of that.

I also know my summer schedule and when I’ll be on vacation or having visitors, so I tailored my calendar plan to be a little more flexible for that. It includes things like “walking” for Disneyland days, “hiking” for camping days and “app workouts” for stuck-at-the-hotel days.  I like to set myself up for success, so I try to schedule the bare minimum on vacation.


So, here’s my generalized “maintenance” plan:

Sunday: Rest

Monday 4-6 mi Speed Run (either tempo or interval runs)

Tuesday: Bike or Swim

Wednesday: Weight Training (at-home, exercise class or using free-weights)

Thursday: 5-7 mile pace run (near new goal pace for next half marathon)

Friday: Weight Training: (something different than previous weight day, one weight day a week should be a little easier than the other, and if I need an extra rest day, one of these will likely be what’s cut out.)

Saturday: “Long Run” alternating between 6, 8 & 10 miles


I’ll probably stick to this through the summer and then find a specific half marathon to do in the fall and start training a little tougher for that. So I’ll shut up about working out until then!



  1. A Lovely Flock says:

    Do you have an actual schedule for the whole summer, like with the days you’ll be out of town etc.? I think I need a specific plan to have success. I am coming off of 3 weeks no exercise, due to circumstances mostly beyond my control, but went to the gym yesterday. I am so sore today, I didn’t even want to attempt a 2 mile easy run, plus it was 85 degrees out when I could have gone. I need help!!

    • Chrissy says:

      Hey, Mom!
      The answer is YES! I haaaaave to have a specific plan. And input every day’s workout into my phone calendar, my planner, and print it out and put it on my fridge with a big fat marker next to it so I can cross off every day that I did. Otherwise, it’s way too easy to just decide to smoosh two workouts together the next day, or take an “enjoy life” day. I do let myself have one rest day a week (other than the scheduled one, and I still cross that day off the calendar, but write “rest” on it, so I can keep track the following weeks and make sure I’m not always resting on the same type of workout.

      Usually the week before a vacation, I try to push a little harder and tack on a few extra miles but the day right before, I plan a shorter workout, since that’s always a crazy day for me. Then on vacation, I plan on a couple runs (open distance) and a couple app workouts and then just try to schedule some active outings for the other days. i always plan to ease back into things after the vacation is over so I lower my distances a little for the week right after.

Leave a Reply