If dealing with unexpected flatness on the day of a planned hard workout were always as simple as going easy instead, then it would not take a lot of experience to make the right call. But sometimes it is best to push through the planned session, making only small adjustments to accommodate your unexpected flatness, because failing to do the work would deal a heavier blow to your race confidence. When training for the 2009 Boston Marathon, Kara Goucher set out to run a very similar workout to the abandoned session just described: 9 1 mile at a little faster than marathon pace. As in the previous described workout, Goucher struggled from the start. But this time, instead of calling off the workout, her coach (it was actually Alberto Salazar’s assistant, Jerry Schumacher, who monitored her workout that day) modified it on the fly, because she needed the work and could not push it back since she was running out of days and needed the next couple to recover. Schumacher first cut her intervals from four laps to three laps each (1,200 m). Still she struggled, so he cut the intervals to two laps (800 m). But he also added intervals to the workout, and he kept her pace target the same. It was important that day that I ran a certain volume at a certain pace, Goucher explained, so I just had to push through it, but we made these little adjustments along the way so that I could still succeed in the workout even though I was having a tough day. When it was all said and done, I did get the distance I needed at the pace I needed; it just wasn’t what we thought it was going to be at the beginning.
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