The Soggy Sock: Reaching Peak Week(s)

peak training week Jun8th 2023
Written by Christina Schultz

This is the light at the end of the tunnel folks- Peak Week!
At this point in your training, you have built a strong base and progressed to more and more specific training, and taper time is just around the corner. If you’re not familiar with “peaking” or are new to running, traditionally this week or two will be the most intense training of your training cycle and will have at least a couple of these components:

  • Your longest long run (with or without race pace intervals)
  • Faster intervals at a low-moderate volume and longer recovery time
  • More work at race pace

These workouts will be the “key workouts” that you have been building up to. When working with my running clients, before a training cycle, we sit down and identify 2-4 “key workouts” that we think will hit various components of their goals and give them the confidence that they need to feel ready. We work backward from there and build to these workouts that take place over these 1-2 peak weeks before tapering.

Unfortunately, life happens and sometimes you show up and have a bad day. It’s important to remember that your workout may not go perfectly but that does not necessarily mean you are not ready. I encourage my athletes to take a step back and look at their training with a thousand-foot lens. Often it is evident based on the athlete’s whole training block that they are prepared, this was just not their day.

Here are three things you should be prioritizing during this time to make the most of it:


Maybe you go to bed a half-hour early, schedule physically demanding tasks/chores around this week, take extra time to mentally decompress, and maybe find time to utilize other recovery tools you might have access to.


This could easily be argued to fall under the recovery category because one of the best things you can do to make sure you’re prepped for your next workout is to fuel your body before AND after your workout. 

Proper intake before working out will be like adding fuel to the tank before you even use it, so you are closer to baseline afterward. Fueling well after will help you top off the tank for what you used up.

Go Easy!

At this point, we all know that easy/recovery runs are important parts of training and allow us to be prepared for the next hard day. During peak weeks, however, you may choose to take this to the next level. 

This will be different for everyone but for some, this may mean running extra slow on easy days or it may mean exchanging recovery runs for a light swim, bike ride, or even a brisk walk.

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About the Author: Christina Schultz

Christina Schultz graduated with a degree in exercise science from Florida Atlantic University. She was a captain for the cross country and track teams at the University. She went on to earn a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of St. Augustine. While at St. Augustine, she was a head high school cross country coach and distance track coach at a local high school. During this time she became a certified strength and conditioning specialist in order to enhance her abilities to treat athletes and improve their performance.

Christina moved from Jacksonville, FL to Greenville, SC with her dog Rosie to help keep our community active. She continues to run in her spare time and is enjoying exploring the city and hiking.

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