The schedule is just a collection of dates, and suggestions for miles and paces to run. It’s not the gospel.
This week, the weather forecast in Toronto is calling for temperatures in the low 30ºC range with humidex values that will make it feel like 40. That’s not ideal running weather and, in fact, it’s probably dangerous.
Hills? Not this week
The schedule I’m running has me doing 6x600m hill repeats on Wednesday night for something like 12km total with a warm up and cool down.
But the schedule doesn’t know what the weather will be like; it’s just a suggestion for what to run. Given the expected conditions, I won’t be taking the marathon clinic at the Canary District Running Room out to run hills on Wednesday. Instead we’ll head out on about a 8-10km flat, shady route along the edge of the lake where hopefully things will be a bit more tolerable.
The schedule is adjustable
It’s really easy to look at your training schedule and think that you have to do exactly what it says or you’ll fail. But that’s not true at all. Yes, you need to run something similar to what the schedule suggests, but swapping a run around or cutting back on training when it gets too hot (or too cold) is the right thing to do.
Just like you should be adjusting your training for the conditions, you should also adjust the training for how you feel. If you are feeling some aches and pains, ease back on the pace or distance. Consider taking a rest day. If you feel great, then by all means, run a bit more, add in a hill or two or bump up the pace a bit.
Use the schedule to guide you through your training as you build towards your marathon. But don’t treat it as infalible!