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How to Adjust Your Training Plan for a Turkey Trot

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runner in a hoodie amongst the fall leaves

Photo: baranq (Shutterstock)

Thanksgiving Day is a wonderful time to run a race. You get to train through crisp fall weather, and the race is set for a day you get to feast as much as you want afterward. Only one problem: most training plans assume you’re racing on a weekend, but a turkey trot will be on a Thursday. How do you make everything fit?

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There are a few approaches, but first, a caveat. If you are running the turkey trot just for fun, and you don’t plan to taper or peak in any meaningful way, you can just do whatever the heck you like. Just take off the day before the race, or at least don’t run any harder than usual; then show up to the starting line and knock yourself out.

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But if you’ve made up your mind that the turkey trot is a goal race, and you’d like to put forth your best performance, you should follow a training plan. Your favorite running app probably has a selection of training plans built in, or you can grab one from a source like halhigdon.com.

The scheduling hassle is that your program probably has a long run; the long run probably falls on the weekend; and the program assumes that you have a full week, give or take a day, between your last long run and your race. You’re half a week off. There are a few ways to handle this mismatch, so take your pick:

Option 1: Do your long runs on Thursdays

There’s no law saying long runs have to be on the weekends. That’s just when most of us find the time. You can shift your program forward (or back) a few days so that all the “weekend” runs fall on Thursdays.

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Depending on your schedule and on the way your plan is written out, that could be really annoying (okay, it’s Monday, therefore I need to look up my Wednesday workout…) so you may prefer another option.

Option 2: Subtract a few days to preserve your full taper week

The week leading up to the race is the most important to do by the book. (For a longer distance, like a marathon or a half, your taper may be two or three weeks; for a 5K the taper is more likely the last week or just the last few days) The taper is important because you ease up on your training enough to get some performance-boosting rest, but you don’t want to rest too much and start losing fitness.

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That’s why I wouldn’t advise finishing the program and then just chilling until race day. You’ll miss more training than you need to; in runner terms, you would peak too early. So work backwards from race day. If the race is a 5K, make sure that the last four or five days before the race, you do the last four or five days of the program.

Let’s say you’re following an eight-week program, and your race falls on Thursday the 26th. You’ll do week six as written (the 8th through the 14th) and then begin week seven on the 15th. But then, on Friday the 20th, you’ll skip forward and begin week eight. This gives you a full week to complete week eight and show up to race day right on time.

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What happens to the long run at the end of week seven? You have two options. One is to skip it. The other is to do it a bit early—on Thursday the 19th, perhaps—so that you’re skipping the middle of week seven rather than the end. However you slice it, you’re removing a few days from week seven so that week eight can end on race day.

Option 3: pause the program and add a few goof-off days in the middle

If you’ve already set up your calendar with the program ending the weekend before Thanksgiving, you’ll need to add time rather than subtract. The easiest way to do this is to identify a medium-difficulty week somewhere in the middle, and just do it twice. Then you’re back on track for the option above.

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Or if you like the idea of just having a few days off to do whatever you want, do that! But don’t schedule those days for right before the race. Do them in the middle of your program, or at the very least the week before. If you have a week where you’ll be busy or traveling or taking some time off, think of that as an opportunity. During that time, only run if you feel like it, and do whatever length and intensity of run you feel like. Then, when the gap is over, hop back on the program and plan to finish right on Turkey Day.

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Charge Your Phone Wirelessly With 50% off a Multifunctional LED Lamp

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

White Wireless Charge Lamp | $18 | Amazon | Clip coupon + code ABC88699
Black Wireless Charger Lamp | $20 | Amazon | Promo code ABC88699

When you’re ready to turn in for the night, you don’t want to forget to charge your phone— especially if your mobile device doubles as your alarm clock.

With this wireless charger lamp, you can make this crucial step of your nightly routine even easier by just setting your phone on the wireless charging pad and… well, that’s all there is to it!

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Other functions include multiple lighting modes as well as a sleep timer option for auto shut-off of the light after 30 or 60 minutes.

This lamp can be yours in white for $18 if you clip the coupon on Amazon (it’s below the original $40 price) and add promo code ABC88699 at checkout.

You can snag the black version for $20 using the same code—no coupon though, sorry.

Don’t sleep on this deal! Who knows how long stock or the coupon code will last?

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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