Happy Monday morning!? Not so much - I am dragging today and two cups of coffee is just not going to cut it.
The main reason I am so tired today? Well, I hit 40 miles last week for the first time ever!
This year I have really pushed my body farther than I thought I could. Before this year, I was stuck in a rut of 20-25 mile weeks and 80 mile months. And then I took a look at my training and decided I needed to change things. The way I was training was not going to allow me to become a stronger and faster runner.
So I changed my plans and each run began to have a purpose. I started running 30 miles weeks and 100+ mile months. And slowly I got faster and stronger.
And then this week, I hit a new milestone of 40 miles in one week! It was not easy and I am definitely feeling the effects of it now but it was worth it! It was worth it to see if I could handle it and push my body farther than I had before!
My 40 mile week
Monday - Yoga
Tuesday - 8.7 miles => 2 mile warm up, 2x (400m @ R, 800m @ I, 1600m @ T), 2.95 mile cool down
Wednesday - 3 easy miles
Thursday - 8.8 miles => 1.5 mile warm up, 2x18 min at T, 2.24 mile cool down with strides
Friday - off
Saturday - 13.7 solo miles (Longest solo run ever)
Sunday - 5.8 easy miles
It really was a process to increase my mileage from 20 to 30 and now to 40 miles per week. Since I am not training for anything I have been following a semi structured plan with a few rules that work for me:
1. Four week cycle - three weeks of increased mileage and then one cutback week. This way I ensure that I get a rest week every once in a while.
2. Long runs - I try not to have two weeks of back to back long runs. One week I may run 13 miles and then the next will be 8-10 miles. Running back to back weeks with longer long runs really tears up my legs.
3. Run easy - Keeping these runs easy and slow has been a key part of my training. Often I look forward to an easy/recovery run because I can just go out and enjoy the run.
4. Five runs per week - I have been running 5 days per week since the start of 2011 and it seems to really work for me. Every once in a while I will have a week of 6 runs but it doesn't happen very often.
5. Streaks - I try not to run more than 4 days in a row, most times I keep my streaks at 3 days.
AND the most important one...
6. Increase mileage not speed - As I mentioned last week, pace matters, so I only increase my paces after a race when I have had adequate rest and recovery. When I am increasing my mileage, I maintain the same pace for tempo and long runs to ensure that I don't over work my body.
This week will definitely be a cut back week. I need more rest after that week of running plus I have my last 5k (maybe) of 2011 this weekend.
How do you increase your weekly mileage? What is your highest mileage week?