Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Adding up the days

I am currently 13 weeks away from the marathon (May 27th) and 9 weeks from the half marathon (April 29th) and the mileage increases have only just begun.
Crossing off the days of the training plan
Entering this training schedule, I was running 5 days a week which I had been doing for quite some time.  I was comfortable with 5 days a week and it allowed for a lot of flexibility in where I placed my rest day where I actually did not exercise at all.  During that time, my weekly mileage was around the high 20s/low 30s.

As I started gearing up for the marathon, I began to increase my mileage so that I would start my training with a base of 40 miles/week. It soon became very difficult to fit 40+ miles into 5 days of running. 

If you do the math
(40 miles/week) / (5 days) = 8 miles/day
where if you were to do the same mileage over 6 days
(40 miles/week) / (6 days) = 6.66 miles/day

So I have started running six days a week instead of five and I am currently on my second week of doing this.  I think the only way I am able to hold it all together and complete the workouts is because I keep my three easy runs VERY easy and continue to go to my weekly pilates and yoga classes.

It's not easy running almost every day of the week and of course there are advantages and disadvantages to both.

Advantages:
Keep up momentum gained by running continuous days
Three days hard, three days easy
Less miles per day

Disadvantages:
One non-running day
Less time for recovery between runs
Too many consecutive days of running

When I get the chance in the coming weeks, especially in my cutback weeks, I think I will try to scale back to 5 days to give my legs the extra rest.  Otherwise, so far I have been feeling good. The extra day has made scheduling runs easier and I don't feel like every run (except my long run) has to be at least 5+ miles.

And the extra day of running makes me feel like I can eat a few extra cupcakes (or cookies!)
Cupcakes from the wedding we attended over the weekend
How many days a week do you run?

16 comments:

sidewalknarrative said...

Back when I was only running, I ran around 5 days a week. But my mileage stayed really low, since I never ran more than 4 miles at a time back then. Training for my marathon, I ran 4 days a week. Now I'm training 6 days a week for my half IM, but I only run 2-3 days a week.

Jamie said...

Right now I only run 3 or 4 days a week, I will most likely just run 4 days during marathon training maybe 5 depending on the training plan.

gfmedia said...

For me I started to do one double a week, usually on Wednesday's to help with mileage. Last week was the first time I added a 6th day in a while just to tack on some easy miles. Shooting for a goal of 65-70 I need to find a place where I am comfortable running 6 days and doing at least 1 double. The long runs get longer and the med long runs get longer, but after a while there isn't much difference from what I run on a Tues/Thursday and Sunday! How is your body handling the transition?

gfmedia said...

BTW...those cupcakes look rather tasty.

Lauren @ Sassy Molassy said...

Nice work on upping the mileage. I've been running 5-6 days a week and my mileage per run really varies based on the week. I'm starting to gradually up my mid week runs a bit, but feel like my legs get enough rest with the stretching and cross training I incorporate.

misszippy said...

Sent you an email on this yesterday, fyi! You can totally do the miles on just 5 days/week. I have been into the low 60s before on that many days.

Indi said...

mmmm..ok those cupcakes looks delicious!!
I'm working with a Coach right now and training for a 40mi race in April with only 4 runs days a week. She is having more focus on the quality of runs along with the quantity especially on the long run. I do cross training yoga and STrength on two-non run days and take the day before my long run totally off! This has kept me in balance and hopefully avoiding injury as well.
But having said that...each person's body reacts different to training and this is simply what is working for me!

Allison said...

I find that five days works really well for me. I usually try to do one complete rest day and then one cross training day. I got up to 50 miles in the fall on 5 days.

Molly said...

what marathon are you running?????! How exciting!

I run 4x's a week, with rest/cross training for the other days. I just realized my half is in 6 weeks, that came up fast!

Fair Weather Runner said...

i run about 4 days a week, then do hot yoga 2-3 times a week and XT two days a week. my body just can't handle running a lot of days all together, i wish it could though!

kilax said...

I usually only run 5 days a week. But I would have mileage in the 40s because I would do double digits and about 8 miles back to back. Have you had any weeks like that yet?

I definitely think it means you can have more sweets :)

Christine said...

As long as you listen to your body, you will be fine. I'm not worried, you are a smart runner! Keep it up :)

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

It sounds like you're being really smart about your runs! I run 4 days a week, 5 at an absolute max. My body just does not feel good when I run more than 3 days in a row. 4 days per week + lots of cross-training seems to be working really well for me!

Elizabeth said...

Yay for marathon training! For me, I run 5 days a week if I am targeting 45-55 miles. Less than 45 miles and I am doing 4 days a week (plus swimming). Sounds very different from you, but once you start adding in 15+ mile runs, then it will be very easy for you to get to 40 miles in 5 days! :-)

destination262 said...

Wow, I'm super impressed! I honestly cannot run more than two days in a row -- and that usually is pretty hard on me. I am kind of ashamed to say that I ran my last marathon with only 3 days/week. But I had a lot of other crosstraining in there. I think the 3 days easy will help you. And honestly if you start to feel like you need an extra rest day, you should just take it. I know after those high mileage runs every thing hurt and I needed an extra rest day. Goodluck I'm so excited for you!

Nicole Orriƫns said...

I've recently started doing the school run, running! So I'm up to six days a week now.

Before it was about 4 times a week.

Mom's Home Run