Monday, October 31, 2011

First 40 mile week

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? 


Marlene said...

Congrats on the 40 mile week! You have been very safe & smart in increasing your mileage... and you will be well-poised to train for a marathon should you decide to go that route. Like, for example, at Chicago next year.... hehehe

James said...

way to go! I wish I could be as dedicated.

Allison said...

Congrats on your 40 mile week! I'm also wearing compression socks at work today (and the same Danskos you have on!), though they are hot pink and clash with everything I am wearing! Fortunately no one can see them. :)

Lisa said...

Congrats on your great week! And I love the compression socks. Nice.

misszippy said...

Nice work! I love to run 5x/week too, and usually no more than 3 days in a row. My top mileage so far has been around 60,but I think I do just as well performance wise around 55, so that might be where I should top it off. Everyone is different and as you keep increasing, you'll see where you do best.

Kim said...

Yay! Congrats on the first 40-miler week! I have been doing 5 runs a week for awhile now too. I thought it wouldn't work for me (since I am always getting injured) but it seems that running slower and more has helped me too. My highest mileage ever for a week was just over 50. I wonder if I will ever get higher than that!

Christine said...

Congrats!! What a huge milestone!!! I totally agree that higher mileage leads to faster races! Since my marathon I crushed all my race times while feeling good!!

Anonymous said...

Super congrats on the big 4-0! That is a huge accomplishment.

Nicole said...