I have never been a high mileage runner. For all 3 marathons, I used the Run Less, Run Faster program and peaked around 37 miles per week. I believe in the RLRF philosophy, but after a *perfect* training cycle for Houston and still falling short of my goal, I needed to try something new. (What’s the definition of insanity again?!)
After talking to several runners that I trust, reading blogs and doing online research, I decided that I wanted to try higher mileage training this time around. I really like to control my own training so I wasn’t ready to hire a coach, but I wasn’t sure how to build my mileage safely and slowly on my own. I bought Pfitzinger’s Advanced Marathoning and have been slowly reading it over the last several months. Like RLRF, the book is based on the science of running performance, and while it can be difficult to read at times, I really like that it has the science to back up its theories and training plans.
For Eugene, I have created a modified training plan based on both Pfitziner’s plan and some of the RLRF philosophies. Because I really enjoy the challenge that track workouts and tempo runs offer, I wanted to keep those as part of my training, but Pfitzinger gives me a solid outline for how to (hopefully) build up to 55-miles per week at the peak.
I realize that 55 mpw still wouldn’t be considered “high mileage” by some, but for me, it will be a big jump. And to make this jump, I had to come into training with a strong base. After recovering from B2B in October, I built back up to 35-37 mpw, but cut out all of the intensity. And as a result of entering training with good mileage base, this week, in my second week of Eugene training, I ran 40 miles for the first time ever!
So far my body feels pretty good. I am trying to constantly remind myself how important stretching and rolling are so that I don’t get lazy and let them lapse. I am also continuing #opstrengthtrain, with two lifting sessions and two yoga classes per week. I have also gotten some really good advice from Jess, regarding how to gauge how my body is handling the build and when to know if I am doing too much. In short, I need to be in tune with my body and know that there is a difference between pushing through a tough workout and pushing my body too far and risking injury.
I am very excited to continue to build mileage (slowly and carefully, of course) and to see if this helps my endurance to avoid that wall that I have inevitably found between miles 18 – 22 for my first 3 marathons!
I would love to hear your thoughts on “high” mileage training, what has worked for you and what hasn’t! Please share!