You can sum up my running mileage the last few months in two words: Not. Much. So, how did I shave over a minute off my previous time at the super hilly Fireball Classic 10K and feel good doing it? I wish I knew. But, as I continue in this crazy world of endurance sports, I am constantly reminded that less really IS more. Not all two athletes are created equally…duh. My body does not want 7+ mpw swimming, 100+ mpw cycling, and 50+ mpw running. Maybe for a short time, but not indefinitely. I’m going for longevity, not world records. Although, in my brain that has been trained to think that I need to be out there logging those miles, I feel that I’m not doing enough for the longer races. Don’t I need to see a few 50+ mile weeks on my running log to race a decent marathon? Shouldn’t I be cycling 100+ mpw for the Redman 1/2?
I think the answer might be no. If you’ve followed this amateur runner’s blog enough, you know that I tend to get injured training for a marathon. Buuut, after training for and completing the 1/2 IM last year, I was ready to tackle marathon training again. I was doing just that, swimmingly I might add, until I dropped all cross training 2 months in and amped up the running mileage. The 18 mile long runs went great. The 20 miler…not so much. It is interesting that, in discussing this with Camille Herron, she responded with the following:
“Jack Daniels said no one, regardless of ability, should have to go longer than 2:30 for a long run. I’ve got to agree with him. Even when I’m not going long, I’m still getting in 2:20-40 worth of running time in two runs. In fact, I like to run twice on my long run days….maybe this would work for you?”
Maybe. I’m sure I will let you all know how it goes, as I am very willing and excited to give it a try. For now, I am under the impression that less is more. Don’t take this the wrong way though. Running a couple of miles 3 days a week, doing zero bike/run brick workouts, spending less than 2 hours in the pool a week, never practicing an open water swim…this would not get me very far come race day. 70.3 miles is still 70.3 miles. However, it’s about making sure your 3-4 dpw of running give you the most bang for your buck and tagging those runs onto a 2-3 hour bike ride on occasion. I am of the opinion that this will lead to a good race (5:48 at my first 1/2 IM injury-free) and, potentially, an injury-free marathon (the latter is not yet backed by empirical data).
What runs do you need (Various sources, both professional and weekend warrioresque and a few years of my own running experience)?
- Speed (ie. Tempo, Fartlek, Track)
What about cycling (Thanks Travis and Buzz)?
And swimming (In my amateur opinion)?
- Just do it. Swim often. (Honestly, I find this aids in run recovery more than a recovery run.)
- Work on improving form/efficiency.
- Get your face in open water as often as possible.
I’m not an expert. I’m not a coach. I’m not a professional athlete. I am a scientist. I am human. The experiment continues…