Taking a look at my dailymile training log I discovered I put in 198 miles in October. Lots of miles to be sure, but why didn’t I put in just two more? If I would have turned a six-miler into a seven mile stretch and an eight into a nine-miler, then I’d be looking at 200 miles–a nice round number. I guess I’ll have to work a little bit harder in November.
September and October’s mileage also indicates I’ve gone all-in with my new marathon training strategy. Up until now I’ve relied on a marathon training schedule which had me running a moderate amount of mileage mid-week, followed by low mileage Saturdays, and long mileage Sundays. I still believe it’s a great training schedule, and I may follow it again in the future, but in the weeks following the San Francisco Marathon I was looking to shake up my routine. For one thing, I no longer wanted to follow a rigid schedule leading up to my next marathon. And secondly, I wanted to train in a way that would help me come to think running long distances was completely natural. I still follow the Monday-Wednesday; Saturday-Sunday framework of my former training schedule, but I don’t have a set distance to run on any of those days. Instead, I’ve taken to running longer distances on each of those days which adds up to more mileage overall each week. So, whereas Monday through Wednesday used to follow a 6, 8, and 6 mile rhythm, now I might run a 10, 10, 12 set or 12, 12, 8.
More importantly, I’m trying this new regimen while being mindful of injuries. I do have a little hip soreness which acts as a natural throttle to keep my pace slow at the beginning of any run, but it passes as soon as I’m warmed up and doesn’t return until I start my next run.
So far I believe this mileage build-up is working for me. My pace may have slowed a bit, but I am so far routinely able to run longer distances and feel fresh and recovered shortly after finishing. I’ve got one fantastic 20-miler under my belt this training cycle, and I’ll get one more in before December’s California International Marathon in December. Check out my race report after that run to find out whether I bonked hard at mile 17 or if I’m still happy with this long distance training philosophy.