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Mileage – looking back, looking forward

3 December, 2009

Yesterday, I did not run and I did not post. I am by no means a streaker, although it’s on my todo list of running experiments. Just realizing now that this probably would be more meaningful if it were higher up on the list. Ron Hill, having run every day since December 1964, deserves a mention here. To be a streaker is one thing, but to be a streaker after competing at the highest level and running 100+ miles per week for several years, is quite another.

So, I’ve stated my short-term goal as being a 36 minute 10k. I am racing 10k this weekend, but quite apart from the fact that it’s cross-country and the off-season, I don’t think this will be the one. Even though the Sun Run seems a long way down the road and something to aim for, I will have to ramp up my training to get there. This year I believe I’ve run, on average, about 25 miles per week, peaking in the low thirties. This is just not enough anymore. Particularly for half marathons!

Fortunately, my record-keeping two years ago was fairly thorough. I realize now that, although I became overtrained in building up to 55 miles per week, it was the way in which I built up to that distance (rather than the training load itself) that was problematic. One week in early Feb 2008 I increased my mileage, week on week, by nearly 40%. Totally ridiculous, with hindsight! It was around this time that I came down with some nasty virus that afflicted me right up to the marathon, during and after. Furthermore, it marked the beginning of a vicious cycle whereby I would have to take an easy week, which would be followed a balls-to-the-wall compensating effort the following week.

Final week is that of the marathon

On the one hand I built up too quickly last year. In compensating for that I probably didn’t build up enough for the half-marathons this year: in both events my left medial knee injury flared up. There’s a lesson to be learned here — and nothing too profound or ground-breaking — about consistency.

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