Tuesday, May 20, 2008

5/20/08 The 100 mile week

This week was something of a milestone for my running. It was my first 100 mile training week!

Saturday: 24 miles
Sunday : 30 miles
Monday: 9 miles
Tuesday: 13 miles
Wednesday 11 miles
Thursday: 5 miles
Friday: 8 miles

My mileage has been on an upward trajectory for a while now. When I was running 5Ks, I’d built up to 50 mile weeks. When I started running marathons, my mileage peaked closer to 80 miles. I bumped it up to 90 miles when I trained for the JFK 50.

A lot of people, runners included, think the mileage I run is kind of crazy. Well, they’re probably right about that, but it does seem to work for me.

When I was training for marathons, I found that I had a really hard time running 80 mile weeks and also incorporating speed workouts, tempo runs, and harder long runs. I pretty much got injured every time I trained for a marathon.

What I’ve found since when training for ultras is that I can handle 90 – 100 a week as long as I cut back on the hard, fast runs. The beauty of ultramarathons is that you don’t need a whole lot of fast running in your training. The one thing I do try to focus a lot on is hill workouts. While I try to do them frequently, I’ll run them faster or slower depending on how I feel. I’ll also occasionally throw in some speedwork if my legs feel fresh and I feel motivated.

Basically it seems that I can handle high mileage training as long as I’m smart and listen to my body. I’m a firm believer that different things work for different people, and this seems to be what works for me.

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