Figuring Out What Type of Training Works for Me
I’ve been thinking about Sunday’s race and how the heck I made significant improvements since the Fort Lauderdale half in November. After all that was just two months ago and my training in December and January wasn’t the strongest.
Here’s a summary of the running related stuff that’s gone down since November:
- In December (and Jan) I missed a handful of runs due to holidays/moving/calf injury
- I ran a 5K PR right before Christmas
- I ran two 14-milers in December
- My longest run during the training cycle was 15 miles the first week of the year
- I took a week off in January for the calf thing
- I ramped up my avg. weekly mileage from the 20s into the low to mid-30s
(Okay, so maybe my training wasn’t as bad as I was remembering it to be…)
Here’s what was new for me during this 13.1 training cycle:
- Doing three long runs that were longer than the half marathon distance
- Ramping up my weekly mileage into the 30s
I think the key element that helped me PR two half marathons in a row was just running more…. running more miles at an easy pace AND running more miles at a hard pace.
I trust my coach 100% but the analyst in me cannot help but want to look over every aspect of my training and “figure it out.”
I likely haven’t been running long enough to really know what works for me; there are so many new things that I can try, but this is the theory I’m building up right now!
Finding the Right Weekly Mileage (for Me)
Not everyone is cut out to run monster weekly mileage. My coach runs 50 to 70 miles per week (mpw) which is out of the realm of possibility for me. I don’t have the time, energy or need to do that. What I am learning is that I do have the time and energy to run mileage in the mid-30s pretty comfortably and when I do that my running improves.
During marathon training my weekly mileage was in the mid-30s and I improved my overall pace and ease with long distance running. I feel certain that’s how I knocked out a gigantic PR on Nov. 9th. Then, during this half marathon training cycle I stuck with weekly mileage in the mid-30s and PR’d again.
The best part about Sunday’s half marathon is that I never really hit the wall. The 13.1 miles felt like a solid distance, challenging but friendly. As Cheryl commented, that probably means I didn’t push as hard as I could have and I likely still have another PR in me. Hmmm… that’s a discussion for another day!
This week my mileage will be low as I recover from the race (18 miles in total), but I’ll probably start building my weekly mileage back up next week. I’d like to get back into the low to mid-30 mpw range soon because, similar to the race over the weekend, that mileage feels challenging but friendly to me.
Days of the Week That I Run
I run 6 days per week which means at 30 mpw my weeknight runs are usually in the 4 to 6 mile range, including speedwork sessions. When my mileage is only in the mid-20 mpw range my weeknight runs are usually between 2 to 4 miles and speedwork is the same. That’s not bad, but those 2-milers feel a bit short.
I could just run fewer nights per week to make the mid-20 mpw range work better for me, but I enjoy running almost every single day. It’s my favorite way to transition from work life to home life and it gets me outdoors which I love. I don’t see myself cutting down on days anytime soon.
I really think ramping up my weekly mileage helped me during the last two months in preparation for the Miami Half. (It also helped that the weather was perfect on race day, I’m not discounting that at all.)
Of course, what works for me probably won’t work for you since we’re all different! I know plenty of amazing runners who do less mileage and run wayyyy faster than me (by “know” I mean I read their blogs, haha) and also those who run way more than me. I’m just trying to figure out what works for me and share a bit of it along the way.
Sooooo that was probably more info about my daily running than you wanted to see in one post, but I wanted to work through my thoughts on the topic so I know where to start when I begin training for my next goal half marathon! 🙂
Hope it wasn’t boring and maybe even helped you think deeper about your own training!
Do you have weekly or monthly mileage goals that you like to hit even when you’re not in a specific training cycle?
What’s the most you run during half or full marathon training?