February 11, 2010

My Training

I typically run 60- 70 miles per week. I know that sounds like a ton
and I must have no life but it really isn't too difficult. Here's how
I do it without mentally breaking down or burning out.

Run consistently (every day)- if I only ran 5 days per week, I would
have to average 14 miles per day to get 70+ miles for the week. That
would be very difficult for me becuase after 10 or 11 miles it becomes
a chore and requires extra focus. Instead, I prefer to run every day
and average 10 miles per day to achieve a higher mileage week. Its
psychologically liberating to commit to running everyday. I simply
don't accept taking the day off and always make it a priority to run.
Of course, I'm not a professional so if I miss a day its not the end
of the world, just the end of the streak.

Run easy- I take runs as I feel. Most of the time I don't feel good
enough to run a hard workout so I just do an easy 10 miler. It is
common for me not to do any workouts for weeks. It doesn't take a lot
of mental energy for me to run 10 miles after work everyday thus it
allows me to be consistent and not get burnt out. That stigma that
you have to blast through 3 workouts per week is wrong. When training
for the phoenix half, I didn't do a single mile in training faster
than race pace. Yet I was able to maintain those 5:20 miles and even
close in under 5 minutes.

Run long and strong- I think the long run is the most important
workout of the week. And hilly running will strengthen the connective
tissue in the legs. I run hills everyday because they are all around
me forcing me to be a stronger runner. I think building a solid
aeorobic base will set you up well to run fast. Whenever I would
rejoin the my college xc team after summer break, I would crush the
workouts for the first few weeks. Then I would level off, then my
performance would decline. The reason is that I was in such good
aeorobic shape after a summer of easy strength training and my legs
were fresh from the lack of hard running. As the season progressed,
the heavy dose of workouts took its toll and my performance suffered.
However, I do believe that running so many hard workouts made me a
tougher runner. Without that background of speed and intensity for so
many years, I may not be able to get away with my current routine.

Stay sharp- I do strides at least once per week so I don't forget how
to run fast. Also, in case I need to outkick Deena I will be ready.

Run workouts as they come- I only run at most one workout per week. I
may run 5xmile at 5:30 to 6:00. Not all that hard but it reminds me
how to run near race pace. This way when I race comes, my legs are
fresh and I can run hard.

My training- I run an easy 60-90 minutes during the week after work. I
do 10x100m strides on Mondays and a workout on Tues. Or Wed. My long
run is 15+ miles (this last month has been 20+ miles) on Saturday
morning. Pretty simple.

Summary- run a lot of hilly, easy mileage with an emphasis on the
weekly long run. Throw in strides and a light workout once per week.

This is a barebones training approach that works for me. I think I
could run faster if I ran more race specific workouts and increased my
mileage but then I would be training like a pro. I simply don't have
the mental capacity, time, or energy to commit much more effort than I
currently put in. This routine allows me to be competitive with a
commitment of 90 minutes per day maximum.

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