>General Running>Couple of random Memorial Day observations
I'm a 56-year-old hacker, back into "serious" running for about two years in July, and running in the 22s for 5K, but with a desire to go much faster. A couple of things:
I've boosted my mileage close to 40 per week the past month or so, ran a half-marathon on May 6 -- and my Achilles are the best they've been in 6-8 months. I attribute this -- perhaps incorrectly, but who knows> -- to easy mileage days of up to six miles, barely 10 minute pace, sometimes down in the mid 9s but never much faster. Healthy Intelligent Training notes that days off don't help as much as running easy; others may know this, but I hadn't seen it spelled out that way.
I'm also trying to run my longer runs (not easy days) faster, down into the low 9s, and if I run 6-8, well into the 8s. Not quite as leisurely as I have been.
I'm running hills once a week, either technique or "long" hills. The only hill I have access to is about 90-100 seconds to the top, built from canal dredgings near my home in Florida. Maybe that's helping Achilles too, and technique drills seem to be improving my ankle action a lot.
Today, I was about to go out the door for an easy run, but instead said screw it, jumped in my car, drove to a 5K in Boca Raton and ran 22:41. The time isn't remarkable, except for this: 10 miles Saturday, a breezy 6 miles with strides on Sunday. So no rest, no mini-peaking, just a workout.
I really think this mileage is leading to something fairly important, but I've got three months -- plus a mini-peak for a race June 30 -- to figure out where it's headed into the fall racing season in Florida. But early returns on increased mileage, with easy days, are good. I'm not buying FIRST's "empty mileage" right now, put it that way.
Finally, third today was in 17:56 -- and the guy was 51 years old. Perhaps more impressive: 40 seconds behind me, in 23:24, was Geoffrey Etherington.
Sounds like you're hacking pretty well Craig. You'll find a large number of RA users subscribe to a "run lots, mostly easy, sometimes hard" philosophy. My improvements have come from consistent mileage (with manageable increases), and racing on a regular basis.
We are each an experiment of one, and I think the most important thing is to listen to your body. If you don't push hard enough overall, you'll leave improvements on the table, but push too hard and your risk of injury increases significantly. Besides the social aspect of running for a club or racing, trying to figure this running thing out is the most fun.
Best of luck to you on your goals! Keep at it and keep posting.
E.J.Greater Lowell Road RunnersCry havoc and let slip the dawgs of war!May the road rise to meet you, may the wind be always at your back, may the sun shine warm upon your SPF30, may the rains fall soft upon your sweat-wicking hat, and until you hit the finish line may The Flying Spaghetti Monster hold you in the hollow of His Noodly Appendage.