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How Much is too Much? (Races too close together?) (Read 133 times)

    I feel the need to pull in some objective advice concerning how much I have been running, and how much I plan to run.

     

    To begin, I have only been running 2 years, and was completely sedentary before that.  ---Of the past 2 years, it has really only been the last 8 months or so that I have been truly COMMITTED to a solid running plan and training.   I did lots of races last year, but was pretty sporadic on actually training for them.   In the last 8 months, on my "weekly run totals" chart, I started out at about 20MPW and am now touching 60 MPW.  No injury issues. (Except one that was my own fault unrelated to running a few weeks ago, it has healed).

     

    I feel like it is a great time to have a race each weekend, and all of my recent races continue to be PR results, no matter the distance of the race.  As is, I have a race scheduled every single weekend all the way through June. (I will be taking it real easy on any race that is 1 week before a marathon or 24-hour ultra... In each case, it is just a 5K scheduled in the week before each of the below 3 big races).

     

    There are three particular big races I am planning on doing that fall very close together on the calendar.  ---Based on my training so far, if I put in about a 70-to 80 mile effort in 24 hours at the 24 hour race that occurs in April, can I expect to be fully recovered, or at least 95%+ recovered by the "Mind the Ducks" 12 hour race that is only three weeks later?

     

    3/17 - Shamrock Marathon

    4/20 - Hampton  24 Hour Race

    5/11 - Mind the Ducks 12 Hour Race in NY

     

    Feel free to be candid with response.   And the only feedback I can add on how I recover was I attempted one 24-hour race last year and felt completely exhausted + done at the end with foot pains, etc, but I felt nearly perfect with almost no soreness at all on the second day after that race. (Quick recoverer?)

    I feel as if I can do this schedule, but do the veteran distance runners out there feel there is enough time to recover between these big races?

     

    Also, separate question, but "how much is too much" when doign back to back (times 4 in some cases) long runs?  Just how do you know for certain if you are 1)  Forcing your body to adapt to longer mileage + imporving ability!, or 2)  Doing too much with not enough recovery and possibly being counterproductive?

    The Plan '15 edition (big parts)→  /// April '15:  Hampton, VA 24 Hour Run for Cancer  (Goal: >80.1+Miles)  ///   Run streak, at least a mile every single day for 365.  ∞

    Chantilly75


    It's always something...

      I feel the need to pull in some objective advice concerning how much I have been running, and how much I plan to run.

       

        I did lots of races last year,  I started out at about 20MPW and am now touching 60 MPW.  No injury issues.  As is, I have a race scheduled every single weekend all the way through June. 

       

      --Based on my training so far, if I put in about a 70-to 80 mile effort in 24 hours at the 24 hour race that occurs in April, can I expect to be fully recovered, or at least 95%+ recovered by the "Mind the Ducks" 12 hour race that is only three weeks later?

       

      3/17 - Shamrock Marathon

      4/20 - Hampton  24 Hour Race

      5/11 - Mind the Ducks 12 Hour Race in NY

        And the only feedback I can add on how I recover was I attempted one 24-hour race last year and felt completely exhausted + done at the end with foot pains, etc, but I felt nearly perfect with almost no soreness at all on the second day after that race. (Quick recoverer?)

       

       Also, separate question, but "how much is too much" when doign back to back (times 4 in some cases) long runs?  Just how do you know for certain if you are 1)  Forcing your body to adapt to longer mileage + imporving ability!, or 2)  Doing too much with not enough recovery and possibly being counterproductive?

      Personally,  I would race every weekend if there were races close by.

      If you want to run ultras, then these kinds of efforts will have to be put in. Just do it gradually, which is what is looks like you have been doing.

      Have you looked at any ultra running websites like ultrarunning.com? They have training advice.

       

      Only you can know when you have done too much, and sometimes it takes exactly that....doing too much, in order to know where that limit is.

      i found most running magazine advise too much caution, and then I started reading about ultrarunners and found that I really could do more than I had thought.

       

      Good luck on your races.  I like the timed ultras.....no pressure to finish a certain number of miles.

      ....(about the quick recovery you had after your 24 Hr.  I felt the same way after mine.)

       "I got nothing to do and all day to do it"  Styx

       

       

       


      I've got a fever...

        I have nothing to add to the actual content of this thread (as usual), but for some reason, it reminded me of when we'd occasionally have track meets on Tuesday and Thursday  and it seemed brutal, especially when running the Distance Runner's Combo (2-mile, mile, 4x800 relay).

        On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

        fitfatboy


        More cowbell!

          Last spring, I stretched myself similarly, at least calendar-wise.  I did the Green Jewel 50K on March 3, the Athens (OH) Marathon on April 1, and the Flying Pig Marathon on May 5.  I raced all 3 of these, or well, at least I tried to.  I had a great effort with the 50K, and did a 2-week reverse taper, 2-week re-taper afterwards.  I felt like my legs had regained their pop the week before Athens.  I was able to put in a quality effort start-to-finish at Athens, and tried a similar taper/re-taper approach leading up to the Pig.  My body had nothing for that race, it was stinking humid, and it wound up being one of the toughest races I've ever endured.  At that point, I hit the limits of my ability and training, and pretty much took a month off afterwards.

           

          That being said, I wouldn't trade the experience of that training cycle for anything.  The level of satisfaction I felt after digging deep and finishing the Pig was right up there with finishing my 1st marathon.  You may or may not be 95% recovered for your 12-hour race, and I think a lot of that will depend on whether you really run or race the 24-hour race.  But you really don't know the limits of your body or your mind until you experience it for yourself.  You could thrive or you might barely survive.  But I say go for it!

          STILL HAVING FUN!!!

            For ultra training, I always felt that a single 6-8 hour run at 100 mile/24 hour pace was more effective than back-to-back long runs.  There is a low point somewhere between 4-5 hours that I usually hit, which would be tougher to manage if not hitting that in training.  Going at ultra-marathon pace for 6-8 hours made it easier to recover as compared to B2Bs at faster pace.  But that's just me -- maybe I didn't do enough B2Bs to get into the swing of things.

             

            I think that you will do fine in the 24 hour (80 miles?  why not 100?) but face the real prospect of incomplete recovery and a sub-par outcome for the 12 hour.

            2013 H1:  7 hours/week base.  Q3: Train for goal race.  Q4:  Goal Race.

              All, Thank you for the stories + comments so far,  I think this is gonna be a great year for running/racing.  :-)

               

              seilerts: you say "80?  Why not do 100?"  --- That would absolutely make my day if I can hit 100 in the April race :-)   I don't feel as if I can do 100 in 24 hours (yet), but to be honest, I have broken the race up into segments and have one plan that would result in a 100 mile accomplishment, and another plan that would result in a 75-80 mile accomplishment.   I will be starting out with the walk/run pace needed to reach the 100 mile accomplishment, but if hours into the race it starts to feel like too much, I will drop down to the plan that will get me the 75-80.   -- Goal was to be ready for 100 miles at the NC-24 in Ohio this fall, but I'll be beside myself if I am able to hit the 100 mark in the April race :-)   --Also, thanks for the suggestion of a 6+ hour long run test being more helpful than B2B's.  I do plan to do that also.  --Need to really test what will happen to my pace (and mental state) at hours 5-6'ish...

              .

              The Plan '15 edition (big parts)→  /// April '15:  Hampton, VA 24 Hour Run for Cancer  (Goal: >80.1+Miles)  ///   Run streak, at least a mile every single day for 365.  ∞


              no more weirding module

                It All Depends. On your physical conditions, the distances, perhaps not so much your age but for those of us over 50, unless you are an elite body, you have to take recovery perhaps a little more strongly into consideration than someone younger.

                 

                When I lived in Mississippi, we had a great local track club in the Jackson area that had 5 or 10K races nearly every weekend from January to April. I raced many 5Ks weekend after weekend ... with no ill effects. As I got into distances over 10K - now I run a 5K now and then for fun, but my 'real' race schedule is 10 milers and or half marathons - I ran 6 halfs last year, it also depends on how *well* you want to perform in closely spaced races. I know I can still run 5Ks at a hurl inducing pace once per week and I'll be OK to do the same thing a week later, but any distance over 10K, it will impact how well I perform racing too soon afterwards.

                 

                I did have a period last year where I ran 3 halfs in a period of < 6 weeks. And I ran 2 1/2 of those injured (rolled my left ankle not paying attention halfway through the 1st race). I ran the 2nd half 3 weeks later after injuring myself - actually did better than I expected - and I ran the 3rd half for the hell of it 1 day short of three weeks after the 2nd half, and did OK. Nowhere near my PR for a half - 15 minutes off.

                 

                But I can tell already nearly three months into the New Year that 6 halfs was probably too much for me... I'm getting weird back issues now that suggest that many races in that short of a period of time can have cumulative effects later in the training cycle. I ran a half on February 3rd with dead legs, and to feel so awful during a race was a new thing (although I got hit hard in December with a bad case of the flu that morphed into sinusitis that killed most of my training for that month). Anyway, my point is you need to get a good feel for how much rest your body needs in any distance above 10K, especially if you are an older runner or someone that's just recently taken up the sport.

                I'm guessing I was still run down from the injury + three too closely spaced races and that's why I got sick in December, and why my body isn't too happy with me right now. 4 is probably the max number of halfs I should run per year, and if I feel a need to continue to do endurance events, go jump on the bike and do some brevets or metric century rides and give the bones and legs a break from the pounding.

                stumbling around somewhere in sacramento...