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Built up some mileage...now what? (Read 2415 times)

Zortrium


    I started running from close to scratch about a year ago, and spent the past year building up some consistent mileage.  I've built up to a pretty consistent 40-50 mpw or so, usually running 6 days a week, and will hopefully be closer to 60/7 this month.  Thing is, now I'm not too sure how to focus my running going forward -- I've got a lot of opportunity and great weather for running over this summer, but I don't know how best to spend it.

     

    The obvious answer is to run more, but I don't know where best to put in the extra miles.  Barring injuries, I'm planning to run every day, and I rarely do any really short runs (like less than 6 miles or so), so the options for increasing mileage are basically adding to my regular runs (currently 8ish miles) or doubling.  I don't really have a sense which is likely to be more beneficial, either with regards to performance or injury prevention.

     

    Beyond more mileage, one thing I'm pretty sure I could use is some more structured workouts than I've been doing.  Basically I've been focused almost exclusively on consistency and just getting out the door every day, and much less so on doing particular workouts.  I'll throw in infrequent tempos or mile repeats, but the only 'planned' workout I make a point of doing most weeks is the long run, which I've built up to about 14 miles and intend to gradually increase to 16 or 18.  Beyond this, though, I'd like some advice on what sorts of workouts would be the most beneficial.

     

    For some context, I'm interested in distances from the 5k to the half, and don't have any marathon plans in the near future.  This year specifically, I care about two target races -- a 10k in a couple of weeks, and a half in October.

     

    Any suggestions from the veterans?

    JML


      While I am not a veteran, I will offer you what has worked for me.  When I returned to running a few years ago, I started like you and just built a base.  I ran a few races that confirmed that I needed more quality workouts to continue to make progress.  I completely changed my approach and used a plan (Furman FIRST) which is built on three very challenging quality workouts per week and additional XT to build aerobic base.  I used this for about 18 months with good results but the intensity started to be too taxing.

       

      I now find myself using a self designed semi-structured plan where I run two quality runs per week ( one long, one tempo or speed) and fill the rest of my schedule with easy runs with the occasional pickups or strides.   I have been using this plan for the last couple of months and I notice steady improvement while being able to run 5-6 days per week.

       

      My suggestions:

      - Continue with your long run and consider adding a strong finish periodically

      - Add one other quality workout per week mixing it up between tempo, various length intervals

      - Run strides at the end of easy runs

      - Listen to your legs and take a rest day when needed.  I find that a day off before by long run works well for me but at your age that is probably not as much of an issue.

       

      Good luck

       2014 goals: run a bunch....race some.....repeat...

        Basically I've been focused almost exclusively on consistency and just getting out the door every day, and much less so on doing particular workouts.

         

        Then you've got 90% of this whole project already figured out.

         

        If I were you I would probably start to structure my training around 2 big workouts a week--your long run being one of them.  I would not worry too much about stretching out the long run at this point, but would keep it to around 2 hours and work on adding things like a fast finish or some cruise intervals into the long run.  For the other workout I would alternate between: tempo runs of 20-40 minutes, long intervals with short recoveries, long hill repeats, etc.  And I would do some strides and/or drills and/or short hill charges a couple of days a week in an easy run.

         

        If you have the time for doubles then that's a great way to build mileage and still recover for the hard days.  Start by adding a second 30-40 minute very easy run on a day when you would normally do an easy 6 mi or so.

         

        So a sample week to aspire toward might look like this:

         

        mon - AM: 6 mi easy

        tue - AM: 6 mi easy with 8 x strides, PM 4 mi easy jog

        wed - AM 12 mi including 6 x 4 minutes on / 1 minute off

        thu - AM 6 mi easy

        fri - AM 6 mi easy with 8 x 10 second hill charges, PM 4 mi easy jog

        sat - AM 8 mi easy

        sun - AM 14-16 mi with the last 10 miles a progression run

         

        The other thing you might want to do is race often.  A 5k -10k race can take the place of either big workout for that week--do a decent warmup and long cooldown to make that a decent mileage day as well.  Racing is a skill that takes practice and races are also about the best workout you can do as long as you get enough recovery in between and you have the base to support it.

        Runners run.

          You need a keyboard shortcut for this. Except I think you get excited upon encountering new, serious runners and enjoy typing it out. 

          "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus

            Oh have I said that before?  I forget things at my advanced age.

            Runners run.


            Feeling the growl again

              Then you've got 90% of this whole project already figured out.

               

              If I were you I would probably start to structure my training around 2 big workouts a week--your long run being one of them.  I would not worry too much about stretching out the long run at this point, but would keep it to around 2 hours and work on adding things like a fast finish or some cruise intervals into the long run.  For the other workout I would alternate between: tempo runs of 20-40 minutes, long intervals with short recoveries, long hill repeats, etc.  And I would do some strides and/or drills and/or short hill charges a couple of days a week in an easy run.

               

              If you have the time for doubles then that's a great way to build mileage and still recover for the hard days.  Start by adding a second 30-40 minute very easy run on a day when you would normally do an easy 6 mi or so.

               

              So a sample week to aspire toward might look like this:

               

              mon - AM: 6 mi easy

              tue - AM: 6 mi easy with 8 x strides, PM 4 mi easy jog

              wed - AM 12 mi including 6 x 4 minutes on / 1 minute off

              thu - AM 6 mi easy

              fri - AM 6 mi easy with 8 x 10 second hill charges, PM 4 mi easy jog

              sat - AM 8 mi easy

              sun - AM 14-16 mi with the last 10 miles a progression run

               

              The other thing you might want to do is race often.  A 5k -10k race can take the place of either big workout for that week--do a decent warmup and long cooldown to make that a decent mileage day as well.  Racing is a skill that takes practice and races are also about the best workout you can do as long as you get enough recovery in between and you have the base to support it.

               

              Why bother to rewrite pretty much the same thing in different words....

              "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

               

                Mikeymike nailed it. The only thing I would add would be on Wed work out, that 6 X 4 min at around 10K effort (critical velocity reps) can be tweaked to 4 X 6 at 1/2 marathon pace or 10 X 2 min at 5K pace etc w/ 2 min rests. You can mix in a bit of variety on this work out and after this work out do a 4 X 200m at a fast clip w/ full recovery. OR mix in a variety of paces for a ladder work out this day.  I say 10K effort 2 weeks in a row rotated with one of other work outs. Also, that fast finish long run will act as your tempo and an awesome conditioning effect for half marathon training (and full).

                Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!

                Zortrium


                  Good advice all.  With regards to progressions (particularly in the long run), how hard would you recommend going at the end?  I ask because I seem to have a tendency to do a moderate progression on almost all of my runs without trying to -- e.g., in my 14 mile long run last week, the last 3 miles were more than 30 seconds faster than my average pace over the whole run.  Should i just keep doing that or should I be making a concerted effort to go harder than usual towards the end of these?

                    If you're targetting an HM then try to do some miles at around race pace at the end of those runs.

                      Good advice all.  With regards to progressions (particularly in the long run), how hard would you recommend going at the end?  I ask because I seem to have a tendency to do a moderate progression on almost all of my runs without trying to -- e.g., in my 14 mile long run last week, the last 3 miles were more than 30 seconds faster than my average pace over the whole run.  Should i just keep doing that or should I be making a concerted effort to go harder than usual towards the end of these?

                      This article gives a few ideas.

                      "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus

                        wed - AM 12 mi including 6 x 4 minutes on / 1 minute off

                         

                        Whereabouts is "on" on the effort scale?

                        "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus

                          Whereabouts is "on" on the effort scale?

                           

                          After consulting my MMRT handbook, It's on the right side of the scale, just past "raced a jogger by the lake". 

                           

                          You're welcome

                           

                            Good advice all.  With regards to progressions (particularly in the long run), how hard would you recommend going at the end?  I ask because I seem to have a tendency to do a moderate progression on almost all of my runs without trying to -- e.g., in my 14 mile long run last week, the last 3 miles were more than 30 seconds faster than my average pace over the whole run.  Should i just keep doing that or should I be making a concerted effort to go harder than usual towards the end of these?

                             

                            When I want to make a long run a workout, I try to get those "work miles" in at MP or a little less.  I like doing that on long runs, but for me personally I saw progress when I had weeks consisting of a long mid week tempo (like 12 working up to 6-8 at MP or HMP alternating weekly) a day of long intervals (like 8 x 800) with wu/cd miles and then also the long run.  I learned that I can't do that forever, but while it was working I saw nice results.

                             

                              After consulting my MMRT handbook, It's on the right side of the scale, just past "raced a jogger by the lake". 

                               

                              You're welcome

                               

                              Thanks for your response. I was about to drop 6 x there's-a-perfectly-good-side-walk-right-here.  It would have ruined everything. 

                               

                              How did you get that internship, anyways? 

                              "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus

                                Thanks for your response. I was about to drop 6 x there's-a-perfectly-good-side-walk-right-here.  It would have ruined everything. 

                                 

                                How did you get that internship, anyways? 

                                 

                                I'm faster than you.

                                 

                                MTA: Or, at least I was when I went through the application process.  It was pretty intense, but I learned a lot.

                                 

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