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Will I be ready? (Read 670 times)

    Before I start putting my tight budget at risk... I have spent ALOT of time cross training this fall & winter, but not alot of time running. Now, the bonus is that I have been doing a great job at strengthening my core muscles & subsequently helping my back pain. The negative is, my mileage is down! I run less in a month than what I used to run in a week. So my question is, will I be ready, based on my current mileage to run a race 3/24? Zoom zoom & I have 9 races planned between 3/24 & 10/28. The first three are as follows: 3/24 15K 4/21 10M 5/12 25K I've only been averaging about 7miles per week, though I'm starting to increase now. Alot of miles have just been 1 or 2 on a treadmill to warm up before I lift weights. I'm getting back to running 3 days a week outside, though I'm still under 4 miles at this point. I feel strong & want to run 10miles when I do go out & run, but my experience with increasing your mileage too fast was not pleasant last year (8wks off with multiple bilateral stress fractures). I do NOT want a repeat of that! I know I am overall more fit than I was this time last year compliments of my cross training & running. But, I'm not really running conditioned yet. Any advice? Any thoughts? Thanks for any help you all can offer. Eryn
    So do not get tired and stop trying. - Hebrews 12:3
      The general "rule" is that you shouldn't increase your mileage by more than 15% more week (no citation for that ... just something I've always heard, and um, haven't always followed Blush). You said that you are doing about seven miles/ week now, but you are starting to increase. What are you increasing to? Take it slowly and see how your body feels. You have a 9-ish (too lazy to do the converstion) mile race in more than a month -- I think you'll certainly be ready for that. You have five weeks to build up your mileage before your first race, then another month before the next one, then a couple of weeks until the third. I think you've given yourself enough time to prepare. Also, since you've done a lot of xt-ing, your heart and lungs should be in agood shape. Remember to start of slowly -- both for pace and mileage -- to avoid repeating those nasty injuries. Good luck! Smile
      2009: BQ?
        The rule I'm familiar with says 10%, not 15... and given your history of stress fractures I'd suggest playing it conservative, and making sure you're training on soft surfaces a lot. You've got 6 weeks before the first race. Looking at your log, I'd guess weekly mileages could theoretically safely be 10 (repeat this week) ,11,12, 13, 14.5, and 16. That'd be, in my opinion, not enough to *race* on... but you could probably jog through it (perhaps with some nice walk breaks) and still have a good time. It just depends on what your goals are. Just concentrate on training smart and consistent... and think of the races more as social events than competition (I know, that'd be hard for you!) and I bet you can get through this just fine!

        Roads were made for journeys...

          That'd be, in my opinion, not enough to *race* on... but you could probably jog through it (perhaps with some nice walk breaks) and still have a good time. It just depends on what your goals are.
          I agree. Generally I stay far, far away from threads like this one as well as the prevalent--I have x, y, z symptoms and I'm scheduled to visit with an orthopedist in 2 weeks, should I still run my half marathon, please help??!!-- because the answer is highly personal and depends on many factors including the runner's experience level, pain threshold and competitive temperament. But I agree 100% with wingz here. No chance will you be ready to race 9.3 miles in 6 weeks, but you could easily be ready to run it at an easy pace, treating it as your long run for that week. Regarding the 10% "rule", here' s my take from personal experience. Long term, there is no way you can continually increase by 10% every week and not break down. If I were to do that, I'd be running 90 miles a week in just 6 weeks and then 3 weeks later I'd be running nearly 120 miles a week. I would break. No question. However, short term, you can increase much more than 10% per week, especially--and this is the key--if you are returning to a level you've previously handled well. When I started training again last summer, I went from zero to 50 miles per week in about 7 weeks. Obviously I had to break the 10% rule a few times to get there, but then I leveled off in the 50 range for weeks and months on end (hell I'm still there) while my body adjusted to that workload and just let the miles do their work. My weekly % increases during that build up were 177%, 42%, 10%, 20%, 8%, 7%, 24%.

          Runners run.

            I agree. Generally I stay far, far away from threads like this one as well as the prevalent--I have x, y, z symptoms and I'm scheduled to visit with an orthopedist in 2 weeks, should I still run my half marathon, please help??!!-- because the answer is highly personal and depends on many factors including the runner's experience level, pain threshold and competitive temperament. But I agree 100% with wingz here. No chance will you be ready to race 9.3 miles in 6 weeks, but you could easily be ready to run it at an easy pace, treating it as your long run for that week. Regarding the 10% "rule", here' s my take from personal experience. Long term, there is no way you can continually increase by 10% every week and not break down. If I were to do that, I'd be running 90 miles a week in just 6 weeks and then 3 weeks later I'd be running nearly 120 miles a week. I would break. No question. However, short term, you can increase much more than 10% per week, especially--and this is the key--if you are returning to a level you've previously handled well. When I started training again last summer, I went from zero to 50 miles per week in about 7 weeks. Obviously I had to break the 10% rule a few times to get there, but then I leveled off in the 50 range for weeks and months on end (hell I'm still there) while my body adjusted to that workload and just let the miles do their work. My weekly % increases during that build up were 177%, 42%, 10%, 20%, 8%, 7%, 24%.
            That's true, I did skip the step-back weeks here. I was just looking at the shorter-term, thinking maybe she'd level off after the 6 weeks. Eryn, like Mike says, it's all personal and we're not inside your body feeling what you do - we can only go on what we know about you. It seems to me that getting back in the racing scene would be important for you in order to get re-motivated for your running, and if the 15K's what you've got your heart set on, then the best strategy would be to minimize the damage you do to yourself in getting ready for it. If you could talk Zoomy into a shorter race, it'd probably be a lot more fun (and comfortable!) for you. Good luck!

            Roads were made for journeys...

              You are right, I need the races for the motivation. The cross training has kept me at a pretty impressive fitness level...I'm more fit that I was when I was running 30mi/wk and not xtrng (thank you, Pam, for adding an incredible workout to my routine!!). As for the shorter races, I wouldn't run them. For me, the first 5K is the worst...it is slow, painful & miserable. After 5K, I'm warm, loose & ready to run. Getting back into the serious training has been hard because I don't want to quit after 5-6K, but I'm being smart & making myself. If I were only training for a 5K, I probably wouldn't train much since I #1 don't like them and #2 know I can run that far and it is going to suck regardless of my training level. Thanks for the great advice. I'm going to run the race, but I'm going to keep my competitive nature in check & treat it as a long training run. It is the first time I've run the March & April races, so I don't have a time to beat, so I should be fine. Now, the 25K in May, I ran that last year in a PR time...and I WILL beat that time if it kills me! Big grin
              So do not get tired and stop trying. - Hebrews 12:3