On the fence

On the fence

That’s where I’m hanging these days, since I am not 100% sure how I want to train for Eugene. Right now, I’m thinking I’ll take another 1-2 weeks of pretty easy, unstructured running (as part of a reverse taper from Houston), race my 10k on 2/3 in the attempt to PR, and then begin Eugene training on 2/4.  That seems and sounds manageable, since that’ll give me a good 10 weeks of training time between early February and late April.

What I’m uncertain about, however, is how I want to train.

I’m considering a few different plans, all of which are all over the place in terms of mileage and running frequency- 3-4 days a week, 5-6 days a week, 35-50 miles, 50+, 50-60 miles… so I’m not really sure how I want to proceed.

My goal for Eugene is to go after that sub-3:30 that I just narrowly missed in Houston. I think I’m physiologically capable of it even now; I just have to do some refinement and honing in the next couple months.

My training usually has me running about 6 days a week (along with some strength work, a la WCCF), a good variety of hard and easy/recovery days, and I always have a good time with it (read: I enjoy it). The thought of only running 3-4 days a week is not appealing to me, at all.

I need… more.

Don’t get me wrong, there are always days where the running comes more easily than others, but if I ever *don’t* look forward to training, I take the day off to recharge my batteries. It works immensely well for me.

The other interesting thing to consider is that usually, my training has capped me off around 50 miles per week because that has always been my “sweet spot,” the point in my training where overtraining starts to seep in and even a rudimentary cost-benefit analysis shows that I’m quickly reaching diminishing returns, since I’ve tended to develop some ITBS once I hit that mileage.

Here’s the curveball, though: that was all pre-pregnancy.

Since being pregnant and subsequently giving birth, I have experienced just the opposite; now, 50 mpw, or very close to it, don’t yield the same ITBS or overtraining symptoms that it once did.

I have no idea what to make of this–if it’s a different mentality I’m taking toward my running now, my miles being more quality than they were before, or something else entirely (hormonal? maybe??)–so I’m not sure how to proceed.

Just because I can do something doesn’t mean I should do something… right?

When you’re developing your training plans for a target race (or a specific goal) and want to change things up, how do you negotiate the unfamiliar territory? I’m super curious to hear.

4 thoughts on “On the fence

  1. I think you’re probably getting more acclimated to greater mileage per week having been running more years and accumulating that total mileage. For me, I tend to add miles on top of whatever plan I’m following. It just happens naturally. That usually adds an extra 10 to 20 miles per week. These “fringe” miles are nice because I can always crop them if things are becoming too much, and allows me to see how increasing mileage feels without having to alter my plan. And when I hit a high mileage week (for me, that’s around 70+) I will intentionally back off the fringe miles the following week to recover more thoroughly.

  2. Thanks, Ken… good stuff to think about. I don’t really intentionally add miles on top of a plan that I’m “following” (I’ve noticed that as time goes on and I do this more, I don’t follow plans like I used to… they’re more suggestions than anything, ha), but maybe it’s worth considering, given what you said about the “fringe” miles being just that. So wise! Thanks, friend 🙂

  3. I wouldn’t be surprised if giving birth has raised your pain threshhold, meaning your form doesn’t suffer as much on a 50+ mpw, meaning less ITB issues.

    As for unfamiliar territory: I’m so new to this running thing that almost every run is new territory for me 😉

What'cha thinkin?