Back of the Envelope (Increasing Running Mileage Safely)

A Realization.

Looking forward to getting the Garmin data storage to work at some point — but in the meantime… It recently occurred to me that the last few weeks has netted me not only a new record for weekly mileage (last week’s 37 miles), but a monthly record that includes 5 straight weeks of 30+ miles per week. Throw in the speed work I also did during a few of those weeks and you have a recipe for injury. I semi-knew this regarding the speed work, but had not really thought about the cumulative effects of all the miles…

I sketched out my recovery week (above). It includes two rest days (one of which I’m in the process of phasing out), a 10-mile effort (originally set for today, but will do tomorrow) and the dictum that a couple days must be easy. Maybe all the days. I’m a little unnerved by the fact of running that cumulative mileage and doing speed work — not to mention the maniacal adventures in the hills! Very thankful to not have sustained any kind of serious injury.

(I’ve also sketched out a possible 40-mile week following. We’ll see how it goes. I’ve not ruled out this exploratory week, as long as the pace is E-A-S-Y. My cousin may be in town — en route to the NYC marathon that she probably won’t be able to get to — so the running schedule may be somewhat elastic.)

Browsing some of the following websites helped knock some sense into me.

A Few Links For the Curious On Safely Increasing Running Mileage:

The first one took me by surprise. Put together by some Australian guy, it has some very down-to-earth thinking on the (overly) general nature of the “increase by 10 percent” rule that many of you readers of running publications will be familiar with. His Guide to Increasing Running Safely is worth a look. Another good one? Pete Pfitzinger has a guide to increasing mileage. A real pro that beat Alberto Salazar in the 1984 Olympic time trials, Pfitzinger knows his stuff. He also expresses some skepticism about the 10% rule. And finally, Strength Running has a smartly titled entry, “Forget the 10% Rule: How to Increase Mileage Safely.” Please note, I’m not suggest anyone toss the 10% rule out the window — just examine its limitations.

Today’s Run

Thought I’d just check in with the body — ditch the planned 10 miler for an easy inquiry into the state of affairs. The weekend runs were quite demanding hill intensive adventures, and even with a day off in between, and given the aforementioned miles, a break seemed in order.

43:08     5.02 miles     8:35 min/mile

8:51   8:50   8:47   8:22   8:08

All in order. This was very comfortable. Even forgot to hydrate afterwards, though I do hit the water fountain at 2.35 miles on this route. Hydration. That’s another post.

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