Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mileage and Marathons

Daily Mile says I ran 31 miles this week.  Being the low mileage girl I have been, this is a new record and other than sore quads (hills, or rather one big hill, yesterday) I'm good.

So I've just completed week 4 of 'lets just build miles.'  When I was reviewing all my training for the halfs that I've run, I noticed that I was just a low mileage girl, plain and simple.  I thought I'd run more this summer than last and I had - but not appreciably.  And I've proven that I can run a slightly sub 2 hr half with about 22 avg miles per week running.  I've done it, very consistently, 4 times.  My slowest half was Santa Cruz last April which I ran in 2.02.58 and my average weekly miles for that training cycle was well under 20 per week.   Each of the other halfs were:  1.59.02 (SJRNR2010), 1.58.33 (Disneyland), 1.59.11 (SJRNR2011) and 1.59.02 (Wine Country) -- (I'm consistent enough you could practically bet on me) all these were run with 20 to 24 miles per week average for 12 weeks leading up to the half.

Anyway, after going over all this in early October and really taking a look at what I want to get out of all this running business, I realize it is time for me to step it up a bit -- for two reasons.  First, I do want a 1.50 half.  Actually I want a 1.45 half but right now I'd settle for a 1.50.  Based on the above, I think I need more miles on my legs for that.  Second, I do plan on running a spring marathon (wow, that's the most definitive I've been about it yet!).  Clearly I'm not at marathon level training.  Not at all !

Which brings us to Tricia's Marathon Training, in two parts:

Part 1 -- from early Oct to Christmas time is miles building.  I'm strapping on the garmin so I can have the data but I'm not focusing on time at all.  Just running by what feels good for the amount of miles I'm running that day.  The past 4 weeks I've done 25, 28, 28, 31 miles respectively.  I'm going to hang out here at 31 for probably two weeks to acclimate a bit because hills have been added back in as of this week as well as miles.  My goal is to be at or close to 40 miles per week by Christmas.  I'm pretty sure this is doable -- and not too crazy of a plan.

Part 2 -- this part isn't finalized yet.  But part two will consist of an actual training plan and I should have 16 to 18 weeks-ish depending on which marathon is selected.  I'm reading all kinds of things now and at some point, will commit to a plan and make it mine and be ready to go for it come first week in January.  Oh yeah, and commit to a particular race.

It seems to me (and I'm always willing to hear opinions! I value them greatly) that starting a marathon training with 35 to 40 base miles per week is a good place for me to start.  I could never do a couch to marathon plan as I just require too much ramp up time to let my stamina catch up to what I'm doing (like yesterday -- it was only a 7.5 mile run but had a nice big 4 mile 900ft climb that just wore me out to the point I napped and did nothing the rest of the day!  Wimpy runner, much?  I really need to change the title of this thing).

Anyway, I'm loving this base building stuff -- it is just fun.  The runs are all good and I've got some built in flexibility on how I'm doing it so if I need to switch things up, I can.  I've found that the world is a wonderful place at 5.30 am in the dark and I've also found that the cold isn't killing me (yeah, and I get my cold is the rest of the country's balmy but still -- I'm cold).  The rain, of course, will make me melt.  I'm sure of it.  But I'll get the gym membership to handle that.

So TMT, part 1, week 5 -- Bring it on.


Courtney (Pancakes and Postcards) said...

awesome! which marathons are you considering?

Angela @ SF Road Warrior said...

Exciting! You are super smart to start with base-building & work up to 40 / week before you start a program. You'll be in a great place!

Terzah said...

That sounds very sensible to me! My peak for my marathon last month was in the 40s. I was hoping to get to 50 but it didn't work out, so that's what I'm shooting for this time. I'm excited for you and can't wait to hear which full marathon you pick.

Paul said...

Howdy Tricia,

Sounds good to's all about finding out what your body is comfortable with.

I don't seem to be able to maintain 40 miles per week all year round, but I can get to 40 or 50 peaking.

For me the key thing is the long runs. The more of them you have done the easier marathons get.

You are right on doing the base building and ignoring your pace!

Might want to consider some drills/strength training now before you up your pace...

Nelly said...

Your plan above sounds great to me! I think I started marathon training on maybe 25-30 miles base, and only did a 40 mile peak week marathon plan. (Hal Higdon novice). Seems like you could handle a higher mileage plan, maybe 50 miles at the peak? Other people might have better advice on this, but you seem to be able to handle higher mileage well.

That is funny that you were at Rancho too and did the same route as me! I will relish the day that I can attack that hill again, that is my favorite hill that I run in the bay area. Such a challenge. I actually had to park at Cristo Rey Drive (the neighborhood that is next to Rancho), since the parking lot was full. So I might have done 7 miles, I'm not sure. When I was going out to the turnaround point, I saw a bunch of good runners coming at me, I think they were from San Jose Fit? They were all wearing various marathon shirts - Big Sur, SF, San Jose, etc.

When I'm fully healthy maybe we can meet up at Rancho for a run - I know Paul of 50 is the new 30 asked me about this too.