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.