The St. George Marathon is one month from today. Over the next few weeks, I am hitting the top end of my mileage and the crescendo of months of training. I ran nearly 80 miles last week – the most miles I have ever run in a week. Not so many miles for some, but I am 52 years old. Everyone is different in terms of the mileage their body is able to handle without getting injured.
Truth be told, I didn't plan on running such high mileage. It's just how things shook out: trying to coordinate my schedule and the schedules of people in my life while trying to work in a fun, long weekend. I ended up running 7 days in a row with bookend long runs.
I originally had my eye on around 55 or so miles. For marathons, I usually top out at around 60 miles. I'm super glad I was able to run more. But I must admit I am a bit tired this week and am glad it's a cutback week. Last night, for example, I had 4 miles scheduled. I listened to my body and only did 3 on the treadmill at super-slow recovery pace (8:49). Then, I took an hour and 15-minute yoga class which my body wholeheartedly agreed to and which felt restorative. I've been taking lots of 15-minute power naps, which I can do, since I work from home. And I've been craving – and eating – a ton of plant protein to help my body recover.
I have been having some serious pain beneath the metatarsal heads of my right foot for longer than I care to admit. I did two things differently this week. I bought new heavier shoes, which I did most of my shorter runs in (Brooks Ghost 10). I also religiously wore Oofos Recovery Sandals. The combination seems to have helped.
Here's a list of last week's workouts I did. Notice the proportion of easy to hard. I do most of my runs easy.
Sunday – Long Run: 20.3 miles/8:40 pace. I did most of this run on trails. While ascending a steep technical trail, I tripped over a rock and slightly pulled my left hamstring. I finished the run super slowly. I ended up skipping yoga and strength the rest of the week to help my hammie heal. (This is why I could never be a trail runner, though I have an intense admiration for this tribe! I like fast, flat courses and just booking it.). I listened to some podcasts – because 3 hours (2:58:32, to be exact) is a long time to run alone with no sound.
Monday – Recovery Run: 6.34 miles/8:31 pace. Hammie was really tight and traumatized. I kept my stride short and just took it easy. Skipped strength work, yoga and stretching too much.
Tuesday – Easy Run: 6 miles/8:42 pace. I did this run on the treadmill at the gym. Also did 5 minutes of planks – my sole strength workout of the week.
Wednesday – Tempo Run: 8.56 miles/8:00 pace. Did first 5 miles easy with a fast tempo finish and a slight cooldown. Tempo miles were 7:12. 7:10, 7:00 pace. Hammie was starting to feel better. It was a hard workout but important both physically and mentally. I love when you are dreading a workout and then you nail it. That is a huge part of training and a confidence builder for racing.
Thursday – AM: Easy shakeout: 3.04 miles/8:47 pace. Just a few miles around the city to shake out the legs.
Thursday– PM: Easy miles with PRTC friends: 7.77 miles/8:44 pace. I ran some easy miles with my Philadelphia Runner Track Club teammates Chrissie and Jamie. It was hot and running was mostly social. Fun way to catch up and chat. Going to miss Jamie.
Friday– Short Tempo: 6 miles/8:10 pace. I was pretty tired from running more than 10 miles the day before and thought about skipping the tempo. But training is about learning to run on fatigue – so I went for it. I did 2 miles easy the a pyramid of equal rest and recovery with the lower intervals faster (1-2-3-2-1, eg 1 minute hard, 1 minute rest, 2 minutes hard, 2 minutes recover, etc) 2 miles easy. The hard paces ended up being 6:19, 6:38, 7:28, 6:58, 6:26. Not my best but not my worst. It was information. I was tired. But that's marathon training. Learning to perform when you are tired.
Saturday– Long Run: 19 miles/8:37 pace. I usually run the same paths daily but desperately needed a change of pace for this run. I explored some new trails, which was fun. I also decided to skip the headphones. No music. No podcasts. No company. I like to run without any "crutches" (friends, music) at least once or twice during marathon training. It was a chilly morning and it started to drizzle at mile 15.
What's the most weekly mileage you've done?