I was able to get in some happy miles this morning with the IRC crew. Done before the sunrise but the clouds were quite beautiful. It’s always nice to get in 8 miles before 7 a.m.
So as of late most of you know I’ve been incorporating some higher mileage into my marathon training. I’ve been running 26.2s for over 7 years now so I could basically run a marathon with my eyes closed. This year I’ve decided to shake things up a bit to break the running plateau and I’ve truly seen improvement over the last few months with not only my pace during long runs but how I feel overall. Those of you that are interested in increasing endurance/mileage…it can be safely done but it definitely requires years of experience and just building your mileage base overall. Here are some things I’ve done to be able to build up my miles slowly but surely.
1. Build mileage up slowly. Definitely this is the number one thing that has enabled me to reach the 70 mile mark. For a couple of years I was able to consistently run 50 miles a week and then gradually built it up to 60, then 65 and just over 70 a couple of weeks ago. You also have to allow yourself some cutback weeks to give yourself some recovery time and let your body heal.
2. SLEEP! Sleeping is so crucial. During the week I’m in bed by 9 pm. For the most part my body pretty much is ready for bed at this time. I try to get in about 8 hours a night. Getting to bed earlier will allow you too to wake up earlier and just knock it out.
3. Get a lot of your running done in the mornings. That way you have no real excuse as to why you did not get your mileage in. During the work week my schedule can be hectic and sometimes in the evenings I just don’t want to run. It’s so nice to be done before I start my work day.
4. When you are running higher mileage, running doubles definitely helps. Often on Mondays and then on Thursday evenings I will throw in a 4 mile recovery run to shake things out from my morning workouts. Running doubles can really benefit your training, and actually make you a stronger runner in the long run. You just have to have a method to your madness and do it correctly. It’s all a balancing act. I’ve been able to avoid injuries for the most part by knowing when to recover and when to REST. This takes time to master, it literally has taken me years to do so.
5. Eat fresh, wholesome foods and work on cutting out the junk. High mileage doesn’t translate into you can eat whatever you want. I know, you are burning all of the calories, right? Well it’s very easy to overdo it and think you are burning off more than you are taking in. I try to fill up my diet with lean protein, leafy greens, complex carbs like sweet potatoes and quinoa. And yes, occasionally I’ll go for some fro yo and I enjoy my wine. Just don’t go overboard with the indulgences. Trust me, it will affect your running if you fill up your body with crap food. So treat your body right and give it what it needs to perform.
6. Record your mileage in a diary/running site of some sort. I absolutely am in love with the Strava app because it is not only a social site where you can share your runs but also a training log. I love to go back and see my workouts during the week and how I’m improving from week to week. It’s so super motivating.
7. Be patient with yourself and listen to your body. I take fish oil on the daily and make sure to stretch my hips and hamstrings out after every run. Basically I’m always assessing how I feel and I cut back if I need to. I’m very thankful though that this training season has gone so well and am so happy to be back with a running club. Honestly for me that has been a game changer.
How is your training going? Are you more of a morning runner or do you run in the afternoons/evenings?