Saturday, October 29, 2011

Increasing Mileage, Training Plans, and Knowing Myself as a Runner.

Lots on my mind here as I've been spending some time with my running books as I prepare for Boston training.  The next couple of months will mostly be about building a base, increasing miles gradually and safely and reflecting on myself as a runner.  I have many years of running under my belt but I think I've overlooked a lot of the lessons I've learned and the knowledge I've gained about myself as a runner. With my training plan in the works, I think the most important thing for me to do is to adapt my plan based on how I'm performing, feeling and what I know about myself as a runner...what works best for Amanda.  I'm going to try really hard to be as reflective with my running as I am with other areas of my life...trying to trust myself more than any plan I can follow.  By now, so many of us know that a plan is just a framework and what works for one runner might not work so well for another.  Reading Run Faster, e-mails from friends, and the Jack Daniel's Running Formula this week have just been a reminder of this.  So here are some things I'm thinking about right now:

MIleage:  I've always claimed that I do well off of 60 miles and under when it comes to weekly mileage.  But the truth is, I don't really know how I do with higher mileage (when increased wisely) because I've never tried it out.  I think I'd like to attempt a higher peak mileage with this coming Boston training.  However, I am perfectly aware that it is important to gradually increase mileage and to NOT make too big of a jump from previous training.  I'd love to be able to peak at 80 miles for this training plan but this is a big jump for me and I am keeping this in mind. It will also involve a lot of time commitment that I may or may not be able to devote. I very well might have to reevaluate this goal as my base continues to build and as I see how my body responds to the increase in mileage.  70 might be a more realistic goal.  I won't know this until I see how it goes.  My gut tells me that I will be okay since a lot of my running will be slow miles and just going through the motions.  With a treadmill (that we are getting in a week or so), I will be able to manage my time more efficiently and incorporate 2 a days into my routine like I did in college.  Since I'm not a morning runner (hate running in the early mornings), I will most likely do some slow and easy runs on some of the mornings so that I can just get some miles in.  And then I will save more of my key workouts for later in the day.  This will all be learning for me and being VERY in-tune and responsive to the messages that my body sends me.  

Strength Training:  I want to incorporate at least one day a week of something like Jillian MIchaels where I can work on my core and do certain exercises to build strength in my legs and arms.  I'd also like to read more about the hill sprints that Hudson (From Run Faster) and so many others incorporate into plans in lieu of leg strength training.  Another thing I've been reflecting on is the idea of incorporating some of the weights/strength training that my coaches had me doing in high school and college. I won't be doing it all...just want to find something that works best for me.  We'll see what happens and what I have time for.  Running will be first priority.  Not so sure what I'll have time for. Staying injury free is the goal!  

Plan:  I am certain that no matter what plan I choose, I will find success and reach my goals.  However, I do want to take time in planning and finding a plan that I prefer.  As of now, my husband is helping me write my plan based off of a modified Jack Daniel's plan.  However, as I read more and more of this Run Faster book, I am liking what I see and it just makes sense to me.  We shall see.  I'm not too worried about it since I have plenty of time!  It is fun to think about though.  

Jillian, Treadmill Running, and Learning! 
I'm just focusing on learning, thinking of myself as a runner and looking back on the things that have worked for me in the past, and enjoying this time of just slow and easy base building...WISELY and Gradually!  Not so wise would be doing a full Jillian Michael's trouble zone workout when I haven't done any strength training for awhile.  I couldn't walk normally for a good four days!  OUCH!  She did a number on me.  

It has been an enjoyable and easy week of running.  Unfortunately, most of my running has been on a treadmill so I've been in "poke my eyes out" mode.  Base running on the treadmill without the distraction of speed work or fartleks of some kind make for the time to just drag on.  

This week in running since Sunday:
10//23/11  10.4 mile trail run.  7:48 average.  Felt Amazing!

10/24/11 Jillian Michaels and 4 mile double jogger run
10/25/11  6 miles @ 8:40 pace (trying to keep my base runs around this pace per my plan).
10/26        7 miles @ 8:40 pace.  1 mile @ 7:15 pace.  last .1 at 6:55 pace.  Finished strong and felt great.  Trying to trust the slower pace for my easy runs.
10/27    4 miles with double jogger.  Feeling sore from Jillian STILL.  Man oh Man, she did a number on me!   32 miles so far since Sunday.  Feeling good!
10/28  10 miles on TM at 8:34 pace.  Last mile at 7:45.

10/29  A slow base run up to 8 miles (probably 5) down in Corvallis, Oregon near Oregon State University.  I'm so excited to run down always brings me back to the days when I met my husband.  

I'm off to get away with my family for a Rugby alumni game and reunion of sorts.  My husband was a rugby player so this is a fun weekend for all of us!  Fortunately, he has given up his need to play every year.  This saves trips to the emergency room and keeps this worrying wife chill!  I'm really not too fond of seeing him split his forehead and other body parts open.  Running is so much safer for him. 

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!  Can't wait to read race reports!  


  1. I've been on the Jack Daniel's plan,too...oh wait, wrong Jack Daniels. Lol.
    I would love to try high mileage - I think my slower paces lately have been mostly because I am simply not getting enough miles under my belt. Think I'll let you experiment first though! I am not as wise of a runner as you are!

  2. Ha ha Gracie's comment! You have obviously committed a lot of time/reflection to preparing your body to excel for Boston.

    I think core strength is HUGE for runners. I neglected mine for over a year training for marathons and will never to do again! A strong core = a strong body.

    I'm excited to learn from you and your training!

  3. I am going to bookmark this blog post so that when I am BACK to high mileage running after this baby, I can use some of your thoughts and get some of the books you linked.

    Basically, I want to be you. ;-)

    Enjoy watching sweaty men beat each other up! Glad your husband will be on the sidelines. :-)

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  5. thanks so much for your comment on my post! i really like how you are taking so much time to create the best plan for YOU...that will definitely pay off. and i loved what you said about taking the time to learn...that is my favorite thing about running...all the lessons learned :) good luck as you begin building your base...and your training soon after! i am excited to follow you and learn from you!

  6. Well, we've exchanged a few emails over the "plan" thing and the one thing I really want to stress is to do what ever works best for YOU and your family. Yes, higher mileage will contribute to your eficiency of and positive adaptation to running's stresses and adding high mileage for your active recovery days will help with this...but, if you quickly burn out or get injured (which is always iffy) then substituting your high recovery mileage with cross training, or complete rest, is best. I think you can handle the higher mileage, but it is NOT easy on so many levels.


    Oh, meant to say in the email, too, about Hudson not advocating weight training. I don't 100% agree with this (unless you're one of his elite athletes). I'm a big believer in strength training to make a runner stronger.

    I have a video link I need to send you, which will work great for you! :)

  7. Amanda, quick question.... What running books are you reading? I may be behind on your blogs, but I would love to know what is making you think big!

  8. I know I am new to your blog but you sound like a very organized person who is well planned- I LOVE it! I'm excited to see where your Boston training takes you... :-) As far as higher mileage, if you have the time and your body seems to be handling it ok- I say go for it and try it out. I know I plan to someday when my kids are a little older and my body is stronger... Right now I am working on my core too. 15 minutes a day of push-ups and sit-ups. It's been 29 days straight and I can already tell a difference. Hopefully I can keep the streak going!

  9. Talking about Rugby injuries - The Queensland Reds (the state rugby team) used to do strength training at the gym I went to. During the playing season there was always a different one turning up with a new injury - broken arms, dislocated shoulders, stitches in the forehead, broken noses. It's got to be one of the biggest injury-producing game around.

    Sounds like you're arming yourself with plenty of knowledge before you tackle your marathon. And it sounds like your going cautiously. I'm sure you'll do great.

  10. This all Looks really good A!I agree, I am curious to try higher mileage since I have no idea how my body will respond to it, but I have ZERO desire to hit 80miles this time around;) you go girl!
    I also started Jillian b/c so many of my friends are doing it and I need somethign fast and at home. I want to do more strength training, but not sure how much time I will have:/ You are going to do GREAT at Boston! I'm excited for you to start training!

  11. ah Jillian - I love to hate her! Her workouts are always hard, but definitely get results. You are smart to figure out a plan that works for your situation. I've never done as high of mileage as you are planning, mostly because of the time issue. It will be great to follow along in your training!

  12. Adrienne, current I am reading Run Faster by Brad Hudson and some of the Jack Daniels' Running Formula. I am also continually learning from friends that are wise and that give good advice, write great blogs and that have been running for awhile. :)

  13. I love the pre-marathon training phase. It always gets me super rev'ed up, excited, and ready to train. I typically create my program, I typically keep the basics, but change it up, and try new things to keep it fresh. create a plan YOU can get excited about - that's the most important thing for me.

    which Jillian dvd do you do?
    you probably noticed, but I'm loving, and getting super results from Supreme 90 day. I think it's an excellent supplement to my running. love variety, so let me know about the jillian thing. I have one of her yoga dvds that I like. I also, really like her podcasts. Good info. and great to listen to while running all of those miles.

  14. I love your balanced approach, Amanda. Your blog is one of my favorites: so real and relatable to me as a SAHM myself. Thank you!

  15. Thanks Amanda! I need to beef up my running library.

  16. Jill, glad I seem like I have a Balanced approach...I try but certainly something I work at or I can get very unbalanced very quickly.

    I do the trouble zones tape...I don't have any big trouble zones but I really LOVE this video for an overall body workout. Totally gets results! Maybe I will get her yoga video. :)

  17. Ohhh...Don't remind me of poke your eyes out treadmill mode. Coming soon...Easy steady pace the hardest. I am like a button junkie who can't stop pressing them so I hate easy runs. SO MONOTONOUS.

    Great running week!! I can't imagine pushing a double jogger around! Kudos to you for getting it done!

    You seem to be getting things together really well here! I'm loving this pre plan processing planning phase!!! Share some of what your coaches had you doing with weights/strength!!!!

    Hope you had a great Rugby reunion weekend!!

  18. Sounds like a good plan! I think doing weight training at least once a week is good. I neglected it last time and now I am hurt. I think there is a connection. Can't wait to hear what plan works for you!

  19. Yup, it is all about what is working for you, which is SO HARD because one always wants to measure up to what others are doing. I had issues with this during my try training.

    Yes, share the weight training routine. For me, when I am training hard, I only manage like 20 min/week of leg lifts/pilates moves/abs. More would be bette, certainly. My question is always: what is the best for my training hour? Run, strength, etc.

    If all fails, there will be lots of the Jack Daniels that Gracie is talking about. LOL. Boston has been a BAD course for me historically, some I am keeping my expectations low. You, on the other hand, did great there!

  20. Wow! I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to be able to run that much! Can I borrow your legs please?

  21. I can't wait to hear how your training goes. There are so many great marathon training plans out there to choose from, its a tough decision. 80 miles a week is a great goal, I know that you will easily attain that mileage (especially once you get your treadmill). I don't know if I could ever run 80 miles in a week...50 miles is pushing it for me. Then again, I have never tried super high mileage before either. I just know that you are going to do AWESOME!

  22. I would love to run as much as you! I've said it before. But alas, my knees and my left hip flexor would throw a serious strike if I pushed myself over 25 miles a week. Plus, I'm a strength training girl. I have to include that 2 times a week. Jillian and I have become great workout buds since shopping for a new gym has taken a tad bit longer than expected.
    Keep up the great work!!! As always, your blog is a great read!

  23. I love the run faster plans! I am excited to follow your Boston training this winter!

  24. Great plan. You obviously know your body better than any training plan out there. You'll do the right thing! I do think jumping from 60 to 80 is alot for one training cycle, But you already mentioned that. If your not injury prone you'll be ok. Especailly since you'll have such a great base and strong core!

  25. In order to make your abs protrude you need to thicken those squares with weighted abdominal exercise. Try this program for a month and see how you can tighten your mid section in now time by incorporating the suggestions above.