My Spring Plan

Last night I started messing around with how I want the next couple months to look and came up with something fun that makes a bit of sense, too.

Here’s the thought behind it:
1. I’ve been thinking about getting up to 70mpw again but my most important consideration is keeping it fun.
2. I don’t do doubles, I’m a singles gal all the way, which means hitting 70 in a 6-day week requires a string of longer runs.  Doing this weekly would not be fun, it would most definitely become a grind and at this point in time, I’m vehemently anti-grind.  This schedule gives me variety, mileage and works the legs in a couple different combinations (longer runs in 6 days vs a 13-day stretch of shorter).  Good for brain and body.

So starting yesterday:
Week 1: Off,12,9,12,9,13,10 (65mi – basic week)
Week 2: Off,12,10,12,10,14,12 (70mi – longer runs)
Week 3: Off,8,10,7,8,12,9 (54mi – recovery week, shorter runs)
Week 4: 8,10,9,12,9,14,10 (72mi – no rest day but shorter runs achieve the mileage)

This is actually a sublimely easy schedule with room to grow – if  I get the urge in May, I’ll raise the mileage on the lower days.

Now in the past, my highest mileage weeks were a few 82s I hit while marathon training which included 3 workouts/week, so this is a walk in the park.  However, that was 7 days of running with an actual Long Run (20-23) which means the bulk of the other runs were shorter.  This makes Week 2 a slight challenge in its own way, though without quality runs in the mix I can go as slow as I need, so no biggie.

Speaking of, I’m remaining on a hiatus from quality work indefinitely.  I’ll continue with a mix of pacing, but “moderate pace” will continue to be my mainstay.  When I do re-introduce quality workouts, I have my eye on Steady State runs (between Marathon and Half pace…a common training pace before tempos became de rigueur).  Sure, it’s not as effective or efficient as tempos, but it sounds fun and that’s my buzzword for the season.

Oh, one you’ll notice is a seemingly big gap between the recovery week of 54 and the next week of 72, but you have to look at that section as day-to-day, not as weekly amount.  Day-to-day it’s actually a very even 2-week stretch.  Had to clarify since I could see that getting some raised eyebrows.

No Long Runs
The past couple months I was disinterested in reading about running but I’m happily back to my quasi-researching antics.  My mainstay is LetsRun.com where I search through old forum posts to investigate whatever assorted subjects are floating in my head – the latest being mileage and Long Runs.

If you’re marathon training, Long Runs are important – they’re the closest you’ll come to the race time/distance without ever actually getting to 26.2.  But for those of us targeting shorter and who have some mileage already in the pocket, you really don’t win points going overdistance.  That’s not to say 14 will be my absolute longest run from this point forward, I’m sure I’ll go longer for one of 3 reasons: 1. variety, 2. because I’m feeling kick-ass and it’s a beautiful day and 3. to grow the mileage.  But even then, 15-17 is as far as I’d go; what Pfitzinger calls a Mid Long Run, it doesn’t even qualify as a Long Run…eh, semantics.

So anyway, this is the framework that’ll take me through May.  And even though it’s kind of nothing, just an order to some mileage, seeing it laid out gives me a little thrill…like I’m beginning again.

24 thoughts on “My Spring Plan

  1. Anarcha/Darkwave/Cris

    “But for those of us targeting shorter and who have some mileage already in the pocket, you really don’t win points going overdistance. ”

    See, it’s weird, because I have never raced longer than a half, but I’ve always felt that I got a HUGE boost from my 20 milers. My coach won’t let me go longer than 14 right now, and I feel a bit “naked” in a sense.

  2. Flo Post author

    You always say you train like a marathoner though and you do. So when you say you get a boost from 20s, how does that work? How do you separate the 20 from the fact that your mileage is up there? Weren’t you doing 90mpw at one point? That alone would have given you a huge boost and the LR is part of that. I’m interested to see how you respond to your coach’s advice, kinda cool to be nekkid for a bit. ;)

    1. Anarcha/Darkwave/Cris

      I peaked at 90-95; norm was 70-80, with some weeks cutting back to 60. Depended whether I was “base buiding” or not.

      And you’re right, it’s impossible to be totally certain what worked for me. I did feel like I would get a big improvement in my workout paces about 1-2 weeks after a 20 miler, which is what made me think they helped. Also good from a mental strength standpoint.

      Now I’ve just hit 40, in 4 runs per week (with tons of pool-running) and a long run maxing at 14 (he won’t let me go further, since my longest race is 10 miles). And my workouts are easier. It’s working, in that I’m running fairly well given my off time, but it’s hard to say whether it’s working better for me than before.

      If I managed to PR in the 10 miler, then it clearly is working for me. But I really don’t expect to — I look at the workouts I did before my 10 miler PR, and I don’t think I could do them now. But if I don’t PR, or even run substantially slower than my PR, it doesn’t mean that his way isn’t working, but just that I am still on the road back.

      [running Cherry Blossom this weekend. I ran it in 68:02 last year; if I break 70 this year, I’ll consider it a damn good race]

      1. Flo Post author

        True, seems like you need more time from your come-back phase to really be able to compare, though you’re obviously doing wonderfully. I’m so impressed with how quickly you’ve bounced back – your progress is a joy to see, especially for anyone returning from their own injuries, it really gives hope. Good luck this weekend!!!

  3. A muse

    That seems like a recipe for ossification to me. You’ll become a slow plodder like that — very tww.

    1. Flo Post author

      If I were running all slow miles, than I’d agree with you. Been there, done that, won’t again. I’m varying my paces within the runs and from day to day. But we’ll see. I know you disapprove and it makes me sad but I need this time to just run.

    2. Flo Post author

      Just got back from a non-plodding 12 and was thinking about your comment. Do you really think a couple months of steady running for a mileage build will put me in the same league with Tww’s “ossification”? He’s been running for 30 years and takes great pride in his running streaks, the last of which was almost 9 years long. Aren’t you being a little extreme here?

  4. rovatti

    Hey GIM –

    I have done 60-75mpw on 6-7 singles/wk for extended periods in the past.

    The down side, as I’m sure you know, is that there is a pressure for runs to become homogeneous (lots of 10-12mi GA runs). Getting some variety of paces and distances is more challenging (and will be even tougher without the LR to get some miles out of the way).

    I think 2 doubles and one day off (8runs/wk) would be ideal (although I have never done doubles myself…)

    – rovatti

  5. Jim E

    Nice pattern. I’ve been thinking along similar lines – how to get the miles in without doing a 20 and keeping a hard-easy pattern going. One thing though. You might find the cutback week is not necessary if you’re not doing any quality beyond a bit of fartlekking, maybe do it the first cycle and see how you feel after that.

    1. Flo Post author

      The cutback is because I’m not sure how doing six consecutive 10-14s will be for my legs – my ankles can get wonky so it’s insurance. Plus, I thought it’d be kinda nice to get some 7 and 8s in for a change. But yeah, this will be the first thing I’d change in the 2nd month.

  6. Karyn

    i think that’s a solid plan. personally i love both doubles and long runs but i think that doing a nice even pattern to get up there is good for you. the important thing is that you’re going to enjoy doing it. if you don’t like doing doubles then why do them? you’ll just dread them. smart thinking when trying to work within what you know you want. will you be changing up where you run? i know i’m doing lots of the same miles per day right now and have become so bored with the routes. i want my speedwork back to change things up for me hahah!

    1. Flo Post author

      It’s cool that you love doubles, they’re so great for you and got you some fantastic mileage in the last cycle. I really wish I could like them, too. I actually adore my running route and that’s why those 10s, 12s and 14s appeal to me so much, I love where they take me.

  7. Kazz

    You know I’m huge on keeping it fresh when you’ve been in Rutsville…this looks like a great way to log a lot of miles while keeping it FUN. That’s what it’s all about.

    1. Flo Post author

      Thanks Kazz, I appreciate the thumbs up. You’re right FUN is what I’m about with this, though it’s not everyone’s idea of fun, it’s qualifies for mine. :) I just read the great update on FB about your ankle, crossing fingers and toes that the follow-up is all good so you can kill it in Boston.

  8. Ewen

    Looks fine to me. That’s some solid mileage there — the 65/70 mile weeks with a day off, no doubles and no ‘long’ run is definitely solid. I’m doing similar (i.e. just running) but only about 56-60 mile weeks. Agree that it’s good for the brain in that there’s no particular “pressure” to do a “workout” on any particular day.

    Can’t see it having any negative effect on race times unless you were to jump into an 800 and expect to run fast. The fast-twitch will come back with some sprinting and short hills. It’s not as though you’re doing years of plodding. Anyway, 8 minute miles isn’t plodding.

    1. Flo Post author

      Thank you for that, Ewen. I’m not race-ready for anything, much less an 800, lol. But when my body & mind is ready to get down to it, I’ll get back to pushing. In the meantime, enjoy your happy miles, too!

  9. sarah

    I seldom go longer than 13-14 when not in training for long races. Why bother?! Just tires you out for the week. And especially if you’re in chill-out phase for running, better to save yourself for the nice midweek runs. And, frankly, that’s tremendous mileage for someone who is taking it easy. So, word.

    1. Flo Post author

      Exactly, why bother? Unless you enjoy it, then that’s enough reason but otherwise, LRs can suck it. Hey, thanks for the mileage kudos.

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