My coach had me run a 100 mile training week as part of my preparation for the Mt. Charleston Marathon in Las Vegas on April 29th. I decided I would take one picture of each run to document how I’m able to break up 100 miles into 6 days of training (I always take a rest day on Sunday).
For some people, one hundred miles in a week is a crazy amount of miles, and you are right. It is a little crazy. But as I finished up my long run Saturday, completing my 100 miles, I realized that there were runners competing in the Zion 100 that very minute. They ran in a day and a half, what took me a week to finish, and it reaffirmed a truth I’ve learned over the years, when it comes to running, speed and distance are relative words.
Most Monday mornings I choose the treadmill. Because of my training, my legs are typically still recovering from a Saturday long run. With the the extra cushioning and shock absorption that a treadmill provides, it’s perfect for recovery miles. And yes, I dressed myself, stripes, florals, and a hamstring sleeve…oh my!
These afternoon miles came together really well, but that doesn’t always happen. At the end of a long teaching day, it’s challenging to get out and run more miles. Most afternoons I just have to take it a mile at a time. I listened to the book, “The Art of Mental Training” while running and that helped the miles go by really quickly.
Tuesday is always a tempo run or a speed work day, and it’s usually the most challenging workout of the week. This particular run was a progression workout of 5 mile repeats, each one getting progressively faster.
My easy afternoon miles on Tuesday always feel like the reward of that morning’s hard work. My legs always thank me the next day if I get out and get them moving again after a hard workout. I finished listening to “The Art of Mental Training,” it had great insight and advice.
These were S-L-O-W miles. On Wednesdays I’m still recovering from Tuesday’s hard workout and it’s the third consecutive morning that I’ve woken up at 3:30 a.m. so that I can be running by 4:15 a.m. It’s always one of the tougher days because it’s a mental battle. I still had 4 afternoon miles scheduled for later that day, so I went home to put dinner in the oven, and I planned on hopping back on the treadmill. However, I sat on the couch and promptly fell asleep. Thankfully the timer woke me up. Sometimes rest is the best answer.
This was another workout from my coach. It was two, 20 minute sets run at a steady state pace which means some effort, but not uncomfortable. I stayed right where I needed to be.
Honestly, these were just-get-them-done miles and if watching the Real Housewives of New York makes them go by faster, then I’m happily climbing aboard the too much wine, more drama than you know what to do with, stuff your face with fillers-Ramona-coaster.
Friday was the first day of Easter Break in St. George, so I didn’t have to wake up early to be to school. I took full advantage of sleeping in and watched a really interesting documentary called, “Betting on Zero.” It held my attention through the run. These were also easy paced miles.
This was the bulk of the work for the week, it was a 25 mile run with 12 miles at marathon goal pace. The sun was just starting to come up over the mountains and I’m so glad we ran into some other runners who were willing to take our picture (thank you girls!). I couldn’t be more grateful for my running friends. There is nothing more helpful for successful training to come together than people who share your passions and goals. We’ve had hard runs, happy runs, windy runs, freezing cold runs, dark and early runs, soaking wet runs, too many bathroom stop runs, and laugh till we cry runs. I am so thankful that for every mile, I had their support, their friendship, and their help. We really are stronger together.
The official results of the week:
As I reflected on this week of training, I had a few takeaways that I wanted to share.
- I wear a lot of Procompression socks! I believe that compression gear really helps, especially when you’re training hard. All of the small things you can do to speed up recovery and help your body repair actually add up to big things.
- I run a lot of miles on the treadmill. I think it’s also an important part of recovery. The extra shock absorption and cushioning helps save my muscles and joints from pounding them out on the asphalt every day.
- I run a lot of easy paced miles which for me is between an 8 and an 8:30. In fact, there are only 2-3 times each week that I’m pushing through a really tough workout.
- Double runs are critical for high mileage weeks. For me they keep my muscles from getting tight and stiff between runs.
- We go farther together. There is no way I would be motivated by myself to do this kind of training day after day and week after week. Finding runners who share your goals and are even a bit faster than you are some of the best ways to improve your running.
Disclaimer: I’m certainly not advocating that all marathon training plans needs to have high miles. I am coached by Forca Running and high miles are part of my specific training plan. I have many friends who run very successful marathons and average anywhere from 40 to 60 miles per week. Running is always about finding what works best for you.
What’s your weekly mile average?
Are most of your runs on the road or on the treadmill?
How many pairs of compression socks do you own?
What’s your “guilty pleasure” treadmill/TV show?