My mileage is deceptively high this week, because I ran more days than normal. Usually I run five days a week on land, while the other two days are pool-only. But for this period of Monday-Sunday, I ran six days, and only had one pool-only day. Why?
Well....when I'm in the depths of marathon training, I think in terms of 14 day fortnights rather than 7 day weeks (though this blog doggedly adheres to the 7 day format). I structure my fortnight like this:
- Monday1: Pool-only
- Tuesday1: Easy mileage
- Wednesday1: 25x400m
- Thursday1: Pool-only
- Friday1: Easy mileage
- Saturday1: 4-3-2-1 long run
- Sunday1: Pool-only
- Monday2: Easy mileage
- Tuesday2: Track intervals
- Wednesday2: Easy mileage
- Thursday2: Pool-only
- Friday2: Track tempo
- Saturday2: Easy mileage
- Sunday2: 21 mile long run.
(pool-running days in italics, key workouts in bold)
Structured this way, I never run on land more than three days in a row, and I take a pool-only day (aka a "POD") after each of the key workouts - the 21 miler, the 25x400m, and the 4-3-2-1 marathon pace workout/long run. I consider those three workouts to be particularly demanding and high risk, and so I emphasize recovery after each.
So the first 7 day period ends up having three PODs and low land mileage while the subsequent 7 day period has only one POD, and thus higher land mileage.
Per this schedule, I did last week's long run on Saturday, and then took my normal post-long run pool day on Sunday. Because of this, Monday of this week ended up being land, not pool. So only one POD this week, resulting in a high land mileage tally.
If you just looked at the weekly numbers, you might be very concerned at the injury risks inherent in these land mileage fluctuations - bouncing from 50 to 76 and back again. But I think this is an example of where weekly mileage totals aren't the best metric for assessing workload/stress.
I could have forced a land run of 10-11 miles last Sunday after the 4-3-2-1, delaying my POD until Monday. Doing so would have looked more balanced on pixels/paper - with weeks of 61 and 65 miles, respectively. But, in the real world, I'm certain that taking my POD the day after the 4-3-2-1 is the best choice for me in terms of recovering from and absorbing the workout, and is far easier on my body - even if the weekly Monday-Sunday total argues otherwise.
Reviewing my training over the fortnight period - I ran 126 miles plus 61 miles in the pool. Averaged over 2 weeks, that comes to 63 miles on land and 30 miles in the pool each week - exactly what I'm targeting, and a perfect workload for me.
It's a nice reminder to myself to let the training drive the numbers, rather than the other way around.
[As you can see, for one brief moment, I led the weekly mileage chart for my team on Strava. This was an unexpected perk of running early on Monday morning. I couldn't resist screencapping it for posterity (this may never happen again). If you're on Strava, you're not allowed to judge me for this. If you've resisted Strava, judge away.]
[and yes, I am on Strava. However, I am being pretty conservative in whom I'm allowing to follow me. Please don't be hurt if I don't accept your follow request, especially if I don't know you personally.]
Monday: In the morning, 4.5 miles very easy (9:03) to yoga, yoga, and then 6.5 miles very easy home (8:50) plus drills and strides. 3 "miles" pool-running in the evening.
Tuesday: 11 miles, including a track workout of 6x800 in 3:05, 3:01, 2:57, 2:59, 2:58, 2:51. Also did injury prevention work at the gym and 1250 yards of recovery swimming. Massage at night.
Wednesday: In the morning, 8 miles very easy to yoga (9:25), yoga, and then 4 miles very easy (9:02) plus drills and strides. 4 "miles" pool-running and foam rolling in the evening.
Thursday: In the morning, upper body weights and core plus 10 "miles" pool-running with the belt. Another 2 "miles" of pool-running and foam rolling at night.
Friday: 11 miles, including a 4 mile tempo on the track in 25:15 (6:25/6:20/6:24/6:06). Followed with injury prevention work and 1250 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling at night.
Saturday: 10 miles easy (9:07) followed by drills and four strides, and upper body weights and core. Foam rolling and 4 "miles" pool-running in afternoon.
Sunday: 21 miles progressive, split as first 7 averaging 8:52 pace, next 7 averaging 7:38, last 7 averaging 6:49. Followed with injury prevention work and 500 yards recovery swimming. Foam rolling in afternoon.