Take It and Run Thursday has been on hiatus for a couple of weeks while the Runners Lounge changed the format a little. But this week we are off to a new start and Erin posted the question of how we much we run when no race looms is on the horizon that keeps us enslaved has us enjoy a strict specific training plan.
I am one of those runners who always sticks to a basic running routine come hell or high water. The only time I actually vary this routine is when I do train for a marathon and have to turn it up a notch. Although I have a basic weekly routine that does not mean I go for the exact same old run every single day but rather that I try to vary the mileage, tempo, terrain from one day to the next. I have to admit here that I would actually be happy just to do the same run every day and not get bored (don’t ask!) but over the years I have learned that variety is a good thing and keeps one from getting into the rut of non-improvement.
This is what a typical week looks like:
Monday: Intervals on the treadmill for 5 – 6 miles
Tuesday: easy 5 miles
Wednesday (morning): longer tempo run for 6 – 10 miles
(Wednesday night September – June: track training – fartlecks for 5 miles)
Thursday: easy 5 miles
Friday: uphill run on the treadmill for 5 – 8 miles (during the winter I do these runs on the trail)
Sunday: easy 5 miles
The days are interchangeable depending what else goes on in my life but I do stick with this program more or less in addition to twice daily walks with Nelson, a Tuesday afternoon Strength&Endurance Class and Thursday afternoon weight training. Also depending on what my next race will be I try to intensify certain runs. When I have a 5k ahead of me I will incorporate more tempo runs and maybe skip the uphill run. Right now I am preparing for my all time favorite race on Labor Day weekend followed by another uphill race in October so the uphill runs are most important. After October I will cut back on the uphill runs and focus more on increasing the mileage of the weekly long run on preparation for a half marathon in December. I am not that concerned with long runs while training for Pier-to-Peak as the elevation of 3996 feet in 13 miles blows the distance of the race clear out of the water. Try it! I dare you!
So, to answer Erin’s question of how I decide how long/far I run it all depends on what lies ahead. If no races are on the calendar I just do my regular weekly routine of various runs, usually not exceeding 10 miles on the long run. If a race is coming up I vary this routine to accommodate the rigors of the race.
Today’s Running Tip: Keeping a basic fitness level is a good thing!
Keeping up with a basic routine of runs between races will help you once you start training for a half or full marathon again. It is important to recover properly after a marathon but as soon as you feel up to it again you should slowly get back into following a regular running schedule. This will assure that you are not starting at square one when your training begins again.