For the first time in a long time, I’m embarking on an aggressive training plan. I don’t think I’ve put in consecutive 20+ mileage weeks since I was actively training for a full marathon. I forgot how time-consuming it is.
And unlike when I was training for a full marathon, I now have two young kids to factor into the equation, and I find it’s logistically impossible to squeeze multiple hour-long runs into the work week. I can’t muster that many miles in the morning (nor am I capable of waking up that early), it’s too hot to run big miles over the lunch hour, and if I wait until the kids are in bed, I’m infringing on my own bedtime.
However, all is not lost. I don’t have to scrap my plan. I just need to break up my miles.
One of the things I learned during the holiday running streak is that “recovery days” don’t necessarily mean ceasing running entirely. Sure, it means I’m running fatigued some days, but when you’re racking up a lot of mileage, fatigue is a given, anyway.
Here’s an example of how one week plays out:
|Day of the Week||Traditional Plan||Break Up Plan|
|Monday||4 miles||4 miles|
|Wednesday||4 miles||3 miles|
|Thursday||6 miles||3 miles|
|Saturday||5K Race||5K Race|
|Sunday||6 miles||5 miles|
Rather than log two 6-milers, which take an hour a pop, I split them into smaller increments. At the end of the day, er, week, I will still have logged the same mileage, but I will have done so in smaller chunks that are easier to bite off, considering my hectic schedule.
Now, there are certain runs that I strongly believe you should not break up. For a marathon, it’s the 20-miler, and for the half marathon, it’s the 12-miler. But for all of those in-between runs? Just find a way to get them in. Find a way to make your your training plan work for you. After all, it’s your race, so you should train for it your way. — Aidz