Monday, October 3, 2011

Anatomy of a 70 mile week


Since embarking on my “bye bye family, I’m gonna Boston Qualify!” mission, I’ve had a lot of people come up and comment something to the effect of: Seriously you’re too skinny, eat a cheeseburger.  HOW do you run 70 miles per week!?  The answer I always give is as easy as selling toothbrushes to hillbillies (simple, yet impossible): one mile at a time.

Truth is, there is nothing special about running 30, 70 or even 80 miles per week.  All it takes is time, a lot of patience, a little playing with listening to your body, and a very understanding family that doesn’t mind snuggling with a pillow that has my picture taped to the top.  Last week, I ran 70 miles – and this is how it breaks down.

First, each and every day starts at 4:15.  EVERY day.  Even when I’m “only” running 5 miles.  The reason is twofold.  First, I find that since I’m a guy I’m big on boobs routines.  Second, if I’m getting up that early even on the short days, I get to replace the “daddy pillow” with my flesh sack self and hang out with my family before I have to go to work.

Second, when I am not running, sleeping, or working, I am eating (and therefore pooping) or thinking about eating.  As I sit here typing this, it is 9am on a Monday morning.  Ate breakfast 2 hours ago and I could eat again.  Not a snack, a FULL meal.  If I burn 1800 calories a day normally, I need around 3000 to sustain myself during this kind of load.  While fun at first, as I was moping around the house on Saturday eating left over Worthers Originals candies (not kidding) while trying to find an afternoon “snack” (meal) it was rather annoying.  (I do realize this is sort of like complaining about having too much money, being too good looking, or having too big of man bits)

Here is the way the week shakes out.  I’m using a Pete Pfitzinger plan slightly modified for my own sanity and running style. Looking back, I seemed to be having a rather flat week with more than a few runs where I complained about tired legs.  I copied the brief descriptions from Daily Mile which provide a bit of what I was feeling.

Monday: 10 mile track w/ 6x1000M @5K pace (Total Miles ran – 10) 07:53 pace
6x1000 @ 5K pace. I've never done 1000s before, if you never have either, let me tell you... they were HARD! Averaged exactly 6:00 pace on them but it felt like I was sprinting each one. Even now, 8 hours later my legs are SORE!

Tuesday: 15 mile mid week long (Total miles ran - 25)  07:54 pace
Legs felt TIRED towards the end. Kind of like little people had attached themselves and wouldn't let go.

Wednesday: 6 miles recovery am, 4 miles recovery pm (total miles ran – 35)
AM Run: I finally decided to give in to my training plan and run twice in one day. Part one of recovery run went ok.... 08:04 pace
PM Run: Night running SUCKS! Side cramps, dry mouth, bugs.... I don't know how people do this. 08:27 pace

Thursday: 12 mile general aerobic run (Total miles ran – 47) 07:53 pace
Another double digit run - and my legs FELT like it (and still do). This week's, and likely part of last week's, miles are starting to catch up with me. On tap tonight: Sleep. Lots of sleep.

Friday: 5 mile recovery (Total Miles Ran – 52) 07:59 pace
Sweeeeeet recovery

Saturday: 18 mile run with 14 at marathon pace of 7:15 REST!

Sunday: REST! 18 mile run with 14 at marathon pace of 7:15 (Total miles ran – 70) 07:26 pace
14 miles at 7:15ish. Half marathon in 1:35:29. Could have ran 3-4 more at that pace....... but more??? hmmm


Why you run so much??
So, that is how last week played out.  Fortunately, I’m on the faster side so it doesn’t take me quite as long to run those miles – 9 hours, 9 minutes.  Honestly, that is about half of what most people train at the peak of Ironman training and certainly less than if I were running 10 or 12 minute miles.  But if you add warm up/cool down / stretching/pooping to that, I'm sure it balloons upwards to 15 hours or so.

The real question that I've asked myself over and over again is simple:  WHY?  I've honestly never tried the uber high mileage approach and wanted to see if it could take my running to the next level.  Will it work?  Maybe.  I feel faster at 13+ miles than I ever have in my life.  But, we all know that feeling good and RACING good are a lot like Siegfried and his white tigers.  Sure, they are buddy buddy most of the time. . . . but every so often "That tiger goes tiger" and bites off a piece of face.  Hopefully, come race day I'll be the one cracking the whip - not getting my face bit off.


 

25 comments:

Zaneta said...

pure craziness! i think the most i've run in a week is like 25-30 lol...
and that makes me want to eat everything in sight lol... I can't imagine how hungry you get! lol

Brent W Peterson said...

Is that right, you come off you 18 mile run to a 10 mile run?

BrianFlash said...

Great job on the training!

I have to say that 1000s are my favorite interval. Mr. Daniels prescribes them to someone in my speediness range and I feel like I get a lot of good out of them.

He would probably suggest you do 1200s which really suck hard...

C2Iowa said...

I like it!

Nobel4Lit said...

Umm, "my flesh sack self"??

I am excited to see how this volume impacts your race... not like I would feel compelled to run more... I'm of the (much) slower breed and would have to quit my job to run that much!

SupermomE12 said...

I ran 65 miles last week and here is how it played out
6 miles easy, 10 mile interval "ladder", seven miles easy-ish, 10 miles with 8 at marathon pace, six easy, six easy, 20 mile long run. I love the mileage and have found that my body feels better on and after the long runs/races the more mileage I am getting in total. So far 65 is the highest I have gone, but I love this mileage. Love the image of you eating and eating and eating. :) All the miles will pay off with a BQ I am sure!!!

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

Way to git 'er dun Adam!

That hunger you are feeling is exactly like what happens for IM training. I had days when dropping 5000 calories was not uncommon!

Can't wait to start the Pfitz plan too (Oct 31st), I have took your advice and ramped up the weekly miles to the mid-50's and am feeling wonderful. This high volume stuff, if done correctly, seems to be the way to go.

Christi said...

Great job Adam!

XLMIC said...

The tiger reference... ow.

Awesome job racking up those miles in a good way, Adam :)

kilax said...

I'm so happy to know that someone gets up earlier than I do (I get up at 4:30). And I hope this method works! It's got to!

And I would love to run 15 in the middle of the week :)

Katie said...

I love the crack of dawn workout. I get cranky without it.

Gracie (Complicated Day) said...

Tough schedule. I've never hit 70 as far as I know...although I've probably come close; I had one week that included two twenties and a half-marathon last year and remember feeling pretty beat and rubbery. Now I'm just tooling around running crappy races and wondering why I'm so slow. Think it's time to kick the mileage and speed up maybe?

Tracy said...

Two days a week, 4:15am is the time I'm just getting to sleep. (Night shift in the ER) I thought about going for a run after I got home from work, but I'm afraid of getting eaten by the wildlife I occasionally encounter at that hour of the morning. (I'm not nearly as fast as you!)

Jackalope said...

11 years in the Army and I still hate getting up that damn early. I honestly wonder if my schedule ever forced me to do that whether or not I would train for anything.

Jill said...

Research shows that seasoned marathoners who can handle the high mileage will perform faster. I think it's going to pay off big for you!

The Banter said...

After your intro, I really was expecting to find more talk about food. That, or boobs.

http://tri-banter.blogspot.com/

Chanda M. DeFoor said...

I was just talking with a friend yesterday about how I think just about anyone could physically train for a marathon, but it is the TIME that's an issue.

I don't know how you do it! Oh, wait, you just told us...

Runners Fuel said...

I hope running the high mileage makes you faster on race day! You got this!

Phyllin' Phat said...

You are nuts. Two reasons...70 miles and 4:15AM wake-up calls!! I set my alarm every morning for 4:30...every morning I wake up at 6am!! Send me some willpower, please!

Tara said...

I think the highest mileage week that I've ever had was 35 miles (plus cross training). I'm not sure my old ass could take a 70 mile week! Good for you!

Running Moose said...

70? Nice. I'm going to need to get there in the Spring and Summer as I'd like to take my distance running to the next level (but not quite where you're at now) as well. Awesome job! Enjoy every single mile!

Jess @ Blonde Ponytail said...

Do your huge "man bits" negatively affect your weekly mileage output, or is the third leg an added running boost?!

ha! Kidding! This is stellar and your commitment to training is unreal!!

Glenn Jones said...

Maybe something you can address in a future post - for us slower runners - is it more important to put in the miles or time on our feet? At some point these is a diminishing point of return where the risk of injury is greater than the marginal conditioning benefits.

william erickson said...

I just finished my first 70 mile week and run twice almost every day.

Mike James said...

I am definitely gonna have to do this one. Real talk.