I’ve run 435 miles in the past 10 weeks since I set my goal to run the Fairfield Half-Marathon on June 23 in 1:20 (would have reached 450 miles were it not for one week of reduced mileage due to illness). I feel I have built a good aerobic base with a mix of training, from 6 mile to 17 mile runs, easy pace to tempo runs, track workouts (intervals, threshold, speed), all run on different surfaces (trails, road, track), and completed strengthening and flexibility sessions (dynamic stretching, core exercises, weight lifting). These 10 weeks have been a fantastic learning experience, and I am having fun and staying healthy. There have been challenging times, especially during the cold, dark days of winter when it was not always inviting to venture outside for a long run or a track workout (the latter often in the high school parking lot because of snow), and I ran much of my mileage at night after work with a headlamp guiding me over roots or potholes. Having a goal helped me stay motivated and focused.
Last week I completed my 3rd week of 50 miles. On Tuesday I pushed the envelope with a 17 mile run in 2:04 (7:15 mile pace) followed by 3 miles with my 11-year old son after his track practice, for a daily total of 20 miles (I ran 6 days, so it was 33% of my weekly volume). What I learned is that my body recovered well within 24 hours, probably due to the fact that this was my 3rd 17-mile run (first time my body recovered in 3-4 days). On Saturday, I ran 3 threshold miles with my son with a target pace of 6:20, and he pushed me to 6:17, 6:16 and 6:13 (with 1:1 recovery breaks).
Having developed a good aerobic base, it is now time for me to include more tempo runs with the goal of lowering my pace to 6:00 minutes/mile half-marathon goal pace and lengthening the distance/duration of my tempo runs. I intend to continue building my aerobic base and increasing my weekly mileage above 50 miles. As mentioned in previous posts, I will focus on my body and my health and be conservative to avoid injuries.