Sorry if this post is unusually navel-gazing of me, but I’ve got lots of friends who have a lot more experience than I do running and I’m hoping to get their feedback. I started running regularly back in May and I’ve been trying hard to increase at a slow, steady pace so that I don’t injure myself (which is what I did when I started running last year, and I hated it). I’ve done 7 weeks now, and everything was going great until I ran into some moderate pain after my run on Saturday.
I iced my leg on Saturday and then again a couple of times on Sunday and today I opted for my circuit training instead of running, but I decided I wanted to get a more organized plan. I was partly inspired by this article about a Richmond area woman who is running the Tour de France route. No worries, I’m not planning any extreme events because I also read this article about how extreme endurance running can actually cause trauma to your heart. My main goal–other than the sheer love of running–is to be live a long, active life so that my kids have me around for a long time. Apparently, somewhere around 20 miles / week is the optimum there, which is lower than I expected. So here’s my plan.
The red line is my actual weekly mileage total for each of the last 7 weeks. The green dotted line is what happens if I apply the pattern that Zoe Ramano used for her training: increasing by 10% a week but using every 4th week as a recovery week. (I don’t know how much she cut mileage for those weeks, I cut mine down to half of the prior week.) The blue dotted line is what I’m planning on running from now on (starting with a recovery week right now to go easy on my leg), and so it pretty much matches the green dotted line from here on out.
I keep the 10% increases going until I hit 36 miles because running 6 miles 6 times a week sounds like fun to me. I figure at some point I’ll probably modify that, maybe by picking up swimming or something for the winter months, but for now it’s just a goal to shoot for. Along the way, I’m cutting back on the total mileage per run and running more frequently during the week. The 17.11 miles I did last week were in three runs, the 17 miles I’m going to do next week will be split across 4, and I’m planning on increasing slowly to 6 days a week while keeping per-run mileage more or less constant before I start to ratchet up the miles again.
So… what do y’all think about this plan?