Sunday, April 27, 2014

Double Trouble

I have run higher weekly mileage before, but only in conjunction with long events like a 100 miler or 10 marathons in 10 days. This week was my highest ever pure training mileage. You would expect me to be knackered as a result, but that's not really the case. In fact, until Saturday I found running well over 100 miles in a week almost ridiculously easy. Using trial and error I did establish a couple of years ago that 85 miles is about the maximum I can do in a week in singles, going for more was counter-productive. I have always wondered what running doubles would do to my running but family life has always stopped me from trying it out.

I have run 13 times this week, Sunday was the only single day, but still the day with the highest mileage. For the most of it, apart from stressing over having enough running gear, I did not encounter any real problems. The legs were a little bit tired on Thursday, but that could be entirely explained by Wednesday's mountain run and indeed, they were back to their normal on Friday. On Saturday evening I was all smug and satisfied. Things were a little bit different on Sunday morning. Even the first step of the run was a bit of a struggle and it only got worse over the next 20 miles. I was highly tempted to call it a day after passing our driveway after 16.5 miles but pure pig-headedness kept me going for an additional out-and-back to make up the distance. I reckon it was good mental training for an ultra runner.

It does teach me that I am probably okay to run high mileage like that if I only do easy runs, but as soon as I add a workout or two I have to be more careful.

Anyway. The kids are all older now than they used to be, which may well make all the difference as far as running in the evening is concerned, but next week they're back in school and it remains to be seen if running twice a week is still compatible with family life. I certainly hope so. I felt incredibly strong at times and I could knock out 7-minute miles on Saturday while running comfortably relaxed with the HR still in the 140s. Wow.

It sure helps to have a very supportive wife! Runners, choose your spouse carefully and you might get as lucky as I am.

The biggest event of the week was undoubtedly the twins' 13th birthday. I pointed out to Niamh that we will now have at least one teenager in the family for the next 13 years, a thought that fills us both with dread and horror, but I guess we just have to take it one little bit at a time. Just like running an ultra, then. As if to prove the point, we already had to deal with a massive teenage tantrum each. They're surprisingly similar to toddler tantrums though, so it's nothing new.
24 Apr
am: 10 miles, 1:17:06, 7:43 pace, HR 139
pm: 5 miles, 36:26, 7:17 pace, HR 144
25 Apr
am: 10 miles, 1:16:15, 7:37 pace, HR 136
pm: 5 miles, 36:20, 7:16 pace, HR 140
26 Apr
am: 10 miles, 1:12:05, 7:12 pace, HR 145, incl. 8 miles @ 7:00 pace (HR 149)
pm: 5+ miles, 36:57, 7:19 pace, HR 140
27 Apr
20 miles, 2:33:35, 7:40 pace, HR 154
Weekly Mileage: 112+ miles


  1. That's true about the family support. Once you have kids, your spouse must be on board; otherwise, daily doubles and long runs are out of the question...

  2. Well done sir on breaking 100+ miles in a normal running week. Definitely good to know your limits. If you can keep at least 2-3 of the doubles it will more than likely boost your fitness and strengthen evening more the legs. Great mental training as you say as well.

    On a separate note you have reminded me to update my blog :-)

  3. Very inspiring training Thomas. I managed 83miles this week but only 4 double days & I'm not used to that high milage. I find my legs are heavy as Im trying to mix it up hill sprints, tempos, & speedwork. I'm keeping a very close eye on that fine line between fatiugue & injury. I've been told it is a good idea to introduce a low milage week every third week! What's your thoughts on this? Also any tips on easing the effects of heavy legs! Apart from loads of protien & sleep. Too many hours logged in the garden ain't doing me any favours I suppose, Like yourself a few weeks back :-)

    1. I know some people cut back their mileage every 3 or 4 weeks, but I don't. I think the best way of training is to run as consistently as you can.

      The best way to handle high mileage is to get fit enough :)

  4. Hey Thomas, Where do you get your supply of S! Caps? I can't seem to source them in Ireland at all. Do you just order them directly on the net from the manufacturer? Your training is just amazing, cheers


  5. The only problem with your spouse is the good cooking could lead to an increase in racing weight. Nice going with the high mileage. There are gains to be had there if you could keep it up. Easier said than done of course.

  6. I saw your mileage on dailymile and wondered if I missed a long race somewhere :) Well done! My son turned 13 on 12 March this year. At least his 1st month or so as teenager was still pretty normal...