My last 4 weeks of mileage are as follows: 67, 92, 100, 92. As you can see that is a significant jump from the first week to the second. I would never recommend this to anybody unless they have been at or significantly above the mileage they are jumping to. My reason for jumping up this much in mileage is pretty simple. The first week of these four was finals week at school and I had projects, papers, and tests. I was unable to double and sleep was near the bottom of my priority list. The first 92 is the first week of winter vacation. I was motivated, the weather was the best it has ever been at this time and I really didn't have much going on. I felt great for that week and the week of 100 as well. However, in this final week of 92 I began to feel the wear and tear of higher mileage and the big jump. In this 4th week I had accumulated 80 miles after 5 days, ran an easy 10 on the 6th, and had a nice long run planned for the final day of the week which would have put me between 105 and 110 miles. That day I felt more tired than usual, more hungry, and less motivated. However, the thought of another triple digit week was too appealing so I started out the door. As I ran I realized that I had made a mistake. I didn't need to run over 100 miles for the second week in a row, I needed an easier, shorter effort. I had put in the work and it was time for the other half of becoming a faster runner.
Here comes the important part of the story. Listen to your body! There is only one thing that knows when you need to push the intensity or volume of your training or on the other hand, take hold of the reins and slow it down. That person is you. Not Jack Daniels, Arthur Lydiard, Mark Wetmore, Alberto Salazar, Jerry Schumacher, your own coach, or anybody else. Sometimes it is better to sleep a little more instead of getting that 5 miles in the morning. Sometimes it is better to run 7:30 pace instead of 6:15. My point is, running slower or shorter here and there when you feel you need it isn't a sign of weakness. Often, your body needs the rest and recovery in order to take steps forward. The graph below shows that running breaks you down. That is only one step of the process to become better. The other part is recovery.
|Compensation Curve Graph|