Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Too much, too soon?

On Monday I kicked off the month with a rest day and a great session with my physiotherapist (aka Dr. Pain, aka Ron). I've mentioned before that he offers so much more than PT, and has become a coach and confidant for both hubs and I.

We talked a lot about training and goals, how I'm feeling and what's coming up in the next several weeks. We came to the conclusion that I may be running a little bit too much mileage too soon. I'm planning to peak around 100K/week and I already ran 94+ last week. I was able to increase quickly because I maintained such a strong base in the "off season", but that doesn't necessarily mean I need to be running this much already.

I've found myself feeling really pumped up and motivated, wanting to push it. I know my body handles the mileage well but I need to remember that I am also transitioning from one workout per week to two, plus long runs (some with MRP).

There are still 14+ weeks of training ahead and there is a realistic concern of "peaking too early" - not to mention burn-out or injury. I want to make sure I am still feeling fresh(ish) at the end of this cycle and in order to accomplish that, I think some concessions need to be made.

Ron asked me to remember this quote, which is something I needed to hear:

"Don't let your enthusiasm cloud your judgment."

My "other" coach suggested an alternate:


"Don't let your ego get in the way of your common sense!"

Sometimes we all need a gentle reminder.

The plan is to back off the mileage slightly (closer to 50 miles) and concentrate on nailing my workouts. I'm also going to try eliminating my Saturday run for now and focusing on Bootcamp that day. I know I will benefit from the strength/cross training and I think it's too much to attempting running + Bootcamp the day before my long run. Ten weeks out (about a month from now) I will switch back to 6 days, build the mileage again and hang out at my peak for several weeks.

I'm feeling really good about everything we talked about, and my muscles are happy too! As usual, Ron was doing some serious deep tissue work on my legs throughout the conversation. Good thing I can wince and talk at the same time.

As always, your thoughts are most welcome/appreciated!

38 comments:

Emily said...

I LOVE that first quote. I am going to hang it above my bed!!! BE SMART. As a pro at getting injured, I can assure you that smart choices always win. Find some good cross training to help keep you going without risking injury.

Stacey said...

Less is sometimes better. I love the quotes! Happy Wednesday!

Teamarcia said...

Ron sounds very wise. 14+ weeks is a long row to hoe. Less is more sometimes. But I do love your enthusiasm!

Denise said...

I think backing off is a good idea. even if you're feeling good, you gotta be careful, anything can sneak up on you. and even if it's not an injury, you want to stay mentally sharp, too.

Deb said...

It sounds like a good plan. I love both the quotes, by the way. It's easy to get carried away when you're on a roll. No need to end the roll too soon.

sisterbison said...

It's always best to error on the side of caution. Hope you don't go stir-crazy, though, by cutting your mileage:) I know when I get below a certain weekly mileage I don't feel as good....but I've never ran more than 50 miles in a week before so you are way out of my league:)

Val
sisterbison.blogspot.com

Lisa said...

sounds like good advice.

J said...

Concentrating on hitting your workouts is key. I think since you are doing such a long training plan you can reduce now to 5 days a week and then bump up to 6. 6 days a week for 14 more weeks could be really taxing on your body. I know that I enjoy a 5 day run week, and sometimes throw in a sixth. Its all about comfort but I agree - cutting back a bit now may be helpful in the future!

Lily on the Road said...

Thank goodness you heard it from Ron and "the other coach", because if you hadn't, you were going to hear it from me! LOL..

Glad you have those two in your corner, because you will succeed with all you do!

Marci said...

I think its a smart idea. Even if your body handles mileage well, you can have mental burnout as well. I need a Dr.Pain of my own! :)

misszippy said...

Sage advice and good for you for following it.

Heather said...

Sounds like a smart, good plan. And still a lot of miles!

Nicole said...

Less is more... thats what i keep telling myself!!!

love the quotes- i'm a quote freak!

Kerrie T. said...

Good reminders! Sounds like a great plan. :)

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

i realized my running has sort of taken on it's own plan lately...for awhile it was all about speed, then my body just wanted some mileage and now I'm working back in to a more stable mix of both.

sounds like you are being very smart as are those around you!

Runners Fuel said...

Great plan! Defintly don't want an injury to make an apperance.

Robin said...

Sounds like good advice and a sound plan!

Julie D. said...

great quotes! I think your body will thank you for sure! Looks like a great plan!

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

GOOD thinking!! I know that my body cant take the miles, maybe yours can but you have so much time.... build up and give yourself a little rest right now..

Hugs to GOOD advise..

Allie @ The Constant Pursuit said...

Definitely good advice. I know I am reminding myself of that as well right now!

Laura said...

This is great advice and glad you are thinking along these lines. Now is the time to experiment.

teacherwoman said...

"Don't let your enthusiasm cloud your judgment." <---- LOVE this quote!

Jess said...

It does seem like wise advice, but if you're feeling good and handling the mileage well, why not?

Bethany + Ryan said...

i think backing off a little can only help you in the long run, no pun intended. You do run A LOT. I probably won't even get to 50 miles a week for my Boston training! As long as you are feeling good tho, but it's so important that come race day you feel fresh and ready to go without the slightest bit of leftover fatigue! You really stick to your trianing so well!

ajh said...

Good post! Love the two quotes! Take care of yourself.

Emz said...

Love both of those quotes.
Awesome.

Amy said...

I love both of the quotes. It sounds like good advice, and even better, you sound comfortable and confident with your new plan.

Gotta Run..Gotta Ride said...

"gentle reminders" are sometimes HARD to listen to. you are a smart girl and the new plan will benefit you greatly!

Morgan said...

Gentle reminders always come from the people most concerned about our well being. Great quotes! Keep up the good work and keep on training smart!

Hannah said...

I think you are smart to listen to your body, and to back off and keep those great quotes in mind.

My mileage has increased a TON since starting the training for my ultras, and even so, if at some point I feel the need to change things up and reduce mileage in some way, I will absolutely do that. It is tough to find that balance of getting enough miles to get my body ready for the pounding, as well as not doing more than my body can handle at this point.

Hang in there - you're doing great.

yumke said...

Hey! I was catching up on your blogging and my eyes almost popped out looking at your weekly mileage last week! 58 miles with 14 weeks to go!

You have to be careful about training for a peak. With your mileage, you're either ramping up to a very ambitious 65-70 mile weeks (which I've done and, hm, probably won't do until a summer). If you feel comfortable doing 55 mile weeks and you think your body can handle it, that's great. If you want to peak at 55 miles, then it doesn't make sense to ramp up to that fitness.

Part of the long distance training (and I know you are a marathoner) is you train for slow periods, ramping up periods, periods where you work on pace or speed or endurance. The danger of feeling so good at your mileage is that you're actually on target for a March marathon, not one two months later.

So we cansee you down the road feeling awesome for March and ATB (you're doing that) but possibly it will come to haunt you in the first days of spring. The danger is while a lot of May marathoners hit their stride in late March and early April, you will have already hit a peak.

Peaking is an interesting idea. In most fall marathons, I feel like I am peaking six weeks from the marathon, and as you enter the taper, you have pushed yourself even beyond that. The recovery from the taper gives you one last long blast known as race day.

I've tried to do two peak marathons within a month of each other, and I find that yes, you can only hold a peak for a 6-8 week period. The second marathon invariably my body is recovering.

Anyways, long post but I say back off. If anything, give away distance midweek for quality. Sure, two 10-12 milers during the weekday is great, but also one 11 miler and then 6 miles with four at tempo is just as much quality, and maybe even hardens up the spirit.

Cynthia O'H said...

Running with our heads is one of the hardest things that we have to do.

Pulling some miles off your weeks seems like a good thing to do now; you don't want to give away the big event because you listened to your heart, not your head.

Richelle said...

I know if I do too much too soon, I tend to get injured. I think that the cross training will help you a lot, so I'd say cut back on the mileage.

dietitianontherun.com said...

Whew, I wish I had read this two weeks ago ;) I definitely jumped RIGHT back in, way too soon. My body handled it inititally, but thanks to a head-cold, cold temps and too many miles, I realized that mistake. Luckily, injuries are being averted (I hope), but it's always good to have these reminders!

dietitianontherun.com said...

Whew, I wish I had read this two weeks ago ;) I definitely jumped RIGHT back in, way too soon. My body handled it inititally, but thanks to a head-cold, cold temps and too many miles, I realized that mistake. Luckily, injuries are being averted (I hope), but it's always good to have these reminders!

Char said...

I agree with your PT - it's important to give yourself enough recovery time too. I can tell you from experience that you DO NOT want to burn out.

TNTcoach Ken said...

Don't listen to them, listen to a complete stranger that blogs stupid stuff on an almost daily basis! Remember, the Olympics are a year away....... Run Forrest run.

the dawn said...

i agree completely. i get nervous about that kind of stuff too...peaking and then either getting injured or just plain burning out.

you are the best judge of your body and mind. do what you know you will be most comfortable with.