Is it better the burn out or fade away.

After another 100 mile week I am now faced with the prospect of going for a three-peat or having a ‘down week’ to let my body recover. But does my body need time to recover or has it adapted to the new mileage and has this then become the norm. ? This links to the top 3 Golden Rules I abide to regarding distance , pace and not getting injured. Juggling these three is a fine balancing act and get it wrong you’ll be spending time on the sidelines watching all your fitness drain away, a runners worst nightmare.

I’m a big ‘listen to your body’ believer and also adding distance is possible if you have easy runs and avoid two hard sessions in a row. Raf Baugh, the Running Centre owner,  ( http://therunningcentre.com.au )is a big advocate of big distance and doesn’t consider any mileage to be ‘junk miles’. As far as he is concerned they are all good, even the slow recovery ones. Taking this onboard I have made my second run of the day (how did this become the norm?) a slow one and must admit to enjoying the freedom of just running on heart rate rather than chasing pace and being constrained by the 1k Garmin splits. To this end I have managed a massive block of training since June but understand I am on a tightrope. This is sustainable for the moment as I train for the Perth Masters in October/November this year but must admit to looking forward to a month or two of ‘normal’ 100k a week running later in the year. (and maybe even a glass of red for Christmas)

This tightrope of distance, pace and avoiding injury is one all runners must walk and I know so many who have trained so hard for events and at the last minute been struck down with injury. Truth be told I don’t even like typing the word injury. !! Damn that’s twice I’ve typed it in one paragraph but it needs to be discussed. Every runner, in my opinion, has a distance where they can safely operate in, be this 40k, 100k or more. This is limited by their running gait, general genetics, weight, surface they train on, shoes etc. the list really is endless. Spend too much time outside the ‘safe zone’ and eventually its time to pay the piper.

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. Tristan | 19th Sep 16

    I have been thinking of taking one week every 2 months where I don’t run at all to give my body a bit of a rest – I don’t run anything like the distances that you do but I think it’s probably not a bad thing to do especially as we get older – takes a bit of discipline too – was supposed to be 1st week of October but gonna bring it forward a week as want to do the Ron hill run streak challenge thing – 5k a day everyday of October !

    T

  2. bigkevmatthews@gmail.com | 20th Sep 16

    A week is a bit excessive Tristan, maybe a few days. I couldn’t imagine a week without running, I’d go loopy ! I personally ,probably, run too much and looking at my training over the years I peaked in 2013 running around 80-100k. Now I’m nearly doubling that and can certainly feel the benefit but long term can I continue to run these distances, probably not. As you know yourself there is the small matter of work and the family to take into account, add in sleep and the time disappears. Periodisation is often quoted as a target for training, basically choose a goal work towards it, achieve the goal then take some time off before choosing your next goal. Works for me, I just never have any time without a goal.

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