As I move towards my third 100 mile (160k) week I must admit to looking forward to the next block of training which is more race focused, with 5 races in 6 weekends. This will allow me to drop some of the double days (currently on a 18 out of the last 19 days doubling up streak) and concentrate more on shorter faster tempo/threshold runs. I have enjoyed the last 8-10 weeks of high distance running, and even the last 3 weeks of constant double up days, but it is time to drop the mileage.
As a runner with a job, 3 Daughters, Wife, dog, budgie and many goldfish juggling my time these last 3 weeks has proved challenging. I run every lunchtime and then either before work (which means you’re tired in the evening) or after work (which means family life suffers). Running high mileage can be done but you have to sacrifice a few things including any thought of a social life (which is fine), sleep (which is not fine!), TV (I gave Foxtel away !!) and some family time. Also it means you cut corners on some important aspects including stretching or maybe even diet as you are time constrained. On the up side you feel invigorated and your body does adjust to the second run as long as its kept nice and easy; and as I’ve said before the second run has no real objectives bar time on feet so you can really ‘chill’ and just enjoy the freedom of running,
I can see why the Kenyan runners do very little bar run, eat and neither sleep or relax. The extra time recovering would certainly aid the extra running but for us mere mortals we have no time for that extra ‘power nap’ or just sitting around with your feet up taking in the world…. this is why we as normal runners find the double up workload eventually unachievable.
No worries, a few more days and then maybe a day off before a 10k race I have planned a week Sunday before a half marathon the next weekend, a weekend off before another half and then a 5k before the Masters Worlds Marathon November 6th. Looking forward to getting on the old racing bib because nothing fires you up more than competition. It’ll make the last 8-10 weeks worth every minute….
Finally running double days always reminds me of one of my favourite Sebastian Coe quotes about running a double up day on Christmas Day because of his rivalry with Steve Ovett .
“It was a harsh winter (harsh enough to bring down a government) but I ran 12 miles on Christmas morning. It was a hard session and I got home, showered and felt pretty happy with what I had done.
Later that afternoon, sitting back after Christmas lunch, I began to feel uneasy but was not quite sure why. Suddenly it dawned on me. I thought: “I bet [Steve] Ovett’s out there doing his second training session of the day.” I put the kit back on, faced the snow and ice and did a second training session. I ran several miles, including some hill work.
Not long ago, over supper in Melbourne, I told him the story. He laughed. ‘Did you only go out twice that day?’ he asked.”