As I have now completed my miles for 2014 (and Dopey Challenge 2015 taper is in effect), I wanted to review my mileage from this year versus last year’s and see what kind of progress I have made.
Quick highlights for 2014 are:
Winnipeg Police Service Half Marathon (WPS Half) – completed in May with a time of 1:46:00 breaking my old PR of 1:46:11 set in 2002.
Manitoba Marathon completed in June with a time of 4:09:44 breaking my old PR of 4:15:01 set in 2005.
Fort Garry Rotary Half Marathon run in mid-September. (My wife Heather ran this one too)
Followed 2 weeks later by the 12 Hour Lemming Loop Ultra Marathon (49.2785 miles in 12 hours).
And then the WFPS Half (Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Services) 2 weeks after that.
I had 3 months with greater than 200 miles run.
Total year mileage was 1971 miles – a 571 mile increase over 2013. The first 6 months of the year I did 900 miles and then 1071 miles in the last half.
Now onto the real comparison…
Total volume of mileage doesn’t tell the whole story so I picked a few specific data points to compare year over year to give a better sense of how different parts of my training have gone.
As I defined what those data points would be I got to wondering as well how far I have come since I decided to get serious about getting back in shape and losing weight back in Sept 2012. Since September through December covers my Goofy Challenge / Dopey Challenge training periods, I figured it would be interesting to also look at how each of the training periods for 2012, 2013 and 2014 compare.
So with that in mind, I came up with 2 major comparisons to do – all of 2013 versus all of 2014 and September through December for 2012 versus the same periods for 2013 and 2014.
The data points / metrics I wanted to look at were:
- Total mileage for the period (to see just how much work I put in)
- Highest mileage month in the period (to see where I peaked for mileage in the training period)
- Fastest run in the period (to see how much quicker I was getting period to period)
- Longest run in the period (to show endurance)
- # of runs 13.1 miles or greater in length (to show how much of the training time was put into doing long runs)
- # of days where I did more than 1 run to get a total of 13.1 miles or greater
- # of runs over 13.1 miles (to help show the number of very long runs done in the period as an endurance indicator) (for the September to December comparisons I did this as runs greater than 15 miles to show just the number of long slow runs I did)
- # of days where I did more than 1 run to get a total daily mileage greater than 13.1
- # of races run in the period (just for interest sake)
2013 versus 2014 full year comparison:
|Highest mileage month||December||November|
|Highest month mileage||191.19||201.8|
|Fastest run (by average mph)||8.32 mph average 4.16 miles in 30 min||9.0 mph average 5 miles in 33:20|
|longest run (miles)||26.2||49.2785|
|# runs 13.1 or greater||28||36|
|Days with total mileage 13.1 or greater with 2 or more runs in a day||0||4|
|Total days with 13.1 or more (sum)||28||40|
|# runs greater than 13.1||13||20|
|Days with total mileage greater than 13.1 with 2 or more runs in a day||0||3|
|Totals days with mileage greater than 13.1 miles||13||23|
|# of races and types||5 half marathons, 2 full marathons||4 half marathons, 2 full marathons, 1 x 12 hour (49.2785 miles)|
Some quick conclusions here – I trained faster and I did a lot more high mileage training. Both of these showed dividends by breaker half and full distance PRs this year and by completing my first ever ultra marathon.
September through December Goofy Challenge / Dopey Challenge training cycle comparison:
|Highest mileage month||December||December||November|
|Highest month mileage||166.88||191.19||201.8|
|Fastest run (by average mph)||6.99 mph average 5 miles in 42:55||8.32 mph average 4.16 miles in 30 min||8.83 mph average 5 miles in 33:58|
|longest run (miles)||20||20||49.2785|
|# runs 13.1 or greater||6||15||12|
|Days with 2 runs equaling 13.1 miles or greater||0||0||2|
|# days with total mileage 13.1 miles or greater||6||15||14|
|# runs 15 miles or greater||5||5||7|
|# of races and types||0||3 half marathons||2 half marathons, 1 x 12 hour (49.2785 miles)|
Quick thoughts – Significant improvements in 2013 versus 2012 – followed very similar plans for training but I did additional training in the summer of 2013 that put me a better spot going into the training that year. 2014 total mileage is not much higher that 2013 and 2013 shows more runs at 13.1 miles or greater (1 more in 2013 shown – weather and treadmill issues played a factor here though). But 2014 had more runs at greater than 15 miles – so I did more long slow training runs in the 2014 training period. This makes sense to be ready for the Dopey Challenge but also the 12 Hour Lemming Loop ultra.
From September 1, 2012 through December 31st 2012, I lost 22.5 pounds. Through all of 2013 I lost a further 15 pounds. For 2014, my weight has been static within 5 pounds either way of 219.5. All races run in 2014 were run with my weight between 219 and 222 pounds.
Looking through all the numbers, it becomes pretty apparent that I peaked in September 2014 in terms of motivation, speed and proper focus. After having completed the 12 hour race (the Lemming Loop) in early October I was probably a bit tired and burnt out and that showed in my performance at the WFPS Half Marathon in later October.
With weather turning in Winnipeg making outdoor running a slower process than it was before and the treadmill crapping out, speed work went out the window. I had a very impressive mileage month in November but without the speed work to add some excitement it just felt like I was phoning it in – there was no spark there, just a continuous push. December was a slower month as well for the same reasons plus my one knee was aching a bit and it had to be babied for a while.
What this all comes out to, is that I am ready for the Dopey Challenge and I am in better shape going into this challenge than I have ever been for any of the 4 Goofy Challenges I have done. But I definitely could have been in even better shape if either the weather or the treadmill had cooperated a bit more. That is the nature of the game though when you are training for a January race and live in Winnipeg.
Part of me is a bit upset that I didn’t get more speed work in but for the most part I am happy with how I have done and how far I have come. Basically I have laid the foundation for my goal of being able to do the Dopey Challenge and actually enjoy it!