Definitely off to a great start for an attempt to run streak 2016!
The run tonight brings me to a total of 132.2 miles for the month – my best since 140.1 in August 2015. I only had 3 months greater than 132.2 in 2015 (March, May and August) – granted I had 11 months greater than that in 2014, Feb being the only one with less at 104.91 miles. So this was a great start but looking at things realistically I know that I still have a long way to go to get back to my previous heights.
Run streaks can be pretty interesting – they can break you and drive you into the ground if you aren’t careful but they can also build your resilience. So how am I doing so far? Not too bad actually – not broken yet anyway. I have seen solid recovery in endurance and a bit in speed as well. And I am still enthused about continuing the streak – which speaks volumes as well.
So how did it work for me and how did I manage to stay healthy? Getting better at long distance running involves a few basic things in my mind:
- dedicated speed work
How do you get the third one when you never take a day off? By remembering that not every run needs to be a sprint or a death march and being willing to do a light jog of a mile some days or even doing run/walk cycles to work the legs differently than a straight run. Basically – if I was tired I would just make sure I got on the treadmill do to do a mile and sometimes that mile would turn into 4 or 5 because the tiredness was just mental (this is the building the resilience thing). And sometimes that mile would just be a mile and when it was the trick was remembering that it was ok, part of the plan and would mean I would be stronger the next day.
I also knew going into this that i had a lot of rebuilding to do so I didn’t plan on doing 3 and 4 hour long, slow sessions this month and not beating myself up in that way probably helped me keep healthy and strong. These runs will need to come back into the mix as I start getting back up to marathon training levels and we will see how they impact my energy levels and enthusiasm at that point.
The runs this month by the numbers:
101.2 miles inside on the treadmill – 31.18 miles outside. Total mileage should swing more toward the outside side of things but some viciously cold weather this month kept me inside on some of the weekends. Also most of my long, slow runs are done outside and if I haven’t added those in the mix yet that skews the numbers a bit.
I never did more than 1 rest day (1 mile day) in a row – that is a pretty good sign in itself that my energy and enthusiasm were strong.
There longest runs were in the 9-10 mile range and there weren’t many of those – they went well but I was very conscious of making sure I didn’t burn out.
So what of February? It should be interesting keeping the run streak going as there are a couple weeks of vacation/travel coming up. We have a few days of road travel planned and I know at least one of the hotels we are staying at has good treadmills so those days should be straightforward to get the runs in. There are also flight days – both days have flights late enough that I should be able to get my run in before leaving the hotel. The other days? The real days of the vacation? Well the run trail at Port Orleans Riverside at Disney World are pretty damned good. As long as I can get up before the kids each morning, a peaceful mile or 2 should be more than possible.
That means I should be able to keep the run streak going but 10-20 milers are very unlikely for most of the month. So don’t expect huge mileage for the month but I will do what I can to continue this 2016 run streak!
Yay! I think I deserve a beer.