I find this whole idea of low mileage ultra marathon training to be quite intriguing. Does it really work? Without digging too deeply into the science of the thing, I can see how my body might appreciate this type of approach. You could never accuse me of being a "high mileage runner" to begin with, so why not swing to the other extreme? Why settle being in the middle of the pack as far as weekly running mileage goes?
I have been running slowly for the past couple of weeks, trying to build my aerobic endurance by keeping my HR down. My next race isn't until November, so it's not like I need to jump straight into peak training or anything. I have time to work on building base endurance and minimize my potential for injury. And speaking of injury, my PF is still lurking about in both feet, apparently jostled out of hibernation by my semi consistent running program. Another reason to look at this low mileage training idear? huhmmmmm?
In a nutshell, the plan, or overall concept, I'm looking at goes something like this. Since I'm training for my first 50K in November, and wanting to run another 50K two weeks later followed by an 8 hr run in December, my weekly long runs are most important. My prime directive, if you will, is to run long every week. These runs are long, slow runs, designed to put time on my feet and to build aerobic endurance. Time to completion is a secondary concern and doesn't drive my effort during the run. Any other weekday run is mostly superfluous and can be cut without any real loss to my conditioning (so they say). These weekday runs should be kept short, though, to maximize my recovery time between long runs.
I'm reading through some material from Eric Robinson who runs between 2-4 ultras every month and is a firm believer in the less is more training strategy. Seems to make sense to me, and again, knowing my old, fat, broken down and prone to injury body the way I do, it seems to make sense that I give this approach to running a try. What have I got to lose? Qualifying for Boston? yeah, like that's ever gonna happen.
What I should see, though, is more time to spend at home with my family during the week! But less time during the weekends. A trade off to be sure, but something I think we can all live with.
So how exciting! A direction for my training!
I hope you'll come along for the ride, share parts of your own journey with me, and we all learn a bit more about ourselves in the process.
Now, where's the ice for my feet?