04 March 2011

Upping The Volume

Now, as a runner, doing a lot of mileage is something I discuss and come by very often. Especially knowing people training for marathons and doing up to 120 miles per week I know well of how rigorous that level of training is. Personally, I have never approached that level of training in volume. My biggest mileage week ever was 72.7 miles off of pure running, which totaled at about 8.7 hours and consisted of 4 (yes, 4) doubles. So not that impressive of a 70+ mile week seeing that this winter I was averaging about 10 miles per day of running for 5 days in a week on top of swimming and biking. Anyways, 70+ miles was a lot for me - it eventually led to my injury that fall (2007).

Today, I wouldn't consider dropping a 70 mile week as that would have no applicability to my current training. However, I have really amped up the training the past few weeks. I went from my typical 13-15 hours per week up to around 20 hours. I was on pace this week until vacation began and I had to make an early trip to Boston. I'm staying with my brother this weekend and maybe through mid-week. Got a lot of crazyness going on so training will be on the backburner until further notice. I'm not too concerned about it as a little downtime may actually be good for me as I did ramp up the volume pretty hard, and I was starting to feel a little bit of minor aches and what I think is just the effects of over-training. It was a real good 3 week test of what I could pump out for net volume and see how I responded. At this point I'm definitely tired and there were for sure some workouts that flat out sucked. I liked getting to that point of just grinding out a 2:15 long bike ride when I had no desire in the world to do it - just to know I could get it done.

So the volume build was successful: I found that I can handle about 20 hours per week, even if it resulted in a bit of overtraining. The rougher days were when I didn't get as much sleep as others. Whenever I got 9 or more hours I felt pretty darn solid, less than 7 was a bit tough. What I think is going to be critical to success is maintaining swimming volume (although I don't have access to a pool in Boston), making cycling workouts A LOT more intense, and keeping running about where it was - maybe add in a tempo as part of a brick. The cycling thing will come pretty naturally as the UR Cycling season is getting rolling along.

That's it for now - volume build was good and I definitely learn some stuff. And now the key is intensity and quality.

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