Monday, November 21, 2005

BALANCING ACT

The other day I wrote about everyone wanting to “be there” with their training. “There” meaning being fit. Now I know why people feel that way – because not “being there” sucks.

I don’t know if it was all the golf course hills or running on the soft grass (probably both), but my legs were tired today. I managed to make it 9 miles, but it was a struggle. Here I am, not even up to 70 mpw yet and I’m already “struggling” with the mileage. Thinking back to this time last year, I was already in the mid-70 range. However, I was also averaging 9-10 runs per week. This year I’m trying to, as they say, “maximize my mileage in singles” before adding two-a-days.

The last time I really maximized my mileage in singles was the spring of 2004. At the time I had a job that would allow me to run 6-8 miles during my lunch hour. That spring I got laid off, but they let me continue “working” another two months. “Somehow” my lunch breaks started getting longer and I began running 8-12 miles everyday. I ended up having my best summer racing season.

Since I’m not “there” right now, I have to balance my daily efforts in order to make sure I can get in the next day’s mileage. Typically there’s a balance between pace and mileage, yesterday I found out that terrain also plans a role at this point. While it’s important for me to add some hilly routes to my training, I have to be careful not to sacrifice my mileage.

9 comments:

E-Speed said...

I cannot even fathom running more than 50-60 miles per week. I am sure you will fall into your groove soon though!

Susan said...

Let me know if you figure out how to balance family, life, work and mileage - I bet you could make milliions

Chad Austin said...

Well Susan, first off, I have no life outside of family, running and work.

I put family first and try to make my training as transparent to them as possible - hence the 4:45 wake up calls. I figure if they're sleeping, they won't miss me.

If I'm running 2-a-days, I do it after my kids have gone to sleep. They're still young enough to be in bed by 7:30. I also do those when my wife's gone or when she wouldn't want to watch what I would (like Monday Night Football).

As for work, find a job that pays the bills and doesn't drive you crazy (you don't have to love it). It helps if you're not career oriented. I get my competitive, give it your all-fix from running. I don't need it at work too. That doesn't mean I don't work hard or do a good job. It means I'm not going to be there more than 40 hours per week (unless it's absolutely critical). And if things are slow and I can sneak in a lunchtime run - I will. :-)

Cliff said...

9-10 runs a week. Woah, that's a lot of road pounding.

I am lucky with a job that is quite demanding at the same time my boss doesn't expect me to pull OT all the time.

Rare to find jobs like that in today's society...

Susan said...

I guess those executive bastards don't work in your office . . . any openings?

Chad Austin said...

Cliff, how many times a week do you think elites (or even the top studs in your area) are training? Do you think they're only running 6 days (and times) per week?

What about elite Ironman triathletes? I'm sure they're training 20+ hours per week.

Susan, I'm sure those executive bastards would demand more of me if I were an aspiring executive bastard too. When you're a peon, only so much crap can roll your way.

robtherunner said...

Zeke, I definitely jumped back into training too soon and I think a lot of people do, but we all have our goals to fulfill so I can't say I blame them.

It was interesting that you touched on the maximizing workouts before jumping into two a days. I have noticed from following Mike at "Running With Lydiard" that he does exactly that and I wondered why he did not do more two a days. It makes sense to maximize, but I have not read the Lydiard material yet, but I do plan on following it when I return. Good luck with the climb upward in mileage.

psbowe said...

Very awesome blog, somehow I stumbled here :). But I can totally relate about being creative on finding the time to put in the runs. I'll definitely frequent here from now on.

Chad Austin said...

Rob, I agree and I don't blame them either. That's the only way we learn and improve our training.

Yeah, the maximizing mileage in singles just seems to make sense intuitively. Just looking at a calendar from last January with my daily miles penciled in; why was I running 5 miles in the morning and 5 miles in the evening instead of one run of 10 miles?

Bella, I don't know about "awesome" but I'm glad you like it. "Stumbling in" is my method for finding new blogs too.