Weekly mileage

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05/11/2002 at 15:21
OK, OK, I can already hear everyone yelling at me to shut up already but at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I find that marathon times can be improved without having to do excessive weekly mileage. Don't want to bore everyone to tears but suffice to say that I've taken 20 minutes off my marathon PB in my last 3 outings and despite having done the same mileage (~ 45 mpw, peak mileage) for each, the only difference is the quality of the sessions.
05/11/2002 at 22:35
This is a really interesting thread, guys.

I have no idea what the answer is. For my last marathon just a couple of weeks back I peaked at 85 miles a week, far higher than my usual 60-65 maximum.

I'm not sure it made a huge difference training those extra miles, but the odd thing was that contrary to what you'd expect, I found putting in the quality miles a lot easier during those much higher mileage weeks! Conversely, as I started to taper I found the quality work-outs harder.

Now explain that if you can! Maybe it was just a freak, but I also found that I was much less prone to the usual niggles and injuries, which again seems counter-intuitive.

The only thing I can think is that running longer weeks makes you stronger (and possibly more efficient) overall and has the knock-on advantages I encountered.

I have to say I'm quite tempted to try and get to 100 mile weeks for FLM 2003, if only because that would be a challenge in itself. But if it starts getting in the way of quality miles, I'm with Marmite Master all the way - these are the miles that count, and forget the rest.
06/11/2002 at 00:20
When you talk about "quality miles" what do you mean? I have read that you can make up training sessions from a basis of one long slow run, one mid length run and one speed session, either intervals or threshold runs a week with the other sessions in that week made from recovery type runs.
Are quality sessions just ones you go out with a specific goal in mind i.e. 10 x 1/2 mile reps with 1/4 mile recoveries and mile warm up and cool down instead of going out just to amble round making up your miles?
06/11/2002 at 08:31
Quality miles means very specific to what you want to achieve. Quality miles from my "Train Smarter not HARDER" appproach could mean 4/1200 @ race pace with 90 sec walk recovery, or 1.5 hours at 70% MHR with 1x stride every 12 mins for 12 secs for an example. Quality in other peoples eyes could mean 20/200m in 35 sec with 45 sec recovery. It depends on what they mean as quality. Ask them to make sure.

Have a good run and add something else after your run, maybe press ups which is great for coer stability and upper body strength.

Allan
06/11/2002 at 08:33
Core not coer (i'm not Dutch)
More press ups for that!!
06/11/2002 at 08:35
Achilles - long runs do indeed give you the strength to cope with quality workouts.
06/11/2002 at 08:44
Sarcy -

yes, in a nutshell, quality miles are the ones where you're running harder than your normal training pace and include any combination of the following: repeats, intervals, pyramids, hill reps, fartlek, tempo runs, tempo intervals, and so on. as Allan say, even strides can turn a slow run into a quality work-out. the variations are as numerous as there are running experts.

you need a sensible amount of these every week if you want to get faster. which you do, depends on your goals (and also on what phase of your training cycle you are in). it's not advisable though to be doing more than one hard work-out a week (e.g. intervals) if you're starting out. the formula you mention is not bad to begin with, but once you're used to speedwork you can start adding to it, e.g. with a fartlek session which isn't going to wear you down as much as a tempo run or intervals. again there's all sorts of variants, depending on what you're trying to achieve.


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