I peaked at 30/30 but generally they were between 20-24/20-24. I wouldn't go as high as 30/30 again as I think the benefits beyond 24 miles are mainly psychological, but as it was the first time I'd done anything like this, I felt I needed the psychological boost that I could run 2 x 30 milers back to back.
My weekly mileage tended to vary between 40-70 miles, and then there were about three weeks where I did 90-100 miles (when I was running on seven consecutive days) but every month or so, I had a really easy low mileage week. I think Rory Coleman advocates something similar with medium, hard, hardest and easy weeks over a four week cycle of training when he's training people for the MdS.
The hardest thing for me was learning to run with a rucksack as I'm quite a weakling so that is definitely one advantage you have in the Coastal Challenge if you don't have to carry everything. I think the heat is meant to be worse in the Coastal Challenge, although the desert was very hot it was a dry heat, whereas Costa Rica/jungle is a much more humid heat. So anything you can do to get you used to running/exercising in heat will help massively.
I had no idea whether my training would work (I just cobbled together my own plan based on a few books I read/people I spoke to) and I had no idea how my body would cope with running the 155 miles over the 7 days, but it worked for me and I had no problem covering the distance every day and finished way higher than I expected to in the final placings.
The Coastal Challenge sounds amazing, definitely one on my running bucket list
I did the Sahara Race in the desert in Jordan last year (155 miles in 7 days, essentially broken down as 4 x consecutive days of marathons, 1 x 50 miles and 1 x 3 miles).
Before I did it I'd only done a few marathons, 1 x 50 miler and 1 x 38 miler so definitely not what you'd call experienced!
I made up my own training programme, but the first thing I did was get my body used to running on 7 consecutive days (previously I'd only ever run 5x a week). I started off with 7 x 10 miles, then a few weeks later I did 7 x 13 miles and then a few weeks later 5 x 13 miles and 2 x 15 miles. I did these all as pretty easy runs as I just wanted to get my body used to running everyday. For the Sahara Race we had to carry all our belongings with us so I started doing some runs with 5kg rucksack (not sure if you have to carry your stuff in the Coastal Challenge, if so this is one thing you must practice with).
Apart from the few weeks of running on consecutive days and rucksack running, the rest of my training was similar to ultra training with off-road back to back runs at weekends.
I was training through winter for a race in the desert in February so I did a lot of hot yoga to get me used to exercising in the heat. I found this invaluable.
Because I was doing a lot of high mileage every 4/5 weeks I had a really easy, really reduced mileage week, and I think that helped as I didn't pick up any niggles in training. I really neglected speedwork though as I was just focusing on higher mileage and was worried about injuring myself if I tried to do both, and that's the one thing I'd do differently,
I'm doing a similar race in Ecuador this summer and because what I did last time worked for me I'll do similar training this time, but with a bit less mileage and throw in some speed sessions.
One piece of advice I'd give for the race is to go off conservatively on day 1. So many people went off really hard and fast on day 1 and paid big-time by day 3. I found that by setting off conservatively, I actually got stronger and faster as each day went by. I think my first day's marathon-ish distance was 5:30 and by day 4 I was running a similar distance in under 5:00. Again I'm not sure of the format of the Coastal Challenge, but if there is a 'long day' like we had on day 5, make sure you leave plenty of gas in the tank for that!
Good luck. I absolutely loved it, best week of my life
Great attitude to have Amy re the sub 4:00 and you sound like you are in very capable hands with Steve
i am much better at endurance than speed so although our HM times are similar you would leave me standing at parkrun whereas I've done more ultras/marathons so the endurance side of things is easier for me, which is why if was targeting a spring marathon I'd be aiming for 3:35.
Like you said plenty of future marathons to come back for and target faster times, but am absolutely positive you'll be basking in a sub 4:00 glow in Paris!
I wasn't even aiming for sub 4:00, I was still a bit of a clueless runner then and had no idea about pacing and it was only in the last mile or so that I realised that if I put my foot down and really motored I'd get sub 4:00 - definitely NOT the way to run a marathon and I like to think I'm a bit older and wiser these days!
Your strategy sounds perfect - now I tend to adopt the approach that the first 20 miles should feel 'easy' and then the race really starts at mile 20. Seems like you've mastered that on your first marathon attempt!