Friday, February 19, 2010

Enter the Double

This year I have some pretty significant speed and distance goals in mind and one of the tools I will use to achieve them is a fairly high-mileage base. If my body will let me, I hope to slip into the 70 mile per week range this year. My recent workouts have been getting me in the mid-50s for the past few weeks, but these are essentially tapping out the mileage I can achieve with only one workout per day.

The key is to start introducing doubles to my training schedule, slowly building up the number of days per week that I workout twice. In the past I have attempted to do this, but often met with injury or overtraining soon after. This year I am taking a more conservative approach, which seems to be working better. So far, all of my doubles have been on my tempo or interval days, meaning that the total mileage for the day is not much more than my usual one run days. For example, I usually run 9 miles once per day, but only run 11 miles for the two runs combined. By running the double on the hard days I'm also more cognizant of making the easy days easy.

I think if I stay grounded in this approach I will be able to continue to increase the combined length of the doubles and get my mileage where I want it to be, hopefully without injury. This will also help prepare my body for the bike commute that will again become part of my routine in the spring. Last year I found riding twice a day, plus running was a bit much for a daily schedule.

This all fits into what I consider to be my training experiment. There are no controls, no statistics, just one test subject and an infinite number of variables. I enjoy both the fruits of my labors when training decisions turn out well, and the return to the blackboard when things fall apart. The more I learn about how my body reacts to training, the better I will be able to react and adjust when it inevitably begins to change.