By: Lee Toowey

For the month of May, I set out to complete a month of high mileage training.   After a week and a half of post Boston Marathon recovery, my focus was building a new aerobic base prior to the arrival of the dog days of summer in Austin. Important facets of a high mileage training regimen include the mental aspects, recovery, and running doubles. Each of these components will be discussed in this blog.

Mental aspects. My goal was to run 400 or more miles during May. My first step was to commit to the mileage. The only allowable excuse for not finishing was if I was in need of medical attention. The key word is commitment, not motivation.  Motivation comes and goes. Commitment is more important. There were times I wanted to do anything but run. It’s important to make your goal non-negotiable. 

During this difficult month, when I wasn’t running, I was reading inspirational books like “Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage” by Alfred Lansing. I watched documentaries about Navy Seals and Special Forces training. I was inspired by people going down very difficult paths. 

Recovery. High mileage usually involves blisters, sore joints, cramps, and other maladies.  It takes determination to stay the course.  Keep in mind, your body will adapt and the discomfort is temporary. At the end off a high mileage week, a weekly massage is a requirement.  In addition to massage, other highly effective recovery aids are 110% recovery gear, and the R8 Roller:

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110% Recovery Gear

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R8 Roller

Running doubles.  The key to running doubles is proceeding with caution.  Add one double per week and gradually increase your mileage.    You will need six to eight hours between your first and second run of the day. If you need help scheduling doubles, Pete Pfitzinger’s book “Advanced Marathoning” is a great resource.  His book includes schedules for 55-70, 70-85, and 85-100 miles per week.  Regarding fueling for running doubles, post run nutrition is crucial.  After the first run of the day, be sure to consume a 300-400 calorie mix of carbs and protein within 20-30 minutes.  A product I have benefited from is Endurox R4, made by Pacific Health.  http://www.pacifichealthlabs.com/

My doubles schedule included 8 miles easy AM, followed by 6 miles easy PM.  I continued to do my regular speed workouts, but favored longer distances like 4 X 1 mile repeats instead of 10×400. When running high mileage, to avoid diminished leg speed, I suggest including twice weekly stride sessions, something like 8 x 10 80-100 yards at the end of an easy run.  

After running close to 100 miles a week, I was able to find my training sweet spot. Scaling back to around 80 miles a week seems to work best for me.   I recommend every runner attempt a high mileage month to realize his or her physiological potential.  In the process, you will learn a lot about yourself.  You can do so much more than you can imagine.    


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