I have been slowly building my volume base in preparation for my next training cycle. My approach has been pretty methodical and cautious since I’m concerned that my body won’t be able to handle it otherwise. For the past two years, I’ve averaged 30 to 40 miles a week, and now I’m working my way up to eventually running at least 50 miles a week.
So far, so good. After the Nagano Marathon in mid-April, I have gradually built up my weekly mileage as follows:
4/16 ~ 4/22 – 23 miles
4/23 ~ 4/29 – 26 miles
4/30 ~ 5/6 – 31 miles
5/7 ~ 5/13 – 41 miles
5/14 ~ 5/20 – 42 miles
5/21 – 5/27 – 45 miles
Although there was a couple weeks in there where I felt a little more fatigued than usual, my body seems to be adjusting well. In terms of aches and pains, nothing to speak of. Within the next three weeks, I’m planning to get up to 50 mile weeks and will sustain that volume until the start of the next marathon training cycle in mid to late summer.
A few things that seems to have helped with the transition to higher volume include a moderate effort when doing speed work, VERY slow recovery runs between hard days, and 20 minutes of stretching each night before bed. In fact, I’m actually enjoying the increased mileage at a slower pace.
It will be interesting to see if the body continues to hold up well over the next couple of months. If it does, then most likely I’ll plan to create a marathon plan that would peak at around 70 miles per week. At this point I’m cautiously optimistic.