Seeing as I keep a record of all my training, it would be silly not to spend the first day of the year crunching the numbers on the past year’s figures. Here’s what I found out:
Total distance run: 5757 km / 3578 miles
Mean Daily Mileage: 15.8 km / 9.8 miles
Mean Weekly Mileage: 110.4 km / 68.6 miles
Biggest Week: 164km / 102 miles
Number of Runs: 396
What does this tell me?
1. I have run further this year than in any previous year. Even though I had periods of low mileage due to illness or injury, particularly towards the end of the year, these were offset by blocks of very high volume. Although running high mileage wears you out and leaves you feeling exhausted, I find it tends to pay off later on.
2. I averaged more than one run per day. Although I didn’t check, I’m also certain that I have taken more rest days this year than previously. Running more than once on my hard days, whilst making sure I take a rest day every week, really seems to work for me.
3. I’m faster than 365 days ago, but only just. My main achievements this year were taking 2 seconds off my 5k time and 5 seconds off my 10k time. Although this is almost nothing, it is good to know I’m still improving; if I keep training sensibly and consistently I know that I will have a breakthrough. Hopefully when it comes, I will be hacking chunks off these times rather than gently chipping away at them.
Happy new year!
We’re now half way through the year, so I thought I’d write some thoughts on how my running is going. I’ll start with the numbers. Yesterday I took the opportunity to add up my mileage for the year to see how much I’ve done:
Days so far: 180
Number of runs: 205
Rest days: 28*
Km run: 3134
Miles run: 1948
Km per day: 17.4
Km per week: 121.9
Although numbers themselves don’t tell the whole story, they still tell me quite a lot.
Firstly, I have had more runs and more rest than in previous years. No, that’s not a typo. This year I have made sure I have a rest day every single week without fail. I have then been doing double days a couple of times per week to keep the mileage high. I have found this to be hugely advantageous psychologically; knowing that my next rest day is only ever a few days away allows me to put more effort into the training I am doing and it means I never lose my hunger or feel like running is a chore.
Secondly I am running higher mileage that I have in previous years. My weekly average is 122km or 76 miles, with the odd week significantly higher or lower, but with most falling in the 115-135km bracket. This helps. Although I didn’t feel like it was getting me anywhere at the start of the year when I was still recovering from injury, I now feel stronger than ever before. Running in the morning before work, though tiring at times, really does seem to help the recovery process. In fact, when I roll out the door at 5:30am, I have no choice but to run easy and couldn’t push the pace if I tried. This keeps the pace within the ‘recovery’ zone and I get the intended benefit. Even if it does mean feeling a bit sleepy after lunch at work!
Thirdly, and you won’t find this in the numbers, I feel I am training smarter not harder. I am getting better at making my training sustainable by not killing myself in every session I do. Pushing yourself to the limit has its place, but not all the time, and it is important to be able to save your best for races rather than sessions. Training over unusual distances (on road in the winter and grass this summer) has stopped me getting obsessed by the numbers on the watch, and focusing more on putting in the right amount of effort. Although I don’t have the PBs to show for it yet, I feel they are not far away if I keep training the way I am.
*this includes any day when I haven’t been running and are indicated by a zero in the training log. In some cases I have had full rest; in others I have been cycling or for a long walk.