Managing A High Mileage Week – Weekly Recap – 3.7.20

managing a high mileage training week

I’m pretty pumped to share how my high mileage week went. As of Sunday, my marathon has not announced if it will be cancelled, but I’m operating under the assumption that it will. Nevertheless, I’ll keep training until I get confirmation. Which meant this week, I logged 70 miles; my highest weekly milage, ever. I’m sharing all the details of how I went about managing a high mileage week, and making it fit into an already full schedule.

Remember how I said I wouldn’t be traveling this week?  Well, I was wrong.  But at least this week my travel was for personal reasons.  We took a day off work with the intention of spending some time with my father in law, who recently had some health issues.  The day before, however, he talked to my husband and let him know that there were some follow up appointments and he really just wanted to rest.  So we decided to take advantage of the day, and drive out to see my dad in the hill country.

Our son is on spring break this week, so we’ve been looking for fun things for him to do.  The boys went out to iFly, and my 6 year old had an absolute blast.  On Thursday, we went out to my dad’s house after my tempo run. It was the perfect little break in my work week.  We rode motorcycles, hung out on the giant swing in his backyard, grilled some meat, and just enjoyed the Springtime weather in the hill country.  

high mileage week - spring break

Not only was this week spring break, it was also my marathon training peak week.  I mentioned earlier that I want to give a more detailed break down of how I made room in my schedule for this high volume, without completely sacrificing life in general. I hope it helps show that pursuing a dream doesn’t have to mean that everything else in your life goes to crap.  It also means that having a full-time career and family doesn’t mean that you don’t have the ability to chase big dreams that are important to you. So here’s how I fit 70 miles into my week.

Managing a High Mileage Week

Sunday – I actually broke up my miles this week, which I don’t normally do.  If you have questions about breaking up runs, let me know and I’d be happy to share more of my thoughts about how to make this strategy work well.  You can also check out this article from Runners Connect.  I broke up this run because it was the first day of day light savings, and we did not wake up early enough to go to our church’s first service at 9:30.  The next service is at 11:30, which meant I didn’t have time to get all of my miles done, and I didn’t want my entire afternoon dedicated to running.  So I went out for a quick 4 miler in the morning, went to church with the boys, came back and had a small lunch, and then took my 6 year old out for 6 miles on the trails.  We then had the rest of the afternoon to get ready for the upcoming week. 

Monday – My alarm went off at 5am on Monday, which was rough. But I am not someone who can jump out of bed and hit the pavement.  I need some time to get myself together.  I spend 20 minutes of Bible study every morning, and then I get dressed, get a few things ready for work, and head out around 6am.  On Monday, I walked out the door at 5:50, got my speedwork miles done, came back home, and logged in for work at 7:30am.  I was pretty pooped after this run, so I decided to take a quick 30 minute nap during my lunch hour.  I spent the other 30 minutes prepping dinner and doing some core work and stretching.  I logged off work at about 4:30, and then went to CrossFit from 5-6 that evening.  The rest of my night was spent helping with dinner, working on my blog, eating all the food, and getting to bed pretty early.

Tuesday – Tuesday’s are my glorious rest days.  I sleep in until 6am, and then after my usual morning routine (up above), I go for a 30 min walk.  I feel like this helps my legs recover a little better than just sitting all day.  Logged in for work at 7:30am, worked until my lunch hour, and then used my lunch hour to walk for another 30 minutes, and do my core and stretching.  When I logged off at 4:30, I did some blog work, hung out with my kiddo, and then got dinner and our evening routine taken care of. Once again, early bed time on Tuesdays (9:30-10pm).

Wednesday – I woke up at 5am to get out the door for my 9.5 mile run at 6am.  Kept the pace pretty relaxed, and got back home just in time to log in for work at 7:30. I usually CrossFit after work on Wednesdays, but I had planned to meet up with a girlfriend after work on this particular day, so I adjusted my schedule.  I went to CrossFit during my lunch hour, and then when I finished work at about 5, met up with my girlfriend at a park so the kids could run around. For me, this day was proof that I don’t have to sacrifice family and friends just to hit my fitness goals.  We got back from the park around 6:30, and took care of dinner and evening routine.  Got to bed a little after 10 tonight, after working on some blog stuff for about an hour or so after dinner.

Thursday – Because I had taken the day off work, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to “sleep in” until 6am.  We still had a bit of a drive planned to go see my dad, so I didn’t want to start my run too late in the day.  I ran from about 7:30 – 9:30 (drive time, warm up, cool down), and took advantage of the opportunity to run outside in the sunshine. The run was tough, but it was a really gorgeous morning.  When I got back, we got everything packed, loaded up the car, and started out for my dads house.  I want to point out that if I had my normal work day, I still would have gotten in my miles beforehand (like Monday & Wednesday).  I just wouldn’t have been able to wait for the sun to come up.  I normally take a nap during lunch on Thursdays because the tempo miles are rough for me, but this week we were on the road to my dads.

Friday – Once again, the alarm clock rudely woke me up at 5am for an easy 10 miler.  My plan was to do my 10 miler in the morning, and then do my CrossFit WOD at my box when I got home that afternoon.  Unfortunately, when my alarm went off, I was just dead.  I decided to get an extra hour of sleep and do a workout at my dad’s home gym before work.  I’ll share the workout down below.  After my workout, I worked for the morning, and then got in my 10 miler after work. Definitely not ideal, but I absolutely needed that extra hour of sleep, without a doubt.  I’m glad I have the ability to have so much flexibility in my schedule. I made some amazing chocolate chip banana bread muffins for Saturday’s long run fuel.

high mileage week - running nutrition - long run fuel

Saturday – I woke up at 5:30 for my long run, did my full morning routine, and was out the door by 7:30.  I like to give myself a little extra time to digest on long run days, since this is really the only time I eat before my run.  I finished up, came home, ate and napped. The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing with my boys, and working on the blog.

Now, I certainly don’t have this whole working mom thing down to a science, but I have been doing it for a while.  Everyone’s schedule and work and family situation are different, but here’s some take aways for me.  1) It is possible to fit in a high mileage training plan with a regular 40 hour week, if you are so inclined.  2) There is value in having both a regular schedule, and some flexibility with it.  I normally run in the mornings before work, and CrossFit in the evening afterwards. My typical schedule was different on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday this week, so that I could get in other activities. 3) You don’t have to completely give up your normal life just to train for a marathon.  Sure, I go home a lot earlier from some events than I probably would if I didn’t have long runs on Saturdays, but I still have the ability to make time for friends, family, and work.  4) Lunch time naps are the best thing in the world if you’re running a high mileage plan.  Or just have kids.  Naps are pretty great for all people.

This Weeks Workouts

high mileage week

Total Miles: 70 FREAKING MILES
Hansons Marathon Method, Week 15
How the Runs Felt
My body was pretty fatigued for most of this week.  Sunday’s broken up run felt easy and manageable, and I had a lot of fun with my kid on the trails.  Monday, when I woke up for my strength run, there was a thunder storm rolling in, and honestly I didn’t mind being on the treadmill because of how dark it was after the time change.  That’s going to take some getting used to for sure.

Thursday’s tempo run was really challenging for me.  My legs felt really heavy after a pretty challenging WOD on Wednesday.  I survived, but I was pretty pooped for the rest of the day, and speaking of poop, my stomach was not thrilled after I stopped running.  I’m grateful that it waited until after my run to let me know how angry it was, but there was no confusion on my part, it was pissed.  It rebounded fairly quickly, lucky for me.

high mileage week

I shared on IG how Saturday’s run was not great for me. Physically, it was fine. I ran 18 miles and had no real issues to report. But mentally, I was not in a good place. I was nervous about my stomach had been behaving, and I spent most of the run just focusing on the finish. It wasn’t my best mental run, but I’m glad I got it done, I didn’t give up, and I know my body is getting stronger.

What I’ve Been Listening To
This week, I listened to a couple of really great running podcasts.  The Ginger Runner Live had a really motivating interview with Jade de la Rosa who talked about finding joy in a DNF after Orcas Island race.  I love how candidly she talked about the mental health issues she and her boyfriend both experience.  It was a really refreshing episode.  UltraRunner Podcast had a recent interview with Ellie Pell, who is probably the most upbeat trail runner I’ve ever heard.  So that was nice to listen to.  I also continued listening to Atlanta Monster and Up & Vanished.

On my treadmill run, I watched Ethan Newbury’s quick documentary style video from his 100 mile training week that he completed towards the end of 2019.  It was so damn inspiring.  It definitely gave me all the vibes going into my 70 mile week.  It’s something I want to tackle myself during my 50 mile race training this summer.

How the WODs felt
I felt fairly strong in the box this week.  I completely surprised myself when I hit a new one rep max PR on my back squat.  I have been dreaming about finally breaking into the 200# club for over a year now. Honestly, my progress towards this goal has been pretty slow, especially with my focus on Boston Qualifying over the past two years.  It’s been 5# increases every 6-12 months for the most part.  I wasn’t doing anything specific to try and improve my 1 rep max over the last 6 months, but I snagged an elusive mid-marathon cycle PR, and I was so happy about it.  The rest of the workout felt like hot death afterwards, but that’s fine.

high mileage week - CrossFit lifting - strength training for runners

Wednesday’s WOD put me through the ringer.  I made it through 2 rounds of the beep test, and then dropped my rep scheme to 5 to get up to the 7th round.  The squat clean sequence afterwards wouldn’t have been too challenging if it weren’t for that whole unbroken thing.  All the squatting was tough on my legs, but I survived.

What Went Well
I did a really great job with my nutrition, hydration, core workouts, and stretching this week.  I made it through the 70 miles without injuring myself, and I think a huge part of that is the fact that I made sure to prioritize these things.  I also enjoyed having a little extra rest and family time this week, with my bonus day on Thursday.

What Went Shitty
My stomach still continues to be problematic for me.  I’m still working to troubleshoot what might make it happier.  I’m going to increase my electrolyte intake and try a probiotic to see if things will keep improving.  The time change was ROUGH, so I was really grateful for the extra day mid-week. Also, the high mileage was not easy for my body, though I did survive.

Plans to Improve Next Week   
Next week I’ll be trying a couple of things for my stomach issues; primarily increased electrolytes and a probiotic.  I also plan to really enjoy the decrease in mileage leading up to the marathon.

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