Maybe I should run less.

My goal each week is to run 50 miles.  Last week, I was able to get 55 miles.  I like to put the extra load on the first week in case there is a future week I am unable to reach my goal.

How Much is Too Much?

How do I feel?

Today I didn’t feel like running.  I was mentally and emotionally drained from other life events.  I felt saggy draggy before I even stepped onto my machine.  I ran 10 miles yesterday, 5 miles of hills – so I didn’t have any pressure on today’s run.  Just get miles.

But then something beautiful happened.  I started, and I wanted to go faster, then faster, then faster.  It felt so good today.  Really what I needed.  But if it was hard, I would slow down.  There is only one way to get miles, but they don’t have to kill me.

How’s my resting heart rate?

I keep an eye on this bad boy.  Generally speaking, my Garmin tells me my resting heart rate is 52 bpm.  When it elevates, I take notice.  I have a head cold, so right now my resting heart rate is 55 bpm.  Once I start resting at 59 bpm or higher, I will slow down.  My body is working on stuff internally – either an illness or repairing running effects.  I want to work with my body.

More information on your resting heart rate and overtraining can be found here.

How do I keep it all in check?

First, the idea of running 50 miles doesn’t stress me out.  It can be a comfortable number for me.  It is an adequate goal for me.  But I do not want to burn out.  50 miles can become a mountain.  Here is how I keep it all in check:

Variability

To reach my goals, I practice a lot of variability in my runs.  I enjoy running long distances, progression runs, intervals, fartleks, tempos and hills.  With this variability I still collect my 50 miles and I keep a positive attitude towards running.

Top Priority

I have lost a lot of weight.  I put exercise and health as my top individual priority.  I get up at 5:30 AM and I run.  I run for as long as I can.  If I am unable to reach my mile goals for the day, I then double up and run at night.  Those runs are lighter, easier.  Unless I feel good going faster, they are relaxed.

Flexibility

I was able to bank 55 last week.  If I only get to 48 this week, I can mentally pull 2 from there and put it in my week this week.  It’s a mental trick.  And the double up.  If I can’t reach my morning distance goal, I can always try and grab some miles at night.

 

So how much is too much?

I don’t want to burn out.  I don’t want to get injured.  I want to run.  But I am aware that my body will give me signs when it is time to slow down.

If I look at 50 miles for the week and it causes me mental stress, I need to back off.  I will run harder and unhappier which will lead to nothing good.

I watch my resting heart rate.  Once it elevates by 7 or more bpm, it’s time to slow down.

And I keep some spice in my workouts!  My number one priority and favorite thing to do!

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