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:
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.
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.
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!