Today I am doing something I haven’t done since before I was injured in 2008: I’m adding a fourth day of running to my week. Lately I’ve been running on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. Starting this week, I’m adding Wednesday evening to the mix.
I’ve been pondering my training and mileage increases while considering the guidelines of increasing 10 percent per week and keeping the long run to no more than half the weekly mileage. Ideally, people more experienced than me say you want the long run to be 30 percent. I can’t do this without running four days a week. If I want to get a 12-mile long run before the half marathon, I need to run at least 12 miles in addition and ideally more than that. With running three days a week, that would be two runs of 6 miles each and the 12-miler. Since I run before work, the longest I can go is 5 miles and thats pushing it depending on my timing. And in general, running three days a week really limits how high I could go in mileage. Not that I’m expecting huge mileage now, but maybe some day.
My run yesterday was 3 miles. Tonight I’m planning 2. Then Friday will be 4 and Sunday 6. I did 6 last week but I don’t want to push it the first few weeks by increasing too much. Last week I ran 14 and this week will be 15. Also, the long run will be 40 percent of my mileage, so getting closer to the ideal.
Every time I’ve considered the fourth day, something has started hurting. So I’ve chickened out. I don’t consider myself injury-prone, but I will admit to being paranoid. But I made it through last fall to the CIM relay while managing shin splints and other assorted minor issues. I made it through the winter with the treadmill and lack of running. This time around I’m definitely not doing too much too soon. I have the fitness to run four days a week and I’m going to do it!
But wouldn’t you know it, randomly this afternoon I’ve been feeling soreness in the spot of my stress fracture. The spot that hasn’t felt sore in AT LEAST six months. This fear and soreness is most defininitely all in my head. So I will run this evening. I WILL. But I will also be mindful and pay attention if something starts hurting for real.