Today kicked off Centurion Running’s One Community week. From 5km up to and including 100 mile options, to be run at anytime throughout the coming 7 days, spaced out or all at once.
Some people have already run 50km, others are planning to run their chosen distance in one continuous effort.
For me, I’ve opted for 100 miles.
At the moment training is improving, if there is one good thing to come out of lock down, its that ive been getting more consistent in my training. From getting miles in, to doing more stretching and getting back into strength work.
All in all, despite the negatives as mentioned in a previous post, their are clear positives coming out of this all.
The fabled 100 mile week.
Ask a lot of runners and once they log regular mileage, the 100 mile week starts to crop up in training conversations in ever increasing frequency. In an age where you can quite literally keep an eye on what elite and pro runners are doing in training, the pressure and/or temptation to do what they are doing often makes people fly too close to the sun, thinking that high mileage will unlock their potential.
However, speak to any number of elite or high mileage runners and they will not recommend it. It takes planning, sacrifice, unsocial hours, missing out on aspects of life and more than anything, takes a long time to sustainably build up the required strength in mind and body to cope with that sort of load.
Think of it like a massive cake, 3 layers, cream, fondant and other luxuries as thick as the sponge inbetween. It’s hard to resist, the sheer indulgence leaves you salivating and rather than a small bite, you go for a decent wedge. After all, it would be rude not to.
You polish it off with ease, the sugar giving you a little buzz, the cream yet to be felt, much like the gradual onset of dehydration at an ultra.
One more bite?
You take a second wedge, not savouring the experience, as you crave that fix, despite your taste buds now not enjoying it to the same degree. 2 mouthfuls in and BOOOOOM!
Your stomach is set, the cream has hit you like a liver shot in boxing, your insulin spikes, and the crash begins, like a wheel kick to the head.
You bit off more than you can chew.
To me it has similarities to a high mileage training week. On the face to it, breaking down 100 miles over 6-7 days, over 1 or 2 runs a day doesn’t seem unachievable. Just have to get out the house. Easy.
Let’s walk before you can run.
Do your muscles, tendons and ligaments have the strength, elasticity and conditioning to put up with that level of load on a daily basis? How’s your nutrition, both when running and throughout the day/night? Sleeping well? Outside commitments? Hydration?
There are a lot of variables that go into it and thats not including the mental side, the monotony of running the same loops daily (unless you run elsewhere) committing a couple hours or more a day, needing more time to rest while having to look after kids, your partner, work, do chores – there is a lot to be getting on with.
I have achieved ONE 100 mile week in training, back in 2018.
I spent a week in Chamonix, house sitting with Mike Jones / Apex Running and to my surpise hit 101 miles and 10,000 meters. My biggest training weeks are normally between 45-55 miles, with little to no climbing as I’m blessed with Milton Keynes as my daily running area. I then tried to repeat this the following week, back in the UK and was mullered after 70 miles, despite it being flat as a pancake.
I had to integrate the running into my day to day life, 5 days a week in an office, a then girlfriend I lived with and other commitments. Turns out (to no surprise), its much easier clocking miles when thats all you have to do in a day.
So the plan
My coach, Pyllon, has given me some flexibility and as im single, living alone and working from home, I have complete control of my week ahead. Outside of the miles, I’m conscious I need to do mobility/stretching/yoga daily, to hydrate and eat well, bank sleep and treat this like I’m an athlete, rather than James the guy who runs a bit and writes about it. My usual training weeks, as I said are around the 50 mile mark and of late, I’ve been around 45-50 for the past couple of months, so I know I’m going to feel this as the week progresses.
This is as much a challenge to see what my mind can do, as it is to see how my body holds up. To inject some difference in a life that for large periods has become like ground hog day and to be part of some 2500+ people taking this on in all corners of the world.
Sometimes you need to shake things up to see where your heads at, I’ve seen I can handle higher mileage when I have consistent training, this is as much an experiment as personal challenge.
If you want to follow my week – you can find me on Strava HERE