Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Quantity vs... Quantity?

I was flipping through one of my Joe Friel tomes last night and landed on a chapter about training to run. Interesting stuff there, for sure. When it comes to running, Friel actually encourages an increase in frequency above an increase in mileage - which is almost the exact opposite strategy than I've been following to date.

My legs usually break down when I run too often, so a co-worker of mine (and former collegiate cross-country runner) told me I could probably get by on two short runs and one long run per week. This means I run three days a week and I'm off four, which gives my body plenty of recovery time. It's been working well thus far. My shorter runs have been between 3.5 and 6 miles and my longer runs have been 12+ miles (and increasing about one mile weekly).

Joe, on the other hand, encourages short runs often. As in, run short two days with a day's rest, and repeat - without runs longer than 45 minutes. Oh, and he recommends following this plan for six months! Yikes! That's a long time to be going on short runs. Six months of short runs doesn't leave me a lot of time to really ramp up the mileage there.

[Granted, he does promote cycling as the best way to really improve aerobic fitness, so the ramp up to longer mileage for running would really fit nicely into the final three months of a nine-month block...]

Thoughts, anyone? Alex - lots of short runs could work well for you in the coming months, especially with that schedule you're trying to juggle.