So I have this theory. I’ve shared it before so if you’re one of my two loyal readers, you’ve undoubtedly heard this a couple times before. My theory is that in order to get good at something, you need to do it. A lot. I’ve got this obsession with running really long distances so I’ve always thought that if I want to get good at that then I’ll need to run really long distances.
When I started out, I quantified the threshold for “really long distances” at 20 miles. Anything less than this, while still longer than a normal run wasn’t long by my definition. The goal was twenty plus. I would build up and do 25-31 mile long runs in training regularly. I wanted to get where these runs felt comfortable.
A couple years ago, I mostly stopped doing any training runs over 20 miles. I figured that I run enough ultras that I no longer need those extra miles. But I’ve stuck with the 20 miler. It seems to hit a sweet spot between long and too long for me.
All of this being a longwinded intro to show you an updated version of my favorite chart.
Over the last couple months, I’ve done nothing but crank out a 20 mile run each and every Saturday morning. I didn’t necessarily sit down one day and make the decision to run 20 every weekend. It happened a little organically. After three straight weeks, I went back over my training log to see how many consecutive weekends I had run 20 or more miles. Turns out my best streak was 4 weeks all the way back in 2013. I was feeling good so of course I had to do 5 weekends. With my legs still feeling solid, six turned into seven and eight and then nine this morning.
Throughout my little streaking experiment, I’ve been doing the same route on roads since my first week so they’re all comparable. My runs have generally tended to get quicker as the weeks have progressed from 9:30 pace range down nine flat last weekend. Then today happened. Oof. Between an afternoon 8 miler yesterday and smallish dinner last night, today’s run was a grind from mile one. My legs felt heavy right out of the gate and while they loosened up, that only lasted for a couple miles before I was right back into slog mode. So no rainbows or unicorns today, but that just means I got myself a really good workout in.
I’ll see how my body recovers this week, but as of right now I’m planning to take my 20 miler streak into double digits next weekend. Hopefully, I can make it a little easier on myself.