Mileage... is this what makes a marathoner?

I took my first day off in 18 days on Friday (too long, I usually only try to go 2 weeks, but hadn't been looking at my training log). I tried to do a threshold workout on day 17, and felt like I was working harder than I should have been. My lungs felt fine, but my legs couldn't move quick enough. Why do I feel like I can't move any faster? I thought to myself: I need to work on my flexibility. I remember this feeling: whenever my mileage gets higher, I feel like my legs swell to the size of tree trunks and they begin to move SLOWER. Whether that's the case or not, I have no idea (I'm sure when I taper down, I am actually faster, but I feel pretty slow during the higher mileage weeks).

I looked at my training log after the workout, and realized that it had been a long time since I had taken a day off. That could be it. The tempo workout averaged 6:07/mile (2x2 miles @ tempo). Not terrible, but I'd like to be closer to 6:00. It was windy, and the majority of the tempo work was into the wind, but still. I need to be closer to 6:00, no matter the terrain or weather.

Hopefully the mileage and the lack of a day off explains the sluggishness I'm feeling. I've logged a lot of miles lately, at least for me (this isn't even that high in the grand scheme of things! I don't know how others are able to log 100+): 85.5 last week, and will be near 75 this week (and 75 the week prior to the 85.5). Jerry and I decided to keep this week higher than I normally would (given that I'm going to race on Sunday).

Given I can stay healthy, milage at this level so early is a GREAT sign. I hope it's making me strong, and not making me slow (I often wonder... if I ran 10 miles/week less, would I be able to NAIL my tempo and interval workouts ??). I have no idea. I'm shooting for a max weekly mileage of 95 during this cycle, which I'll plan to hit twice (per Daniels, unless Jerry makes changes). For the upcoming weeks, it looks like it'll be 67- (next week after the race) 95 - 86- 76- 95- 86-. Holy cr@p (sorry for the explative). That's a lot of consistent mileage. I really hope it'll make me strong/fast.

Anyway -- my thoughts are on the race on Sunday, especially after today's "tired" run. I ran today (~13 miles, with some fast striders). I feel sluggish/big/inflexible. Ug. I do not feel fast, which I was hoping to after taking a day off. Oh well, guess we'll see what's in store for me Sunday. I really do love racing, It's such a great way to gauge where you're at & a great opportunity for a hard effort. I'll lay it all out there, but I make no promises of a speedy time :)

Nichole Porath

Nichole is a blogger, elite level runner, and coach. She ran professionally for Brooks for two years after qualifying for the 2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials. During that time she founded TNC endurance, where she coaches and motivationally speaks to organizations large and small. This blog details her rise to national-level racing, and continues to follow her as she gets back into racing after starting a family. Read on, friends!

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