This week, to recover from SLO, I cut myself all kinds of slack.
And yet, much to my surprise, I still hit 25.24 total miles, including 12% of that volume at sub-10 min/mile. This % of miles at sub 10 is a new metric you'll see me touting going forward this year.
I read this post on the application of the so-called 80/20 rule to running and it resonated with me. (It also tightly correlated with the pace goals for the Hansons running plans I've followed in the past and had great success with.)
I definitely feel like I benefit when I increase my overall volume and don't focus too much on quality over quantity in terms of mileage. I know I am lucky in that I don't tend to get injured (knock on wood) when I increase my volume, but, frankly, I also tend to increase it at paces that many folks would consider to be ridiculously slow. I count walking miles. I count super slow jogging miles. I count run/walking miles. I just want to increase the total mileage, which, truly, is just a proxy for increasing my overall aerobic load. In fact, I could probably substitute cross-training for most of my running volume, and just run the minimal hard stuff I do and end up roughly in the same spot. But, I digress -- I won't be doing that (unless injury requires it).
Anyways, this year is a big running year for me. I've got a half marathon coming up in 4 weeks where I hope to show some serious fitness gains. Then, I've got the Peachtree 10K in Atlanta, where all I can do is make a strong effort to show that I did my best to handle the hills, heat, and humidity. After that, it's a long high volume slog as I'm signed up for and hoping to do well at the Chicago Marathon and then, I'm looking forward to joining my college roommate for a fun and photo-heavy New York Marathon.
All along the way, I'm hoping to increase mileage with very little focus on pace. I assume it will just naturally come down, like it always has when I've been honest about increasing volume. I am not a high pressure runner (other than on race days, when, occasionally, I can put myself under a bit of pressure) and I have no plans to become one.
I was gratified to read the 80/20 rule post because it gave me a high-quality goal that I can focus on, but that I think I can actually hit quite easily. And I look forward to doing so over the rest of the year.
Run happy friends!