26.) X + 5

Running tip #26

Today’s tip is introduced by Henry David Thoreau:  “Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!  I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb nail.”

There are all sorts of theories about how to increase one’s mileage over the course of a season, most of which have to do with adding a certain number of miles each week to your long run while keeping detailed and thorough (haha, certainly NOT Thoreau) track of every mile covered.  Albeit colorful, many of these training plans are just too complicated for my taste:

i.e.

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So, I came up with what I think is a very simple formula for increasing your long run gradually (and safely) over 13 weeks.

Start with however many minutes you are able to run without stopping … say, 45 minutes.  That is your “X.”

X = 45 minutes.  I usually prescribe on week 1, “Establish your X.”

Then, using X as your starting point, add 5 minutes each week to X (“X + 5”).

  •  50 minutes on week 2
  • 55 minutes on week 3
  • 60 mintues on week 4
  • then drop down to your original X on week 5 (45 minutes), especially if you are racing over the week-end.
  • back up two X + 5’s because of ^ “down week” = 70 minutes on week 6
  • 75 minutes on week 7
  • 80 minutes on week 8
  • then drop down to 60 minutes on week 9, for absorption and injury prevention (or, again, for racing)
  • back up two X + 5’s b/c of  ^ “down week” = 90 minutes on week 10
  • here’s where I move up to X + 10 minutes for final 2 long runs … 100 minutes on week 11
  • 120 minutes (or 2 hours) on week 12
  • back down to 60 minutes on week 13 with 6o minutes as your new X for the rest of the year.

Geez … now that I see it written down, it sure doesn’t look that simple after all!

sorry Henry 🙁

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