Thursday, 10 March 2016

A milestone, worthy of a post I feel...

I have just racked up my highest week's mileage ever!  81.5miles / 130.5km, which for some of you may not be a lot, but not bad for an 800m runner, with a full time job, a 1 hour commute, two [lovely] kids going through major exams, a dog to walk, a car to clean, grass to cut, floors to mop blah blah....

Background: during the winter base training phase, I like to include at least two high mileage weeks - one in the autumn and one in the spring.  I find that this results in weeks of subsequent smooth running, improved recovery times, and improved digestion.  Usually this constitutes between 50 miles (10km per day average) and 70 miles.

Furthermore, at some point in such a week I hit a real low.  Legs about to fall off, horrendous indigestion where I can't process food quick enough between runs, and defeatism.  But this time was different, so I kept going!  This time it felt easy, and given the time, I really feel like 100 miles is doable.

These are the game-changers:
  1. The new, more efficient gait (what this entire blog is about!) is causing less trauma to the legs, hips, lower back, so I'm going further on less energy, and recovering faster between runs.
  2. Dropping the carbs, and metabolising fat for fuel, means that I'm not hitting 'empty' at the end of runs and experiencing the damage that that incurs.
This milestone gives me the opportunity to start introducing some speed to my gait-changing journey.  Or, to put it another way, I feel I've reached the base of the curve on the BLUE line on this graph (bottom of the page).  Now I feel the gait is nailed at speeds of up to 4:45/km I can start moving up the blue line.  The ultimate aim, of course, is to have the gait nailed at 2:30/km, tired, and full of lactic.  I'm giving myself another 6 months to get there...

And a final word.  Every mile, road or trail, was run in minimal shoes.  My feet are stronger than they've ever been (and that took 6 moths to achieve).

Here is the week according to Strava.  Remember, kids, if it's not on Strava, it didn't happen...

If you're new to the blog, and you've got 30 mins to kill, you can go to the start.  Some posts are only 3 or 4 lines long!  START HERE


  1. Great work 'Blackers'. We continue to watch with interest from afar. Do remember you are not invincible though - you can still get an over-use injury if you are running in good form - not easy but still possible. Please pay attention to any pains :-)

    1. Thanks Keith, good advice as always. I give the metatarsals a good prod at least once a week now! Guess I should do the fibula and tibia too?

  2. Impressive stuff. I managed a 72.7km week back in February at the peak of my half-marathon training (maybe I'll beat that as I'm hitting the same point in the cycle again next week). Although it did nearly break me and I had to take an easy week afterwards to recover... :)

  3. Hi Jim - was your body complaining about the accumulative impact in the form of stiff soft-tissue, or you were you having problems fuelling? I've had both in the past during long weeks.