Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Training Hours Per Week
As a runner, admittedly I usually focus on the amount of miles I log every workout and per week, but don't usually get too hung up on the amount of time it takes to train. But since I'm busier this Summer with work than I've been in recent years, I've really started to notice the amount of time my training is consuming.
On the left is a portion my GarminConnect calendar snapshot of the past two weekly summaries. You can see that the mileage totals are around 60 miles, totaling about 8.5 hours. What it doesn't show is the 60-90 minutes of supplemental core, upper body, plyometric, and leg strengthening work I also add in on most days. If I combine those additional 5-6 hours to the weekly summary, I'm at about 13-14 hours total. And during the bulk of marathon training later this summer, this will increase to 16-17 hours of training per week.
Now before you roll your eyes or flip the channel ... YES ... I realize this is probably much more time than the "average" runner puts in. Heck, there are some triathletes juggling three sports who don't put in this kind of time. This Runner'sWorld article recommends about 30-50 miles per week for the average marathoner, and 100-140 for elite athletes. I'm not elite, but I've tried 100 mile weeks and I can't quite cut it. But I've always found that the key to me feeling good on a daily basis and performing well on race day is to increase the load during training. For example, I don't feel confident at the starting line of a marathon unless I've put in quite a few 75-80 mile weeks during the training cycle. And of course, the ancillary core and leg strengthening work helps keep my body strong and healthy during during the ramped up workouts. But of course, all this leads to more and more time.
Now, before you start with the "How could you take that much time away from your family?" condescending barbs - ha - let me just share with you how fortunate I am. I have a spouse who is totally on board with the training because she is a triathlete and logs her own miles! It's just what we do. Plus, the kids are adults and have families of their own now. So what are we gonna do ... sit around and stare at each other in rocking chairs?
The key for me with all of the hours of weekly activity is to get plenty of water, nutrition, and most importantly ... REST. I try to build in 20 min naps here an there, and am usually in bed by no later than 9:00 p.m. each night, which is sort of a prerequisite of waking at 4:00 a.m. almost every day. Going to bed while the sun is literally still in the sky in the Summer is sometimes difficult, but if I don't do it, I can't manage the workout the next morning.
So how many hours per week do you train? Do you find the more is better ... or is there a saturation point where you're only really wearing yourself down? I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.
... Be Great Today!