This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original HillRunner.com Blogs.
This past weekend, I completed what I would consider my 2016 base phase. Looking over it, I accomplished the following:
7 weeks of 70-72 miles
4 weeks of 66-69 miles
2 weeks of 50 miles (cutback weeks)
1 week of 40 miles (ill)
I can sum up these results in one word: consistency. And I’m feeling very good about where my 2016 racing season will be going for that one reason.
I hope you’re accomplishing the same thing.
It’s not about the numbers to me. Personally, I respond well to 70 mile weeks and that’s what currently fits into my life. I’m not concerned with whether you find yourself saying the same thing about 30 mile weeks, 50 mile weeks, or 100 mile weeks.
What I am concerned with is how consistent you are at the level that works for you.
For years, I’ve said I don’t care what your peak weekly mileage was or what your peak long run was. Tell me what your fourth highest week was. Tell me what your third longest run was. This tells me much more about how your training has been than one big peak.
When you do a single 20 mile long run but your next longest are 18, 16, and 14 you’re less prepared for a marathon than if you’ve run three 18 mile long runs and two 16 milers.
When you do a single 60 mile week but your next highest was 45, you have less complete of a base and are likely more broken down than if you’ve run between 50 and 55 miles several times.
The consistent grind may not be as impressive as a single big blowout week or a single big workout or long run but it’s more effective in the end. It will lead to better results on race day. So, if that’s what you’re looking for, go for the boring in your training. Grind it out with consistent focus and effort.
You don’t need to impress people with the big number in training because you can impress people on race day, when it really matters.