After competing seriously for almost 20 years, I hobby jogged for the next 20...15-25 mpw, now I'm back into it again, 55-65-mpw.No big deal!
It's a very good topic and one I have been recently thinking a lot about. I have ran 35 years now and, though with injuries, back problems and everyday stresses of life I haven't been competitive for some time now but keep trying to back into the game.
The body seems to struggle as I have aged. I'm trying to get ready for a marathon next month and I can't get over how slow I am and how slow to get better as the weeks of training goes by.
One problem is I got a Garmin and of course found out my loops were all shorter than I had been calling them. To get under 8 min pace is really hustling now. I never thought I'd be there. My Garmin hates me. I enjoy my runs much more when I don't wear it ;-).
So I'd like to still race some and keep in shape, but my back feels better when I'm injured and not running. I've been thinking for some time what is right for me and I think 30-40 miles a week would be good, 3-5 days/week. With some long runs on weekends. But I hate to cut back on the dream, though its really been an illusion for some time now...
Running only keeps you in shape for running and keeps your fat and muscle down at low levels. If you want to actually be healthy i suggest lowering your mileage to reasonable levels and pick up calisthenics and weight training. Unless you like looking like a trex concentration camp victim.
Almost forgot, one of my reasons for continuing to run: Mental health benefits. I blow off steam and get good ideas at the 35 minute mark of a one hour run. Pretty cool.
I've also been really lucky with a lack of injuries. I've been a ball of the foot planter, never really thought about it much until I read Born to Run. Seems that luck is on my side with staying healthy, no knee problems etc.
What I plan on doing once the racing is OVER:
4-5 miles, 3 times a week. Would like to be able to run at least 8-10 miles on a weekend morning just for that nice euphoric feeling. No watch.
Love to race, love the feeling of being relatively fast, I HATE planning my workouts around vacations, work, etc., and getting depressed or angry when I miss a speed session.
I've been there for years. 55-60 mpw and 3 weight sessions per week. Considering you are competing at a reasonable level, anything less and you'll feel like an out of shape pack mule on the runs, which isn't fun.
I gave it up after college 8 years ago. It's been a slow decline over those years to where I now run only about 5-10 miles per week. Right out of college I probably ran 60. Then, I landed a full time job, got married, had kids and running fast just isn't important any more. I can still run a sub 5 mile though.
I'm now 48 and race a lot less. However, I still enjoy running. But I like trail running more and more. It's a connection with nature that I never got with road running. Plus, I'm less concerned about how slow I'm getting!
Cycling is fun but I'm constantly worried about my bike breaking down or getting hit by a car or simply wrecking due to my poor cycling skills. Mentally, I get the same endorphin rush from cycling. Plus, it's so much easier on my body.
I think as I age, I will probably have to cycle because I'm so injury prone. Someone please invent some run flat bike tires!
Tried to quit a couple of times and failed. Was a fairly competitive and serious runner. I tried to scale back to 3 times/wk after I turned 49(way too many injuries, could never make it to the start line, I knew how I wanted to train for a particular performance but quite made it the last few years)Anyway at 3 runs per week I was never fit enough to just run effortlessly so it wasn't enjoyable. At 4 runs it would start to get easier and more enjoyable and if 4 was that good than 5 was better and once you hit 6/7 why not look forward to a race.
The other part is mentally I wasn't and still am not there, in the back of my head I have this strange thought, what happens when you can't just go out a run fast and long, so I know i'm not there yet.
So now I spend my time running a bit less, a bit slower and thinking I will get 2-3 races in this year.
75 mpw as "casual jogging" sorry but that's just nuts.
Seriously, if I weren't going to ever race I'd drop it to 3-4x week 15-20 mpw with lots of other types of work out and activities in there.
I think it'd be cool to get on a kayak a couple times a week during the Spring and Summer
I'd like to work on more over all fitness, tone up the arms and such.
Maybe do some long hiking on the weekends.
I am 43, and I have run for 32 years...I still comptete a few times a year, but not seriously very much (although I ran a low-16 for 5k recently after ramping it up again). The fact is I simply keep myself in decent shape parts of the year --25-30 miles/ wk with weights (this is key to overall health). I find running 3 days a week HARDER than 5 or 6 with low mileage. I run every morning before work and when the kids get up. This allows me to fit things in and create a habit. Every time I try to run 3 days a week, I get screwed up and end up missing more days. Try to find an easy routine and stick to it--and if you get enthused to race again, it won't take long to get fit again.
I think a lot depends on how you are physically after years of running. My feet and achilles get sore, so 3-4 days a week on trails is good enough with swimming and biking or EFX on the other days as well as a kickboxing class. I run about 30 miles a week, working it around kids, school, work, family, etc.
I will never buy a Garmin - I don't want to watch myself get slower and slower because then I wouldn't enjoy the morning run as much. Too much running means walking in pain for the rest of the day - not worth it!
I think 60 miles is too much to be considered a casual runner but I do think that if you are still running at all, you should just keep trying to improve. Why would you give up so easily when you can still get faster. Don't be lazy and get out there and improve!
Cashing It In wrote:
The MonBRO Doctrine wrote:
50-60. I can see myself going as low as 35 or as high as 75.
To me, 75 mpw is way too much for someone just concerned with all around good fitness. I enjoyed competitive running very much. I had a decent college career and have run very seriously for the last 7 years since college, but now I am really tired of it. I'm not tired of running. I hope I will always love that. But with a young family and a career that is pretty demanding and requires a fair amount of travel, etc, I just can't manage the regular demands of training for competitive racing. I am tired of trying to fit a regimented training program into my demanding professional and personal life. It's just not worth it to me anymore and creates too much stress.
I don't think my ego is too big that I won't jump in a race once in a great while just for fun, but that probably won't happen often. I don't know how much fun it's going to be running a race a minute per mile slower than you know what you are capable of if properly trained. I have a good friend who was a very good college golfer and now he never plays. I asked him recently why he doesn't at least play a couple times a month to stay in touch with the game. He told me he simply has no interest in 'sucking' once a month at a game he used to play very well.
Running is different because there is a clear fitness benefit to running and running, unlike golf, is practically free. So really what I'm after is the ability to enjoy running for the fitness benefit while completely severing any attachment to the competitive side of the sport.
The last sentence says it. Your challenge will be to find a partner or group to run with that isn't tied up in the bullshit of 'racing'. Understand that in my definition, racing means working towards the Olympic team. Running races on the weekend is not racing. However for many that is the pinnacle of their world. Finding guys who just like the run, not preparing for something will be hard.
If you are a guy who enjoys running, and is happy to run alone, then you're fine.
Now if you still love the race, the challenge of stretching yourself, but no longer have the time to dedicate to the big show, then add another sport. One without any aspirations.
Do a biathlon. Bike / run. That's an interesting challenge without the big expectations. The bike is a great thing. You can use the base you've built from running. But know that the time thingy is extreme.
Good luck to you. Yo have to back down the intensity sometime. As I said, once the Olympics are no-go, then its time to go gardening.
I don't know about miles. But I know you can stay in excellent shape getting in some kind of a quality 30-45 minute workout every day and eating well.
I was running 60 minutes daily plus P90-X. I want to put on a little more muscle so I just recently cut that down to about 20 minutes daily.
I was really surprised that after several months of not training I was still only 30 seconds off in my 5k personal best.
And I went down from 80-120 mpw to 30 miles per week (and no workouts)
I am in the same boat as you, Stating the obvious. I have been running for over 30 years but haven't run a competitive race for 5 years now. Still, up until recently, I was getting in anywhere from 50 - 70 miles per week just because I loved to run (and I hated the thought of putting on a ton of weight). Sure, my times were a little slower, but I was still out there religiously, banging away at about a 6:45 pace and drawing strange looks from the non-runners in the neighborhood. Of course, there were occasional injuries, but I was largely injury free. But then, starting about a year ago, it seemed I couldn't go a month without injury. I'm still stubbornly trying to hit 40 - 50 per week, but every step is a struggle and now I'm happy if I can do an 8 miler at 7:00 pace. It's really starting to take the fun out of it.
My dreams have become illusions as well, and the older I get the better I used to be. Reality can be a bitter pill to swallow, but the reality is that 30 miles per week is still more than most folks do and that appears to be a good, achievable target.
I no longer compete (former low 30s guy on the road when on a good one). When training to race, I usually ran 70-80 miles a week.
Now, I get out for 30-60 mins a day depending on how I feel. Most days are around 40-45 mins. No speedwork, just running anywhere from 7min pace to below 6 if I feel like it. No racing. I think, if I had to, I could run 16:30 for 5k just off running every day, so the amount I'm running works for me.
I always thought take it easy just run for enjoyment and you won't get injured
Put on weight (getting married does not help) and 3 years pf! Worst injury ever had!
Just clearing up, if it goes I'm going back to running 6 x a wk. Well I'm going to try starting this wk anyway. Only problem is I hate running on roads and my feet won't take it. In summer after work fine but in winter with full time job am stuffed
Well I will try and get fit this summer and take it from there