OK, so I’m thinking that I want to be slightly more structured in how I run. I’ve got goals, dammit. I want to increase my mileage and get faster. I’d also like to trim a few pounds. But I don’t want to push myself so hard I hurt myself.

Runner’s World often talks about some rules of thumb to guide increases in mileage and speed. They suggest not increasing miles per week more than 10-12%; likewise, increasing speed more than 1-3% per week is a bad idea. And since I’m not an “elite” runner, I’d like to build in some plateaus every couple of weeks just to be extra safe.

Since I’m basically a 10:00 pace guy, and I ran 12-15 miles per week for the past couple of weeks, I’ll use those numbers as the starting point. Running the numbers, then, by the end of 12 weeks, with 4 of them being plateaus, I should be able to safely be an 8:30 pace, running 25 miles per week.

That’s assuming that I’m biomechanically able to do that, of course.

I picture the 8:30/25mpw Brian as being somehow slimmer and sexier. Or maybe that’s just a good motivating image. Not that I’m not already pretty damn sexy.

So, to that end, I’m going to include hill intervals once per week, and some basic speed intervals once per week. And I’m going to increase my long run every other week by 10%. I’ll use my 5K time as the speed benchmark. Well, I’ll use my time on the Figure eight loop around the Esplanade as the benchmark. I’ll alternate weeks for the speed and distance plateaus.

This week my benchmarks are:

  • Long run: 5 miles @ 10:00 pace
  • Speed (F8EL): 35:00

Then, next week I should be at:

  • Long run: 5 miles @ 10:00 pace (no change)
  • Speed (F8EL): 34:18