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We’re excited to have four exceptional panelists join us for our “Handling the Mileage” discussion on Monday, August 18. Among them, Tommy Pyon, Sky Canaves, Paul Banel and Michael Conlon have run thousands of miles and crossed the finish lines of countless races.
But why wait until Monday? Let’s get this conversation started! Here are three things Michael Conlon considers essential when it comes to managing increases in mileage… but what about YOU?
What do you think is important to consider when increasing mileage? What questions do you have that our panelists can begin pondering before Monday? Leave them in the comments!
3 Things to Consider When Increasing Mileage from Coach Conlon
1- Never increase total weekly mileage by more than 10-15%.
For marathoners in particular, this is a pretty standard percentage (I’ll be interested to hear what our ultra experts say). Why? Endurance training is all about the culmination of training; it’s not about what you do in one day or even one week. Introducing too great of an increase in mileage at one time can lead to injury. If you are looking to introduce more volume, consider other forms of cross-training (cycling and swimming are both good options) as opposed to immediately adding more miles.
2- Build awareness so you can understand your own threshold.
Endurance athletes are notorious for pushing through pain. News flash: this is not always a good thing! For example, if you know your body begins to break down after 2.5 hours of running, modify your training so you don’t consistently go past that point. It’s one thing to do it in a race – and another to do it week-in and week-out during training. There are other ways of adding volume to a training plan (back-to-back long days, double days, an extra day of running in the training program, cross-training) that don’t involve taxing your body.
3- Always take one complete rest day.
Respect the distance when it comes to recovery. No running, no cross-training, nothing. Not even a rec league flag football game. Your body needs time to repair the microscopic damage to muscle fibers and the surrounding connective tissue caused by repetitive movements and daily stresses inflicted over a long training period. If you have a hard time doing nothing, opt for an active recovery day that involves dynamic stretching, self-myofascial work, hydrating, eating quality foods and getting extra sleep.
Most runners know you have to put in the training to see results. What we oftentimes forget are the other pieces of the puzzle that make us the complete athlete.
When it comes to nutrition, if “we are what we eat” (as the saying goes) then it matters not only the types of food we consume, but also where our food comes from. Fresh makes a difference.
Enter into the picture the idea of CSA: Community Supported Agriculture. It is a way of linking farmers directly with the people who want to eat freshly harvested food they grow.
Eat Food Distributor’s year-round CSA program has partnered with small, specialized Vermont and New York farmers, bringing their fresh products directly to New Yorkers within 24-48 hours of harvesting. These products not only include the best variety of veggies and fruits, but also delicious, responsibly-raised meats, poultry, game, pork and dairy.
When was the last time you picked up produce AND quail, goat cheese, flank steaks, sweet Italian sausage, kefir, honey and granola–just to name a few–from your local market? Eat Food provides this and plenty more WEEKLY! It’s delicious. It’s good for you, AND it’s good for the environment and supports local food suppliers.
Here’s How It Works:
Members pay a monthly or bi-monthly fee of $75 for three, six or twelve-month shares. Weekly shares are also available. And you always have the option of adding on more products. In return, CSA members stay connected to the land and are introduced to new foods for their whole family to enjoy. Ordering is easy. There are lots of options and it’s great to share.
Taste the difference. Eat Food.
Back in my Team in Training days we used to head up to New Paltz mid-season for a beautiful trail run around Lake Minnewaska. I’m a sucker for a good trail run, and it had been well over nine months (usually I can’t go more than just a few weeks!) since my last trail run. I couldn’t wait any longer.
I drove upstate with a few friends for the weekend and took advantage of the gorgeous weather. It was great to escape the city for a few days and not have to worry about traffic lights and cars and cat callers and noise and smog and all that other crap that comes with trying to do a long run (or really any kind of run) in the city.
There’s something so raw and therapeutic about a good trail run. It’s also much harder because the terrain is unpredictable, and you have to be way more cautious of your foot placement while at the same time being able to enjoy the beautiful scenery.
There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and the views were incredible.
When trail running it’s so much more important to train based on time on your feet versus mileage. Because of how hilly and unpredictable the course can be, you might end up on your feet so much longer than planned if you go based on mileage. For someone who is obsessed with numbers, splits and logging miles, it’s great to be able to just let it go and enjoy running for the sake of running.
When training for races and having very specific goals in mind, it’s easy to lose sight of the “why” while you’re too busy focusing on the “what” and “how.” Trail running always brings that back for me. It’s different, and it’s so important to just switch it up once in awhile and keep your feet guessing where they’re going next.
I’m looking forward to getting out on the trails again — and this time it won’t be nine months!
Erica Silbiger is a 10-time marathoner, having run her first marathon with Team in Training in San Diego on June 5, 2011. She will run the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, October 12, with her sights set on achieving a BQ. Erica is the Assistant Director of Admissions for the Columbia School of Social Work, and part of her job involves traveling around the country speaking to prospective applicants in the fall.
With fall marathon season in full swing, join us for a panel discussion all about managing the increase in your mileage. Whether you’ve done zero marathons or a 100 – or are possibly even looking to move up to ultramarathons at some point – hear how a few experienced runners handle the distance, plus everything else that goes into increasing your mileage: nutrition, hydration, self-care, life balance and more.
WHAT: A Panel Discussion on How to Prepare for Mileage Increases – whether you’re training for a marathon or looking to transition to ultra races – featuring a few talented athletes from our community:
- Tommy Pyon (21-time ultramarathoner, winner of the Great New York Exposition 100M)
- Sky Canaves (8-time ultramarathoner, first female in the Great New York Exposition 100M)
- Paul Banel (ultra runner, Customer Service Manager at JackRabbit)
- Michael Conlon (PT, coach, marathoner & triathlete)
WHEN: Monday, August 18, at 7:00 p.m.
WHERE: Finish Line Physical Therapy (119 W. 23rd St. #304; punch in 2711 to access the building
With marathon season upon us, most anyone training for a fall race is starting to see the mileage increase each week. Perhaps you’ve even looked ahead on the calendar, seen a 50-60 mile week scheduled and thought, shoot – can I do that?
Or you might fall into a different category: you’ve tackled the 26.2-mile distance (maybe even many times), and you’re looking for a new running challenge. Perhaps the idea of graduating to ultramarathons — defined as any distance over 26.2 miles — is one you’ve considered?
Regardless, for both trajectories, how to manage mileage increases can be an overwhelming thought, and the inevitable questions come up:
- Aren’t big mileage weeks & ultras just for people who are more elite – and probably more superhuman – than me?
- Will training take over my life (and in turn irritate every single one of my family members or friends)?
- How do I properly fuel my body to handle more mileage?
- What else do I need to do, both mentally & physically, to prepare myself for the extra miles?
- If an ultra is in my future, how do I even begin training for such a distance?
Join Finish Line Physical Therapy and the Dashing Whippets Running Team as we host a panel discussion to answer these questions and many more. Hear how a few experienced ultramarathoners handle the distance – plus everything else that goes into increasing your mileage: nutrition, hydration, self-care, life balance and more. This panel will be moderated by Simon Durkin of the Dashing Whippets.
The panelists include:
Tommy Pyon’s strength is competing in races of 50 miles and up, oh and he likes the heat. He recently won the Great New York Exposition 100M race in a remarkable 15h19m, has completed a marathon double of 2:52 on the Saturday and 2:49 on the Sunday (a PR), and also ran 2:53 at the 2012 Boston Marathon (the really hot year). Since 2009 he’s run 21 ultramarathon races, winning 10 of them and rarely placing outside the top 5. Tommy is based in Flushing Queens and is a member of the Dashing Whippets Running Team.
Sky Canaves began running casually while living in Hong Kong but became more competitive on returning home to New York City. Moving quickly up from the road racing scene in Central Park, she really found her feet in the ultra racing world. She was the first female in the New York Exposition 100M race, her first ever 100-mile race. Since then she’s raced a further 8 ultra races, winning 4 and always finishing in the top 3. Sky also gives back regularly volunteering with NYRR’s kids programs and is a keen mentor to her DWRT teammates.
Paul Banel is newer to the ultra scene, having completed his first 50 miler at the 2013 North Face Bear Mountain, just eight months after doing his first half-marathon. A long-time runner, Paul had most often raced at the 10K distance prior to transitioning to longer distances. He currently runs for the Bronx Submariners — a team he started in 2013 with a few friends — and works at JackRabbit as their Customer Service Manager.
Michael Conlon is the owner of Finish Line PT. He has been a coach for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program since 2002. He has run more than 20 marathons and is a three-time Ironman finisher.
After running my 3rd marathon, I needed some serious help. I spoke to tons of people I knew from various running groups and on Twitter and they all said the same thing - go to Finish Line. Back there now proactively as I prepare for my next marathon after my hip and knee started bothering me. Feeling fantastic and more ready than ever. — Ben W.
Finish line is awesome. A few years back I started experiencing knee pain while running. They were super helpful identifying the issue (IT band tightness), and working with me with deep tissue massages, foam rollers, and strength building exercise to get me back up and running quickly. — Jonathan W.
I like the environment too; it feels more like a gym than the sterile environments I'm used to seeing at standard clinics. Everyone around the place is in a general good mood -- none of that grumpy New York customer service crap. They all seem to be athletes too. They worked with my insurance as well to get the price reasonable. — Vincent D.