When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.

The heart of the difference is not ability or even talent, but desire

The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott

Monday, February 20, 2006

Miles and miles.

I’d like to explain a bit of my view on mileage. Last week’s high miles wasn’t all that high for me, it was only 75, though it was biggest this season. I had been keeping it in 60-70 range so far with a base of 50. I am changing my perspective somewhat on simply putting miles in. My first year of running ultras (ok, second, the year I trained for first WS100 in 2004) I was obsessed about logging miles. I went a few times to high 90, but most of it were junk ones. I didn’t have any hills where I lived, and ran to and from work as well as to and from my yoga studio. Miles rolled easy. I did do speed sessions with local running club on a track (short intervals though as they were all training for half and full marathons) and may be a few hill workouts (what now I wouldn’t even call hills). Second year, in 2005, when I hired Scott Jurek for my second WS100 attempt, I started training smarter. There were more tempo runs and longer intervals, and hills increased in length and steepness. Luckily, I moved to Oregon, and finding hilly trails and fast training partners for weekend runs stopped been a problem. I also hit high 90th a few weeks, and there were quality weeks as well.

I am however very prone to injuries. Any kind of them, anything you can find in a running book. I need to be even more focused on how I build up and where I run. So this year I swore to be smarter in my training. With Lisa, I am able to split my days and do miles hard, fast or a mix of two. I will get to the same point of doing close to a 100 mpw, but that can wait. I am not that overwhelmed with numbers anymore, they will come when needed and when I am ready for it. No more just going out to put extra 10 to have a nice ending mileage, I don’t even count until the week is over. But the quality increased, and the understanding of the purpose for each workout is much clearer. I hope this will bring me to a better racing season and fewer aches and pains.

Obviously, those weeks that I did my 100M races went over 115, but that doesn’t count. Some people can easily withstand high miles, and it is helping them. I am working on faster turn-over, building threshold and uphill muscle. I am tired, but mostly because of quality, not quantity. I can fit in more miles, but don’t see a point of it anymore. Nor do I feel getting 3 x 15M runs would help me to become a better runner, I rather have those 45 split up. And if I miss a day, I don’t make up, I just move ahead. My cross-training days are hard, but use different muscle, so it’s kind of a rest, yet very fulfilling and serving a purpose.

Today was that x-training day. And then we took Stephen for a hike at Columbia river gorge. He is a great hiker, can kick my butt on any given day! Then we had fun running all the way down and went for a burger:)

I am getting calmer for upcoming Hagg lake and started making plans for the race. I like this feeling, between butterflies in my stomach and cold hard thinking of times and fuel. That’s why I race, for this feeling. Last year I went to races so often, I almost lost both of these feelings, and now they are coming back.

Have fun, everyone!


  1. Very cool.

    Good luck at Hagg Lake!!!

  2. glad to hear you're getting more quality runs in these days.
    good luck at hagg lake!

  3. Thanks for the explanation. I would like more miles, but am not going to beat myself up over it right now. Like you said, my runs have been of good quality lately, which is a good feeling.

  4. Great post! Great thoughts!

    "I think, therefore I am."


  5. Olga,
    You put a lot of thought into your running and it shows. Have fun at Hagg Lake this weekend - and especially meeting Darcy!

  6. Interesting food for thought in your post. I enjoy the "human-ness" of your postings.

  7. I would like to take credit for the pictures, but Darcy put them in for me since they were from her camera. That's my excuse at least.

  8. Hope Hagg Lake is a great experience for you. I'll be thinking about you Saturday and looking forward to hearing how things went.

  9. Oh Olga! Your writting is as your running, ULTRA, thanks for teaching, inspiring and giving so much.

  10. I like hearing you say that logging less miles is working for you. I have never done very high miles for a comparison, but you have and it is reassuring to know. I know for me that since I'm new, getting faster times at ultras has more to do with strong training miles, and race fueling and pacing rather than getting higher weekly miles. But as I get better at endurance running, I would like to increase my miles as long as the strength and speed qualities are maintained. Can't wait to see how this year's races go for you!

  11. Great post on your opinion on mileage. I have yet to do that kind of mileage yet, maybe this summer. Wish you luck at Hagg Lake!

  12. Olga Rocks! Good luck at Hagg.