December 2009 I did 50 miles.
In 2009 I averaged 38 miles per month.
And for January 2010, with 9 days still remaining in the month and 2 half marathons still to come this month, I'm already above my highest month of 2009 - I'm at 70 miles!
So by all calculations, I will end the month with more than double the previous month's mileage (est. Jan. 2010 at 107 miles versus Dec. 2009 at 50 miles).
Not normally recommended, the standard you hear in the running world is to not increase weekly mileage by more than 10% week to week. So why is this okay?
- I am listening to my body, and I am seeing my sports chiropractor regularly. Obvious but important. With each ache, I ask "Is this good sore or bad sore?" Basically, is this the adjustment phase and my muscles are strengthening themselves through this process, or is something wrong. Often, until it's full-blown pain, people don't stop long enough to ask and answer that question effectively. With weekly checkups, my chiropractor truly is the unbiased objective observer to answering the question of "Is it good sore or bad sore?"
- I've learned to run easy miles. In the past, my rest days were crucial because a lot of runs were speedwork, tempo runs, intervals - basically harder miles. By running about 60% of my miles this month as easy miles, it's allowed me to get more miles on my legs with less stress to the body.
- Running is not a new thing to me. One thing about the 10% weekly mileage gain rule is that this statement is most often given as a word of warning to newer runners, especially those following some one-size-fits-all training schedule. I've been running regularly for years and have become very self-aware in my running, which is an entirely different situation, from the warnings given to those who would get excited and go out and just randomly run every day or run extra long one day if given a chance, when you are ramped up and just starting out.