The marathon is finally out of my system and the knee has quit complaining. So it’s time to begin the next phase of training: six run weeks that include a double run day. One or two people have proclaimed this madness that will only end in injury. So are they right; will regularly running twice a day break me?
I don’t think so; so long as I take it steady. I’m used to five runs a week from the marathon training, so all I’m really doing is adding another piddly little outing to make it up to six. But rather than using one of the rest days for the extra run, I’ll be doing it in an evening, 12 hours after a morning run.
Come to think of it, that does sound a bit like madness. But there is a logic to it. It’s not like I’m diving straight into epic, four hour slogs; see this week’s schedule (pictured). Running twice a day allows me to slowly get used to running on tired legs (and also gives time for cross/strength training on non run days). And over the next two years, as the mileage increases in steady increments, I’ll get to know all about tired legs.
By the time I’m ready to run the 150 miles of the Marathon des Sables , I’ll have forgotten what it feels like to have legs that aren’t aching. But before all that, in the next four to six weeks, depending on the knee, I will progress towards seven run weeks, while gradually upping the average mileage of my outings.
Then, the following four months will be spent preparing for my first ultra marathon, the Surrey Hills Ultra, a 37 miler across the trails of the North Downs in September. And do you know what? Aching legs and two runs a day and all, I can’t wait. Maybe they’re right about the madness after all.