Review of miles run in 2014

I have always enjoyed keeping a track of how many miles I run each year. Before the days of computers I kept a record in a diary or on a sheet of paper.  When I got into the wonderful world of ultra running at the end of 2006 and started this blog I have recored every run.

In 2014 one of my goals was to run at least 2014 miles and joined the Facebook page set up by Karen Robertson. I set up a spreadsheet to record my miles compared to the daily goal of 5.52 miles. Each week I posted an update on the Facebook page and it was good to see my blue line of my runs staying ahead of the red target line.

By the end of 2014 I had run 2171.25 miles so I completed my challenge. In fact I completed it with just over a month to go. My main race for 2014 was the Hardmoors 110 in May so my training started from the beginning of January so I was always ahead of the target and stayed there.

2014 miles finish

I’m more and more convinced that consistency in training is key to running well so as I look at this graph it encourages me that I’ve been able to run 4 or 5 times most weeks right throughout the year.

I’m also very grateful and thankful that I’ve not had any injuries over the past couple of years. I’ve had the odd slight niggle in my hamstring and calf but by resting for a few days and running easy I was able to sort it out before it go too serious.

Over the year I have cycled 529 miles mainly to and from work once or twice a week. I think that has also helped keep me injury free. In the past I have maybe run on those days and picked up injuries.

I’ve not worked it out but I reckon over half of my miles are off road on softer ground. I’m sure that helps keep injuries at bay as well.

I like to have a variety of sessions per week including Fartlek, Tempo, Hills, easy runs and long runs. I find it helpful to keep a record of what I have done. So here is a summary of all my runs month by month by various categories ….

Types of runs 2104 v2

I purposely didn’t do as many Fartlek sessions in 2014 as I wanted to concentrate on my Ben Lomond Runs as my ‘quality’ session during the week. I think that worked well as it prepared my quads for the demands of the ultra races.

I remember in the past Andy Cole commenting that he was surprised I don’t do more longer (0ver 20miles) training runs and looking past this list I only did 8 training runs over 20miles in the year.  Maybe that is an area I could look at.

I think part of it is time at the weekend. I tend to do my longer runs before my swimming lessons on Saturday and before church on Sunday so I’m limited on how far I can go. Maybe I need to get up even earlier!!

It is interesting (to me at least!) to look at my monthly mileage over the last 8 years …..

2014 by month

2009 was my biggest year with 2325.65 miles. That was also my best year results wise when I ran the Fling under 10hrs, West Highland Way under 20hrs and Devils under 7hrs. It was the year I was 50 and set myself the target of running 5 ultras in a year for the first time.

The races were from April to December which meant I didn’t really have a break before starting up again in 2010. I struggled a bit in 2010 and I’ve learnt that I do need a break from the ultras to recharge and enjoy some different types of running.

I have ran 16,309.63 miles in the last 8 years which works out at just over 2000 miles a year. Again I’m sure that consistency helps massively with my running.

So my 2171.25 miles for the year works out at an average of 40.97 miles per week and 180.94 miles per month.

For anyone who is interested here are some spread sheets I’ve used to record my mileage:-

Finally thanks to all who have followed my training and races over the past year. I’m always encouraged when someone emails or speaks to me about my blog. It’s primarily a great resource for me but if it helps others then that’s an added bonus!

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5 Responses to Review of miles run in 2014

  1. Pierre PAPAÏX says:

    Bonjour, the thing is that I noticed that you go running very often and it motivates me, specially because we have got a little better weather here in South of France than in Glasgow… After having walked the WHWay in July, I hope I will be ready for August to run the Devil of the Highlands 2015.

    Bonnes courses 2015, Pierre Papaïx.

  2. James Smith says:

    Fantastic review john,i am always amazed at your attention to detail, its obviously key to your success,its always great to see what you have been doing each week and how far or fast and where you have been running, the countyside that surrounds you looks fantastic and really suits your training needs.You are obviously very passionate about what you do and all the training and build up to all your races, this always comes across in your blog,its so good to see someone doing something so well and getting such a lot out of it, and seemingly making the most out of life, its a real inspiration,so thanks to you john for doing this and making it available in such an inspiring and informative way,all the best for 2015 and great running.

  3. Christopher says:

    On your first spreadsheet I notice your Fartlek column isn’t added up correctly :).

  4. Well done on surpassing the 2014 challenge with ease. Consistency really is what has helped with my own running.

    I also got by with few really long training runs – my longest training run was just 18 miles, it was only the Loch Katrine Marathon and the Highland Fling that I went longer before the West Highland Way Race. I got on fine in all these race, but perhaps the calf strain at Kinlochleven hints that perhaps I didn’t quite do enough longer runs.

    For aerobic fitness I think too many long runs will be detrimental – you break your body down during long runs and this takes time to repair, but if you are forced to take time off running you might rebuild the strength but end up loosing aerobic fitness because you aren’t running consistently anymore. As fat burining capacity is wholly dependent on aeroic fitness this loss could be felt hard during ultras. You could see the effect of this at this years WHWR with runners who did many more long runs, and big back to backs in training prior to the race who struggled on the day.

    My hunch is that doing lots of hills will help develop the structural resilience we need during ultras better than doing really long runs. Doing lots of modest length long runs rather than a small number of really long runs will also promote aerobic fitness and fat burning better too.

    All the best for 2015 🙂

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