Now it seems reasonable to me that the biggest bang for the buck is aerobic training. The more you train...yada yada yada...the better shape you get in. The better shape you get in the faster aerobic miles follow. Once you get close to this you pick a season or race and add other elements such as strength and speed. That's what I started to understand in the late 70s, but it sure is a lot harder than it sounds. Which means other decisions factor along the way or circumstances arise. Some randomly and others self inflicted.
I have followed such plans both successfully and unsuccessfully. The later ones are difficult to swallow because a lot of time and effort when into it. What are self inflicted mistakes?
- Getting ahead of schedule
- Racing too much
- Running workouts too hard
- Not working hard enough
- Injecting too many random workouts
- Running other people's workouts and paces your not ready for
- Yada, yada, yada
Which leads me to ultra running. I think many of us end up here because aerobic miles pretty much takes care of everything if you let it. I like to occasionally run fast, but if you depend too much on this when not ready you compromise the aerobic training. Not that they can't go hand in hand, it just seems we are apt to depend on the fast results they provide and skimp a bit on the longer sessions. I am speaking as someone who is 50. You start running fast and you just don't recover like your 30. There are only 7 days in a week, so you may have to consider (if your a planner of schedules) a two week plan to get in the workouts you want and then repeating. I have a tough time getting in 3-4 quality workouts a week, but I can probably handle 4-5 in a two week period. The other stuff is good old fashiion hobby jogging at 8:30 - 10:00 miles.
This type of schedule also allows for a bit more flexibility compare to the rigid one week schedule. I'm done now.