Yesterday's run saw me log my highest monthly mileage total of 259km...

I ran 259km in January 2012
I ran 259km in January 2012

My previous high was 252km in November 2011. Now the fact these two are quite close to each other - we could say right after each other as December doesn't really count as I was on holiday for most of the month - is no coincidence. Since September I've been experimenting with the Maximum Aerobic Function (MAF) training as promoted/devised by Phil Maffetone and I'm really enjoying it and starting to see results.

Essentially all my training is just a lot of long and slow running done at a specific heart rate. No interval workouts, no threshold runs, no tempo runs, no racing, no anything-that-would-over-stress-the-body running. I'm finding that I feel moderately tired after a long run, but not absolutely knackered. Best of all, I feel great the next day and I can easily take another long run without feeling the strain. Case in point, on 22 January I ran my longest long run in a very very long time (just over 22km in 2 hours) and I felt great the next day and ran just over 9.5km that day. If so inclined, I could probably easily run two moderately long runs in a day if I wanted.

I think I've also found a good training routine/pattern that my body seems to like: three high mileage weeks each with 5-6 runs, one of which is a long run, and one swimming session followed by one week low mileage with a swim. I've dropped the weight lifting sessions as I actually feel more knackered after these than after a long run. I now have Phil Maffetone's The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing and in here he recommends no weight training take place during the base building phase. Now I have the book, I'm also starting to do the monthly MAF tests properly, so we'll see in a couple of months exactly how much improvement I'm getting from this long-slow running.

So all in all, I'm really enjoying my running at the moment and I think I might be in for a bumper year in terms of mileage. Lets just hope the race times plummet too. The first test will be the Reading half-marathon on 1 April.