Constant Training: 4 Tips For How to Keep Moving Forward

Over the last 9 months I’ve gone from running 1x/ week to 2x/week to 3-4x/week. Building up your mileage takes time and I didn’t want to ramp up too quickly. I chose the constant training method where I did 55% of my longest run or what I felt like my max distance was and trained at that constant distance and tracked my progress via RPE or Rate of Perceived Exertion. I wanted to observe my training in blocks of 3-4 months.

RPE 10 Max Effort Activity. Feels almost impossible to keep going. Completely out of breath, unable to talk. Cannot maintain more than a short time.

9 Very Hard Activity. Very difficult to maintain exercise intensity. Can barely breath and speak a few words.

7-8 Vigorous Activity. Borderline uncomfortable. Short of breath, can speak a sentence.

4-6 Moderate Activity. Breathing heavily, can hold short conversation. Still somewhat comfortable, but becoming more noticeably challenging.

2-3 Light Activity. Feels like you can maintain for hours. Easy to breathe and carry a conversation.

1 Very Light Activity. Hardly any exertion, but more than sleeping, watching TV.

The Mt. Wilson trail is 14.5 miles round trip and it was the first time I had ever done anything that far and Orchard Camp which is about halfway about 8 miles roundtrip is about 55% of my max. I wanted to keep the distance I ran constant and track how my Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) changed throughout the course of a year and use this information to help me establish a baseline and progress accordingly. I also kept track of approximate elevation change and average RPE and mileage/month.

FYI: I have a background in running 4 years of high school cross country (I’m 34) where I averaged 500-800 miles in a 5 month season. I still kept running here and there, but switched to playing more basketball 1-2x/week. I only recently started running and during the 1x/week I was still running around and shooting 2x/week. I have a very solid base and have an aerobic capacity to work for 2-3 hours.

When I did the Mt. Wilson ascent it took 2 hours and 43 minutes. The first 4 miles were fine, but the next segment was awful. My legs were burning and I felt like my legs were going to collapse and they were twitching as I was walking up the last 1 mile. I was at a 10 and definitely almost wanted to quit.

10 Max Effort Activity. Feels almost impossible to keep going. Completely out of breath, unable to talk. Cannot maintain more than a short time.

After establishing my 1RM or max distance, here is what I decided to do:

4 tips I focused on to get myself to run 4 days a week.

Accountability: Tell a friend, write it down, say it out loud, make a promise to your cat, whatever it is. Put it out there, make it known so that someone out there besides yourself knows that you have set a goal to do something. I, personally, like to do all of the above and I think it helps to tell as many people and vocalize your ambitions and what you intend to do. You putting it out there means that you need to back it up a