Warning: Technical training stuff ahead.
On this new training plan (Hansons Marathon Method) I will eventually be training six days a week with three easy runs (still up to 8 miles, though) and three runs that they call "something of substance" (SOS): a long run, a tempo run, and a speed or strength run. Typically I've run 3-5 days in the week with only two "SOS" runs, for an average of 18-24 miles per week, so this is definitely a step up for me.
(I am used to working out 5-6 times a week, just not all running.)
The first week of the plan starts with only three days running for a total of 10 miles, increases mileage slowly over the first month, but then jumps from 21 to 39 miles within just two weeks. That seemed like a recipe for injury to me. Since I'd already been running more in preparation for my race, I decided to ramp up my schedule within the earlier weeks so Week 6 wouldn't be such a shock - to my routine, to my mind, to my iliotibial band.
(The plan does call for those who have already been doing higher mileage to start where one is and let the plan catch up - not exactly what I'm doing but in the same spirit.)
So over the last four weeks I've been adding in more runs in the week, keeping them short to start, and also doing as many early morning runs as possible, as that's been a huge mental shift to adjust to. I've also been scheduling my longer runs to mimic the schedule I'll have once the SOS runs start, also in Week 6. That way once Week 6 comes I'll already be familiar with as much as possible - the schedule, the time of day, the mileage - and all I'll have to adapt to will be the higher intensity of the SOS runs. As if that weren't quite enough of a shock.
I need to get serious about stretching too.
I've now finished the second week of six-run weeks, and while I'm tired, for sure, I can feel myself adapting. At first the early morning runs seemed hard and now they feel normal; at first the idea of running every day seemed impossible and now I look forward to it. So I'm excited to start the "real" training in a couple of weeks. It also helps that I'll be taking vacation right in the middle of that first week so I know my legs will catch a break between this initial phase and when things get really serious.
I'll start posting my training plan for the week once I get into the thick of it so you can see exactly what I am doing (or failing to do).