So, you’re a runner. You’ve run a few races, a 5k, 10k, half marathon, etc. Now you want to improve, get faster, smoke your previous PR time, and become the best you can be. But how many miles, what pace, where do you run, do you hire a coach? There are so many questions and so many different answers.
I know for myself, the amount of miles I can run and still stay healthy is different than many of my runner friends. My body doesn’t do well with huge mileage weeks, maybe I don’t build up properly, but every time I push my mileage up I seem to get overuse injuries. The mileage each runner needs to run, truly depends on your body type, your race distance and performance goals. Training is vital to success, but too much training can lead to injuries and decreased performance.
Think about how long your upcoming race is and what your goal is. Do you want to run your fastest race or is your goal just to finish? Think quality over quantity. If your goal is to finish fast, you need to focus on speed drills and interval training. You still need to log miles, but a quick, 2-3 mile sprint workout may be more beneficial than a 6-mile long run. If you are running a marathon, you need to log more weekly miles than someone running a 10k. Do not increase your mileage total more than 10% a week, this will help stave off injury and keep you running strong.
If you are training for a road race, run at least 80% of your training miles on the road. If you are training for a trail race, run the majority of your miles on the trails. You want most of your miles to be run on the surface you plan to race on. This will help you both mentally and physically prepare for race day.
Hire a coach. Coaching can be expensive, but is almost always worth it. A coach can take the guess work out of training and will keep you on track towards reaching your goals. You will have someone to be accountable to and someone who is rooting for you to succeed. If you can’t afford a coach full time, consider just purchasing a few sessions to help motivate you and give you training ideas. A good coach can also help ensure you are running with proper form.
Running is not an exact science. Every body is different. Don’t be afraid to do some trial-and-error to discover what works best for you. As a general rule you should run between 20-30 miles a week for 5k/10k distances and 30-50 miles a week for half/full marathon distances.
Questions? Comments? I’d love to hear from you! Drop me a line below.