This article tries to delve into answers on weekly mileage which almost every new or intermediate runner is dealing with and most of the times, remain in dilemma. Honestly, I did struggle in start with same questions and went on running, whenever i can, without much thinking. Luckily I did not get injured. But now i see that as a brutal mistake from which i escaped unhurt. What are these questions which can really hamper your progress if not answered well? Let’s see
- How many days to run in a week?
- How many km to run in a week?
- When to start thinking of weekly mileage?
- How to increase weekly mileage?
If we have a look at different types of runners and their weekly mileage, it varies from 30-40 miles a week for a high school runner to 100-130 miles a week on the other extreme for elite runners. Yes you read it right. 130 miles. That’s approx 200 km in a week!!!
But is that much really required for people like us? To answer that question we have to understand first
Who are we? Can we run that much?
An Average reader of this article has done mostly nothing in terms of serious running in high school, college. He has started to give running a thought when he is around 30 yr old or more and start thinking of remaining fit somehow. Moreover he has a full time job, a family with a kid or two, possibly having a nuclear family so apart from office work, he has to get involved actively in the mundane things as well. He is normal person who has not run much but want to do something in running. He visualizes a fit body but could not get up in morning. He take a fitness resolution every year but could not do much.
For such an Adult runner, weekly mileage is of no use. Rather he should seriously work on yearly mileage first and
keep on increasing the yearly mileage consistently, keep a log and after two to three years of consistent running and a good base formation, he should come back and start segregating his runs in terms of weekly mileage.
I can share what i did when i was a beginner and what i did in 2015, 2016, 2017. I was a utter failure in 2015. I thought of setting a pretty low goal of average running of mere 1 km/day and as evident from snaps i failed. Yes i did capture snaps and keep logs of my runs
But i did achieve something very beautiful after i failed in 2015.
"confidence that i can do better"
That confidence helped me to increase yearly mileage and built a good foundation for my next year runs. As you see consistency helped me achieve my higher goals in subsequent years.
So the point is focus on yearly mileage if you are a new runner and running 2-3 days a week consistently is far better.
- For a runner who has more time or
- one who has started running early in his life or
- who has good base formation done in last 2-3 years
should be looking at weekly mileage of 30-40 KM to start with.
Lets see how to plan this 40 km in a week and what things to be take care of while planning it.
- The total km should be spread evenly across a week
- There should a SLR day (slow long run)
- There should be easy day and hard day
- There should be a focus on increasing the pace
- There should be rest day
- There should be a recovery day
- Plan should have bit of flexibility and not a rigid one.
Without making plan complicated, these are the basic principles one should keep in mind.
So, as you see, with this basic plan, we are able to fulfill most of the basic principles by only running 5 days a week at this weekly mileage. This plan is flexible as one can shuffle one day here and there plus it focus on interval training, rest day, recovery days as well
Now, keep this mileage consistent for 3 months or more.
It will build your base endurance and no wild swings in weekly mileage for few weeks will also keep you injury free.
Until you really crosses weekly mileage above 50 km, it is advisable to have not more than 5 days running. It will give your body adequate time to recover and efficient running strength on running days.
A basic plan for a weekly mileage of 55 km will have only one rest day. So the other rest day will be transformed into easy day
Amazing things start happening in your body when you reach 60 km or more in a week. At that time, You can also plan to do doubles and a basic plan of 70 km with doubles will look like one below. Here the easy day should be treated as rest day Doubles mean running twice a day with splitting the total run of a day in two parts. e.g. 9km on Monday can be divided into 5km in morning and 4 km in evening. There are people who have done singles and who have done doubles and both kind of people are successful and it really depends upon how your body copes up with extra stress and judge what is better for you.
Also Read : Running on Alpha Affairs
How to increase mileage
When you build a solid base of 2+ years at 30 km weekly mileage and done atleast 3 months to 6 months of consistent 40 km weekly run then only you should come to think of increasing weekly mileage.
Again there are certain basic principle that need to be taken care of
1. Don’t increase by more than 5% per week for first 10 weeks
2. Reset the weekly mileage to T-3 week mileage after every four week
3. Don’t increase by more than 10% per week in worst case
4. Don’t try to jump over the weeks if you have to skip certain weeks because of injury or health issues. Start from T-3 weeks mileage when restarting and regain endurance.
5. Don’t cry over what is gone and risk yourself to injuries
Below is a plan which shows how to increase mileage every week
So as you see, by having a basic plan and keeping basic principles in mind, you can enjoy your runs and slowly reaching the running km which you have never thought of earlier.
Is this everything about running ? NO. But this gives you an idea on to build up to a certain level in running.
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