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How Far Do You Really Have To Run?

Yesterday, I did my 700th joggling mile this year. That pencils out to about 4.7 miles a day and puts me on target for 1715running effects miles at year’s end. The target is 1800 miles so I have to step it up a bit.

All this running is great news for the juggling and running everyday streak (streak link), but I’m not sure it’s been great for my running speed. I wondered, “am I joggling too much?”This article from Running Times attempts to answer the question.

Here are the main points of the article.

Are you running too much?

  • Running more causes improvements in your body but there’s a limit. More mileage is great for runners because it stimulates some important adaptive changes in your body. The farther you run, the greater the change in things such as glycogen storage, # of red blood cells, and aerobic metabolic capacity. But there is a point where you don’t get much more improvement.
  • More untrained runners benefit from increased mileage. Obviously, if you aren’t in great shape by increasing your mileage even a little bit you can make huge body changes. For someone who runs a lot of miles already, extra ones won’t necessarily help as much.
  • Target 60 to 70 miles a week. The experts say that there is a plateau of benefits that you reach when running 60 to 70 miles a week. Anything more will not really help you too much. If you run less than this however, your times could benefit by running more.
  • Should you run more than 70 miles? Pros routinely go over 100 miles in a week but that doesn’t mean it’s helping much. From an endurance standpoint the experts don’t think anything past 70 miles is making much difference. The only benefit suggested was that the extra time spent running helps further improve running economy and this may be one benefit. However, unless you’re a world-class runner, it’s not likely to do you much good. It may even cause problems because you’re more likely to be injured.

Based on my mileage thus far, it seems I’m not definitely not running too much. In fact, the experts would suggest that I could benefit from running more. If I’m serious about meeting my running and juggling goals this year, I’ll definitely have to increase my mileage. This was happening anyway since I’ve started training for the 100 mile ultra-marathon.

The article also provides the following suggestions…

Running Distance Training Suggestions

If you are running less than 30 miles a week, increasing your mileage will certainly improve your speed.

If you are running between 30 & 50 miles a week, increasing mileage should help improve your speed (especially if you are on the lower end of this range).

At 60 to 70 miles a week, you’re probably in the best training zone for most runners. Increasing your mileage probably won’t help very much.

This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. People have to listen to their own bodies on this. ‘Experts’ don’t hear and feel the inner workings of the machine. Some days you are good and some days you are not so good. You have to adjust at each step and be ready to call it quits or radically adjust goals at any point. And you have to take it slowly. Distance is earned, not just trained into. Tendons and ligaments may take months or years to build up to a point where a person can do 75 or 100 miles. The mental focus necessary for distance is learned and the product of a lot of pain and hardship. Each person has to find his running space and try and keep to that space, letting it grow over time. As the space changes so does the distance. Do it arse backwards and you are going to be gimping around for a long time. Distance is good. It may be a 30 hour hundred, but it was likely at least a two year trip to get there. Listen to your body and don’t go too much with what the experts are telling you.

  2. Congrats Perry. I actually just hit 400 the other day. A far cry from your 700, but definetely the most I have run this early in a year.

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