12 Weeks To Boston – All About Weekly Mileage

Last Monday was 12 Weeks to the Boston Marathon.

I am running Boston, and I love this part of the training cycle. Despite the challenging weather, I love seeing my weekly mileage increase.

Your weekly mileage is the number of miles you run in each week and it is one of the most important parts of marathon training. Simply put, more mileage builds your aerobic system (your engine). The more you run, the better you get at it. You become more efficient, and use less energy per step. Just like anything else, the more you practice, the better you get!

The marathon is mainly an aerobic event, so the more your aerobic capacity you have, the better you will perform. The best way to do this is to run at an aerobic pace- which is your easy, relaxed pace. That is why I stress to my athletes, run your easy days easy!

So, for a marathon, how many weekly miles should you run? Anywhere between 25 and 125! Helpful, right? Personally, I peak at just over 100, but it took me years to get to that. I will also add, that is my PEAK mileage, not my average.

Everyone’s journey to the start line is different. When I help runners train, I look at their running history, training background, age, injury history, overall health, goals, and their personal responsibilities in order to determine what would be best for them. We are all individuals and our bodies work differently. I know I respond well to high mileage but some people cannot handle the pounding, nor do they have the time.

When determining your weekly mileage, take an honest look at your current level and time. Try to increase for 1 or 2 weeks, but then remember to have a recovery week. Just like we need easy days, we need easy weeks too!

Do you have questions about weekly mileage? Contact me.

Keep It Simple

“Build step by step. Push yourself, but not too hard. Learn. Keep it fun.” – Matt Fitzgerald

Coach Hodge here and the above quote is one of my favorites. It breaks down training into four simple principles.

So what does this mean? Build step by step – The ability to run improves with running, but it is not instantaneous. You stimulate improvement by running a little more or a little harder than you are used to. If you do too much too soon, you will break down.

Push Yourself, but not too hard – Hard work is rewarded in running, and it is the main path to improvement. You cannot improve without pushing yourself. Every runner has their limits though. It is important to respect your limits. If you push too much you risk over training or injury. Rest and recovery are just as important as specific workouts.

Learn – I have always been a student of the sport. I read online articles, books, and most importantly, I learn from other runners. Don’t stop learning. If you stop learning, you stop growing.

The last part, Keep it fun – This is the most important point Fitzgerald makes. Run with others, run solo; run roads, run trails. Try new routes. Splash in a puddle and find your inner child.