In this episode you will hear how to log a high mileage week and/or month while minimizing your risk of injury. MTA coaching client Elliot Shelton logged 141 miles in one week while competing against a running buddy in a mileage contest. Hear how he managed it.
When you’re looking to take on any big running goal, whether it is your first time at a certain distance or a mileage goal, it’s important to be as prepared. Here are a few tips to be as smart as possible on the road to achieving your goals:
1. Start by building a solid running base.
A running base is simply your foundation of fitness that you can build upon. How long it takes you to build a running base is going to depend on a number of factors including your current fitness level, age, health status, history of injury, and the scope of your goal. Taking the time to build a solid base helps strengthen your joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and bones so that they can take the extra impact and demands of your training. There isn’t a one size fits all prescription for a running base. But I generally encourage runners to have built a base of 3-6 months of running at least three times per week before training for your first half marathon and 6-12 months of regular running before training for your first marathon.
2. Knowledge is power! Use your resources.
Be sure to do some research into how to best prepare your body and mind to be successful in your goal. This can be a perfect time to work with a running coach so that you have support along the way. Running groups can also be another great resource as well as experienced running friends. Just remember that your experience will be an individual one. Just because one thing worked for your running partner doesn’t mean it will work well for you.
3. Gradually build up your mileage and include recovery time.
Like you heard in this conversation it’s important to gradually build up your mileage over time and take a step-back or de-load week every 3-4 weeks. It’s also important to include rest days in your training week because adaptations happen more quickly when you rest. You may want to consider splitting up your runs to allow for more recovery time. Be sure to use the recovery tools that you have at your disposal and don’t ignore problem areas. Small niggles can turn into full blown injuries when not addressed in a timely manner. Examples of recovery tools: sleep, self massage tools, foam rollers, stretching, cold/hot therapy, massage, chiropractic care, physical therapy, etc.
4. Don’t try to tackle too many goals at once.
If your goal is building mileage then you don’t want to also be chasing a speed goal at the same time. Too many demands on your body at once can often lead to overtraining or injury. Remember that runners who accomplish big goals didn’t get there overnight. It often takes months and years of hard work and discipline so don’t try to take shortcuts and cheat yourself in the process.
5. Support your body with proper nutrition.
When you increase the demands you’re placing on your body make sure that you’re being intentional about consuming foods that will support your body. What you put in the tank does make a difference in how you perform and recover. Many runners end up skimping on certain macronutrients and this can slow down progress.
6. Make it fun!
This may involve a bet (like Elliot and Paul) or some other way to gamify the process. Surround yourself with people who encourage and lift you up. Find new running routes, try out different running surfaces, listen to engaging podcasts, audiobooks, or music. Focus on building a stronger mindset because the body really does follow the mind.
From the Community
For the first time ever, I ran a 100 mile month!! I’ve run two marathons and countless halfs and I’ve never reached a 100 mile month before. The reason that I’m extra proud is because I’m not training for anything. I’ve always been a runner who only ran training for a half or a full and when there wasn’t something on the calendar, I had zero motivation to run. Throughout this winter season, I’ve just been trying to keep a base for the first time ever. So I’m excited for when marathon training finally comes, how much better it will be having a base under me (oh, and being 50 pounds lighter, thanks to MetPro)! Alexandra
Also Mentioned in This Episode
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REVEL Wasatch Marathon -Angie is running this race in Utah on May 1st.