High Mileage Running | Tips To Set a New PR NOW

naysayerThere are many theories in regards to high mileage running.

The consensus is that to run great marathons high mileage is a must.

I was coached for 3 years by the 1985 Boston Marathon champion, Lisa Larsen Rainsberger.

She didn’t believe in high mileage. She was a believer in quality work.

Looking back her viewpoint was correct.

Why is High Mileage Good for Running?

Remember, higher mileage is not a guarantee you will set a new personal best. That being said, it is still needed in order to build endurance.

High mileage running may give you overall fitness. High mileage, if run too aerobic, will only make you a superior long, slow runner.

Researchers have found improvements in high mileage running come from 81 percent easy running. In addition, 8.5 percent at speeds exceeding race pace and 10.5 percent done at threshold pace.

Threshold pace is the pace you want to run at when lactic acid begins to form up in your blood stream.

Does High Mileage Make a Difference Running?

Runners who are running faster than you have simply trained at longer periods of time at their lactate threshold.

No one ever drowned in sweat.¬†Gold medals aren’t really made of gold. They’re made of sweat, determination, and a hard-to-find alloy called guts

Dan Gable

High mileage isn’t always the answer.

Fitzgerald noted running at 81 percent easy, 8.5 percent at speeds exceeding race pace and 10.5 percent at threshold pace. So, this is often times more beneficial to runners than at 67 percent easy running. In addition, 8.5 percent at paces exceeding race pace and 24.5 percent at threshold pace.

Adding more and more mileage to your weekly training does not produce equal percentages of improvement in competitive fitness.-Exercise Physiologist and elite coach Jack Daniels

How Do You Recover from High Mileage?

I would allow yourself a recovery week at the start of every 4th week of your training plan. I have mile to marathon training plans located here. So, be sure to check out the resources available to you here. You can click on any of the green buttons on this post to learn more.

Scientists are leaning more toward high intensity running over high mileage running.

The problem with high mileage running is the higher you go there is what diminished returns the higher you go.

I got up to 140 mile weeks and I felt flat. I ran a 2:19:35 marathon on 85 to 90 miles per week. I would also be mindful of your recovery. So, make sure to jog during your easy days. In addition, ice baths and massotherapy are great ways to recover as well.

How Much is Too Much Mileage Running?

High intensity running coupled comprised of somewhat high mileage running is where real results come.

Results come from a detailed, specific plan. How are you running your miles? Are you training at a level that is going to cause a physiological adaption to get you closer to your race goal?

The five S’s of sports training are: Stamina, Speed, Strength, Skill and Spirit;
but the greatest of these is Spirit.

-Ken Doherty

Are you running 10 minute mile pace everyday. Do you want to hold 6:30 mile pace for 26.2 miles? If so, is high mileage at low intensity going to get you the results you are seeking?

I think running over 100 miles a week may be too much for most runners.

What is the Disadvantage of High Mileage?

#1 Don’t get caught up in high mileage. Will it get you fit, yes. The secret isn’t in the amount of mileage, but the quality. The disadvantage of high mileage is that it leaves us feeling tired and often. In addition, it can lead to over training and stale.

#2 Implement longer sustained efforts at just above your goal race pace.

If you want to run your race at a specific time then try a few runs longer than race distance. For example, 20 seconds per mile slower than your race pace.

This form of training is closer to your lactate threshold more.

#3 Do very long runs at a minute slower than goal race pace finishing faster than race pace.

Closing Thoughts

If you want to hold 6 minute mile pace for the marathon try a few runs at 20-24 miles in length. So, aim at 7 minute pace the first few miles closing the last 5 miles at 10 seconds faster than goal race pace.

What you are doing here is training your body to pick up pace when it is fatigued. No, it is not an easy thing to do when you’re tired. Remember, there are no breaks in the longer races.

There may be someone that passes you at mile 25. How will you react? Have you done the work necessary to react to his or her move? Prepare well in training. The training should be the hardest part of your preparation. Lastly, the race should be the celebration of that hard work.

In closing, high mileage running should be more geared toward runners aiming to run the half-marathon to marathon distances. Can it be utilized for 5K to 10 mile distances?

Absolutely. That being said, no runner should think they need to be running 140 miles a week to run an excellent 5K. I hope this post on high mileage running has been helpful to you. Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I create new content there each week to help runners like you get to the next level in their training and racing.

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