What number of miles per week ought to I run?
Many people ask themselves this question. How many miles a week should I run? As with many things, there is no single answer. The number of miles you should run is a very personal number. This relates to how far you should run at one time and how far you should go in the long run. It also applies to how many miles you should run in a week and a month.
There are many things to consider when deciding how many miles you should run each week.
How do I know how far to run?
The important things first. There are a few basic things that determine how far you should run. What is your current fitness like? Were you running If you ran regularly, how far did you run?
Next, you need to consider your goals. Are you training for something right now?
If your goal is just to get regular exercise a few times a week and keep your cardiovascular system active, you can do so by running for 30-45 minutes 4 to 6 times a week. Note that I didn't say anything about the distance. According to the American Heart Association, you only need to increase your heart rate for a limited amount of time to maintain adequate heart health.
People who want to improve their running based on speed or distance goals need to look at things differently. You may have a goal of going faster 3 miles. Or maybe you are training for your first half marathon. Maybe you got the marathon bug and are training for your first 26.2. These are all three very different destinations that will require you to travel very different kilometers to be successful.
You can train for 3 miles by running fewer miles than any long distance event. This is especially true for newbies. If you're just starting out or running for free time without exercising intensely, you can likely run anywhere between 12 and 18 miles each week.
If you run 2 to 4 miles three to four times a week, you'll be in decent 3-mile form on race day. If you are going for a personal record race (PR), you may want to do more specific workout. However, this is a different blog topic.
Half marathon training
As you increase your racetrack, you also need to increase your weekly running distance. When your weekly long haul is in the double digits, it stands to reason that your mileage will gradually increase.
Depending on how many days per week you plan to exercise, you will likely be running 20 to 30 miles per week.
Here are simple rules to follow when you start digging deeper into your workout:
- Don't add too much each week in the long run. Increase your long-haul distance in small steps.
- Increase your weekly total number of kilometers by only approx. 10% per week.
- Consider a day of no effects after your long term term.
- Your long run should be significantly slower than your shorter runs.
The big dog: 26.2
When runners take on the marathon, they often have more questions. Depending on how much experience you have with the distance, your weekly mileage can be anywhere from 25 to 55 miles per week. If you're wondering if you read this correctly, you did.
Most first-time marathon runners follow a fairly simple plan from Hal Higdon or another popular trainer who publishes plans online. With these plans, you can cover some pretty normal miles and a long run every weekend. Many plans have a “regression week” every other week. So if you run 18 miles one weekend, you can step back to 14 the following week. These plans are great for first time marathon runners as they will keep you from getting burned out with the program and time on your feet.
Those who have been running for a while and have run multiple marathons often dig a little deeper into training and try to get higher mileage. This is especially true for those jumping from beginner or novice plans to intermediate or advanced plans.
Plans for intermediate or advanced runners don't just have higher mileage. This includes longer midweek runs and faster work sessions. These things are necessary in order for a runner to stay strong and focused during the final miles of a marathon.
What is considered high mileage?
High mileage is relative. What do i mean by that? It depends who you are. For me, a high mileage week is 25 to 30 miles. If you google high mileage running for most recreational runners, you will find an answer of 40-60 miles. Elite runners, on the other hand, often run 90 to 100 miles in a high-mileage week.
If you're like me, you don't even want to think about what ultra-runners do in a high-mileage week! An athlete's mileage really depends on goals, general fitness, and training.
Is it unhealthy to run every day?
The only thing that often comes up in the dialogue is the running of strips. This is the case when people run for either a set or an indefinite amount of time each day. There are many people who consider this unhealthy and border on obsession.
On the other hand, there are people who hold stripes for years. They run regardless of the weather, they also run when they are sick or injured.
The question is who is right? Honestly, it depends on who you ask. Personally, I think when you are injured or sick you should listen to your body and get some rest.
However, I have friends who are very committed to their strips. When sick or injured, they don't stop, they just slow down. Sometimes their pace reflects a creep as they hobble for the only mile necessary to keep the streaks up.
They would tell you that the mental discipline and toughness it takes to keep the streak going is well worth it to them. And who am I to judge?
Honor the rest day
Be sure to honor the rest day unless you decide streaks are for you. If you insist on some form of exercise each day, choose at least one non-impact exercise on that rest day, such as swimming, cycling, or yoga for runners.
Your body relies on you to stay healthy, and for most of us, rest is part of the equation!