Increase your running mileage by using the “two up” and “one down” plan. I shared screenshots from my training log to show exactly how I went from 20 miles per week to 50+ miles over the last 2.5 months.
Last week’s workouts
M – 6 miles, 8:37 pace
T – 8 miles, 8:29 pace + strength training + core/hip work
- I added in two easy strides and four hill repeats at the end of this run. I’m still toying with some speed work as I evaluate what to do about a training plan!
W – 10.2 miles, 8:41 pace + core/hip work + needling
Th – 8.7 miles, 8:27 pace
- Kate was in town and it was so nice to run together! These miles flew by with her company. Running in the dark definitely helped too. I’ve been running around 7:30 and it always feels easier to run in the dark (as long as I’m not nervous and/or trying to do speed work!)
F – 8 miles, 8:19 pace + core/hip work
- Another great run with Kate – never mind I cried for the first two miles. I was catching her up on some stuff going on in life and man, it was just a cry-face day.
Sa – 14.2 miles, 8:56 pace
- I headed out to Salem Lake for the first time in a LONG time and while it’s not nearly as great as running at Moses Cone Manor, I tried to pretend it was. I did 7 miles by myself and then I met up with the NC Volee group to do a second loop around the lake. It was great to meet some new running friends in the area!
- I probably was closer to 14.5 – 15 miles since the lake loop is always short on GPS watches. My friend Justin calls it the Lake Tax. 🙂
Su – REST
- Tommy and I played a few holes at the golf course, but we drove the golf cart (not walking) so it’s not really cross-training 😉
Total miles: 55.4 (maybe 60 with the Lake Tax)
How I’m feeling: My right ankle has been VERY creaky out of nowhere. But on the plus side, my calves and achilles are feeling a LOT better after another round of dry needling. I was even able to wear heels on Sunday and feel like I could walk normally! I was definitely ready for a rest day on Sunday and I ended up doing yoga today rather than run since I’m due for a backoff week.
My last five weeks’ mileage were:
How I increase running mileage
First, remember that increasing running mileage is all relative. If you’re brand new to running, running 50+ miles a week shouldn’t be your goal. I’ve been running 20+ years and it’s only been in the past two years that I started running over 50 miles a week consistently.
But, regardless of your starting point, you might wonder, how can I increase my running mileage without injury? There is always the 10% rule, which says to not increase your weekly mileage by more than 10% in one week. But everyone is different so that may be too much for some, while others could tolerate more.
The way I approach is it to increase mileage for 2-3 weeks and then back off for 1 week. Then, the next “up week” builds off the week before my “down week.” How much I increase each week really depends on how I am feeling. But you can see below I’m still roughly following the 10% rule – and I hadn’t even realized it until just now.
I think the biggest mistake I see is when runners increase running mileage by increasing the distance of just one run a week — their weekly, weekend long run — while keeping midweek runs the same. When I increase my mileage, I increase the distance across all my runs and gradually add on to those and the weekend run.
The body tolerates little, more frequent increases more than one big increase. It’s easier for the body to recover from three moderate runs than one MASSIVE run.
My Training Log
Below are screenshots from my Strava training log so you can see exactly how I increased my running mileage over the last 2.5 months.
When I started to build my mileage back up after the American Fork Canyon Run, I was running 20-25 miles per week. Most of my runs were 5-6 miles long. My first step to increase mileage was getting the majority of my runs up to 6 miles. You can see where I went from 23 miles to 34 miles — a pretty big jump. And guess what, my plantar fasciitis flared.
So, I dropped it back down to 50% volume (week of July 29) and then I tried again, being diligent to do all the plantar treatments I learned! When that went okay, I bumped up a couple midweek runs to 7 miles and my weekend run by 1-2 miles.
I entered September feeling pretty good other than a CRAZY tight calf, so I got myself into needling. And then again, I bumped up my two longer midweek runs just a bit more and added on 1-2 miles on my other mid week runs. My weekend runs very gradually started to increase too.
And, without it feeling like anything crazy, I hit 55 miles last week. Mentally I much prefer spreading my miles out over the week vs. 15-20 mile long runs. And since I’m not really training for anything, I don’t have plans to increase my long run distance anytime soon. When I’m increasing my weekly mileage, I’m also cognizant to not add in speedwork at the same time. That is a recipe for injury. But, now that I have a pretty solid base, I may toy with adding in some speed session. But, we’ll see. I’m still kind of just going with whatever my body and mind craves and enjoying the lack of structured training!
How do you approach increases in mileage? Do you have a method or do you always follow a training plan to do so? Or, do you always keep your weekly mileage about the same?