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Archives for the day Thursday, September 29th, 2011

I forgot to add – track your miles – to my list of things.  I count my miles ran per week.  How can you tell if you are increasing your mileage slowly, if you don’t know how far you ran?  I will add Step 2a here.  Record your runs.

10% rule

Now that you know how far you ran last week, it is time to start increasing the mileage for the big event.  The standard rule for increasing your weekly mileage is to increase by 10% per week.  That is a pretty good rule for a standard response but it leaves a lot of questions to be answered.  The first question a beginner will ask is; “I ran a mile yesterday, should I wait and run 1.1 miles next week?”  The rule here is, if you are not in agony from your mile run, you can probably do another mile run today.   You have to listen to your body.

Listen to your body

If you are new to running, you have to let your body tell you if you should run or rest.  Listen to your body, not your brain.  Some of us will skip a run because we don’t feel like running.  Some of us will be limping and say it is not so bad and run anyway.  Once you can run 15-20 miles a week for a few weeks, you should move toward the 10% rule for increasing your mileage.  More experienced runners should switch to the 10% rule when their body tells them it is time to slow down with the weekly increases.  I took 6 weeks off after doing a half ironman distance triathlon to let my injuries heal.  When I got back into running, I was over 30 miles per week in about a month.  My body let me know when it was time scale my weekly increases back to 10% per week.  I over did it last week by running a hilly trail half marathon when I was supposed to run a 15 mile long slow run.  That was 9/24/11.  I am training for a marathon on 12/4/11.  I won’t know if I over did it until the really long runs in late October.

To boldly go; where your body has never gone before

Most of us rarely run more than 40 miles per week.  When we get into the rarified air of these long runs, we have to be careful.  Injuries occur when we push our bodies into unfamiliar places.  When we train for a goal, we keep pushing until we can push no more.  Unfortunately, most of us can push no more because we are hurt.  We have to be consistent.  My lifestyle does not give me time to run 40 miles per week all year long until I want to train for a marathon then back down to 40 miles per week.  Therefore, we cycle our training.  For example, I will run the following mileages per week 33, 36, 40, 35, 42, 44, 46, 38, 46, 46….  I will build up for 3 weeks, scale back for a week, build up, scale back and repeat the cycle.  The higher the weekly mileage, the smaller my increases.

Injury prevention

Use your whole arsenal of injury prevention materials when you start running high mileages.  I take ice baths; get massages, use rollers and my electro stim machine.  I have ice packs for every part of my body and I don’t hesitate to use them.  Increasing your mileage is tricky.  Be careful and avoid injuries.