1

Base Mileage (Read 697 times)

cbennett926


Trust Me, Im an Engineer

    So here's a back story, I ran all through highschool in XC, I ran 11 miles at the most. I ran about 8 miles or more a day, 5 days a week. Then I started college and that backed down to about 5 miles a day, and I ran a Marathon last March. I am running another this upcoming April, so I am an experienced runner, I just have always wondered how one knows their mileage limit without getting injured? Is it trial and error? Are there signs to look for? I am considering starting my mileage considerably higher than I am use to, albeit at a much slower pace. Would you say it's safe?

    Not all those who wander are lost - JRR Tolkien

     

      My understanding of the rule of thumb is increase no more than 10% per week, and back off a bit every 4th week or so

      2014 Goals

      Weight - 200 lbs (not happening!)

      2000 miles (Over 2000 and shooting for 2400)

      Stay healthy for Boston 2015 (So far, so good)

      Marathon - 3:05 (Didn't happen - Took and shot at sub 3 and blew up a bit)

      5k - 19:55 (19:43 July 4, 2014)

       

      cbennett926


      Trust Me, Im an Engineer

        My understanding of the rule of thumb is increase no more than 10% per week, and back off a bit every 4th week or so

         

         

        But how do we find what our MPW should be? Just go out and run until we can't anymore?

         

         

        Edit:

         

        Oops, that sounds a bit asinine, it's a genuine question not in anyway snarky

        Not all those who wander are lost - JRR Tolkien

         

          No. MPW would be based on how much time you feel you can commit with everything else in your life

           

          Then you need to build your base to that prior to starting the plan

           

          Obviously the higher MPW the more likely to have success all other things being equal and assuming you can safely build to it smartly and without injury

           

          good luck!

          2014 Goals

          Weight - 200 lbs (not happening!)

          2000 miles (Over 2000 and shooting for 2400)

          Stay healthy for Boston 2015 (So far, so good)

          Marathon - 3:05 (Didn't happen - Took and shot at sub 3 and blew up a bit)

          5k - 19:55 (19:43 July 4, 2014)

           

            Build slowly.

             

            Dont forget workouts.

             

            And..

             

            If you're Canadian you can get up to 190 mpw.

             

            Unhiding your log would be nice too. With some users you can look back through their history to see what they did.

            Dont call it a comeback

              Build slowly.

               

              Dont forget workouts.

               

              And..

               

              If you're Canadian you can get up to 190 mpw.

               

              Unhiding your log would be nice too. With some users you can look back through their history to see what they did.

               

              Not only Canadian, but the defending NCAA 5 and 10K champion! I see that kid out running all the time around town. Cam is awesome. 


              RunsWithDog

                I am not terribly experienced at running, but I have read a lot, and I've made most mistakes at least once, lol.

                 

                I think the 10% rule is rather bonkers if you do the math for a minute. I once did a quick spreadsheet calculation and figured out that if I started with, say 10 mpw, and used the 10% rule, I could be at 500 mpw in a year or so. Shocked Obviously, compound interest calculations get rather ridiculous fairly quickly. Oh, I did the calculations again just for you . . . Starting at 20 mpw, you'd get to 2840/wk in one year . . . Starting at 30 mpw, you'd get to 4261 mpw in a year. You'd have crossed the 100 mpw threshhold at Week 17 for the 20 mpw'er, or week 13 for the 30 mpw.  Really? Uh, right!!!!

                 

                So, I think the 10% /wkrule is a reasonable, but actually quite aggressive, level of increase, when you are looking at just a few weeks of increases, but if you are talking about many weeks in a row, it gets outrageous pretty quickly.

                 

                I think most of us can get away with rapid (10%/wk) increases up to a certain point, maybe 15-20 mpw or so for lots of us, because your body has some base level of fitness that allows those increases to be more physically mild on you (less of a change of state of being) than later increases. Anyway, I do think later increases become more risky. I know a guy (amazing runner), who went from couch to 70+ mpw (and a 3:17 marathon) in under 2 years, injury free. He is a freak of nature, lol. Others get injured on 10-15 mpw even following the 10% rules. Most of the rest of us are somewhere in between, seems to me often getting hurt around 20-25 mpw if still push/push/pushing continually.

                 

                It seems to me that 10%/month is probably a more reasonable long term average for rate of increase (again, up to some reasonable limit!). You could increase 10% one week and hold steady for a few weeks (and even add in a cut back week), or increase 2% every week, or whatever. But, 10%/mo still takes you, over the course of a year, from 20 to 63 miles per week, or 30 to 94 mpw (yoikes!). Those seem at the most aggressive end of rate of increase in mileage volume that I've conceived of anyone doing healthily.

                 

                Similarly, using the same math, if you did 10%/wk, you would be going from 20-63 or 30-94 in twelve WEEKS. I can't fathom anyone doing that safely. (Unless, perhaps, it was a seasoned runner who had simply taken a couple/few month rest from running, as s/he would have the skeletal and soft tissue foundation from prior running as well as the skill of gait/form from priror running, so maybe that person could increase that fast . . .)

                 

                So, anyway, I think, based on my limited knowledge, that you can increase more aggressively for a few weeks, but if you are looking to increase your total volume by more than 50% or so of its current level, you'd be smart to spread that increase out over more time to minimize injury risks. And, of course, doing all those other injury prevention things that are advised regarding pacing/strength/recovery/etc.

                PRs: 10k 57:30, HM 2:11:12, Full 5:02:57

                Next Up: HM 1/6/13 & Marathon #3 3/24/13

                Training Plan Right Now: Hansons Brothers Beginner Marathon Plan


                Mmmmm...beer

                  Everyone is different, I don't think there's any rule as to what a person can handle.  I've gone from couch to averaging ~50mpw in 9 months, with a high of 73 miles last week.  All injury free.  But as Stephanie mentioned, some people get injured on way less mileage.  It's very cliche, but you have to listen to your body, if the added running is wearing you down, then cut back or take a break.  If you're handling it fine and feeling good, then keep going. 

                  -Dave

                  My running blog

                  2015 Goals | sub-18 5k | sub-37 10k | sub-1:23 HM | sub-3 M

                  jmctav23


                  2/3rds training

                    To reply to Stephanie's post:  I think you (and many people) take the 10 percent rule out of it's intended context when discussing the crazy high numbers applying it endlessly could take a person to.  

                     

                    My understanding is that IF a person wants to increase their mileage, they should increase by ten percent from their current week UNTIL they reach the mileage they want.  The idea is really intended for people who are already running, say, 30 miles per week and they would like to go up to 50 for a marathon training plan.  Used in that context, it should be no problem.  The same guideline is used in cycling when people want to up their training volume, time instead of MPW, from say 8 hrs per week to 12.

                     

                    It's when you try and sell it to a beginner doing 10 mpw who thinks they want to/can go straight to 70 mpw and they hear about the ten percent thing and then try to apply it with no cutback weeks.  That's probably going to end badly.  A person has to be realistic about their training and what kind of volume their body can handle.  If they understand this and then apply the 10 percent rule to go from 10 to say 30 mpw with cutbacks every 3-4 weeks then all will be swell.

                     

                    To the OP:  I would be wary of making a large jump in mileage in a short amount of time.  You have a rather long background of running that may mitigate some of the injury risk.  Give us some concrete numbers about where you are now and how much you want to increase and how quickly and the advice will be better and more forthcoming.


                    Muddling through

                      Further comments on the 10% Rule. While it's often used to build mileage over the course of a 12-16 week training plan, I don't think it was ever intended to be applied over several consecutive weeks, even with cutback weeks inserted. It's a reasonable guideline for increasing mileage from one week to the next, then MAINTAINING that mileage for several weeks or more while you adapt to the new mileage level.

                      2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

                      Longboat


                      Letting off steam

                        wcrunner is correct. The 10% rule can be too little for an experienced runner coming back from nothing, but too much for anyone building from over, say, 40mpw into new territory.  For the latter, 5-8% average, not every week, with an occasional step-back week is more sustainable.

                         

                        For the OP, your first question is "What's the max I can sustain?"  

                        Time available may be a constraint.  But the maximum you can reach on an upcoming base building period or training cycle really can be a trial and error process.  However, if you can run just truly easy miles during your base building, you may reach levels well above what you thought.  You've got the right idea there.  The risk of injury is heightened when you're trying to run higher volume including a substantial amount of faster-paced running.  
                        Practical advice for you right now: Slow it down, if you're at 25 mpw now, go to 40 in a week or two (since you've been there and more), three weeks to get to 50, all easy miles.  Back off if you're getting persistent or continually increasing fatigue, or twinges that aren't going away.  Stabilize at around 50 for a couple of weeks, then you're probably starting the marathon training for April.  Your peak in the training program could be 60-65 this time -- but since you'll be doing some runs faster, don't try to push both miles and intensity.

                         

                        Also, your maximum can increase over a longer period of time - like several marathon cycles.  So next time, take a longer period to base build and go to maybe 65 mpw before starting the specific training.

                        Neil

                        ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                        Nearly back to 100% 6 months after Achilles surgery. Now at 35 50 mpw.

                        Base building time!

                          Trial and error.

                           

                          The 10% "rule" might make some sense if you're at or near your physical limit, but below that it's needlessly cautious and above that it quickly becomes impossible.

                           

                          What I have done when starting out or coming back to running after a long layoff is to quickly build to a level I thought was about 85% of what I could physically handle, then just run that mileage level for a number of weeks/months. You don't need to always be increasing mileage to build a base.

                           

                          Your body will tell you pretty quickly if you're trying to do too much too soon--the constant fatigue and irritability, and the feeling of never recovering between hard runs are hard to miss if you're paying any attention to your body. Just back off a bit when you see those signs.

                          Runners run.

                            Another thing to consider is how you run those miles. MPW is just one metric. If you are doing a long run and 1-2 decent workouts in a 50 mile week you might find a 60+ mile week run evenly at aerobic pace no more taxing.