Why does weekly mileage matter so much? (Read 3284 times)

grinch031


    have a nice day
      I improved my half marathon from about 2:05 to 1:51:15 by increasing my mileage from about 25 MPW to 35 MPW, in about a year and a half.  Currently trying to hold 40 MPW, and see where it gets me by fall.


      I used to get very tired by about mile 10 of the HM race, but my latest one I was surprised that I never got to that stage, and was able to run fine the next day without any pain.  I attribute it to the higher overall mileage and the longer long runs in preparation for my latest race on April 10.  So even if I am not much faster the races will definitely be more enjoyable.  The mileage increase from 25 MPW to 35 - 40 MPW happened just by running easy every day and the longer weekend run.

      JimR


        weekly mileage doesn't mean a damn thing.

         

        volume is a different issue


        HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

          weekly mileage doesn't mean a damn thing.

           

          volume is a different issue

           Can you expound on the difference?

          It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

            Why does the sun rise in the morning?

              So I've run 2 halves and a full in the past 2 1/2 years.  I have my next half coming up in a week.  Anyways I can run a mile in about 6:15, a 5K at about 7:00/mile, a 10K in about 7:20/mile, and my goal is to run the half at about 7:30/mile.  So far I've run a 14 miler at 7:45/mile in training last week, and ran an 11 miler at just over 7:30.

               

              Anyways in my first half, I trained for about 5 weeks and finished at a little over 1:44 (7:56/mile).  When I run, I always push myself and attempt to run at the fastest pace I can handle for the distance.  The problem is that I usually under train and don't quite meet my goals.  In my previous training runs, I only averaged about 15 miles per week.  For this one coming up, I've been running between 25-30 miles per week.

                

              Anyways I always hear about the weekly mileage, but I know people who run 2 to 3 times as much as me, yet they are running 9-10 minute pace.  What is the real benefit of running 30, 40, or 50+ miles when training for a half marathon?  Is it about preventing cramps and fatigue, or about increasing pace?   Why do some people who run so much never improve their times?  Whats more important, pushing yourself to run faster paces or the amount of miles (quantity vs. quality)?

               

              You have NO idea on exercise physiology or history of training progression, do you?

               

              That's fine.  I was running about 90 miles a week when I ran my first marathon.  I just jumped in, no taper.  I died in the final 6 miles but ran sub-3.  My half at the time was about 1:18.

               

              If you think 6:15 for the mile and 1:44 for half is great, all the power to you.  Good for you; congratulations.  You can bust your guts day in and day out, trying to run a few miles a day as hard as you can and feel good; you can stay there.  But if you maybe think it's worth getting below 7-minute pace, you might want to do some homework reading first.

              grinch031



                Get Lost :)

                  Snarky answer: because I'm not training for the sprint distances of the half marathon and marathon.

                   

                  I recall reading this article recently from RT: Long Runs for Non-Marathoners.

                  JimR


                     Can you expound on the difference?

                     

                    A week is a week.  you can muddle around a few runs a week doing nothing much, then bracket in a couple of long runs and some filler and call yourself a 60 mile a weeker.  It doesn't tell much about what you're doing.  volume speaks more of dedication and getting out consistently and often.

                     

                    I'm not a fan of the term 'weekly mileage'.  It sounds like you start every monday with some arbirtrary goal and maybe you make it maybe you don't.  Instead I kinda go by 'can I run? yep!' and off I go.  Doesn't always pan out but if I'm going when I can, then the miles and the volume takes care of itself.

                     

                    The OP seems like someone on a perpetual time trial.  If you're going fast as you can all the time, then you better hope you go faster and faster every time out, because what you're doing is all you got, so there ain't gonna be any surprises on race day.

                     

                    but, if you wanna put weekly mileage into perspective.  Take a runner who does 25 miles a week, all of it around a 7ish pace.  Now take someone who does 70 miles a week, 45 of it nice and easy and 25 of it at a 7ish pace.  Who do you think will kick who's butt on race day?

                    grinch031


                         Another way to look at it is:

                        I would bet the injury risk is greater running that much less.

                        When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

                          Easy runs serve PLENTY of purpose. They aren't junk miles. They're the framework on which you build your training. Pegging the needle to the red line on all runs can lead to injury. The easy runs allow the body to put the hard work to good use.

                           

                          We all have to balance running with other aspects of our lives. For me, it's drinking and fishing.


                          A Saucy Wench

                             

                            Let me clarify.  Because I have other interests like family and competitive tennis to name a few, I don't have time to run as much as whats often recommened.  Basically I don't run easy runs just to add up my weekly mileage count.  Every run I do has a purpose.  I'm either working on speed, getting used to longer distance, or working on hills.  Every run is going to push my limits in intensity in some way. 

                             

                            On your example, I wonder how much of an advantage does the 70 mile/week person really have over the 25 m/w person?   I would bet the injury risk is greater than the payoff by running that much more.

                             It seems like you have already made up your mind, but I'll bite.

                             

                            We all have other interests, family etc.

                            Easy runs HAVE a purpose beyond making the chart look good.  I'm not going to say no-one here "runs just to add up mileage" but most dont.  Easy miles make you strong.

                             

                            The injuries come from putting the pedal to the metal all the time. 

                             

                            Think of it like making a building.  The "quality" runs (hate that term, ALL runs are quality) are like putting the siding and windows and shingles on your house.  It looks good doesn't it.  Easy runs are your foundation and framework.   Without them your building isnt strong, isn't balanced, and a good stiff breeze will knock it down.

                            I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets

                             

                            "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7

                            grinch031



                              A Saucy Wench

                                 

                                Why do you think I"ve made up my mind?  If I made up my mind, then I wouldn't have posted this thread. I'm just trying to find the boundary between running enough to meet my goals, and wasting my time by running too much without any gain.

                                a) because you dont seem to want to hear the answers you are getting. 

                                 

                                b)  You'll know it when you get there.  For most the limit is either time or some other physical limitations  Until then the proper statement is "I'm just trying to figure out how much am I willing to prioritize my running goals over my other life goals"

                                 

                                That isnt a judgment.  That's really all it is for all of us.  Perhaps for you, if you have a specific goal ("run the half at 7:30") then perhaps you are somewhere near where you need to be.  If the goal is a more nebulous  "see what the best I can do with this body and my life" then maybe it is isnt. 

                                 

                                 There are no junk miles, yes the gain per mile may decrease slightly as you add miles.   Obviously.  If you run zero miles you will have huge gains by running 10 miles per week.  The difference between 90 and 100 will certainly be less.    When that tapering (not zero) gain is too little to bother with is up to you.

                                I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets

                                 

                                "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7