How to build up Mileage (Read 72 times)


    I was wondering a good strategy to build up from running 6 - 8 miles a week to 15 - 20 miles a week or more. I already lost 35 lbs from running and I want to increase weekly mileage to lose even more. I still want lose another 70+ lbs.


    I have been new to running. i started run/walking about 6 months ago till I got to point I could run straight for 30 min - hour and run 5k. Then I progressed to running for 10 min straight 3 times a week, 15 min 3 times week, 20 min 3 times a week, 30 min 3 times and then was able to run a 10k. Now I am running about 6 - 8 miles a week for my weekly milage. I run at only a relaxed 4phm - 5mph pace that feels comfortable average heart rate is usually in the 120's, 130's, 140's range.


    At first I was focused on trying to run faster.... but now I don't care about speed I want to run longer, more often and at more distance.

    If i can stay at same pace between 4mph - 5mph jogs but be able to increase my weekly mileage slowly from 6-8 miles to 15-20 miles and then later up to as much as 30 miles a week that would be great.  I would love seeing the pounds drop off. I figure I will set a goal of getting good enough to run a half marathon 6 months from now and then maybe  2 years from now a marathon and if i stick to the goal it will be a good cure for my obesity problem.


      The answer is slowly and gradually. The 10% rule exists for a reason though I think it breaks down at that mileage. Just adding 5 minutes to each run one week and then holding there for a month for your body to get used to it, taking a recovery week (80%  mileage) and then adding 5 minutes again would work. The place to be most cautious is when adding days running as you'll no longer have that day off in between runs but once again, just spend 3 weeks getting used to the new schedule when you make the change, take a recovery week and then push on.


      Weight loss is mostly accomplished through a good diet, running is a bonus.


      Great job so far (both the weight loss and building up the running)

      1600 - 5:23 (2018), 5k - 19:33 (2018), 10k - 41:20 (2021), half - 1:38:57 (2018), Marathon - 3:37:17 (2018)

      Half Crazy K 2.0

        So you have a few options here. If you increase to 5 miles per run, there's 15 miles per week. it seems like you are on track for that with your progression of increasing the time and running 3/wk. Using 3 days, you can get to 20 miles by 6-6-8.


        Depending on your schedule, you could run every other day. This will give you one week with 4 days and one with 3. This works best if your schedule is open with no standing committments.


        Another option is to add in a 4th run day. If you work a standard Monday-Friday schedule, maybe it means running both Saturday & Sunday. So run Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. When you add in the back to back days, make one really short & easy to start (like 15 or 20 minutes).


        Ultimately, it comes down to what works best for you. If you have the ability to take however much tmie on 3 days, and limited time the rest of the week, maximize those 3 days. If you have flexibility in your schedule, then add in extra days. From the covid thread, not sure if you are in a medical field, but if you are and don't work a standard Monday-Friday schedule, keep in mind that most plans you see on-line assume a Monday-Friday work week, so the long run is Saturday or Sunday since that's when people have the most time. If you have the most time on Wednesdays, by all means make that your long run day.


        ETA, I used the every other day and 4 day approach depending on the situation. When I started running regularly, I was in grad school & working full time, so the night I had class there was no time to run. I just made that day(s) a rest day.

        SMART Approach

          Firstly, running is a smaller part of the weight loss battle so I wouldn't have mindset of running as a weight loss tool. Use it as a bonus. If weight loss is and body change is the bigger goal I believe you need more strength work too which will also make you more resilient to run more.


          I would start with adding a 4th day and just 1.5-2 miles for now. This is your bump for next 3 weeks. Then every 3 weeks make another bump to this run or in the others. For runners like you I like to progress slower. Bump 10-15% and then hold this for 3 weeks, adapt and then bump again. This is a smart approach. I would focus on running well in a 10K event before tackling a HALF.

          Run Coach. Recovery Coach. Founder of SMART Approach Training, Coaching & Recovery

          Structured Marathon Adaptive Recovery Training

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            Don't rely on running alone to cure your obesity! Cut down or eliminate unhealthy food choices! If you run four days a week your training will progress faster, I think I heard going from 3 to 4 days would be like 15% faster progress. The usual recommended 10% per week millage increase is just a suggestion and it really is an individual thing how fast you can progress. You have to sometimes challenge yourself, but also have to be aware of how your body is responding and cut back when recovery is needed. Slow, but steady distance increases are the safe way to do it and consistency is key. My thought would be to have one long run each week and at first increase it's distance only by like a quarter or even just a fifth a mile each week. If you want to do a half in six months you may have to ramp that up a bit as the race date approaches. As you adapt to greater distance you can gradually increase the distance of the other runs as well.

            Long distance runner, what you standin' there for?
            Get up, get out, get out of the door!


              Ok thanks everyone for their feedback. I might also start adding in back cardio work with other exercises like I did with the run/walk program after my body gets use to the 15-20 miles a week.


              I would like to get the point where I can run  15-20 miles a week and then I miight also ride a bike for 40- 50 miles or more a week for the added calorie burn and incorporate elliptical. Maybe increase to 4 days a week with the running and on weekends go on long bike rides.


              Maybe eventually I will build up to something like this:


              Monday: Run , Tue: Run, Wed: Elliptical,   Thurs: Run, Friday: Run,  Sat: Bike 20 - 25 miles, Sun: Bike 20 - 25 miles


              will be 3rd time in my life to lose 100 lbs. I lost 100 lbs in my 20's by walking for many hours during the week, took me like close to 2 years to loose the 100 lbs. Then I lost 100 lbs again in my 30's riding a bike 7 days a week and took me like 1.5 years to do that. Now in my 40's I will try loosing 100 lbs again doing a combination of running / other aerobic activities.  Since high school Cross Country I attempted many times to run again, never could. Now that I finally can run consistently and getting better very happy about that.


              I started this past summer at 245 lbs, now I am down to 200.  My bodyweight according to BMI should be around 130 lbs. I will try to stick to plan for next year see what happens to the other 70 lbs I want loose.