Custom Search

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Running with Rachel: weekly mileage

Rachel Booth, Marathon-Olympic-trials-qualifier, is a local runner who writes a training column for our paper's (crappy) website. A recent  article is on increasing running milage. Most of the article is basic information (10% rule, etc), but what really took me aback was when she discussed her own mileage. She's a 50 mpw runner with a 1:17 half marathon!
For some reason I always think of fast runners as being in the 80 mpw minimum category: especially distance runners like Booth.
By the way, I had a chance to meet Rachel when I came in third behind her at the Middendorf's Manchac 10 mile race. She beat me by nine and a half minutes. But that's still one of the things I love about running. All of us hobby joggers can get out and actually race with great runners.

I bring up mileage because I have recently dropped mine a lot: I purposefully kept my miles low since I'm still kind of injured, and couldn't build up to a lot of miles since I only had about 4 weeks to prepare for a 10k after my comeback half marathon in February. But with the surprise addition of the Azalea Trail 10k last week, that turned into a hasty 2 weeks of training, followed by a week of taper (race), then another week of taper (race this weekend). That means I've been pretty solidly in the 30's for miles per week: way less than usual for me, and in my opinion not enough for a 10k. But I didn't totally fall apart at the race last week, so apparently it is possible to train for a short race on under 40 miles per week (heck, for my first marathon I was rarely in the 30 mpw category, running closer to 25 most weeks).
How about you? What does your weekly mileage average? And does it change based on upcoming races?


  1. First off - I would totally not classify you as a hobby jogger!!!

    My mileage is pretty low these days due to time constraints and the fact that I am not really training for anything. It will increase when I start building up my base mileage in preparation for marathon training for Chicago. I am running a measly 15ish miles a week these days which is lame but oh well. I'd like to bump that up to the 20s next month and then increase it from there so I can be in the 30s by June.

  2. In the past I would hit the 70-80 range and ended up injured about every other month. I took it down to that 50 range (some weeks even low 40's), added in cross training/weights and my times have consistently dropped. Just have to figure out what works for your body.

  3. I think my biggest week might have been in the 50's, possibly 50's, but that would've been during marathon training. Most weeks now 20 would be a big number. A combination of icy conditions, time, serious fatigue (though I do wonder how much of that's real fatigue and how much can be attributed to not exercising more), and a big bike event to train for all keep my mileage down.

  4. Great post, I too think of speedy runners as having to put in 80mpw. But I think it's funny when speed runners like you refer to yourselves as hobby joggers! Bah! I'm in a hobby jogging category a couple levels beneath you, I just logged 40 mpw for the first time ever. =) I'd like to be doing 40-50mpw as I start doing actual long runs again.
    When I started solidly logging 35 mile weeks, I saw vast, VAST improvements in my running (my half marathon PR went from 2:21 to 1:58). So for an elite level runner to only be doing 50 mpw is mind-blowing to me.

  5. This is very cool...I do think it can be done. You've just got to get the high quality work in with the reduced mileage. I love learning about elites who buck the trend a bit. Camille Herron is another one--she runs her easy runs VERY easy (8:30-9:00) range and has found it has eliminated her injury cycle. There's lots to learn from the best!

  6. I think it totally depends on the person and body. And of course there are so many different approaches to training. If I'm not in marathon training mode, 25-30 miles per week is good for me. Otherwise, if I'm in marathon mode, I'm closer to 40 if not a bit over. I know I am not a high mileage runner, but in training mode, my runs are more focused and a bit speedier. Right now, because I can do anything, I'm really doing a wide variety of workouts, including lots of spinning on the bike, yoga and weight circuits in addition to the running miles. My body feels more balanced and I'm enjoying the sweat sessions.

    I'm sure the 10K will go well for you. Remember, those legs have a lot of miles in them and you know how to race.

  7. Im in the 50+ miles range training for a May marathon; but its taken me over a year to work up from 20 miles to my current mileage without getting injured. Its funny, I remember reading some of your training posts well over a year ago, thinking it was bizarre that you took so long to build up from 45 to 50 (or something like that). Lo and behold; it DOES take a long time!
    It seems like a lot of people could probably run a lot higher mileage than they think if they were working up to it really slowly, and not also attempting to do speedwork...

  8. A. I agree with Lisa, you're a little more than a "hobby runner"
    B. I love "racing" the elites too - I still tell people I raced Geoffrey Mutai at the 2011 Boston when he edged me out and set the world record
    C. Good luck at your 10K, I know you'll crush it
    (I'm a notorious high mileage guy, but I'm thinking about cutting back a little)