How to Increase your Mileage & Why I Run 80 Miles per Week During Marathon Training

My weekly mileage and ‘speed’ go hand-in-hand. I have increased my mileage from 30 up to 80 from 2012-2016. In turn, I have been able become a faster and more efficient runner. Majority (70-80%) of these weekly miles are run at an easy pace which is close to 90-120 seconds SLOWER than my half marathon PR pace. 

Calculate your easy pace here!

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Why does running more make you faster?

1- improved running economy: running economy is how efficiently your body uses oxygen while running. The more you run, the better your body becomes at utilizing oxygen while running.  This means you can run for longer/ at a faster pace.

2- Increased Capillary Development- More ways for the blood to make it to your muscles to aid when muscles are fatigued. Your body physically makes more capalaries as an adaptation to running more easy miles.

3- Increased Mental Stregnth: How many times have you heard, “running a marathon is mental”.. There is a lot of truth to that. Simulating your training to make you mentally tougher with high mileage is a good way to feel what you will feel on race day

4- Glycogen Storage: The higher volume you run, the more glycogen your body will store as you are using more glycogen in training. This will allow your body to fuel itself more efficiently on longer runs/races

My PRs and Mileage over time

Jan 2012:     30-40 miles per week 23:30 5k PR

July 2012:  45-55 miler per week –    21:15 5k      1:47 half

Spring 2013- 40-45 miles per week – 21:40 5k     4:09 marathon * reduced mileage

Summer 2013- 50-60 miles per week – 20:45 5k,    3:47 marathon , 1:41 half

Fall 2013-  55-60 miles per week –  20:30 5k,  3:43 marathon, 1:41 half

Spring 2014- 65-70 miles per week – 19:56 5k, 3:27 marathon, 1:35 half

Fall 2014- 70-80 miles per week- 18:56 5k, 3:19 marathon, 1:33 half

Spring 2015- 80-90 miles per week- 18:36 5k, 3:14 marathon, 1:29 half

Spring 2016- 60 miles per week – 19:30 5k, 3:23 marathon, 1:32 half* Reduced Mileage

from 2015 to 2016 I cut my mileage significantly, and I have noticed a decrease in performance. (it’s hard to find time/motivation LOL)

How to Increase your Mileage:

1- Only add 10% per week! If you ran 40 miles last week, try running 44 this week then 48 the next week. 10% is about the highest you want to do. This can help avoid injury

2- Run more EASY miles! No need to make these extra miles “fast” or “workouts”. You don’t want to increase both intensity and mileage at the same time! You can find your easy pace here: Calculate your easy pace here!

3- Consider starting with doubles: I think doubles are an easy way for people to jump up in mileage! It help get your body used to running at the higher mileage, and it can be easier on your body in some aspects

4- Cut Back every 2-4 weeks by 25%! : your body NEEDS to recover. The adaptations happen during your recovery phase, so make SURE you cut back by 25% every week 2-4 weeks so your body can recover!

5- Everyone needs and “off season”– No one runs their peak mileage year round! After training for a specific event, it’s very important to take time OFF or at a very low mileage! I often cut down to about 50% of my peak mileage after big races. This will allow your body to recover properly 🙂

 

 

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2 thoughts on “How to Increase your Mileage & Why I Run 80 Miles per Week During Marathon Training

  1. When you first began to increase your mileage to the highest you had been so far, did you notice an increase in pace? I’ve always been a 40-45, but have been hitting mid 50’s and one 60 mile week the past month. I feel like I can’t run as fast though because my legs always feel tired. I have a few more weeks and then will begin my taper for my marathon so I’m hoping old paces become easy again but I’m nervous about it. Is this normal? And recommendations?

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    • Hey! I did notice an increase in pace once I cut back down into my taper! It’s totally normal to feel the way you are feeling during the taper. Trust your training! On race day you will feel golden! As long as you are realistic about your goals and you have been doing tempos at 25-30 sec faster than MP for 20-45 min.. and you have done MP work during your long runs semi-comforably you will be ready!

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