Managing Training Stress Variables: Long Runs, Mileage, & Workouts


Stress variables in training & how to balance them When developing a plan it is important to keep in mind the variables of stress at play. There is an art to building a training plan for each athlete. It is like a puzzle you must solve. You cannot have too much stress, but you want to stress the right variables at the right time to lead to a specific outcome. The variables at play are long runs, mileage, workouts, racing, and so many more. In addition to the training stress variables each athlete also has different life stressors that will impact their training cycle like work, school, kids, health issues. Today we are doing a deep dive into the stress variables and advice for getting the most out of your training

How do you assess an athlete’s stress variables when they first start training?

How much stress can you add on a new athlete at once?

Should you increase more than one variable at a time?

Does your background in the sport play a difference?

New vs experienced runner?

How often do you increase the stress variables?

What is the most important one?

Are there sometimes you break rules like the 10% mileage increase? Why?

If someone misses a workout, does it impact the rest of the training stress for the week?

How do you manage missing days? How do you balance the stress variables in training with the life stress athletes may have?

Long runs, mileage, workouts: what are the more important ones when you first develop an athletes plan for a marathon?


Training stress variables need to be managed appropriately in a training plan. ❌Adding workouts, mileage, and long runs at the same time is a recipe for disaster!❌ This looks different for every single athlete, but the general guidelines remain the same

👇Check out how training stress variables should be managed👇
✅MILEAGE: Mileage should be the first training variable that is changed when beginning a training plan. If you have consistently been running 10 miles/week, it would NOT be appropriately to start a training plan at 30 miles/week. You HAVE to meet yourself where you’re actually at, not where you want to be at. Mileage should be increased SLOWLY, no more than 10% each week

✅LONG RUNS: Long runs should be the second variable to increase. How the long runs progress depends on how much time you have before your goal race

WORKOUTS: Workouts should be the ✅third variable to tinker with. Shorter, simpler workouts are appropriate when mileage and long runs are increasing, but you shouldn’t be doing big tempo workouts if you don’t have a solid base first

👇Other considerations👇
✅RACING: How much are you racing? Running several many marathons in a year is a HUGE stress

✅LIFESTYLE: Is your job physically demanding? Do you have kids? Running does NOT happen in a vacuum. Make sure you (and your coach, if you have one!) consider your life outside of running as it relates to your training load

⭐️Even if two runners have the same goal race and goal time, they will NOT have the same training plan, especially as training progresses. Everyone responds to stress differently and everyone has different life stressors that happen. Manage YOUR specific stress to stay injury-free and keep running happily!⭐️

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