How to Spread out the Mileage

by Fiona

Hi there. I'm just loving this website. It has really helped me and motivated me so much. And it's great that our questions get answered and get us going to our next stage. I'm the girl who runs on the treadmill as with hubby working away I don't run outdoors.

My question is I am now up to six miles which for a girl who was struggling to get past two or three miles a few weeks ago is good.

My question is though I feel some mornings I just don't have the legs to do the six miles and I end up doing four and six the next day and I don't know if that's good. I was hoping to run 30 miles a week and do six miles five days a week with no break but I am finding that very hard to do every day.

Have you any advice or help you might be able to give me to this problem.

What is the best way to spread out the 30 miles and am I getting the same benefit if I reduce the mileage the next day.

I keep thinking get the six done five days a week and break for sat and sun but that is a big struggle for me. I have hit the six mile mark a few times now and delighted but its trying to put together a weekly running programme is what I am struggling with as I don't know if I am doing right or wrong.

Answer by Dominique:

Hi Fiona,
It's great to see you like my site and that you have asked a few questions now and that you are making progress.

It is quite normal that this is happening to you. When you are building up your mileage you feel tired. Your body is adjusting to the extra work load. And that takes time.

When it comes to running, 'rest' is almost as important as the exercise. One of the main rules for running injury prevention is to take a hard/easy approach. I.e. one day hard, one day easy. Now easy and rest do not mean that you do absolutely nothing. But it means you do less. Less mileage, less strenuous. So, it's actually very good that you do the six miles one day, then four the other day.

Especially because another big rule for a happy runner is to listen to your body. Which is exactly what you are doing.

It is hard to give you a defined recipe for what your weekly schedule should look like, especially because it will change over time. In a month or so 6 miles is easy and you may want to go further than that (if time allows).

If you do the 4-6-4-6-4 (M-T-W-T-F) then you are already at about 24 miles per week. Then just slowly build up by 1-2 miles per week by adding 1 mile or even 0.5 miles to some of the runs.

I am not sure if going 7 or 8 miles in one run is going to make it hard time-wise as I do remember that you have to do the runs in the mornings, but ideally you'd keep to the hard/easy schedule until you are at something like 7-4-7-4-8.

Also see my increasing mileage safely-page.

I hope this helps.
Kind regards,

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