If you’re already running, and looking to increase your running distance – how do you know when to increase your running mileage and how do you do this?
The general rule of thumb is that runners shouldn’t increase their mileage (distance) by more than 10% per week. This is a great guide, but there is a bit more that comes into play.
If you have been consistently running the same distance for a month or longer, and you can complete the distance comfortably then you are likely ready to run a greater distance. By comfortably, I mean without any niggles/injuries or pain during your run as well as a run that doesn’t feel like a struggle.
Say you’re running about 5km, 2-3 times a week. You could increase one of the runs to 6.5km, but you wouldn’t want to increase both by that much. If you want to run a bit longer for both runs, you could run 6km twice that week instead for example.
There is no strict formula, but the aim is to not over-do it and not to add on too many extra km’s too quickly because it’s more likely to lead to injury.
If you start to increase you’re mileage, after 2-3 weeks it’s also a good idea to bring the distance back down a bit to where you first started from. For example, if you were doing a total of 15km initially, and now you’re running 18-20km per week – it’s a good idea to come back down to a lower mileage (of 15km) and then picking back up where you left off from or going up to the next increment when you start back. You can keep following this guide as you increase your mileage, but always listen to your body because sometimes things don’t go to plan!
If you’re doing other training in between and your body is tired or you are finding it difficult to complete the extra distance, hold off and wait until you’re ready or just do an easier run.
Remember, besides a long continuous run (of 4km+), you want to be including fartlek, hill training, and intervals in your running training as well. Using shorter distance repeated “sprints” can help you to increase your speed and become a more efficient runner.
Listen to your body and feel free to ask your Fitness Keeper trainer for any advice if you’re uncertain about your running training.
Running club “runs” once a fortnight from various locations and is a great way to mix up your running training so that you don’t get stuck doing your same run, at the same speed, on the same track week-in and week-out.