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Every beginner or injured runner heading back to the roads to pound the pavement worries about those dreaded injuries that can occur. With smart training, avoiding an injury is not impossible. Keep these tips in mind next time you start ramping up your mileage!
Too Much Too Soon
Too much too soon can be your biggest downfall when talking about increasing your mileage. A common rule is to increase your mileage around 10% each week. Too much training will either lead to an injury, boredom, or overtraining. Allow yourself rest and cross training days as this should be a gradual increase in mileage.
Increase Mileage the Right Way
There are usually two ways to increase your mileage. First, you can increase your mileage each week, but then take a cut back week every three to four weeks. Otherwise, increase your mileage then stay at that distance for two to three weeks before increasing the mileage once again. This will allow your body time to adapt to the higher mileage.
Decrease your Intensity of Each Run
Your main goal should be to increase mileage, not amp up the miles per hour of your run. After your body is accustomed to that higher mileage, speed work can then be added back into your weekly run workouts. Combining both faster running and increase mileage can put too much stress on your body and can make you tired for that next workout when you want to add more mileage.
Listen to Your Body
Whenever you increase the intensity or distance of your workouts, you should always listen to what your body is telling you. If you feel like an injury is coming—back off. Depending on how tight or sore you might be will determine how long you should take a break from running.
We have all been there when you want to push through and keep running. Just think to yourself, is it better to be out for a couple of days to rest the injury or off for months to rehab the injury? Try to think long term instead of short term when you are deciding if you should exercise or not.
With increasing your mileage, be smart with all of aspects of training. Concentrate on good running form, wear proper footwear, concentrate on tight and weak muscles, and work on developing a strong core. Lastly, gain knowledge on proper nutrition. For an example, eat enough protein for muscle repair, stay hydrated to prevent any strains, eat enough calories to keep you energized throughout your run, and eat a balanced snack or meal to replenish those glycogen stores for your next workout.
Focus on Consistency
You should have a plan for each week on how you will increase your mileage. Keep a training log on the mileage, duration, route, and how you felt afterwards. This will keep you on track and honest with each workout. Stick with the schedule and the running log and your chances of injury will decrease with consistent workouts.
Increasing mileage is not a sprint, but more like a marathon. Be patient and give yourself enough time to get to that perfect mileage.
Understanding smart training can not only keep you pounding the pavement day after day, but it can keep you healthy and injury free for a lifetime.