Since I’ve started running consistently in 2014, I have trained for races on 2 to 3 runs a week, with an occasional 4 runs a week when I can fit an extra day in. This is low for most runners, especially those running half-marathons and longer distances, but I do other activities to build lean muscle mass and strengthen my body – weight-lifting, resistance training, HIIT workouts, and yoga – and sometimes, I’m just too tired to run another day or two in the same week.
I’ve decided that if I want to shore up my weak points, I need to make running and recovery my priorities, so I’ve started a new method of slowly adding a mile to each extra day of running, and holding the volume steady for 3-4 weeks until I reach my desired weekly mileage. This is congruent with the 10% rule that most running experts advise, where you increase each week’s mileage by no more than 10% (assuming you are recovering well and not feeling excessively tired and sore after each mileage increase). I’ve finished my first phase of base-building (we’re in week 4!) and I’m feeling pretty good about the way I warm up and cool down to promote faster recovery.
I’ve also added Dr. Jordan Metzl’s IronStrength for Runners DVD (yep, old school) back into my workout regimen, which left me a bit sore since I haven’t done the exercises in a few months, but I trust that I’ll adjust after a few weeks. Of course, I am building in a down week of reduced mileage and low-impact exercises every 4 weeks to stay healthy.
How do you build your base for additional mileage?