Running Questions - Answers
How many miles should you run a week to train?
Avatar Julia Schultz
18 December 2017

I have a marathon booked in for December 2018, but before that I have registered a 10k run in May, want to try a half marathon between July and October. I’ve been running properly for a 10 months now but don’t consider myself an experienced runner but I am confident that I can run 6 miles comfortably. I was just wondering how many miles should I be running in a week? Should I be doing specific techniques for me to run faster?

Answer :
Elizabeth Carlson
19 December 2017

Figuring out how much you should run each week should be in line with your running goals. From what you have said, it sounds like you are in excellent shape because you have built up a solid base already (ten months of consistent training will really translate to being able to run strongly for miles at a time, even if you are only running a couple of miles each day) and you have plenty of time before your 10k in May.

If a marathon is your ultimate goal, I wouldn't really procrastinate in getting yourself in marathon-ready shape. You have a whole year, so you definitely want to be careful and avoid burnout, so be cautious about not over-training. This could look like both physical and mental exhaustion and burnout. Stick to running just a few days a week, but start incorporating some longer distances. You want to continue first building up your distance base. Aim to do one long run each week, on a day that suits your schedule. Slowly increase the number of miles your long run is each week by one mile until you reach 10 miles. At this point, it won't even be May yet, so you will definitely be able to run a 10k no sweat. And if you want to perform well at the 10k, then also slowly start incorporating some speed, interval, and tempo training into your weekly running routine.

After the 10k, again focus on increasing your long run mileage. The next race on your schedule is a half marathon, so aim to run around 13 miles at least once before your half. And continue with the speed and hill work if you want to rock race day. Then, just like before, once the half marathon is complete, continue that pattern of slowly increasing your mileage. The longest run many folks do before a full marathon is 20 miles, so that give you a distance to shoot for. And be sure to give yourself a proper taper just before the marathon, where you cut back on mileage and training so that, come race day, you are mentally and physically fresh and ready to go!


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