September 25, 2017

Running: How much is too much? By Charlene Ragsdale

As we begin running, we are faced with the choice when/if/how to increase our mileage. While it may seem to be an easy choice, it isn’t. The choice to increase mileage should not be done carelessly. Safety first! Whether you are a newbie or a seasoned athlete, start with two thoughts:
1. Your current fitness level
2.  Define your goals

Accessing your current fitness level is critical. A newbie runner cannot and should not attempt to run a 10 mile run, in their first week. However, a seasoned athlete may be able to do so. Running should be goal focused. You may want to lose weight, gain fitness or train for a race. Speak with those of whom you value their time and experience to find out more about what it takes to achieve your goals.

When the time comes to increase your mileage:

There is a general rule of thumb: Increase your mileage per week by 10% and train at that distance for 3-4 weeks.  Then, increase it some more. Overdoing the mileage can and often will lead to fatigue, burn out and even injury. Know your body limitations!

When increasing your mileage, know why you are doing so. Again, keep your eye on the goal. Increasing your weekly mileage by 5 miles can be mentally exhausting. Focus on the long term goal and when the times get tough, remember that goal. As you increase your mileage, be sure to pay attention to how your body (and mind) are adjusting. If you are becoming overtly fatigued or drained, back down on the miles.

Above all else, have fun. Increasing your mileage should be a great gauge for your training and will provide inspiration to keep running.

Charlene Ragsdale is a RRCA Certified Running Coach, IFA Certified Sports Nutritionist and member of the USATF Master’s All-American Team. She can often be seen at on the podium as a frequent Age Division & Overall Winner in several distances. She lives with her Chef husband, two sons and two dogs in Las Vegas, NV. You can follow her at her blog: www.FABRunning.com

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