We've already talked about establishing goals for the beginning runners; let's discuss what mileage goals should be for the established or consistent runner.
A consistent runner may not need any advice on this front. He or she may have a routine down that they just follow. As I stated in the beginning runner's section, anything more than 15 miles a week, is running for more than the health benefit that you get from running. That's totally understandable. What I'm addressing is the question of how many miles should I run to maximize my potential.
I've followed countless running schedules, mileage guides, and program plans. After years of following various plans, I've found that one of the oldest plans is still the best.
Bob Glover wrote a Running Guide back in the early 80s that used calculations from thousands of runners, their race times and their programs. He found a simple calculation to use to run your best race. Here's the formula:
((Total Race Distance / 3) x 7)) = total mileage per week needed to maximize performance.
So let's walk through a distance and run through an example. The Marathon is 26.2 miles. So 26.2 / 3 = 8.7333 x 7 = 61.13 miles. So if you want to run your best marathon time, you need to run 61.13 miles a week.
For the Half Marathon, it's 30.57 miles. 10 miler – 23.33 miles. 10K – 14.56 miles. 5 miles – 11.67 miles. 5K – 7.25 miles.
Does this mean you have a guarantee of a best time in your next race if you follow the total mileage? No, not unless you also mix in speed and tempo/endurance runs as part of the total mileage. But what this is saying is that unless the base you are running [amount of miles] meets the above calculated amount, you chances of achieving your best time.
I will have future blogs on the other elements you need to achieve best times for certain distances. But you know what the total weekly miles you need to achieve your best.