Increasing Your Mileage The Safe Way
A lot of runners want to improve the average mileage they can run, but play it safe with the risk of potential injury in the back of their minds. Maybe you are one of those runners, or you have been increasing your mileage the wrong way over time. Doing online research would have likely seen you come across something called the 10% rule. This strategy might not be the best for you. In fact, you could be causing your body and development a great deal of harm by adopting the 10% rule. Every person is different and our bodies adapt to things in varying ways so it’s important to be self-aware and not take blanket information as gospel.
For those that don’t know what this rule is, it simply states that you add 10% mileage to the number of miles that you are already comfortable with running. This is the repeated in increments until you get to your desired goal. One thing with this move is that it doesn’t give additional advice to runners, one of the most important being, incorporating proper strength workouts to accommodate the extra miles their bodies are taking.
If you’re a beginner, you are advised against the 10% rule. First off, you are just starting out, at this point in your training your main goal should be running consistently to get your body conditioned to the sport, not going for some elaborate mileage plan. Keep the mileage you run constant for several weeks, then look to increase from there later. Experienced and advanced runners can go on and adapt this rule, but make sure it fits right into your normal schedule. Never push yourself above your limits or you run the risk of an injury that could keep you out for weeks. For those that are coming back to running after some time off, the 10% rule should be the last thing on your mind. Get back to your normal routine (before the break) and get your body back to being consistent at this level again.
That said, the question still remains how to safely increase your mileage while lowering potential risks. Whether you are a newbie, or an intermediate runner who has learnt the ropes and is looking to break goals, or an expert on the field, consistency is the major key. With consistency, you would be able to reach more heights with your training and stay there over the course of time. This suggestion dictates that instead of trying to increase your mileage every week and pile additional pressure on a body that isn’t ready for such drastic changes, run an extra 5 – 10 miles, and keep it locked for months.
Running consistently over the same distance span over a number of months is a very effective method to improve your mileage. Not only would you have perfected running the set distance at the end of the time-frame, you would have been mentally and physically prepared to take on more miles. Not forgetting the fact, you would do all of this with a lower risk of injury.
Photo by David Baird