I have never been a high mileage runner. For all 3 marathons, I used the Run Less, Run Faster program and peaked around 37 miles per week. I believe in the RLRF philosophy, but after a *perfect* training cycle for Houston and still falling short of my goal, I needed to try something new. (What’s the definition of insanity again?!)

There is Nuun in that handheld!

Houston Marathon

After talking to several runners that I trust, reading blogs and doing online research, I decided that I wanted to try higher mileage training this time around. I really like to control my own training so I wasn’t ready to hire a coach, but I wasn’t sure how to build my mileage safely and slowly on my own. I bought Pfitzinger’s Advanced Marathoning and have been slowly reading it over the last several months. Like RLRF, the book is based on the science of running performance, and while it can be difficult to read at times, I really like that it has the science to back up its theories and training plans.

For Eugene, I have created a modified training plan based on both Pfitziner’s plan and some of the RLRF philosophies. Because I really enjoy the challenge that track workouts and tempo runs offer, I wanted to keep those as part of my training, but Pfitzinger gives me a solid outline for how to (hopefully) build up to 55-miles per week at the peak.

I realize that 55 mpw still wouldn’t be considered “high mileage” by some, but for me, it will be a big jump. And to make this jump, I had to come into training with a strong base. After recovering from B2B in October, I built back up to 35-37 mpw, but cut out all of the intensity. And as a result of entering training with good mileage base, this week, in my second week of Eugene training, I ran 40 miles for the first time ever! 


There is no significance to this picture, except that I just smile every time I see these lined up in my closet

So far my body feels pretty good. I am trying to constantly remind myself how important stretching and rolling are so that I don’t get lazy and let them lapse. I am also continuing #opstrengthtrain, with two lifting sessions and two yoga classes per week. I have also gotten some really good advice from Jess, regarding how to gauge how my body is handling the build and when to know if I am doing too much. In short, I need to be in tune with my body and know that there is a difference between pushing through a tough workout and pushing my body too far and risking injury.

I am very excited to continue to build mileage (slowly and carefully, of course) and to see if this helps my endurance to avoid that wall that I have inevitably found between miles 18 – 22 for my first 3 marathons!

I would love to hear your thoughts on “high” mileage training, what has worked for you and what hasn’t! Please share!

About Corey

I am a 30-something swim, bike, run addict married to my best friend and in love with my two schnoodle doggies.
This entry was posted in Goals, Races, running, training. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to 40

  1. Steph says:

    Whew, that’s a lot of miles! I’m not much for high mileage either, but it’s mostly because I love so many cross-training activities…it’s all I can do to get my 3 runs a week in!

  2. I’m like you, and this was the first cycle that I pushed beyond my usual mileage as well… I peaked at 40 once for my first marathon, and this time had a few 40 mile weeks, then peaked at 51 miles. I found a balance between RLRF and Advanced Marathoning… not quite as many miles as AM, but not all the intensity of RLRF. And it definitely helped for those last 6 miles! I was surprised that my body handled the extra mileage as well as it did… now I’m trying to be careful to have a full recovery before getting back to running, as I definitely think I was walking the injury line toward the end of training. GOOD LUCK!!

  3. RunToInspire says:

    nice job on the miles! Can’t wait to see where it gets you

  4. Hey Corey!! First of all – congratulations on your 40 mile week!!! I remember that milestone and recall feeling SO proud of myself after hitting it!

    As for the distance – I wouldn’t consider myself a high mileage runner. I would say all my marathon training programs have hovered around 45-55 mpw and that is really the most I can do. I love to run, but I do get burnt out on the high miles and having to run 10 miles before work twice a week.

    One thing I notice is how much better of a runner I have been when I continue to cross train through training. I think this is REALLY important and should not go to the wayside because you are spending so much time training.

    Good luck and I can’t wait to hear how it goes!!!

    • Corey says:

      Curious what cross training you do? Coming out of triathlon season, all I wanted to do was run, but I know biking makes me a strong runner too. I am finding that with increased mileage that I have a hard time fitting in cross training, other than yoga and strength training.

  5. Congrats on the MPWPR! I’m excited to see what this training cycle will bring for you!

  6. elizabeth says:

    i honestly can’t remember what my peak weeks were before RLRF. i know for Goofy I did more than 40-but it wasn’t for time so all of my runs were easy. Who knows what my training cycle will actually be this go round- but i was supposed to get over 40 as well. fingers crossed!

  7. Lauren says:

    Congrats on 40! It’s a really satisfying milestone to hit 🙂

    I typically like to peak around 50 miles for a marathon, but this time I’m trying to push it higher with the help of Pfitzinger as well. My goal is 65 miles…which I know still isn’t high for many runners, but will be huge for me. Unfortunately my body tends to break down when I get up above 50, so I’m planning on being very careful with it. I know that the higher miles will make me a stronger runner as long as I keep myself healthy, so it’s all about finding the balance.

    Good luck!

  8. BlondiesBabble says:

    Right now, I’m nowhere near 40 miles. But regardless of being at 20 miles or 100 a week – bumping up your distance can be tough. You’re truly inspiring. Keep up the good work!! 🙂

  9. Christina says:

    I don’t have a good answer since I’m currently training for my first Full, but I will say that I am running more miles (and slower miles) each week than I’ve ever run before on Coach Erin’s plan. My weekly long runs are getting easier and I think it has to do with building more miles on the legs. 🙂

    • Corey says:

      Who is your coach? Is that Erin, from See Mom Run Far? Good luck with your training! The hardest part for me on my first full marathon training cycle was being overwhelmed with the new distances every week!

  10. Terzah says:

    I’m like this too–high mileage (at least if I push it too soon) gets me overtrained fast. I think I’ve done two weeks over 50 miles ever. We’ll see how my cycle for Eugene goes with my coach. He’s pretty conservative–four of my six runs are slow and easy, and I have a tempo day and a speed day–but every so often I get a break from both.

    • Corey says:

      I was curious if you kept track of mileage still even though all of your training is done in minutes. But I guess I should have assumed you did!!

  11. Congrats! I have previously kept my mileage limited as well, but am now wondering how high I can take it. I am trying to build it slowly and loved reading this, I felt like I could completely relate. I realized when reading this that I think you previously asked what Brian was doing in the weight room in his BQ attempt and I may not have responded….I’m sorry – things have been hectic with some of the personal stuff we were going through. Anyway, when I read that I mean to put you in touch with him so he could explain, he’d be happy to share and he feels strongly that what he has revamped in the weight room has helped him become a stronger and faster runner. Anyway, if you are still interested, let me know!!!! And good luck!

    • Corey says:

      Yes. I love to know what other people are doing for strength training so it would be great to get some ideas…especially with his experience and background!

  12. One more thing – is there any chance you are thinking about doing Chicago?

    • Corey says:

      Good question!!! It actually is at the very top of my list of fall marathons! I just hate that I have to make the decision so quick because it sells out. You?

  13. Monica says:

    So I’m about 10 years late on posting on this… but I found your blog after talking to Holly (fashionablemiles!) about Eugene, I’m also a Oiselle girl and she and I (and you?!) have the same goal in the end, it sounds like and she mentioned y’all are running together, and I’m sure we’ll all be near eachother on the course!! Well, now that I’ve covered my creepy back story, and am commenting WAY PAST THE DUE DATE, I’m still going to! I’ve followed the Hanson marathon method (the book) for Eugene, which for me peaked with a 63 mile week. I used it more loosely for my last Marathon in 2011 (based off an article in Runners World, and with my own random adjustments) and it was very successful.. their philosophy of cumulative fatigue. The book is fabulous and I would highly recommend it for a future marathon if you wanted. It’s a bit unorthodox in some of the methods, but I love it. Even though my legs are definitely constantly fatigued, I LOVE the satisfaction that comes with hitting workout paces on day 6 of a high mileage cycle, and constantly hitting high mileage. Once I got up into the 50s for a few weeks, I felt SO GREAT!!! But turns out I didn’t realize I’m a big mileage hog, and the more I run, the better I seem to feel. Sorry I’m SO LATE and random on this comment!! Love reading about your Eugene training too!! Hopefully I’ll see you and Holly out there!!! (I’ll be the one tying leashes to your waists so y’all can pull me along)

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