Don’t let mileage get you down. It’s easy to compare yourself with your fellow runners who log 50+ miles per week. But your journey is your own.
Editor’s note: This is a part of a weekly series featuring training, running and motivational tips from marathoner @trackclubbabe. Tune in every Tuesday for her newest tip. See more from TrackClubBabe here.
Mileage is sexy. What’s not as sexy is completing a conservative amount of miles at an easy pace. I see so many runners on Instagram sharing posts about their mileage and feeling off when they compare their mileage to other runners’. Here’s my two cents on the mileage game:
What Training for Boston Taught Me About Mileage
When I started to become faster and was training for Boston, I got caught up in the number of miles I was running. I was logging 6 weeks at 80 miles, which I later found was far too much for me. I learned a very hard and valuable lesson that year. If you don’t have the proper foundation, running too many miles might actually hurt you. It’s important to consider how long you’ve been running for and the number of miles you’ve logged historically before taking on more miles.
After Boston, I was desperate to be myself again. I did everything I could to recover from overtraining. I slept more and went from logging doubles to running 5 times per week. I focused on easy runs. I’ll never risk putting myself back in that hole again. Clawing my way back was one of the toughest things I’ve done.
Now when I see posts from another runner about their mileage, I’m happy for them. I’m never jealous. I know that if I tackle more mileage than my body can handle, I’ll drown. And I much prefer progressing.
My Mileage Philosophy
As runners, we need to train and tackle hard workouts – but we can’t do them with fresh legs to see progress. We need to go into our workouts with tired legs. I now know that tired legs look different for everyone. For more experienced runners who have been running most of their lives, tired legs are often the result of a lot of mileage. A newer runner who is slowly and steadily building their base shouldn’t aspire to a seasoned runner’s weekly mileage. I was inactive my entire life until I started running in 2012. My body can’t handle increasing the intensity and mileage beyond what I’ve determined is best for me. The “weight” of a 50-mile week is sufficient to tire me out.
The next time you feel down because you’re comparing your mileage to someone else’s – don’t. You’re on your own path. Our purpose should be to PROGRESS, not just run for the sake of logging more miles. One day I may be able to increase my mileage. But for now, I’ll stay focused on the miles I’m in.
Stay tuned for more tips and inspo from Kim every Tuesday!
Author Bio: @trackclubbabe, AKA Kimberly Clark Underwood, started running in 2012 to see if she could train for a marathon & fell in love with running. She went from hoping to run 10 minute miles in the marathon to aiming for a sub 3 marathon. She posts the highs & lows of training + everything that has helped her to improve on her IG.