Today is Part 2 of my Fit Girls Guide to Running. In Part 1 of the series I talked about how to get started with a running routine and the equipment you’ll want as you get started. And today is for my girls who may have been running for a few weeks or months and are ready to step it up a bit. Today I want to teach you how to safely increase mileage.
Like I said, I will be running my first (official) half-marathon at the end of May. Now, to be honest I have always been a “runner”, so the this has been on my bucket list for some time now.
I ran cross country in high school and I probably ran a few half-marathon distances in practices. But, since high school I mostly run 4-5 miles per run and call it a day. So making sure I increased my mileage properly was important in preventing injury.
As a beginning runner, your main priority is to run consistently and allow your body to get used to running. As I said in Part 1 of this series, this probably means running 2-3 days per week for 1-4 miles. As a newbie, don’t increase your mileage every week. Keep it the same for 3-4 weeks at a time to allow your body to adjust. When you’re comfortable, then you can add mileage.
How to Increase Mileage
Running more miles as a new runner doesn’t mean every run has to be longer. You may want to look at how many days you run per week, your longest run, and your typical run per day. If you currently run 3 days per week – let’s say, 2 miles, 3 miles, and 3 miles – you could start running four days per week, and add in another 2 mile run.
Or you could also decrease one run by a mile and increase another to give yourself a long run. Say you run 3 days a week for 3 miles each. Change your schedule to a 4 mile, 3 mile, and 2 mile run. The possibilities are endless.
Increasing Mileage Safely
When you’re planning on increasing mileage it’s important to be patient with yourself. You have your entire life to run, so make sure you increase your mileage safely so that you can continue to run. There is no rush when increasing your mileage so give yourself enough time to train properly.
Make sure you are cross-training and weight lifting. Having strong muscles, ligaments, and joints will help prevent injuries and muscle imbalances that can happen from only running. Building up strength and muscles will also help you run longer and with more ease too!
Again, the biggest thing is to find a training plan and stay consistent with it! Consistency is key, you are not going to be able to increase your mileage very easily if you are constantly skipping workouts and going long periods without running.
Do any of my fellow runners have any other mileage tips?