Just read Matt Fitzgerald’s latest post on Competitor.com, “Are you running enough?” He starts…
As the great Arthur Lydiard said, “Miles make champions.”
According to the 2011 National Runner Survey, the average competitive runner runs 34 miles a week. Is that enough? Well, that depends. But let me answer the question this way: If 10 randomly selected competitive runners were brought to me to discuss their goals and receive my advice, I would probably advise nine of them to run more.
Running more is the surest and most potent means to improve as a runner. The only other way is to run faster. Running faster is effective too, but its power is more limited. Running faster certainly yields improvement quickly, but it has less long-term potential to improve running performance than running more.
Running more is not always the answer and improving is certainly not as simple as running more. It depends on the individual, what they’re training for, what their running background/goals are, injury history, age, etc. We’ve had many clients make huge improvements after reducing their total volume and focusing more on quality and adding in cross training. We have clients who can’t afford to make big increases in volume due to work and travel. You have to get a little creative when coaching to get the most of out the individual and their situation. In our experience runners tend to focus too much on that final weekly mileage total as if it’s some kind of magic number.
Focus more on what your situation calls for. Listen to your body and focus on quality, not simply volume to get the most out of your running.