Beginners: 5 Tips for Building Mileage
Written By: SportsShoes
One of the greatest challenges facing new runners is building their mileage safely. A key mistake for beginners is adding too much mileage too fast, leaving them disheartened or worse, injured. Here's how to build mileage safely and effectively, and keep your running fun and enjoyable.
Running consistently will help your to body adapt more quickly and effectively to new training stimulus as you build distance. New runners should run 3 times every week to make consistent progress. Make sure to leave at least one rest day in between sessions to allow your body to properly recover and minimise injury risk.
Build slowly & Set Small Incremental Goals
Building too much mileage too fast, is a recipe for injury. You've heard of the 10% rule? New runners should build even more slowly. Once you're happy running 5K (around 30 minutes of non-stop running) you can steadily increase mileage by adding small incremental distances to one run per week (which will become your long run).
Repeat each week until you feel totally comfortable, then add a little more distance. As time goes on you can also gradually add distance to your mid-week runs, and even add in an extra run into your weekly schedule - the key is to introduce any new mileage slowly.
Incorporate Adaptation Weeks
These are essentially a repeated week of training. Following from the above, these are great for anyone building mileage, but in particular they allow beginners more time to adapt and recover from the previous week's mileage, helping the body to gradually adjust and reinforcing the previous week's training.
Follow A Run/Walk Programme
Time on your feet, whether you're running or walking will help build endurance. Don't put pressure on yourself to run the whole way when you're adding distance - by incorporating run/walk intervals you'll gradually build fitness and be able to run for longer - without risking injury.
Run at a Conversational Pace
One of the reasons new runners often struggle to increase their mileage is simply because they're running too fast. Slow down. You should be able to comfortably maintain a conversation throughout your training session - if you're gasping for air, you're going too fast.