How far will 20 - 25mpw get me?

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03/04/2009 at 12:09

That is the distance I am averaging every week. I usually do one or two interval sessions a week, maybe a tempo run on a saturday if not a race. Sunday usually a long run at slow pace. Also one steady run a week aswell, so I run 5 times a week. I'm a youngish runner, early 20's and my race times are not bad for the average joe.

My 5k time is around the 20 minute mark, so don't know how you can judge off that.

I hate not being able to improve though. It does actually feel like training is progressing very slowly at the moment. Do I need to up the weekly miliage, because I feel that I have a good mix of training with Intervals, steady runs, long runs, hard runs including hills, trail etc.

 Some guys on here put in 60mpw, but I'm astonished how they fit in all those miles. Was thinking myself of only having one rest day, or fitting in two runs a day. What would you suggest?

03/04/2009 at 12:25

20 min for 5 k is pretty whizzy.

Depends on what your targets are? 5k / 10k / marathon?

Depending on your targets are your avaialble time will restrict (possibly) what you can get out of 25mpw. You might struggle if aiming for a marathon for instacne.

However, putting in hard runs while focussing on 10ks, with 25 mpw you should be able to make some headway, although stepping upto 30-35 mpw would help.

I tend to focus on longer races - so mileage tends to be 60-90/week (ideally)....most of which is slower, so im pretty crap at the short fast stuff.

SOmoen else will suggest something I am sure....but there are probably some schedules/ideas in the training section if you have a looksie.

03/04/2009 at 12:50

One of the most contentious issues in running training is over the question of volume of mileage. Some coaches have enjoyed great success based on high mileage training eg Arthur Lydiard had his middle distance runners covering 100mpw during the off season. Other coaches would support a basis of shorter and more race specific training year round.

I would suggest that you are unlikely to run your best times with 20 miles per week training. However, the decision of how much mileage to run is dependent upon many factors - what distance do you want to race over, how much time you have available to train, how much time you have to devote to active recovery between training sessions, what you want to achieve through your running........and probably many more.

Many road runners enjoy racing regularly (at least once a month) and need to fit their training around this. Others will devote a longer block of time to progressively building towards a goal race and aiming for a PB there. I would suggest the second approach if you want to achieve your ultimate performance.

One of the greatest injury risks for runners is through increasing mileage. The greater volume of mileage required to achieve your best performance needs to be balanced against your ability as an individual to sustain a level of training without getting injured.

I would suggest that you can still achieve a good level of performance in distances up to 10k while only running up to 25 mpw but if you want to achieve your ultimate potential as a distance runner, you will probably need to run a larger volume of mileage each week.

03/04/2009 at 12:51

Hi Nick thanks for the advice given. I've used the training tab but it doesn't really appeal to me, the program they give isn't what I'm looking for.

I'm not looking to compete in anything over 10k at the moment. Obviously 20 minutes 5k means something like a 42, 43 minute 10k, but my targets for now is to drop my 5k time as much as possible, then when the time is right take part in a 10k race and hope for sub 42

My program is;

Monday - Rest
Tuesday - Intervals (shorter intervals, more reps)
Wedensday - 40 minutes steady
Thursday - Intervals (longer intervals, less reps)
Friday - Rest
Saturday - Race or hard run
Sunday - Long slow run up to 12 miles

Thinking of having a double session but can't find any space in that program to fit one in. To the average joe 20 - 25 mpw sounds a lot, but really it's nothing. I may add in a recovery run on Monday to make up the distance, and maybe add in a few extra reps on Tuesdays & Thursdays?

03/04/2009 at 13:54
about 20 - 25 miles per week, at a rough guess
03/04/2009 at 14:03

...i was thinking of that too Candy!

IF you are only wanting to focus on upto 10k, then stick in more of the faster stuff. Perhaps your 12 mile run shuold be upto 10, the first 6 being steady the last 4 being brisk.

Get up early in the morning and stick in a 20-30 min brisk run too??

I have never used a shcedule so dont like to comment on them for others as its something I dont really know anyrthing about.

03/04/2009 at 16:51

Thanks for the ideas though guys. Sure there are some runners who don't like to run over 10k that could help me out, even though each individual is different.

 That's what I'm thinking though, maybe keep the same miliage but put in more faster workouts Nick.

With double sessions I know it's best to have easy run first then the hard run in the evening, I may do this on Mondays but really got to see how I can fit it in. Not wanting to tire myself out as intervals on Tuesday usually. The days are too short!

03/04/2009 at 17:32
Well, one guy I know doesn't compete over 10k, mostly 5000 and 1500m, and he does 90-100 miles a week. Then again, his 5000 PB is 13:20-ish.
03/04/2009 at 17:51
I've heard people say you shouldn't even be adding speedwork until you're at least at the 60-70mpw mark! The debate rages on...
03/04/2009 at 18:42

No I don't believe that. Middle distance runners do speedwork and I'm sure most of them don't cover 60-70mpw... where did you get that from?

03/04/2009 at 18:57

Twix...I'm trying to work out your mileage. You're running 5days/week. When you take the 12mile run out, that works out at an average of 3.25m for the other 4 runs, to complete the 25m/week. Is this correct?

To start with I'd have you doing 2 mile warm and cool, for both of your interval sessions. I don't mean dawdling either, a proper run, for you, about 8min/mile. Thats an extra 8 miles/week already. The same for the hard run on Sat., thats another 4mile!....Before you know it you're nearly on 40mile/week.

You shouldn't be adding more quality at the moment, because your base is too weak, and you could easily become injured.

To train properly you should drop all the quality, and build your mileage up (base phase). (You may need to build up to this). Run easy/steady for 6 days a week, 5 days 1hr running and 90mins for the 6th day. At 8min/mile this would equate to nearly 50miles/week. You could then build on this, depending on your aspirations.

After 3/4 months of this, you will be ready for the quality training, and then you will see your race times tumble!

03/04/2009 at 19:00
Twixbar wrote (see)

No I don't believe that. Middle distance runners do speedwork and I'm sure most of them don't cover 60-70mpw... where did you get that from?

I know 800m runners that have averaged 80miles/week over this winter! 5K specialists on 100+miles/week. All young lads like yourself
03/04/2009 at 19:13

There's a body of thought that states that you shouldn't do any more than 10% of our weekly mileage as speedwork.

However, where the problem occurs is what you define as speedwork eg is running at 10k pace (which is 80-90% aerobic) speedwork?

Twixbar, from looking at your typical week, it seems that you can make some easy increases in mileage without resorting to training twice a day.

Mon  - rest

Tues - 2 miles warm up

             4 x 800m @ 5k pace with 90 sec recoveries gradually decreasing to 30 sec recoveries

             2 miles cool down - total 6 miles

Wed - 40 mins steady - 4 miles

Thurs - 2 miles warm up

              8 x 400m alternating 90 sec laps and 120 laps (continuous variable pace run)

              2 miles warm down - total 6 miles

Fri -  rest

Sat - personally, with your total mileage, even an easy 12 would count as a hard run so I wouldn't run hard on sat as well - so 40 mins steady - 4 miles

Sun - 12 miles easy.

Total for the week - 30 miles

Not a great variation on what your are doing now.

As you get closer to a race, I would focus on doing more sessions at your target race pace. Alternatively, you could start with shorter distances at target race pace and then gradually increase the distance eg to run a 5k @ 6 min miling, start by running 5x400 in 90 secs with 2 mins rest. Once that is easy, progress to 5 x 600 and so on. Once the race pace becomes comfortable, gradually decrease the rest period.

Just a few ideas. However, any changes you do introduce should be slow and incremental. The biggest cause of injury is a substantial change in training over a short peirod of time eg large increase in mileage, switching from 3 road sessions to 3 track session a week etc.

Good luck.

03/04/2009 at 20:13

Hi guys, thanks very much for your replys and advice I can't explain how gratefull I am for that!

Right Yifter, Usually on a Sunday I'll do around 10 miles at the moment as I'm still coming back into it. So 10 miles on a Sunday, 3 miles on a Tuesday not including warm up or warm down (I do about 3 laps or so of warm up and 2 laps of warm down on a 400m track)
Wedensday I do a steady run about 40 minutes so I'll cover over 5 miles, is that too much?
Thursdays I'm going to start doing the longer distance interval sessions. Hopefully cover about 3 miles of intervals but will need to sort of the warming up and down bit. Saturday is usually just a short hard run around 3 miles but sometimes more.

But from what you said, would it be better to ditch my tuesday and thursday interval sessions and build up a base? If I ditched these sessions would my times start getting slower or not? Thanks mate.

Marathon Warrior, I'd love to run 5k @ 6 minute miling but I feel that's way off for now, as I'd need to drop 2 minutes which would be massive! How long would it take with good training? Anyway not looking that far ahead yet, thanks for your reply looks good. Maybe I need to do more of a warm up to increase my weekly miliage, however I don't really count warmups as distance covered because I do them slowly but maybe I should do 2 miles warming up and 2 miles cooling down on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8min/miles?


PSC    pirate
03/04/2009 at 20:25

long mileage is over-rated.

Check out the McMillan calculator on race paces and you will find that for a 20 min 5k your mara time will be well below sub 4.  Shorter weekly training mileages may mean you won't achieve the predicted mara time, but you will go sub 4 if/when you switch to mara specific training.  just been talking about this on another thread.  Long distances/week are the recipe for injury (IMHO).

Will now back out of this thread as above comments are bound to attract the attention of Trolls.

03/04/2009 at 21:11

Are you saying 50miles/week for a base phase for a lad in his 20's is too much then PSC? ......Twix wasn't even talking about marathon running.

The easiest way to get injured is do to alot of quality, before your body has the strength to cope with it. Easy/steady miles gives you this strength.

Twixbar wrote (see)

But from what you said, would it be better to ditch my tuesday and thursday interval sessions and build up a base? If I ditched these sessions would my times start getting slower or not? Thanks mate.

I wouldnt have you racing, while you're in the base phase. After 3 months at 50miles/week of Easy running, then introduce the quality. If you're capable of 20min/5k now, I think you would be at least sub18min/5K,  37min/10K within 5months (from now). Considering your age.

03/04/2009 at 21:36

Twix.....Google periodisation training.

All elite athletes, use periodisation. If they tried to do 3/4 quality sessions/week, for 12mths/year, their body would fall apart.

03/04/2009 at 22:24

Hi Yifter, I'm sure I could manage 50mpw of base, but I don't know a program for it. I won't jump to it yet, but I'll look into doing it as my base is actually quite weak at the moment.

There are some road events coming up in the summer that I would like to take part in, but I'm not going to be a serious competitor this season just try and explore the events seeing which one suits me best. Obviously I'm going to give my all, but I'm not going to train specifically for any event this year.

I've been running for about 9 months now and have seen some big improvements, only in the first few months though but since the new year I've not really improved but a month out of training left me quite rusty so just getting back into the swing of things for the last month.

What would a 50mpw base program look like?

03/04/2009 at 22:32
i agree with yifter, you are not doing enough steady milage, you need to increase your base i spend 3 or 4 weeks hitting the miles in, before doing sessions or races, then increase the intesinsity of sessions each week on a rota base depending on what races im doing.  i have just been helping a friend with his training, he was running 35 miles a week at very most and had run 33.50 for 10k, we did not change any of his sessions just increased his mileage over a 2 month period, he is now on 50 a week with a 15 mile sunday run, he just ran under 32 for 10k last weekend.  The difference in the race he said was he just felt stronger.  
03/04/2009 at 22:51

So would you guys advise me to ditch my interval sessions and any hard runs/races for just pure base build up? I read on that site about periodization training and it says the more you spend time on building your base the better it is for the long term as you'll be a much stronger runner.

I wouldn't actually mind dropping interval sessions for the sakes of being a better runner as a whole. I feel that short distances I can do well, but come the 2nd rep I'm totally out of gas. Honestly, if it's for the better to concentrate on base then that's what I'll do, but I've never really concentrated on base fitness I just came into running doing 2 milers, 3 milers, 4 milers all best effort and it helped at first but then progression stops at a certain level.

After the 3 months of base work would my 5k, 10k times be slower than what they are now? Or about the same?

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