For beginner runners, 10 to 15 miles per week is a more realistic starting point. It is common for more experienced runners to complete 30 to 40 miles per week with a well-planned training regimen. The amount of mileage you will want to run primarily depends on the length of the race you are training for. If you are training for a 5k, 10 to 15 miles per week should be sufficient, but if you are training for a marathon, then you should aim for at least 25-30 miles per week with a percentage of your runs being easy runs.
How many miles a week should I run?
The easiest way to determine just how many miles you should run every single week is to simply pay attention to your body. Everyone’s individual physique is different, and therefore their mileage goals will differ based on their background, abilities, response to training, and available schedules. Simply put, while some people are able to qualify for the Boston Marathon with only 40 miles per week of training, other runners may need 60 miles or more per week.
All too often, beginners push themselves too far, too fast. There is a desire to rack up as much mileage as possible in the least amount of time. But when you are new to running, it’s important to start off with just a few days of running per week, and then build on from there. Beginners must take a systematic approach to increase their weekly mileage.
Is It Better to Run More or Less?
When first starting out, a beginning runner should focus on getting in anywhere from 10 to 15 miles per week. While this may seem low, it equates to a short 2 to 3-mile run, 5 days a week. Because running requires consistency, a beginner should focus on maintaining this level for several weeks before attempting to add more mileage.
The more time you spend running, the denser your capillaries get. This helps make your body more energy-efficient, and it is that efficiency that will help you increase that mileage. It’s not something that will happen overnight. When first starting out, it is better to run less, and gradually build up from there.
It is also important to monitor your heart rate when training. Chest strap heart monitors are more accurate than the wrist-worn monitors. Click below to check out one of our favorites, the Polar H10 chest strap monitor.
How Much Running Is Too Much in A Week?
Eventually, there comes a point, when you exceed the benefits of adding on more mileage. The fact is, that many runners will experience improvements in their running until they reach a specific point. This is when the body begins to plateau, and no matter how far a runner pushes themselves, they cannot increase their mileage capacity any further.
A beginner who starts off at a mere 10 to 15 miles per week, will see plenty of improvements as they gradually increase their mileage. The first major milestone for a runner is to hit a consistent 30 miles per week. From there, most runners will be able to continually increase their mileage until they reach 60 miles per week. However, some people are never able to achieve this milestone.
What’s important is when you increase your mileage, you should not increase it by more than 10% per week. So if you start off at 10 miles per week, then on week 2 you should aim for 11 miles per week, and so on. It will take the average beginner more than a year of training in order to reach the 60 miles per week milestone.
How Much Do I Need to Run in A Week?
Most beginners with no history of running experience should start off at about 10 to 15 miles per week. This allows a beginner to run 2 to 3 miles per day, 5 days per week. Once they are comfortable with running at that pace, then they can begin to increase their mileage at a rate of about 10% each week. Runners can continue to increase their weekly mileage until they reach their plateau point.
It’s important to remember that the human body does not understand the concept of mileage. Mileage is merely a metric that is used by runners to determine how efficient they are at the sport. Rather than focusing on mileage, a runner should instead focus on the number of minutes that are spent exercising.
The safest threshold for most runners is between 75 and 90 minutes per run. The amount of mileage a runner is able to accomplish each week is dependent on how fast their body is able to run during that 75 to 90-minute time period. When first starting out, it may be difficult to run a mile in less than 10 minutes. This means that beginners may only be able to complete 2 or 3 miles per run. More experienced runners should be able to run a mile in 10 minutes or less, which allows them to cover between 7 to 10 miles per run.
Not sure how long your easy runs should be? Click here to read our article on “How Long Should Easy Runs Be?”
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