Double Digit Week

The week of April 21st I ran more than 10 total miles.  From that point my mileage declined until I ran the Turkey Hill Country Classic 10k and was forced to take two weeks off from running due a mild hamstring injury.

I am happy to report I am finally reversing that trend and adding miles to my weeks.  I had two weeks in a row of two runs, the first week totaling 8 miles and the second week totaling 9 miles.  This past week my goal was to get in three runs totaling 10 miles.

Monday after work I logged 3 miles running towards the high school and back.  I planned to just run comfortably but managed to clock in at 28:21, faster than I expected to be.  My last mile was just under 9 minutes though I do credit the downhill grade of the alley for the speedy finish.

Wednesday I originally wanted to run with my regular running group.  Watching the weather forecast Tuesday evening though I decided it would be better to get my run in before work rather than contend with increasing heat and humidity and possible thunderstorms.  Early morning running is a rarity for me, but I mentally committed to getting up and getting it done.  I wanted to run 5 miles and figured I would run the same route to the high school and just go down the one road further before turning back.  While I was awake enough to run, my brain apparently wasn’t awake enough to do math.  I ended up turning around sooner than I should’ve and was approaching 4 miles as I neared my house.  I contemplated adding on another mile by running in the cemetery but decided I had ran decently and preferred to get showered and get my work day started.  I found that 4 mile run to be a good wake up as I was more alert while working.

Friday was a vacation day for Jason and me.  We originally wanted to take a day trip to Kennett Square, but since the heat index was to hit triple digits we decided against it.  I decided to knock out my 3 miles shortly after getting out of bed.  I added a loop in the local park to my usual route to change things up.  I thought running on gravel would be a nice change though the lack of shade reinforced how quickly the day was heating up.  The humidity made it harder to breathe and sweat was dripping off my nose until I returned home.

Jason and I went shopping on Friday to get him new running shoes (after a foot/gait analysis he is now in Brooks Ghost like me and dad).  He decided he wanted to break them in Saturday morning.  Because of this I added another 2 miles to my week.  It was just a mile up and back in the alley, but it felt tough due to the weather.  This brought my grand total for the week to 12 miles.

I’m planning on getting in at least 12 miles, if not more, this week.  I want to start throwing in some of my hillier routes to build up my strength and speed.  I’m still not committing to training for anything specific at this point, but am enjoying being back to a more normal running routine.

I have often heard that weekly mileage shouldn’t be increased by more than 10% to prevent injury.  This would mean adding barely over a mile a week for several weeks which I find very tedious.  Do you follow this rule?  How to do you decide how many miles to add each week while getting back into training shape?

About TracyNicole

Runner. Writer. Reader. Environmental advocate. Work from home Workforce Specialist. NASM Certified Personal Trainer. Assistant Varsity Track Coach. Fascinated by the ocean, waterfalls and Christmas lights.
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8 Responses to Double Digit Week

  1. swosei12blog says:

    I’ve always questioned that 10% rule too. I pretty much increase my mileage based on what my body tells me. Here’s an example. During last year’s marathon training my longest run was 17 miles. Clearly, my mileage increased well over 10% for the event. Did folks actually experiment with these numbers? How do we really know that you should not increase your mileage by more than 10%? What if the actual percentage is 15.3473?

    • TracyNicole says:

      I really should research it more. I can understand if you’ve literally never exercises or ran having to really adding things slowly, but anyone with any type of fitness background should be able to handle over 10%. I agree that listening to your body seems to be the truest determination of if you’ve added on too many too soon.

  2. I always go over the 10% rule when ramping back up. For example, my long run one week will be 6 miles and the next week it’s 7 miles, then 8, etc. As long as you pay attention to your body and how it’s handling the increased mileage you should be fine. Just cut back if you feel like you’re over-doing it.

    • TracyNicole says:

      I think you’re totally right that it’s better to go by what our bodies tell us than what some arbitrary number suggests. At this point my body, particularly my hamstring, has been fine with what I’m doing so I’m going to keep on with it!

  3. runeatralph says:

    The Ghosts are a great all-around shoe. I don’t love anything about them, but there’s nothing to not like. I don’t really do the 10% thing, though I do believe in a gradual increase (maybe 2-3 miles a week, tops) and I have a cutback week every 3-4 weeks.

    • TracyNicole says:

      I think that’s why I like the Ghosts, they work for all kinds of workouts. I’m sure if I wanted to specialize more and focus on speed I’d find them a tad heavy, but I’m cheap and prefer to stick to a shoe I can wear for everything. I agree that 2-3 miles is reasonable and I won’t ever jump a long run more than 2 miles each week. I think cutback weeks are really useful if you can fit them in (which I should’ve worked to do instead of racing so much last fall before my half marathon) because they’re such a mental and physical reset.

  4. Glad to hear about your progress! Way to go! I bet that’s a joy and a relief to get back into it 🙂
    I guess I do follow the 10% rule, though not entirely on purpose. LOL. My long distance runs for half-marathon training goes up by one mile increments over a few months with a few exceptions, then the good ole taper before the event. In Virginia, we will have a break in the heat this week and I’m going to take advantage of that!

    • TracyNicole says:

      Thanks, it really is nice to be “back”! I only really follow the 10% rule in the way you described, by upping the long run by a mile each week. I was looking at it from the overall mileage standpoint though, like is it a huge deal if I run 15 miles total one week and 18 miles the next? I don’t think so as long as my body feels fine. Our heat just broke in PA today and I’m looking forward to my group run tomorrow in it!

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