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Here is the question, am I running too much? I have seen a lot of stuff on running program and training and it think I am missing something. I am in my early forties and started running just this year. I was in "ok" condition when I started on the treadmills in January and moved to outdoor running in March. I was totally hooked. I run an average of 40 miles a week and my pace is between 8:15 and 8:40 minute miles. I haven't had any pain anywhere. I seem to recover my breathing within a couple of minutes and often feel like I should have ran a couple more miles. My typical run is at least 7 miles and usually around 11. I have had other runners tell me I am doing too much and over train and should cut back but I wonder if they are right. Given that I feel fine and have no problems I don't want to run less but I also don't want to wake up one morning and not be able to run due to a stupid injury. Any advice would be nice.
your body does need some rest time to come back stronger if you keep beating it down day after day something will eventually get hurt or you will burn out on running
goals for 2011:
break 19minutes for 5k
break 2:42 for olympic triathlon probably Anthracite olympic
break 3:16 for marathon ( a long shot but it's fun putting yourself out there)
40 miles per week isn't too much if you are used to it. If you start to drag or your training times are slow for a few days then you should certainly cut back. You might also want to consider some shorter days once in a while. It's OK to throw in a 3-5 mile recovery run every now and then! Listen to your body: some folks need to take a day or two off each week and others have multi-year streaks of running every day.
Thanks for the feedback. I do take at least one day off just to rest each week no matter what. I keep a running log and try to write down how I felt during the run and if I feel really tired more than once I add an extra day off but that doesn't happen very often. I am happy to hear 40 miles isn't a lot of miles. One of my sometimes running partners has been trying to convince me I am running as much as a person needs to and should cut back. I know they don't do as many miles as I do so it could be another reason for them wanting me to slow down. I will listen to your advice and listen to my body. If it isn't complaining I'll keep on going as much as I feel good doing.
You're running enough miles to do a marathon. 40 mile weeks and more are not unusual for marathoners. The law of diminishing returns indicates that if you're running for health, doing more than 25 mpw is probably a waste of time.
If you're doing it simply for the fun of it, more power to you. Many runners give their bodies a "rest" every 2 to 4 weeks with a week where they run 50% to 66% of their maximal mileage weeks. You may want to consider that.
Latest medical info says you maximize the benefits to your heart at about 40 miles a week. The rest days are important, but it sounds like you are approaching things sensibly. There are a lot of people who will try to convince you to do less because that is what they are doing - especially if they aren't doing anything!
carol, that is so funny - and it's true: those who tell you not to run so much or start talking about people who had heart attacks while running are those who belong to the Big Butts of America Club and never do anything.
As dave pointed out, cutting back every three/four weeks is great advice. It keeps the routine fresh and lets your body repair and rebuild. After running for about 10 years, i was starting to feel a little burnt out. But this routine of incorporating an easy week has turned things around for me.
As mentioned above: listen to your body. However, what are your goals? Do you race, do you plan to race? Or are you running just for the fitness and you like the way you feel?
Back in the day my distance buddies were training 75 - 100 miles/week. But they ran 30:30 10K's and sub 2:30 marathons. Their mileage was based on goals they set for themselves and trained accordingly.
I think your body would tell you if you're over training. If you start feeling sluggish or have a nagging ache then it is time to back off.
40 miles a week is fine if you can handle it. It certainly sounds to me like you can handle more. I am a marathon runner who also runs 5k, 5 mile, 10k and half marathon races. It all depends on what your goals are. 40 miles a week provides you with versatility. Since you are not totally challenged by your mileage, you an either pick up the pace or increase the distance, or keep things status quo. Personally, I would run an interval workout and a tempo workout each week, while holding onto the 40 miles -- or even reduce it a bit. In the fall, I'd can the intervals and start increasing my weekly long run, while holding on to the tempo run (5 miles or more). In the late summer & early fall, I'd run shorter races (10k and shorter) and plan for a marathon and or 1/2 marathon in October or November.
Thanks again everyone. In short, I started running this year and signed up for a local 10K right away to have a goal. I then completed two more within 6 weeks of that first race, I ran a memorial 10K today actually. I was really apprehensive about the first one but feel comfortable now. I have signed up to run two 10 mile races in August that are about 2 weeks apart and have registered to run the Detroit marathon this year. I started running to improve my over all health but have found I really love to run and so my new goal is to run marathons with 10K and longer runs in between. Although my race times are not fast, around 50 minutes, I am so far consistent and don't really feel tired at all when I finish. I am doing some reading on how to get faster because I find that I fall into my comfortable pace easily and have a hard time getting myself to go faster. I am not familiar with all of the terms used for how to train like tempo run and so on but I am reading and talking to people to get as much information as I can to try to train sensibly and correctly to reach my goals. You guys are great and I really appreciated the helpful comments and advice.
Judging from what you have said about finishing a 10k fresh in 50 minutes, I would suspect that you are running a tempo run in your races. A tempo run is one where you can hold the pace for 20 minutes or more, but aren't overly conversational. I generally think of it as about 30 seconds per mile slower than 5k pace, or about 20 seconds per mile slower than 10k pace. In other words, if you are running a 5 mile tempo run at an 8 minute pace, you ought to be able to run a 10k at about 7:40 pace. Let me give you a 20 year ago example. When I could run 10k in 36 minutes, my 5 mile tempo pace was 6:10. My 5k times were around 17:30. My marathon times were relatively slow at 2:56 for I refused to put in more than about 40 miles a week. Thus, the key to holding a 6:40 pace over 26.2 miles was the 5 mile tempo run which I ran once a week in about 30:50. These days, I am running 10k around 46:35, and my tempo pace is around 7:45. I suspect that a 3:45 marathon is doable, weather permitting. Again, I am capable of running faster than 3:45, but I can't handle the long runs as well as I used to. It sounds to me like you can handle the weekly long runs better, so I would say, go for it! And don't forget the mid week tempo run.
Thanks smo5246. The more I read the more I realize just how ignorant I am on running terminology and training. I do tend to run close to the same pace all of the time. It does vary by 10-15 seconds once in a while but it's fairly consistent no matter the distance, 7 miles or 14 miles, it's always about the same given similar running conditions. If I understand you, and I am not sure I do, you are saying my 10K race time is more of a 10K tempo run time. I am pushing a little bit but not too much. That I could likely run a 10K at a 7:40 pace rather than the 8 minute one I have been. I think you also said that if I was to do a tempo run of around 5 or 6 miles sometime in the middle of my week at my current race pace of 8 minutes I would likely see a better race time as a result of that "tempo" training. I feel like I got the gist of your post but because of my lack of knowledge on running I am not certain I really got it. It's one thing to read about it and another to understand what it really means. If I have it right, I'll add that to my schedule right away. I really believe I have the strength and stamina to run faster but I don't know how to train to get that result. This sounds like something I need to do to accomplish that goal. Thanks for the help.
It does take a while to pick up the jargon. It took me about six months of reading the Runner's World training plans to figure out what all the interval abbreviations mean.
Adding interval training (short distances run fast, followed by a short recovery jog, then repeated)will also increase your overall speed, especially for shorter races. You can find lots of training plans that will give you specifics on running intervals over the course of your training.