How can I increase my run mileage and volume safely, without getting injured?

Want to increase your run mileage? Joel Enoch explains how to increase your run volume and mileage safely, so you don't risk injury or burn out

How can I increase my run mileage and volume safely

The ideal is to first assess your current run technique. If you undertake run analysis, the expert should then suggest a strength-and-conditioning routine to work on weaknesses and improve your ability to tolerate higher training loads through the off-season. You can then formulate a training plan. A coach would be helpful here. If not, bear in mind…

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• Prehab’s better than rehab. Roller and strengthen tight muscles, and do muscle activation exercises before every run to minimise risk of injury before it happens.

• When building run volume, frequency’s better than duration. Generally, four runs of 30mins are more effective than two runs of an hour.

• In long-course racing, strong runners are strong cyclists. There’s a tendency for longer-course athletes to want to run too much. Try to resist this. Yes, you should do some longer runs, but you can practise running with fresh legs in shorter, higher-quality sessions while getting used to the feel of fatigued legs by running shorter runs off of a longer bike.

• Similarly, there’s no need to run a marathon before an Ironman. It won’t help you much in the race, but it’ll put a massive hole in your preparation.

• Increase run volume slowly. The idea of 10% a week is batted around quite a lot, but it’s arguably too much.

• Don’t run too much, too soon. Even a fairly novice runner wouldn’t need to really up the mileage for more than 20 weeks before an Ironman. As a well-conditioned athlete, you probably don’t need to work on run volume until 16 weeks before. Use the time up to this point to work on
getting stronger and faster.

Joel Enoch is a sports scientist and triathlon coach who’s helped athletes of all abilities reach their multisport goals.

Read more articles by Joel Enoch here

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