A common question I get from runners who are setting out to train for a marathon is how to add mileage during the week. Most of my mid-week runs are 6-8 miles because they are intervals, hills, fartlet, repeats, or progression runs and don’t require crazy high mileage to be effective.
But if you want to add mileage, there is another way.
The midweek long run.
Not 20 miles or anything like what your weekend runs look like, but a longer, easier, higher mileage run the day after a tough workout.
- It adds mileage.
- It teaches you to work on tired legs.
- It helps you condition both your body and your mind for the longer miles of a marathon.
There’s no easy way to break this to you: marathons are hard. Maintaining your pace throughout all 26.2 miles of a marathon is ridiculously hard.
But you can prepare yourself for this by working with fatigue throughout the week.
Set yourself up:
- Monday: hard workout
- Tuesday: longer, marathon-paced run
- Wednesday: off
- Thursday: tempo
- Friday: intervals
- Saturday: long run
- Sunday: off
This is just an example week of how to stack your harder workouts together and then get a full day’s rest twice a week. Not every week will look like this, but when you get further into marathon training, it’ll be important to kick up the days and mileage.
It is critical to teach your body to operate on less than ideal rest. You will get tired during the race and you need to know how to respond both mentally and physically to that extreme fatigue.
This is one way to do it.
Do you do mid-week longer runs? How do you amp up your mileage during marathon training? Do you find it prepares you for the race itself?
Now go out and run!