The Reduced Mileage Week

August 3, 2008 at 9:28 am | Posted in General Health, Injury, Literature, Training Method | 4 Comments

Yes, I am following a post about a high mileage weekend with a post about a reduced mileage week. They are slightly related–I let myself run longer today because I knew that I would be getting adequate rest in the coming week.

Tomorrow is my off day and the rest of the week will be my reduced mileage week. I do three weeks of regular/progressively climbing mileage and then drop down in the fourth week. This gives my legs a break and gives my body a chance to repair. It helps prevent injury and makes my runs wonderful the week after.

I learned this method from my college cross-country coach, a 5-time Olympic qualifier and lifetime running fanatic. She called this week the two-thirds week, and had us run our speedwork at the same intensity, but only two-thirds of our usual weekly mileage. I just subtract 10 minutes from each run, so if I went 50 minutes the Tuesday before, I aim for 40 minutes instead. I often reduce my long run by more than 10 minutes.

I am still reading the Runner’s World Complete Book of Running, and still do not like it very much, but it includes some relevant advice from Lee Fidler, a running coach in Atlanta:

To reach your goal level, you have to move through a gradual progression in increments of 10 percent a week. Then every third or fourth week, unload: Drop back close to the starting point to recover.

If you build constantly week after week, you get stronger for a while, but then you reach your breaking point. You get injured, you get a cold, or your body rebels in some other way. To avoid this, build your training in steps. Go up two or three steps, then drop back one, then climb back to where you were and start increasing again.



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  1. oh good, perfect timing. now i can have an official excuse for my laziness this past week. love it!

  2. […] However, my legs warmed up quickly, and I probably went much faster than necessary during a reduced mileage week when I’m supposed to be resting and repairing. My knee feels a little achy today and my […]

  3. […] usually fast the day after my off day, but this is the third week of hard running before my reduced mileage week, and I can feel the onset of fatigue from the past few weeks of hard work. I was not quite as fast […]

  4. […] This is my reduced mileage week, and this time around I’m reducing more than usual. I just got back from an appointment with […]

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