Marathon Series: Increasing Distances

Wednesday 20 May 2015 by

Marathon training, London, #HoBFitness, Wanstead Flats, Running, Fitness, Sport

Welcome back to week twenty three of my Marathon Series, as I blog my way to a marathon – from beginner to 26.2 miles. This week, we’re talking about increasing distances.

There’s a right way and a wrong way to increase your distance as you build to a marathon. Too far too soon, and you’ll end up injured and unable to race. Too little too long and you won’t be ready.

I work in rules of 30% or thereabouts. Add 30% on to your distance each week and not only will you clock up the miles, but you’ll find they’re a lot easier to do each time. I work in kilometres, so distances might be different for you. My quick runs are around 5km each time (and I try to do two a week), so that means I can keep adding 30% from there. Having said that, I’m not very good at maths… so I’m working in 3-4km increments!

Last Sunday was 8km. This coming Sunday will be 11-12km, and so on until I reach 38km. A marathon is 26.2 miles, or 42 kilometres. But, as with anything, it’s good to not quite do the full distance. First of all, you’re going to increase the likelihood of injury, and second of all, you won’t need to! You’ll be more than ready for the race. You’re best off reaching nearly-there, a good few weeks before the race, and then work on your taper (decrease distance to make sure you don’t overdo it before the big day).

Increasing distance is easy, but you have to make sure you stay committed. Some days you will hate running and want to go shorter, but make sure you give yourself the time and distance to make it work. Give yourself gentle weeks every now and then – sprint runs instead of long distance runs, or even a day off and treat yourself! Nothing about this is easy, but set out your plan early and stick to it (even if it means missing out on the odd social occasion I’m afraid to say). And make sure you have something to keep you distracted!

How do you increase your mileage? Do you have goals each week?

Don’t forget to let me know how you’re getting on, using the hashtag #HoBFitness. And check back in a soon when we’re talking about running in the heat.

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