The less is more approach

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May 2012
3:23pm, 7 May 2012
38 posts
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Recently had a niggly little knee injury (query pes annserine bursitis). As such weekly mileage has dropped significantly from around an average of 25-30 miles (5 sessions per week) to 15-20 miles (3 sessions per week). This has really made me think about my approach to running, can less really be more? It certainly lowers your risk of injury through the avoidance of 'junk miles' so i suppose the question is: in order tor reap the same or similar rewards which sessions should you focus on for 5k and 10k PB? Currently at 20:17 for 5k and 43:15 for 10k and training is genreally 1 hard session a week, either a quick tempo of interval/reps, 1 steady run and then one long slow run. So, can less reall be more?
May 2012
3:40pm, 7 May 2012
6,914 posts
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I would say less can definitely be more. 30 miles a week is a lot in most people's book. I would be at risk of injury at that level, and then not resting properly would mean it would never get properly better.

20 miles a week is not exactly couch potato territory, is it?
May 2012
3:47pm, 7 May 2012
4,040 posts
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You probably don't need long, long runs if you're concentrating on 5k and 10k. I probably wouldn't do more than 8 or 9 miles and that only once a month or so just to keep some distance in the legs. Runners tend to fixate on distance but time is equally important. For example, why would you run for more than 50 minutes, except for the sheer pleasure of it?

If you stick to three sessions a week, I'd do one high quality session of intervals or hills, one tempo run of between 40 and 45 minutes, maybe split into two with a five minute recovery if you're concentrating more on 5k, and your long run.

I don't agree with the concept of 'junk miles.' There are times we go for a run just to run. We don't have a session in mind, we don't have a route planned, we pull on our shoes and away we go. Running is life-affirming and those 'junk miles' are what put all the speed training and hill sessions and races and intervals into focus. We run because we can and because we can, we run.

To answer your question, less can be more but only if you focus on quality sessions. Less can also be less and more can be more trouble than it's worth, especially if you're carrying an injury.

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Maintained by harry1982
Recently had a niggly little knee injury (query pes annserine bursitis). As such weekly mileage has ...

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