How to Plan Your Weekly Mileage

How should 30 miles per week be broken down into daily runs? What if you’re running 100 miles per week?!

A post shared by Jason Fitzgerald (@jasonfitz1) on

No matter how much you’re running per week, there’s a smart (and not so smart…) way of structuring that mileage.

Since 2011, I’ve written over 1,200 training plans. Part of that process is reading through each athletes’ prior training – and sometimes, it’s not pretty.

I’ve seen it all. Runners who…

  • jump from 20 miles to 50 in a single week
  • run all of their mileage in just two runs – on back to back days
  • complete the same distance every time they go running

These runners are doing it the hard way, sacrificing progress and skyrocketing their risk of a running injury.

And I refuse to let that happen to MY runners.

A few weeks ago, Team Strength Running member Richard asked the group:

How should weekly miles be broken down? So for instance, if someone is running 30, 70, 100 miles a week, how should it best be broken down into days?

The answer to this question is in our new mileage video below – don’t miss it.

More important than the mileage templates are the principles behind them. After watching, you’ll know:

  • How to schedule rest days in your week
  • How to break up a big mileage number (“40”) into daily totals
  • Why you should run a decent amount the day after a long run
  • If you’re ready to add double sessions (two runs in one day)
  • What a 100-mile week looks like!

Even if you’re someone who likes to follow a plan written by someone else, it’s always a smart idea to know why a plan looks the way it does.

Behold the wonder of freeze-frames

If you found this video helpful, share this post with your running friends!

Don’t miss these resources about planning your mileage:

Was this post helpful?

Then you'll love the free email lessons I've never released here on the blog. Enter your email and you'll get:

  • The exact strength exercises that prevent injuries
  • Workouts that boost your speed (even for beginners)
  • Pacing strategies, coaching Q&A, and more

Comments

  1. Great video! Two and a half quick questions:
    1) At what point does splitting a day’s milage into two runs beat running only once? On a similar note, does splitting a day into (10/5) or (9/4) etc help with injury prevention?
    2) Secondly, when you get into the 70, 80, 90 and above milage weeks, where would you put strength sessions. I know you are a fan of sandwiching runs between strength/core and doing 15min of body weight exercises before/after runs, which would be easy to include in such high volume weeks), but if I were to add in a plyometric set or a longer heavy lifting set (3×6 at 80% max for example like Tony Gentilcore stated in Ep 25) twice a week, where would I put them? Does the polarized approach still apply? Would lifting after a 15mile run be counter productive?

    • Thanks Chris!

      1) It’s best to split a day’s mileage into doubles when the mileage is too much by itself. There’s more info in the resource on double sessions I linked to in this post.

      2) You would still want to lift on a hard day. But it’s true that the hard running days in such a high-volume week are already really hard. So in these situations, I like to choose a medium effort day and preferably not the day before a faster workout or long run.

  2. Sebastien says:

    Hi Jason,
    I understood that the 3-5 miles run are easy run.
    So what are all the other runs that are not long run or speed workout? What pace should they be run (personally I use to run it as a progressive run starting easy and finishing at t close to Marathon Pace).

    Thanks
    Sébastien

    • They’re often called “base runs” – or as my old coaches called them, “distance runs” or “easy runs.” These should all be done at your easy pace.

      • Sebastien says:

        Thanks !
        A bit boring though…but ok. I guess the price to be more or less injury free!

        • If you’re really advanced, you might want to do M/W/Sa as your quality days with Sunday as a long run. Or, embed quality into your long run. That’s a lot of intensity, though!

  3. Thank you for the excellent video! I found it really helpful.

  4. So would you say running 6 days, 65 miles a week, with a 30 miler as your long run a bad thing? If you do it one week out of 4 weeks?

    • Depends on what you’re training for… unless you’re training for a 50mi or longer ultramarathon, 30 miles is too long for a long run. And I’m not sure if 6 days of running or 65mi per week is a bad thing for you. It is if you’re not ready for that volume!

  5. Gary Rice says:

    Thanks for the video Jason. I never realized the importance of balancing the #miles before/after the Friday rest day.

    One question…..does this mileage chart include interval training & other speed work? Or should that be done in another session? I average about 25-30 miles per week.

    Thanks,
    Gary

    • No, it just includes the mileage. Any faster sessions will be embedded within the mileage (in these schedules, typically Tuesday or Wednesday. Or, if you’re advanced, Monday/Wednesday).

  6. Hi Jason, Great information as always! I hope I am not repeating a question somewhere else but as you explain often and I totally agree strength training is paramount to keeping the body healthy and more injury free.
    My question: ” If you are a 30-40 mile a week runner and want to incorporate heavy weight sessions of compound lifts to keep my strength twice a week as well as some body weight exercise before and after as recommended where should those 2 lifting sessions be placed in the week. I would imagine you want to keep the two rest days for rest only or perhaps one is a lift day and one day a week a double session of lift and run? I want to make sure I keep injury free while at the same time keeping away from overtraining.
    Thanks!!!

    Mark Z

    • Hi Mark – generally speaking, you’ll want to put your harder lifting sessions on your harder running days (to keep your easy days easy and hard days hard). If that’s too difficult (it’s a bit advanced), try lifting on your moderate/medium effort days. But maintain your easy days as truly easy.