Mileage Isn’t Everything
Here’s the thing. No matter how badly you might want to run a little further, increasing mileage is not always the answer. If you are injury-prone or have had problems with adding miles in the past, there are still ways you can reach your running goals while maintaining your current mileage. It’s important to determine why you are looking to increase your mileage in the first place.
Are you looking to build strength, improve your endurance, or work your way up to a marathon? There are plenty of ways to reach your running goals that don’t rely on upping mileage. If you want to improve your cardiovascular endurance, try swapping out a run with an aqua-jogging or swim session.
If speed work is where you need to improve, consider working with a strength coach to add weight-lifting to your weekly training. Above all, keep in mind that our bodies need to recover whenever we stress them in a new way. Adding a few miles in may be exactly what you need, but don’t forget to back off and take a down week when your body tells you to do so.
Finally, be sure to spend time properly recovering after you run.
Although it can be tempting, try not to sit-down immediately after finishing your run. Instead, add in some light foam rolling and stretching. If you are short on time, skip the stretching and stick to foam rolling.
Chris Kolba, a physical therapist for The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, explains that foam rolling “...breaks up adhesions, reduces stiffness, decreases soreness, increases blood flow and reduces tissue tension, leading to improved recovery and performance.” Consistency is key to reaping the benefits of stretching and rolling.