Training Volume For Runners


By Seth Kotenicki

I’ve realized I have not been 100% clear on this point in the past and I was hoping to clear up a few misunderstandings with the topic of running/training volume. 

After being featured on Trail Runner Nation’s Podcast I have received a lot of questions/responses from people being a little tweaked by the fact I said to back off on total volume.  

First off, you’re a runner and you want to run, AWESOME, let’s get you running.  If you want to run 20 miles on the weekends with your buddies, or you want to compete in local 5k races every weekend, then that’s the goal and that is where I want to get you. Everyone has their own prerogative, and because I am a coach, I view my purpose as to help facilitate your training in a way that allows you to reach your goals. The clients I receive are usually broken down and in an injured state. They are looking for intervention to help get them going again, and starting them off with high running volume is not the answer.  I believe for better results running volume comes with improved fitness and in due time to help overall performance. 

So for me, goal one is to get the client running correctly and to get them back to a healthy state.  By doing this we will improve quality of life and improve overall performance in the athlete.  Unfortunately this comes at a sacrifice to the athlete at times.  They just want to go out and hammer the miles away, however, they are in no condition to do so, and they know it!  MORE IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER.  By adding in the strength and conditioning we can help clear up injuries and set your body up to handle more running, thus getting them to where you want to be.  The strength and conditioning also acts a medium in which you receive your running volume for the time being until you can handle more.   Think of it this way, if you’re use to a 60mile training week, we will still keep you at that work level but it won’t be by total miles.  You will have lets say your interval day, your tempo day, and then your long run day, and lets say that totals 20 miles.  Now instead of your 40 miles of added total miles that are possibly breaking you down, we will replace that work with strength and conditioning to help you maintain or improve about your total fitness.  Then as we get you healthier and you’re recovering well, we will start ramping up your total miles again and possibly reduce the strength and conditioning volume. Then voilà you’re back out on the trails hitting the long runs with your buddies and having a good time again. Or if your goal is to just run the big 100 mile races but you don’t have time for endless miles on the weekend then we have an alternative method do that.  The overall point being is, we will get you to where you want to be. If that means running every weekend long with your buddies, or to have a smaller training week with the capacity to run well during races,  WE WILL GET YOU THERE.


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