I am convinced that the best way to train for running is to schedule your runs for every other day. Every other day running, just like every other day weightlifting, not only gives the functional body parts a chance to rest and rebuild preventing injury but also leads to good progressive performance increases. Here is a running schedule that will put you in an excellent base in 6 weeks assuming that you are already based at 5 miles:
(Week 1) (Week 2) Monday 6 mile run Monday No Run Tuesday No Run Tuesday 7 miles Wed 6 mile run Wed No Run Thurs No Run Thurs 7 miles Friday 6 miles Friday No Run Sat No run Sat 7 miles Sun 7 miles Sun No Run Total 25 miles Total 21 miles
(Week 3) (Week 4)
Monday 8 miles Monday No Run Tues No Run Tues 9 miles Wed 8 miles Wed No Run Thurs No Run Thurs 9 miles Friday 8 miles Friday No Run Sat No Run Sat 9 miles Sun 9 miles Sun No Run Total 33 miles Total 27 miles
(Week 5) (Week 6)
Monday 10 miles Monday No Run Tues No Run Tues 11 miles Wed 10 miles Wed No Run Thurs No Run Thurs 11 miles Friday 10 miles Friday No Run Sat No Run Sat 11 miles Sun 11 miles Sun No Run Total 41 miles Total 33 miles
I have found that the above running schedule is one of the best base builders for half marathons (in particular) and marathons. Notice that there is a natural progression combined with regression in the weekly mileage totals. It is this progression/regression training pattern that produces the best results I have found for injury free base building as well as dramatic increases in performance/conditioning in only six weeks. Once you hit the solid 11 mile base, you can begin to safely extend your long run one mile each week until you reach your long run goal.
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