Strict Mileage & Runner's Plateau

Am I the only one that plans out exactly how many miles I'm going to do every day before the week even begins? I feel like most of the runners I follow simply go out and run however many miles they feel like that day. I can't operate like that!

If I don't have a set running schedule and a mileage goal for each day, I feel like I would easily fall off the running wagon and be couch ridden with a box of Double Stuf Peanut Butter Oreos in hand. maybe I'm over exaggerating, but I feel that I would have a hard time reaching goals if I wasn't strict on myself.

I start my week (Sunday) with a long-ish run. The weekends are the only time that I semi-play with my mileage goal. Typically, I will set the expectation to 7 miles for Sunday. Sometimes, I do more just so I have less mileage to do after I get off from work during the week. I will run Monday-Wednesday, ending with about 25 miles. Those days usually range between 5-7 miles. That leaves Saturday with a 10+ mile run. It usually depends on the weather or my exhaustion.

So that gives me anywhere from 35-40 miles per week and if I would fall below, I would not be very pleased with myself.

I hate feeling guilty for falling off the horse...even if it's just by a mile. I am very goal driven and when I set a bar for myself, I either have to meet or beat it. It's really going to bite me in the butt soon, I am sure. Especially when it comes to racing.

I PR with every 5K race that I do.

I feel like I am going to be uberly disappointed when I fail to PR in the future. The likeliness is great. Every runner reaches that plateau and accomplishments are more difficult to achieve. I dread this day. I've been achieving so much, so it's only a matter of time before the PRs stop and my weekly mileage stays stagnant.

I'm really not sure how to prepare myself for this. So help me out!

Have you reached a running plateau? If so, how have you dealt with it? Did you find it frustrating/difficult?

How likely is it for you to PR in your race? Was it frequent in your first year of running? Does it taper off for you.


  1. I was just like you when I started running [not too too long ago]. I was very particular on how far I HAD to run each day and would feel like a failure if I missed it by even a mile OR I would go passed what my body could physically or mentally take JUST to get there. After a couple weeks, I realized I had an obsessive behavior -- kind of like an old eat disorder and counting calories. I would plan out every single meal for the week and beat myself up over if I screwed up.

    That said. I stopped planning miles. Instead I made goals and easy promises. I started listening to my body and am learning what it can handle. My goals are to run (and do some kind of strength training) at least 4 days a week, if not 5. I would plan my mileage for the upcoming days as guidelines more than a strict MUST DO. If it's hot and humid [hello, Maryland] and I just physically can't run a long distance, than I'll make my shorter length worth it and try again later. I also have a schedule that makes for planned runs very inconsistent and I have to just go with the flow of the week.

    To me, running is a hobby. I never want to resent or loathe it. That's why I do what I have to to enjoy the run. I push myself when I know I need it, but stop when I know it's going to keep me from coming out again the next day.

    If what you're doing feels good for you, keep doing it! If not, tweak it here and there until you feel like you're relationship with running is a healthy one.

    1. You're right. It does sound like an eating disorder, doesn't it? Runnerexia? Does that exist?

      My ultimate fear in life is to become sedentary. I know that for myself, it's easy to fall off the wagon and stay off the wagon. Though, I never want to hate being a runner or going for a run. I love what I do and the goals that I accomplish.

      I just need to find that happy median so I can maintain a healthy running relationship. I'll get there eventually.

      That's for the input!


Professional Blog Designs by pipdig