There seems to be a distinct line between two ways of thinking about running and how to get better/faster/stronger at it. Log on to any running forum and type in “mileage debate”. CoolRunning – Lets Run - Your Local forums- Give it a try – You will see a lively debate of “experts” in each corner.
On one side of the line there is the “Run more” argument. It is simple -You run in a race – to run faster, you need to be running.
Run more miles has a strong history – Almost all professional runners log impressive mileage – They mostly say they could not be professional runners if they did not. They walk a fine line with their health- they log miles – we look at those miles in awe -and we know those miles make the runner who they are.
The miles are where champions are made though- no one wins a marathon on 40 miles a week, that seems to be without debate.
On the other side of the line though is the “Run less” argument – This side claims you will be healthier – fresher – and have room for cross training – which while in the end – make you a stronger and then runner.
Don Kardong once said;
If you run 100 miles a week, you can eat anything you want — Why? Because
(a) you’ll burn all the calories you consume,
(b) you deserve it, and
(c) you’ll be injured soon and back on a restricted diet anyway.
Many runners call these slow runs where you simply run for running sake “junk miles”. They tell you that we would be better off with rest days here – or better yet – cross training.
My take on things is simple: Most of us are not professional runners – the “less is more” technique might be smarter – It gives us time to rest – time to be fresh – time be with our families -
No one can argue that to run your best you have to run miles – we just need to find a way to fit in the best miles for us.
So – What about you? What side of this fence do you sit on? More miles -Less miles – what about cross training? Leave a comment – let me know.