Friday, September 7, 2012

The Great Debate in Running: Quality vs Quantity

The other day I was talking to a friend about running.  She is in the process of training for a marathon, so her mileage is sky-high and her higher intensity workouts are limited.  Me, on the other hand…I'm training for races anywhere between 3.1 and 10 miles, so my mileage is less, but I usually include more “quality-type” sessions within my running week. 

This has been an age-old debate among running communities all over the world. Some schools of thought believe that high mileage weeks, or long, slow distance runs, are the way to go.  While others believe that runners should incorporate more quality days into their weeks.  What is right?

In my opinion, I think a combination of both works well for me.  My body begins to break down after about 40 miles, so I need to know when to stop.  I also know that I get stronger as a runner when I incorporate more quality sessions into my training regimen such as tempo runs, pick-ups, and intervals.  But as always, I write based on my own experiences and what works for me.  

My sister was just the opposite.  The more mileage she ran, the better she became as a runner.  Again, it depends on the runner.     

So what do you think?  Which works for you…More mileage and long runs OR less mileage and more quality workouts?  I’d love to hear from you!


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