High-mileage running training requires time, patience, perseverance, and a strong, healthy base. Although not everyone can log 100-mile-plus-weeks like ultramarathoner Matt Meyer, we can all benefit from his approach to training and mental toughness.
Whether you’re just starting out or have been running for a while, logging additional kilometers each week is a certain method to boost your endurance. However, there is a catch: you can’t just suddenly ramp up your distance to 100 miles per week unless you give your body time to adjust.
For the marathon, or any other long distance race, high mileage training necessitates a careful balancing act between structure and flexibility. You need to be a hard worker who isn’t afraid to put in the effort, but who also knows how to listen to their body and alternate between strenuous sessions and long stretches of easy running.
Matt Meyer, a passionate member of the Boulder running community who has learned to flourish on incredibly high mileage training, joins me on the podcast this week. Matt works at Revo Physiotherapy & Sports Performance in Boulder as a strength coach and runner’s coach. His current marathon PR is a respectable 2:34, but he has his sights set on breaking 2:25 in December at CIM (California International Marathon).
Runner and coach Matt Meyer discusses high-mileage weeks and trusting one’s instincts
Matt Meyer made the fatal mistake that plagues so many runners at the beginning of their careers: he tried to accomplish too much, too soon. He was training for a marathon by running more than 90 miles each week when he developed bilateral stress fractures and was sidelined for three months.
Matt’s history of injuries is unfortunately typical for runners, but his remarkable recovery is not. Matt learnt the value of strengthening durability before volume after undergoing intensive physical therapy and being limited to no more than 40 miles per week in his post-injury training cycle.
Matt’s newfound capacity to endure mileage that would shock most of us is the result of his rebuilding his strength on a solid basis of strength training. Because of his training, which strikes a good mix between strategy and flexibility, he keeps improving his speed and running distance week after week.
During our chat, Matt and I cover a wide range of topics related to ultramarathon training and racing.
- The importance of alternating between extremely easy and really challenging runs
- As to why you need to keep in constant contact with your body when jogging
- The role of strength training in laying the groundwork for longevity
- Understanding the value of each stage of training as a stepping stone
- What to do first (hint: food and sleep!) in order to feel better again
- What makes personal bests in training equally as significant as race times
Whatever your weekly mileage, I think you can take something useful out from my chat with Matt. Enjoy!