Best your 5k PR on 10 miles per week

Like most people, I have a lot of different interest, hobbies and time with family that take up my time and energy. I am always looking for smarter ways to train and get the most bang for my buck.

To find out how little mileage I could get away with and still maintain a basic level of fitness, I ran just 10 miles per week for 7 weeks. I kept up my usual 1-2 quality sessions per week, but simply cut out most of my slower junk mileage.

At the end of 7 weeks I ran a local 5k race and managed to win the race in a time of 16:46; which was just 9 seconds slower than my best time for 5k.

This experiment shows me that by keeping the intensity high, and omitting most of my easy runs I achieved 99.1% of my best time at 5k.

Why would anyone want to drastically cut their mileage?

I’ve also suffered injuries in the past. By taking a minimal approach to my training, I’ve been able to maintain most of my fitness and even exceed some of my previous times while training only a few minutes per week.

While I don’t think this is going to give you the absolute best results, it can be a great way to train if you are short on time and energy, or have suffered from nagging injuries.

Don’t let an arbitrary number of miles per week dictate your training. Listen to your body and know that you can achieve great results with just a fraction of the mileage. By keeping the intensity high and giving your body plenty of time to recover, you might even be able to see improvements in your race times.

In future posts I’ll share with you how I’ve used a minimalist training approach to achieve personal bests in every distance from a 5k of 16:37 to running a Marathon in 2:55.

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