How to build up your mileage?

(shorts, shoes ((code FMTIB50 for 50% off)), tank, socks)

14.5 miles @ 8:59 average.  I’m too tired to remember much of it but it happened according to my watch and the pictures I took.

I cannot express in words how good this breakfast burrito was afterward.  I could live off of breakfast burritos.

We took Beretta to her favorite place in the world.

The kids love it too.

I stay in a spot where Beretta doesn’t shake water all over me when she gets out.

We took Skye out for her back-to-school shopping date.  Just me, Andrew, Skye and the mall for a few hours.

The fashion show afterward was also a highlight.

I wish I could send you these peaches. Utah peaches this time of year are pure heaven.

Arthi had some questions, so I thought I would turn them into a post:

A few disclaimers before I dive into this topic:

*Each body is so different.  Some of my training partners (Emilee and Lauren) THRIVE on higher mileage than what works for me, and a few of my training partners feel best with fewer miles than me.  It’s important to play around with where you feel best and not base what you should be doing on your friends.

*Do what is best for your situation.  At my current stage, doing a lot of doubles isn’t really a thing for me BUT I can go to bed early at this point and get up early to run while getting plenty of sleep.  I feel like I can run 70-80 miles a week without it affecting my family life, and who knows what that number will be once my kids are teenagers and staying up later!

*Nutrition and recovery are probably the two things that have made the most significant difference for me.  I wasn’t having a period when I was marathon training in 2010, running 35 miles per week, and now I have a consistent period running 70-80 miles per week.  I have found that I eat all day long if I want to run high mileage.  I don’t miss a meal and make sure to eat something within 20-30 minutes of finishing a workout too.  I refuse to dip back into losing my period because of running, so I keep enough body fat on me by eating plenty.  During years 2013-2016ish, when I couldn’t get over 50-55 miles without being injured, I wasn’t sleeping.  I was a single mom, dating and trying to have a social life, so sleep wasn’t a thing.  I sleep an insane amount of time now with high mileage and couldn’t stay injury free or not burned out without it.  You can read more about the specifics of what I do for recovery here!

Let’s talk about my mileage over the years since I started marathoning.

*My first marathon in 2010—> I peaked at 35 miles per week but also taught 2-3 spin classes per week.  After my first few marathons, I tried increasing my mileage, resulting in stress fractures.  I was undereating and didn’t have a period.

Brooke was born (I had a period again once I gained body fat and increased my calories).

*Marathon training 2013- 2016—> peaked between 50-55 miles (usually got injured if I went higher than that).

Skye was born

*Marathon training in 2018 (my first sub 3)—> peaked at 63 miles per week

*Ultra training in the beginning of 2019—> peaked at 85ish miles per week but wasn’t doing speed, just increasing my mileage.

*Marathon training in the second half of 2019—> peaked at 80 miles per week.

Beck was born

*2021 half-marathon training and base building—> peaked around 65 miles after months of building up

*2022 Boston (2:54)—> peaked at 70 miles per week

*2022 St. George/CIM—> peaking around 80 miles per week.

Here is my mileage map for the last few months of training as I build up:

I have a few tips that I hope can help when talking about increasing mileage:

-Get a coach! This has been something I have needed so much because I can get so carried away with running.  Having a coach to guide you through the mileage build-up is so helpful.  They are great at seeing the big picture and helping you to increase your mileage slowly.  If you can’t get a coach right now, study different training plans/strava athletes you admire etc., and watch how they go about a mileage build.

-Consistency is everything.  Stay consistent with your training; it might take years to build up slowly, but I promise it is worth it to build up slowly.  Our bodies are so smart and amazing at adapting but make sure you give your body enough time to adapt to the changes to build stronger.

-Be patient= Don’t get greedy with your training.  It is fun to build up mileage and do more, but our bodies always keep score, and if you get too aggressive with the mileage jumps, you will pay for it.  I don’t think I ever jump more than 5-8ish miles in a week from the previous week.

-Cutback weeks are necessary!  I can’t just build without taking a week with lower mileage.  I’ll build for about 3-4 weeks, then cut back for a week.

-Increasing my mileage never worked when I didn’t run my easy mileage correctly.  I used to think that all my miles needed to be at least a medium effort, and now, I truly take my non-workout miles easy.  I don’t look at my watch, and the paces vary (usually between 8:00-9:30), but I just let my body run easy.  I can talk throughout all of my easy miles, which are the majority of my mileage (80%).

-I think that ultra training in 2019 helped me build my base.  I was focused on building my mileage and not my speed during that time.  I think it is essential not to build up your mileage AND your intensity too much simultaneously.

-I don’t think I could run high mileage all on the roads without my body breaking down too much.  Running two days a week on dirt is huge for me.  Mentally it helps me avoid burnout with the change, and physically it is so much easier on my body/joints because of the softer surfaces. It also requires different muscles, which helps avoid overuse injuries.

-I need a complete rest day each week.  I know this isn’t the case for everyone, but if I didn’t take a full rest day, I think it would be much harder on my body to avoid injury.  Sundays reset me so that I can start again on Monday.

-It’s almost been a year since I have been consistent with strength training (all through the peloton app)!  I think that has been key in building up the mileage again!  My legs feel stronger than ever in races, and I wish I had started strength training a decade ago!  It doesn’t take that much time (5-20 minutes 3-4 times a week), and I have found that I enjoy it now after hating it for a very long time.

I love questions about training so PLEASE let me know if you have any at all!


Tell me about your journey with your mileage.  What have you found to work best for you?  Any mistakes you’ve made along the way?

Dog owners… does your dog love water?

-It’s hard to get Beretta out of the river.

I’d love to hear something that makes you happy today!

Best thing you have eaten recently?

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Skye looks like a teenager in the fashion show picture! She looks so happy to be on her solo back to school shopping trip too.

My dog didn’t like water until I threw her off of a canoe. She thought it was so fun and now loves the water! As long as it’s not raining this weekend we’re going to go on a hike and see if we can find some water there.

Best thing I’ve eaten recently was probably a healthier cosmic brownie recipe from Beachside Kitchen on Instagram. They’re SO fudgey and good haha. I need to freeze them because they’re almost too rich for me to eat before going bad.


She really was so thrilled to have ALL of the attention! Hahah I am so glad you helped her to realize her love for water:). You knew what she needed. I hope you guys have the best hike this weekend. Cosmic brownies are so so good. I need to try the ones you made! Have a beautiful day!


Hey Janae, could you do a post about selecting a coach. How you find a good fit, how much it costs, what help/services can you expect for that cost that’s different than just picking up a set training plan?

Also. When did Skye get so big??!! She looks like such a grown up girl in that picture!


HEY MELLY! I agree. She is so tall right now and I can’t handle how fast it is going by. Absolutely! I’ll get working on that post, thank you for the idea! Have a beautiful day.


I struggle to increase my mileage and I’m training for a half marathon on October 29th. I’m going to join a running group for moms on Saturday mornings and I’m excited for that!!

My dog has never actually been in the water. Pretty sure she’d hate it. She’s really timid.

I love this post and would love to see more posts with training tips!!


SO excited for your half next month! I hope that the moms group helps with the increase in mileage. It’s crazy to me how much faster the run goes by when I’m chatting with people vs alone. I think you are going to love it, let me know how it goes. Absolutely, I’ll keep these types of posts coming! Have a beautiful day, Erin!


Thank you for answering Arthi’s question about building mileage! It’s just so great to hear how you’ve handled this over the years, what works and what doesn’t work for you. I have to agree that consistent strength training has helped me in so many ways. I feel stronger and feel like I am helping prevent injury. Is the Peloton app so, so good?!
You guys look like you had a wonderful weekend. Yay! We did too, and now I am feeling really motivated to get back to a good routine.
I hope Skye’s 1st day of school goes well! Have a great day Janae 😊


Of course! The Peloton app has just saved us. It’s amazing how they can make it so fun and so effective in the short classes. I hope San Diego was a blast! Thank you friend, that means a lot. Happy back to routine day (that always feels so good)!


bunch of thought…I find every so often I have to get out of my comfort zone..I putter away with 5 to 10K runs forever, then someone will drag me out for 20 to 30K and then my head says that’s okay, and my longer runs become long runs….I need cross training…bike and swim and strength, a variety, I try to train like a triathlete, every run/workout has a purpose, but also have to be fun….I find now that I’m older, recovery is super important, as is stretching/flexibility work…that foam roller is my best friend…..and listen, read, learn…coaches are good…and understand fundamentals, the reasons for tempo and speed, but the importance of those slower or mid speed training runs…and for me it’s people….running with those quicker then me forces me to get stronger, and someone slower, I get a benefit from that as well….and yes, eat, and sleep…rest is good, sleep is sleep, and like weight training, that rest is when the benefits happen..sleep makes you stronger, and food!


I love that you include cross training! You have figured out the perfect combo with your running, cross training and recovery. Loved your thoughts! Thanks Warren and I hope you are having a great day!


Hi Janae! It’s great to see your progression over the years! I definitely started getting injured by constantly increasing my mileage (even though it was all within 10% each week) and/or increasing intensity each week. I think those are two knobs that work together when dialing up training. I also got injured chasing the fast people at run club during easy miles. I’m actually at zero miles per week right now and hopefully going to build back soon and hopefully we get a treadmill soon too!
Happy Monday!


Thank you, Amy! I am really hoping that you are back running again soon! What treadmill did you end up getting? Have a beautiful day!


Hello! My kids are BOTH getting to the age where they don’t NEED me first thing in the AM which has allowed me to finally ramp my mileage into the the 30-40 range again, as opposed to fitting in 2 miles when I can, and like you, LOVING it (but also really having to think about calories a LOT more than I was).

I think my biggest question, after following you for a long time, is how do you balance the joy of running with what can be the pain of running- and when does it cross into not fun anymore? I.e. while some workouts are hard to get motivated for or really require mental strength, I’ve found that part of what has kept me running, and loving running for years and years is that on the days it’s really not clicking I DON’T push through. I’m not talking like, “meh, I’d rather watch TV, I stayed up too late, etc.” but the runs where I get out and I am just miserable, counting every single 1/8 mile. For me it’s really important that on those runs (which are maybe once every few months or so… not a weekly thing), I just call it and stop. I personally know I won’t be as committed to running if it becomes a chore, or a bad experience. I know you’ve been working so hard this cycle so curious what your balance is here…

Along the same lines, you love running with faster people but (like above) I find that it really sucks the joy out of running for me as well because I get stressed and really focused on pace and if I am holding people back, instead of having it motivate me…

Maybe I just get in my own head too much(!) and everyone has different motivations and drives, but eager to hear your thoughts on the above… I guess the most common thing people say to me about my mileage (or being fit in general) is “well, I wish I LOVED running THAT MUCH.” I think to stick with working out in any form you have to really like it. I just really love running but it’s not for everyone (for instance I hate YOGA, it feels like a chore, I have zero drive to do it on my own)… But it’s also important to me that running is (mostly) fun and doesn’t stop being fun, or hurt every time, or be a push every time. How do you push so hard and keep it fun?


Yay for your kids being at the age that allows you to get in some more mileage, wahoo! I love these questions and can totally relate! I have had those chore situations when it comes to running and what I’ve learned is to just not do the things that feel like too much like a chore. Ultra training for me turned into a HUGE chore. I guess I was just too stubborn to stop even though it was sucking a lot of the joy from running out of me… but I will never sign up for another one because of that. Running alone a lot starts to feel like a chore too… hence why I run most of my miles with friends. Knowing I have friends to meet always makes me excited so I haven’t felt like one run this year has been a chore. I think calling it every now and then is the perfect way to train. I definitely have lowered mileage when I felt that way but sometimes when I feel that way, I just keep going because I know I’ll feel better after my run. Maybe I’m an addict to running? It’s definitely something my therapist, and I have talked a lot about! I would definitely not run with faster people if it sucks the joy out of it for me. I just go into it assuming that they feel the same way about me that I feel about the people that are slower than me… I want to cheer for them and encourage them. I don’t feel upset if someone is holding me back. I’m usually behind the faster ones trying to keep them in my sights which doesn’t affect their workout or pace. Maybe try leaving the watch at home so you aren’t looking at your pace the entire time, and you can pay attention to how your body feels! I truly have found that I love running with friends, and they make it so fun for me. Years ago, I wasn’t that way and found just zoning out to a podcast or music was what I needed to find running fun but now it is doing this with my friends. I think part of it is that I just know it is going to set up my whole day to be better. I know I’ll be in a better mood if I do it and that I need to take care of myself. So I guess it’s not just about fun, it’s discipline that gets me out too. I know the hard things make me better. The challenge helps me feel more alive. Does any of this makes sense? I feel like I was all over the place. What a fun conversation, thank you for getting me thinking. You are doing amazing!


Yep! It all makes sense- along the lines of the above, I don’t want to do marathons all the time (13.1 is my happy place), but once a year or so, doing one or two and hitting that point at mile 22 where I want to stop and then pushing to the end is something I use later to remind myself how strong I am and how tough. That stuff comes in handy when you face other challenges (like, TMI… childbirth?). Like during a race, I tell myself, “you’ve got this.”

I think speed overall is a weakness for me because I really don’t ENJOY speed workouts (who does?) but you really do need to do them to get better. It’s a mindset I struggle with as a person who naturally can just sort of run (SLOWLY) forever, but has never been fast. So its about finding the mindset to love running and know some runs aren’t loveable

Anyway, I love watching your approach overall and how your running has evolved. Thanks for weighing in about the balance- and really interesting to hear your take on the Ultra training.. And I’ll have to try running with friends more, you’re right, most people are not thinking what I am picturing them thinking if I am slower- (I certainly wouldn’t think that way) and it’s a good way to multi-task!


I love that… ‘you’ve got this.’ You are doing so great and thank you so much, that means a lot! KEEP IN TOUCH!!!!!


LOVE this post and everything you had to share!! Thank you so, so much for this, Janae!! I am awful at fueling and know this is something I need to work on if I want to increase mileage/not get injured/be a better runner overall. Appreciate all your insight and being so transparent about your journey!! Keep doing what you’re doing and have a great week!!


Thank you for asking the question! I’m so excited for you and what is up ahead for you! It’s been an exciting year for you already! Thanks Arthi, have a beautiful day!

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