We are only two weeks out from the start of Spring! It’s exciting to know that those warm temperatures are almost here. For a lot of folks, this also marks a return to the great outdoors after spending the majority of the last few months trapped on a treadmill.

A common question I get revolves around the number of miles that one should be logging right now. That is a great question and will boil down to the race you are training for along with a few other personal factors.

The one thing that is going to have the biggest impact for you right now is consistency.

It’s easy to get caught up in chasing the mythical run that will make or break your training cycle. A prime example are marathoners talking about their mandatory 20 mile training run prior to their race. While there are plenty of benefits to long outings, one run isn’t going to make your upcoming race.

Your dedication to get out the door four to six times a week for the three to six months before your race is where you are going to see your gains. Consistently balancing easy days with effort based work (intervals/tempos, etc.) while sprinkling in those long outings will prepare you for race day. When you add up all of those miles in the months preceding the race, you see just how far (truly) you’ve come.

Besides, it’s that consistency that will allow you to safely head out the door and knock out those long outings! If you haven’t been logging consistent miles, a really long outing could not only take more out of you than you planned but it could end up breaking your race by causing an injury.

One thing to note is that if you happen to get sick during your training, you shouldn’t run just for the sake of putting in miles. It seems every office and school has really been hit hard this year with the flu and other bugs. It’s best to take a day or two off until you are feeling better before getting back after it. The last thing you want to do is create a bigger issue by not resting when your body needs it.

Even though we are only a few months into 2018, being consistent now is going to pay huge dividends when the heart of our racing season is here in the next three to six months!

Jeramy Duffee is an RRCA Running Coach and an ACE Certified Personal Trainer with racing and coaching experience ranging from 5Ks to 100 mile trail races. For questions and coaching inquiries, please email him at swingthegate@gmail.com.