The best tips and strategies for running 1,200 miles in a year
There is no shortcut to reaching 1,200 miles. Take each month one by one and aim for averaging 100 miles in a month
I’m sure there are bigger and better goals to reach as an adult distance runner, but I felt that averaging 100 miles per month took some considerable work, longevity, and grit. Some people would laugh at only running 100 miles in a month and others will say there’s not a chance in hell I’d be able to run 100 miles in a month. Where do you fit into 100 miles in a month? Are you hell no or a hell yes?
Who doesn’t love math? I LOVE math and numbers. So here’s a quick breakdown of what 1,200 miles in a year might look like.
Streaker – run every day in a year. You’d only need to average 3.3 miles per run.
Run 6 days every week for a year. You’d need to average 3.83 miles per run.
3 days a week? Not a problem. You’d have to run nearly 7.75 miles each time you laced up.
*Here’s the math I did: 365 times 6 divided by 7 = number of runs in a year. Then divided 1,200 by the number of runs.
Like I said, this goal may not be for you. Maybe you’re injury prone and running consistently for a year is tough for you (I hear you, 2018). For others, you have more pressing priorities or running isn’t your main focus (you include yoga, spinning, or strength training). Whatever your choice, I am totally in favor of movement and self-improvement!
Tips for 1,200 miles in a year
Here are some potential tips to help you reach 1,200 miles in 2019.
I’m normally quite opposed to racing often, but I do see the pros of getting out there – maybe every other weekend or every third weekend. There’s something to be said about getting in a good warm up, a harder effort and a decent cooldown that acts as a workout and a long run. The added motivation is that you get lots of “friends” to run with and the accountability to get it done even if the weather isn’t great.
Have a Plan
What will your year look like? Have a major milestone coming up that will help you or hurt your chances of running 1,200 miles? Forecasting your year is a great way to see if a goal like this is even possible. If it’s not, how can you modify it to make it work for you?
Hire a Coach
There are so many amazing reasons why having a running coach is beneficial for your running. Having someone who knows the ins and outs of running can guide you to set a personal best, keep you healthy if you’re prone to injuries or be the person who’s got your back when things aren’t going well. Whatever your needs are for a coach, it’s my belief that doing research and finding someone who fits your style of running can make such a difference in your running.
Plan for Rest
There are going to be times when you’ll need lots of time off – like a few weeks. You’ll have to factor that in and up your mileage for the times that you are running. After a big race, like a half or full marathon, expect to take at least 2 weeks of little to no running.
1,200 miles can’t be done all at once. Take it 1 week or 1 month at a time. It’s a year goal, not a 30-day challenge. If you’re prone to long periods of inactivity, you’ll really want to work on being more consistent.
Life is inevitably going to come up. Plan for it and account for it. Unplanned rest days, getting sick, an injury will creep in… It’s going to happen! It’s ok that it happens, just know that if you’re doing the little things – stretching, hydrating, getting 8 hours of sleep – you’ll be able to keep the downtime to a minimum.
Start in Shape
This is a goal that really needs to be prepped for. I came into this year with a half marathon under my belt. It gave me the confidence that 100 miles a month might be possible. I was already in shape and I was able to hit the New Year running (literally and figuratively).
Running 1,200 miles in a year may not be for you and that’s totally cool. I don’t even know if it’s for me right now! I’ve run 2,000+ miles in a year before – but that’s when I was in my early 20’s, didn’t have a wife, daughter, house, or even really a full-time job.
This is something that most runners can aim for even if you’re not specifically reaching for it. You’ll feel good about the progress you’ve made and know that you’ve put in a good amount of work to reach whatever racing and training goals you have.
Remember, you’re more than likely not going to run all the miles at once and it’d be in your best interest not to. I suggest finding that happy medium where you’re slowly chipping away at 1,200. If you know winter isn’t your time, go into a minimum mode, where you’re just getting by, and then in the rest of the year be ready to ramp up your mileage!
If 1,200 miles isn’t for you, what is your running goal for the year?
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Marc is a USATF Track and Field & Dr. Jack Daniels VDOT O2 certified running coach. I have more than 19 years of experience running and more than 10 years of experience coaching runners. Click for more information!