BLOG: Run Volume

I am always into books, white papers and scientific articles. As I am going through recent and very old like 20 – 30 – 40 year old writings , volume is brutally emphasised. I mean sometimes we can see ridiculously high volume at ridiculously low intensities for long time periods, but the speed structure what is built on it later on is just phenomenal.

I am intrigued by this, because here in Europe, it is against the rules. Nobody trains high volume. Nobody ever trains at ridiculously high volumes. I am in contact with so many runners. Most likely trail guys and triathletes . The run volume is so unbelievably low, that Americans / NZ / Africans wouldn’t believe it.

There are 2:12 / 2:15 marathoners running like 80km average in the year. Maybe a couple of 100mile weeks, but very minimal. Ultra marathoners might get into some long hikes, giant traverses, but generally some of those guys emphasise the long runs and that is it. Going for 2-3 outings of 8 to 12km with 35 to 45km weekend altitude slog. We often see like 40 to 60km weeks as a yearly average. Nothing around the 150 – 200km range.

You can see however that the big big winners are pushing the aerobic volume. Julien Wanders, Kilian Jornet, Francois D’Haene, the Ingebrigtsens.

I am now building mileage towards 150 – 160km weeks, in order to reach a special dream goal. It seems like working extremely well. At this moment I am at 110km. I use a Maffeton style training, so I am very aerobic during these runs. I am not talking about running 100 heart rate and just jogging around. Like that I could do 300km weeks easy, but the effects would be just fatigue. No, I am running inbetween 130 and 150 heart rates most of the time. Even like 90% of the time it is more likely 130 to 140. Bringing that engine to the Ferrari level takes time, but it is working very well.
My latest test run was a high end one of 10k @ 140 to 145 + 10k @ 145 to 150 in the heat. I averaged 4:07/km pace, what is not bad at all. The benefit is that the recovery is instant ! I also had 10 x 1000 with 1min recovery and with the natural heart rate drift I still averaged sub 4:00/km pace.

I have a goal of running 32:40 in 18months time for the 10km and later I am gonna tell you why I would like to hit this standard. It can give me some great options for the 2021 season.

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