How many miles per week should a beginning distance runner be running?

The beginning distance runner should be very cautious when first starting to do weekly mileage and only run about 3-4 miles per day. The reason for this is because the athlete's running form is most likely not refined and continual hard contacts with the running surface can lead to lower-extremity injuries. The most common lower-body extremity injury is shin splits (irritation of the tibialis anterior and posterior muscles). Although not life threatening, shin splints are very painful and are common in athletes who have weak tibialis anterior muscles due to the lack of previous training. Plantar fasciitis (trauma to the tissue beneath the heel bone) is another common injury often caused by poor running mechanics or poor footwear. The beginning distance runner should make sure their shoes are in good condition and have their running form closely observed to watch for over striding and foot-to-ground contact problems. The first few months should include cross-training such as water running, swimming, versaclimber, treadmill, and stationary cycling to help develop cardiovascular endurance while providing rest to the lower body.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.