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How many miles a week should I run to: …lose weight? …run a marathon?

I watched a movie today called Saint Ralph – its a cute Canadian film about a boy who looks to win the Boston Marathon. In it his coach asks him how many miles a week he is running; Ralph replies “60 miles”, to which the coach quickly replies, “that’s not nearly enough!”

I’m not trying to win the Boston Marathon – where this year’s winner ran the fastest known 26.2 mile in human history.  I am however training to complete a marathon in eight weeks. I’m currently averaging a mere 20-25 miles a week. Is that enough?

I’ve done some research online and found that the right answer is – there is no right answer. One of my favorite answers came from an article on Runners World:

You want to run as few miles as you can and still win. (http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-238-267–12036-0,00.html)

I’m not trying to “win” but I do want to finish with a 12 min / mile pace, and right now I’m not able to do that. I’ve been following the Galloway program for my long runs but doing my own thing during the week.

Next weekend Galloway has me running 23 miles. Last Saturday I ran 20 miles (it was supposed to be two weekends ago but life happens). Should I just continue this path?

I think the answer on how many miles you should be running depends a great deal on your goals. I’m not running to run a marathon – I’m running to lose weight. I’m running a marathon to help me achieve my weight loss goals. Because of that, I think I should be running more miles a week.

Galloway demands a few days rest between runs – he calls running on your rest day “junk miles”. I think I’m going to put in a lot of junk miles this month. My goal isn’t to win a race – but to lose weight. Nike+ has a marathon training course that has me taking every Monday and Friday off but running the other 5 days a week.

I’m planning on running 6 days a week for the next 7 weeks. On Marathon Week – I’m only going to run 3 days and those runs will be shorter runs.

For everyone that is looking for an answer to the question how many miles should I run – here is what I have found:

Most sites I’ve read say 30-50 miles a week to run a marathon. To lose weight – as many miles as you can until you have the results you are looking for…

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