High Mileage and Muscular Endurance

  • Creator
  • #56035

    UA Team,

    I am currently running on average ~75 miles per week with approximately 9k-10k of vert per week with peak weeks at ~90 miles with 12-15k of climbing per week.

    My focus this season has been runnable ultra distance trail races (i.e. 50M with 8-10k of climbing). While there are occasional hiking stretches, I’m running 90%+ of the time. I’ve focused my training primarily on improving running economy (i.e. strides/pick-ups, flatter tempo runs), furthering aerobic development (long Z1/Z2 days), and Z3 uphill efforts (2×20 or 4×10 minutes) with some Z4 sprinkled in as well (2-5 minute repeats aiming for 15-20 minutes at intensity).

    I’ve used the Muscular Endurance routines in the past when I was running lower mileage and/or didn’t have access to runnable climbing terrain. However, I’ve stopped using these routines and leaned into more vert and more miles. I’ll adapted versions of these workouts (higher weight, lower reps) once or twice a week.

    I’m wondering if anyone has feedback for at what mileage/climbing threshold the Muscular Endurance routine no longer has a strong benefit. i.e. Is there a point for people at which running X amount of miles with Y amount of climbing negates the need for ME work? Or is keeping ME work a regular part of training still beneficial?

    If there is such a point, does shifting to higher weight/lower rep strength training make the most sense or is there another approach that seems to be more effective.

    I hope that was clear enough!


Posted In: Mountain Running

  • Participant
    jakedev on #56072

    A good question. I have always tried to do a abbreviated ME Leg Circuit (2 sets of each exercise) every 2 weeks for maintenance. That or a low level of the Chamonix fit sessions. That being said as my volume has gone up even these abbreviated maintenance workouts are probably harder than they should be.

    I don’t have any answers for you, just that I have had to skip the maintenance strength when I have high volume weeks due to fatigue. Be interested in anybody else’s anecdotes or feedback.


    Anonymous on #57450


    High mileage with lots of vert will definitely boost Muscular Endurance. The reason I am so big on ME is that I find it can build the same levels of ME that high mileage with lots of vert does but without the pounding and potential for injury.

    I your case I would drop or reduce the ME like you are doing. The real test though is….Are you recovering and seeing improved performance on a weeks to monthly basis?

    If not the load is too high and one of these two has to give.

    I hope this helps

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