How far, how fast, how long? The answers to these three questions form the basis of every training plan created to improve runners’ performance. Whether elite or recreational, all runners must lay down base mileage before beginning the rigor of their training cycle, and the magic number for this base training seems to hover at 500 miles. Why so many miles? Because physiologically, those base miles boost aerobic conditioning, develop slow-twitch muscle fibers, increase blood volume and glycogen storage, strengthen connective tissue, and enhance the body’s ability to burn fat*. But here’s the best news about the 500 mile base: they are to be performed at conversational pace! That means an effort level of 6-7 on a scale of ten. This is an extremely doable effort for most all runners; and because this effort is not race pace intense, individuals wanting to run every day can lay down 3 miles a day, 5 times a week and reach their 500 mile goal in 8 weeks. In my next post, I’ll outline the types of training that runners use to advance their fitness for specific race distances.