Does Running Less Make You A Faster Marathoner?

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Feb. 15, 2012
  • Updated Feb. 15, 2012 at 11:20 AM UTC

One fitness instructor thinks so.

It may seem counterintuitive, but Deborah Kotz of the Boston Globe has written a piece on how running fewer miles may make you a faster marathoner–specifically at Boston.

In the article, Kotz quotes fitness trainer Peter Lavelle of Boston-based Ultimate Bootcamp, who says less is more with marathons.

“Muscles need time to recover and rehabilitate between runs, so I would take it down to three — or at most four — runs per week,” he said. Lavelle advises that his runners get by with as little as one long run a week and one shorter run with the key caveat being that these athletes are doing other cross-training like swimming, spinning, and weights.

“It’s good to mix it up,” said Lavelle. “Cross training leads to less injury and lets you work out harder between runs by working different muscle groups.”

Lavelle decreased his own marathon times after doing the boot camp eight years ago. He says his times dropped from 3:53 to 3:29 by running less.

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FILED UNDER: Boston Marathon / Injury Prevention / News TAGS: /

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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