Picture of Hi I'm Suzy, the host of Run Lift Mom!

Hi I'm Suzy, the host of Run Lift Mom!

Run Lift Mom is an audio podcast uplifting women and guiding mothers through their fitness journey. Episodes feature expert interviews in the topics of running, strength training, and motherhood.

Listen on Itunes

Minimum Effective Dose Running


This Run Lift Mom Podcast Episode is a quick tip episode about Minimum Effective Dose training within a flexible template. Enjoy!

What is Minimum Effective Dose?

The minimum effective dose (MED) is defined simply: the smallest dose that will produce a desired outcome. You’ll hear this in strength training circles the “minimum effective load”, but even in running the concept is the same: 

Anything beyond the MED is wasteful. 

To boil water, the MED is 212°F (100°C) at standard air pressure. Boiled is boiled. Higher temperatures will not make it “more boiled.” 

Higher temperatures just consume more resources that could be used for something else more productive.

Why Use MED in Running?

In your running, you want to aim to hit the minimum effective dose:

1. So you remain uninjured (85% injuries overuse)

2. So you can use extra time resources for strength training and mobility and injury proof yourself further 

Do you leave some time on the table as opposed to the dude doing 100 miles a week for a marathon? Yes, you do. 

Will you be happier and able to manage family and work life? Yes to that also. This is the way to train for health, longevity, and mental balance. 

What is Flexible Training?

Now, in taking it a step farther, you’ll want to pair MED with flexible training. 

Flexible training is committing to an overall mileage goal plus a key run effort weekly. That’s it. 

If we are connected on social media, you’ve seen me talk about my post it method. Here’s how I personally used this concept (psst- I’ve coached others through it as well, so this is not n=1) when the triplets were newborn.

Let’s see an example:

Let’s say your Couch to 5K schedule calls for the following:

Monday: 20 minutes, Wednesday: 30 minutes, Friday: 30 minutes, Saturday: 50 minutes

Assuming you run a 10 minute mile, that’s 13 total miles.

Rather than committing to specific days and specific mileage, you’d make the 5 miler (50 min) a priority and then get the other 8 miles anyhow. Maybe that’s 2/3/3. Maybe it’s 4/4. Maybe you go 2/2/2/2. Doesn’t matter- and that’s where the post its come in as you’re organizing!

Other Takeaways:

  • Do your key effort on a day that makes sense for your lifestyle. Watch this example to learn why I use post its
  • Use a pen/paper system for your training log. I know there are apps out there. Your phone is too crowded. Your health deserves your full attention!
  • You can get the blank monthly calendar seen below for FREE by signing up for weekly text messages
  • Consider Erin Condren planners if you like the post it method- the squares are perfectly designed for post its and ink doesn’t bleed through the paper. I’m using a Erin Condren life planner in the below video, vertical layout.
  • Pair flexible training with an existing race training schedule. This works with Couch to 5K, Hal Higdon, etc

I have individual training plan systems (with and without accountability) for purchase. Click below to learn more!

This episode is made possible by your support of my training plans, Aloette business, and a partnership with Red H Nutrition (use code RUNLIFTMOM to save 15% on anything from the latter two!)

Let’s Connect

I hope you’ll follow me along my journey and share your Fall 2021 running goals too. We can keep each other accountable. Connect with me on Instagram: