deck stain - more is better?

Just stained the deck after 3 years of neglect.
Bought a 5-gallon pail of Olympic Honey Gold toner stain.
The directions say the coverage is 250 to 350 square feet per gallon for "smooth" wood, and 150 to 250 square feet per gallon for "rough" wood. I would say my surface was mostly smooth with a few rough spots.
I applied the stain on a cool (60 degrees) sunny breezy day; the wood was neither warm not cold to the touch. The wood was so thirsty I wound up using 3 gallons to cover 400 square feet (400/3 = 133 square feet per gallon). There were no "puddles" and within 15 minutes the wood was dry to the touch. There are no "shiny" areas indicating an excess of unabsorbed stain on the surface. It looks great
But my question is this: When applying stain, should you pace yourself so that you achieve the coverage specified on the label, OR should you just let the wood tell you how much it wants, even that means putting down twice as much stain as the label specifies?
Is there any harm in using more stain than the label indicates, or does it actually give better protection? Or is it just a waste of money to use more stain than specified?
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