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how many runs per week? (Read 1552 times)


rhetorician

    I am struggling with this a bit - I want to run 5 days a week (am a bit obsessed with mileage), but I have a feeling that my performances would improve on 4 days, if I stick to quality. I have a good 4-5 years running behind me, a lot of it slow running/base miles (and have moaned on here before about lack of pace), but am gradually bringing my easy pace down, and improving my interval times. I primarily run for fitness, but would like to maximise my (limited) ability - I am 46. I have started doing strength/weights (+ a little intensive cardio) 3 x 30 mins a week. This has improved my strength, lean muscle mass and pace. So I need someone to reassure me that dropping one run a week will be ok - especially given that the further I plan to race in the near future is half marathon. Currently I struggle to manage more than one full rest day a week.

     

    This is what I have in mind:

     

    Mon: strength (legs)

    Tues: intervals/speedwork (5m)

    Weds: strength (upper body) + easy run (6-8m)

    Thurs: OFF

    Fri: strength (core) + 9m with some at pace

    Sat: OFF

    Sun: LSR 12+m

     

    This gives more or less 30m a week which is what I can commit to timewise, and what I think my body can stand. The long run is more than the 30% rule, but I have been running a good while and endurance is not really a problem. I have run injury-free for all of 2011 and 2012 so far (crosses fingers)

     

    What do you think?

    2012 goals

     

    lose 8lbs

    run injury free

    run 3000k

    run sub 60 min 10k

    run 2 hour half

     

    2013 goals

     

    run 1750 miles

    run injury free

    sub 55 10k

    sub 25 5k

    sub 2 hour half

    DoppleBock


      Some of the advice is contingent on if you care about the short term or long term - I tend to think in terms of what is best for me over years of training and not what gets me to the fastest over the next few weeks or months.

       

      If one runs the correct paces - Recovery runs can be a really nice addition, if you are not able to run them slow enough then a nice 40 minute walk would be better.

      http://a-big-horse.blogspot.com/ 

      2013 Goals ~ Mar < 3:00, 5M < 29, 10k < 35  

       

        Some would take issue with lack of recovery in your schedule:

         

        Sunday:  Long

        Monday:  Lower Body Strength

        Tuesday:  Speed/Intervals.

         

        How are you able to do speedwork on Tuesday if your legs are dead from the work done on Sunday and Monday?

         

        Also, if you are only running 4 days a week, then maybe have just have two of them be hard workouts, 1 easy run (slow/short), and one medium/medium run.

        2013 H1:  7 hours/week base.  Q3: Train for goal race.  Q4:  Goal Race.


        rhetorician

          sellerts - that's the issue, I think, but you say 'only' 4 runs a week - I could do 5 which would look like this

           

          Mon: legs

          tues intervals

          weds: easy (upper body)

          thurs: easy

          Fri: core

          Sat: tempo

          Sun: long

           

          but that has even less recovery!! this is my dilemma. I've found it's OK to run on strength days except for the legwork - maybe I should do intervals before leg, and take next day off?

          2012 goals

           

          lose 8lbs

          run injury free

          run 3000k

          run sub 60 min 10k

          run 2 hour half

           

          2013 goals

           

          run 1750 miles

          run injury free

          sub 55 10k

          sub 25 5k

          sub 2 hour half


          MoBramExam

            Do your running intervals, then do your strength (leg) workout either immediately after or later on the same day.

             



              Do your running intervals, then do your strength (leg) workout either immediately after or later on the same day.

               

              Seems like that could work.  Do you also suggest high reps with low resistance? 

               

              I'm a big fan of doing a short easy run the day after a hard workout, and scheduling days off, if any, for the days before hard workouts or races.  Such usually demands 5-6 days/week of running, though.  On the other hand, a short/easy/recovery run (30 minutes) is a good way to start out your upper body and core workouts.

               

              I don't think we really addressed your question:  Is it possible to run one less day per week and be a better runner?  I think it is not likely.  I tried for years to make 25 miles/week + crosstraining have me be a good runner.  I was physically fit, but I never developed any kind of speed or endurance until I was running 40+ mpw. 

              2013 H1:  7 hours/week base.  Q3: Train for goal race.  Q4:  Goal Race.


              MoBramExam

                Seems like that could work.  Do you also suggest high reps with low resistance? 

                 

                I don't think we really addressed your question:  Is it possible to run one less day per week and be a better runner?  I think it is not likely.  I tried for years to make 25 miles/week + crosstraining have me be a good runner.  I was physically fit, but I never developed any kind of speed or endurance until I was running 40+ mpw. 

                 

                My philosophy is that the purpose of any weight / strength training should be to support my running, not supplement it.  Obiviously, the purpose of the non-running strength training is strength.  My opinion is that heavy weight / low reps produce the best results.  "Heavy" means a weight you can move with strict form 4-8 reps.  Full recovery between sets.  Avoid "trashing" your legs...you are a runner, not a bodybuilder.  The fact that you will have done running intervals earlier will reduce the amount of weight you will be able to lift and save some wear and tear on the joints.

                 

                Doing intervals and strength (legs) on the same day sets you up for an easy run the following day.

                 

                Personally, I run 6-7 days a week.  I do my lower body strength work on my interval (Wed) and hill repeat (Fri) days.  A recovery or short easy run follows the next day.

                 




                rhetorician

                  this is very helpful - thanks. I think switching things around a little and doing some easy recovery running might sort my issue. I don't really want to drop a running day, actually. Long runs will go up as far as about 15 miles which is as much as I feel I need for HM distance; 40 mile weeks are not in my immediate sights (have a 3 year old and a 9 month old, plus a full-time job), but I'd like to build towards this in the next year or so (e.g. when eldest is in school).

                   

                  I'm certainly not trashing legs - but I do find it tough - the other sessions I could run after - the upper body one I run a loop to gym (4 miles) and the direct route back, (2.5). OK, will tweak schedule again.

                   

                  Many thanks for your input

                  2012 goals

                   

                  lose 8lbs

                  run injury free

                  run 3000k

                  run sub 60 min 10k

                  run 2 hour half

                   

                  2013 goals

                   

                  run 1750 miles

                  run injury free

                  sub 55 10k

                  sub 25 5k

                  sub 2 hour half

                    Move your upper body strength workout and easy run to Tuesday and do your Intervals/Tempo/hard running workout on Wednesdays instead.

                     

                    Add in a short recovery run of 3 or 4 miles on Thursday and another short (3 or 4 mile) run on Saturday and your set!

                    Age: 45 Weight: 208 Height: 6'2" (Goal weight 195)

                    Current PR's:  Mara 3:48:09; HM 1:43:26; 10K 44:51; 5K 21:27

                      One of the biggest mistakes--I think--many "recreational" runners make is, most probably because they are very enthusiastic, to add cross training or supplementary exercises such as weight training ON THE EASY DAYS.  Then what's going to happen is that those easy days are no longer easy day.  Sure, metabolism is different (explained later) but the day's workout turns into a hard effort anyway.  Consequently you wouldn't have any recovery.

                       

                      Now, RECOVERY is a tricky term too.  Far too many people (and this, thanks to some more "myth" or some of VERY popular "myth-information") think not running=better recovery.  This is NOT so at all.  It seems like some people had tried to express this point as well but nice easy jogging (and make sure this IS in fact nice and easy) actually increase blood flow, hence both oxygen and nutrient supply to the damaged area; gives massage effect from easy muscle movement; and also stimulate metabolism just enough to release higher level of white blood cells to help reconstruct the damaged tissues.  In other words, if you try to follow a program like FIRST (which I personally hate not so much of the original concept but because the way people implement it), it would be better off if you do those hard quality workouts and fill in the scheduled OFF days with easy jogging.  Yes, then the whole idea of "3 workouts a week" concept is out the window but, here's original concept, the whole idea started that you do 3 point workouts a week for running and you do other exercises to fill in the off-days FOR TRIATHLON.  So those original athletes weren't just lying around in between, doing nothing; but the idea was to stimulate different metabolism or different activities.

                       

                      Now, here's something to consider.  This is the research done in 1998 in Germany.  Easy aerobic work would RECOVER within 6 hours and the peak of Super Compensation (the best of training effect) is reached in 12 hours and, by 28 hours, it would diminish.  For intensive aerobic work, let's say something like a long run, you SHOULD recover within 12 hours and the peak would be reached in 24-28 hours and diminish in 40 hours.  In other words, those who try to do 20-milers to get ready for a marathon but, because they are not quite ready and it takes 4 or 5 hours for them to run 20-miler and, because of that, they would have to take 3 or 4 days afterwards to recover, this is due to muscle trauma.  So by the time they go for a run the next time, their aerobic development achieved from that long run is diminished.  They would have to do it over again.  Well, it's not THAT extreme but you get the idea.  In other words, if you can't recover from your aerobic run (long run) within 24 hours, you are not effectively gaining the training benefits--you are either doing it too far or too fast.  For intensive anaerobic training, such as intervals or tempo run, it takes 32 hours to recover and the peak will come in 44-48 hours, hence it pays to do this type of workouts every other days.  Interestingly, strength training and competition takes 48 hours to recover and the peak would come in 72 hours.  Now, the real workout is always intertwined so we are not just looking at ONE element of development.  In other words, so it takes 48 hours to recover from strength training; so does that mean, if you do strength training (weights), you can't or shouldn't do another workout until at least 48 hours later?  No, this means you should probably not do next session of strength training within 48 hours but you can still do aerobic training.  Now intervals, while heavily classified as anaerobic training, CAN also be strength training to their legs.  So this is where some people have suggested, you shouldn't do interval training one day and weights to your legs the next day.  If you absolutely have to (for whatever the reason) do it one after the other, this order is probably better because then you can do intervals (running related) with fresh legs.

                      obsessor


                        Running can be fairly simple, and it is just like anything else. If you want to get better at running, then run. If you want to improve your strength, then strength train. If you want to improve your running strength, run hills. If you want to run longer, run longer, and if you want to run faster, run faster. How many runs for per week? 11 or 12 always worked best for me. Easy doubles, short miles, (HR between 110 and 120, for me...) aids in recovery. Easy is easy. Should feel better and more limber when done than before the run.

                          Awesome post Nobby! You the man! This site always appreciates your insight, research and experience!!!

                          Those who try, fail! Those who do what it takes to succeed, succeed!!