>Running 101>Please Advice on how many days to run a week, Please Help
I have a question for all of the experienced runners out there. I run every other day each week around the same time each morning. Is it true that especially in the beginning ( been running 2mths+) that when I do what would be a Long run for me...yesterday for exp being 6 miles that I Need and Should take today off? I have seen people that run 6 days a week, 7 days a week and 4 days a week like I do. I really would love to add a day or two to my running schedule but I definitely don't want to do anything to cause injury. Any Advice?
Thanks soooo much. I am 49 yrs old and thank God have not had any problems with knees, calves etc. as of now
You'll get some good advice here. I'm a slow, back of the pack, low mileage guy, but I'll chime in anyway. When I started training for my first marathon, I read that when you got older it was a good idea to run every other day to give yourself recovery time, so that's what I did for a year or so. Now I'll run a few days in a row with no problem. After a long run ( or a race) I usually do a very easy 2 mile run- recovery run is what I think they call it around here. The advice you will get here probably will be to run more days per week.
If you're feeling good and healthy and want to run more days, then go for it.
I'm 59 and have been running for over 8 years, so I guess that makes me on of those experienced runners. Your body will tell you if you are overdoing it - you just need to listen. If in doubt, take it easy. You should be able to run every day if you want - just keep the distance short enough and speed low enough that you don't cause problems for yourself. Almost all running problems boil down to trying to run too far too soon too fast.
We all improve at our own rate. A friend started running at the same age as I did. It took him three months to make more progress than I did in four years.
You need to choose your goals - do you want to be able run a little once in a while, do you want to be a fitness runner, do you want to run long races? If you want to be a fitness runner, just how fit do you want to be?
When you're first starting out, definitely, absolutely, positively listen to your body. (But of course, this is easier said than done before you gain some experience.) If you feel like you need a day off, take it.
In my experience, it's better to do a short easy run the day after a long or hard run; it gets the blood flowing to the legs and loosens up tight muscles and tendons. For the first year or two I kept it to 3-4 days a week, alternating days off, and it seemed like I was always sore or injured (and I don't think it was from running too fast or too far). Hard to establish cause-and-effect, but I wasn't really able to turn the corner with my running until I rolled the dice with frequency and back-to-back runs.
"Because in the end, you won't remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain."
Fast is better than long
It will typically take approximately 7 days to run a week.
On a more serious note. It's very individual.
What will your schedule allow?
What do you wish to accomplish through running?
What will your body allow? <-- too much can break down your body and too little may not allow you to achieve your goals.
Something else to consider is that as you increase your mileage, it's more likely that you can add days. As the body becomes more accustomed to the excercise and impact forces it can typically tolerate more of the same.
I'd say a better factor to identify is to know which days not to run. As you noted in your post, after a 6 mile run that you feel compelled to take the next day off. Be vigilant on recognizing that and they you can run all the days when his is not the case.
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Injury risk is the price you pay for getting off the couch. There is no magic formula to determining what will avoid injury. Some people get injured with very little volume, others run 100mpw with no issues.
So do what feels good to you and listen to your body for signs of impending injury or over-use.
"If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does. There's your pep talk for today. Go Run." -- Slo_Hand
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after 2 mths you s/b able to add another day to make 5 days/wk. so after yesterday's 6 mile I would suggest go & run an easy 2-3 today. My own experience is that it is better to run an easy short run the day after a more intense day (LR, race, hard w/o), & THEN take a day off if needed. This follows what Jehu said. Personally I enjoy running most days of the week at 56 yrs old.
One other thing I'll add (as a caveat to the "listen to your body" thing) is this: Don't Be a Total Wimp. This I think is another mistake I made as a beginner; any time I felt a little niggle or pain, I interpreted it as injury coming on, and took a couple/few days off. I think that really impeded my progress. Sometimes you need to back off, but many times you just have to push through that shit and find the better runner on the other side.
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Don't be constrained by fixed weeks. Run all you want in a week, take days off when you feel it will help you. No need for a fixed pattern.
Personally, I tend to think more in terms of months -- usually targetting for 2-3 off days per month. (more in winter)
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