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Frequency Vs. Length (Read 359 times)

    So I am proud/embarrassed to say that I have managed to return to running after a six year hiatus. I am not yet following a specific training plan, just trying to increase distance by 10% a week and running an easy 11 minute mile pace.

     

    My question is... do you think it's better to run everyday and run a shorter distance (eg 2 - 3 miles), or better to run every other day and run a longer distance (4-6 miles)? I'm still at the phase where my legs (shins in particular) are killing me at times. I have trouble keeping my runs short because once I am in the mode, it feels so good, but I pay for it later.

     

    Just curious on thoughts on the best approach to mileage and frequency while your body is still adjusting to running, before I decide to follow a specific training plan (10k, most likely).

     

    TIA Smile

     

    Edit: I realize this was probably more appropriate for the new runner's section!

      For me, longer, less frequent has generally worked better - when I get the time I run, otherwise I don't. When I was still working and had some AT issues, 3 days/wk were hard to fit in, so once I got going, I went. Over the years, I've worked my way to every other day, 2 on/1off, and now 5 days/wk, but mostly around 1.5hr give or take 15 min (except for the multi-hour long run). I've run as many as about 10 days in a row when I was trying to get some runs in before a storm, which never came. I generally get about 8 hr/wk in winter and 10hr/wk (8-12 hr) in summer. The days not running give me flexibility to deal with weather and rest of life (meetings, work days, etc).

       

      Others do better with shorter more frequent runs.

      "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog
      J-L-C


        Every day (with the day off when necessary).

         

        Far better to run more often (especially if you're talking more than 36 hours in between runs) than to run longer. Get used to getting out the door every day and you might surprise yourself with how quickly you can build back up.

         

        Try to increase mileage off of just a couple of runs a week and you may find that you're more sore and more tired from trying to pack so much into a single run. Run every day and if you bail on one run then it's not a big deal as you have so many others to fall back on. Bail on one of your three or four runs a week and you've just lost 20-25% of your weekly mileage. Yikes!

          Every day (with the day off when necessary).

           

          Far better to run more often (especially if you're talking more than 36 hours in between runs) than to run longer. Get used to getting out the door every day and you might surprise yourself with how quickly you can build back up.

           

           

          I fully agree.  If you make the commitment to run most every day (except when you need a break to rest shins, etc), the rest will almost take care of itself. :-)

          The Plan (big parts)→  ///  March:  Shamrock Marathon  ///  April:  24 Hour Run for Cancer  ///   May:  3 Days at the Fair (12 Hour)  ///  Nov:  New York Marathon ∞

            One thing I noticed was that running two days, off one day, seemed to help recovery early on.  That's also a compromise between running shorter everyday and running longer every-other-day.  But the sooner you can get to 5-6 days a week at 45 minutes - 1 hour per run, the better.

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

            hectortrojan


               

              I fully agree.  If you make the commitment to run most every day (except when you need a break to rest shins, etc), the rest will almost take care of itself. :-)

               

              I agree as well. If I am getting back to the running, I would run shorter distance and would try to run more times in a week rather then longer distance and less times in a week. If you feel pain, take a day or two off. There is not point in running longer or everyday when you know that you are likely to get injured in doing so. IMO, if you still are going through shin splints, there is no point in increasing distance even by 10%/ week. Just maintain the distance and then increase by 10% a week if you do not feel pain

                frequency by far if your schedule allows until you develop a habit.  then slowly add more to 1 or 2 of your daily runs (mileage/easy-mod. hills).    then start throwing in some tempo & last of all track or speed w/o's.  all this over period of several months or year or longer.  the bigger the base of the pyramid (aerobic base),  the more harder effort stuff you can eventually add to it

                 

                jmho

                zonykel


                  Try both: run 2-3 miles every other day. If the shin splints continue, re-evaluate.

                   

                  when we start running, our heart, muscles, bones, tendons, etc. have their own improvement curves. Typically, our enthusiasm gets the best of us. Our heart improves relatively faster than our legs. We go faster/longer than we should, and then we get injured. Take it easy at first, and be patient.

                   

                   

                  My question is... do you think it's better to run everyday and run a shorter distance (eg 2 - 3 miles), or better to run every other day and run a longer distance (4-6 miles)? I'm still at the phase where my legs (shins in particular) are killing me at times. 

                   

                    You might experiment to see what works for you.

                     

                    When I first tried going from 2 on/ 1 off to 5 days/wk, I had to reduce my volume, even after a few months, although some of that might have been related to soft snow conditions that winter. IIRC, I backed off the frequency so I could maintain volume. A couple years later, I tried the 5 days/wk again with no problems. The longer runs allow me to get further from the trailhead to access other trails for specific types of training. Sometimes age affects what works.

                    "So many people get stuck in the routine of life that their dreams waste away. This is about living the dream." - Cave Dog
                    GinnyinPA


                      As an older runner, I found that I needed recovery days, especially when I started.  I began with 3 days a week, then I went to every other day, so one week three days and the next four, then when that was comfortable I went to four days and now five.  I find that after three days in a row of running, my body needs a break.  If I decide to start marathon training, I'll add another day, but until then, my body does better with two rest days each week.   I also like mid-length runs.  It takes me a couple of miles to fully warm up, so really short runs don't really appeal.  I started with 3-4 miles, now most of my runs are 5-6 miles.  By increasing gradually, I've been able to run injury free for the past seven months.

                      carlos49er


                        I agree with higher frequency. Throw in some pilates too. That should help out with the shin splints.

                          Wow - thank you so much for all the replies and advice. I am breathing a sigh of relief - I would honestly rather run less distance right now, just so I can run almost every day. Really loving the stress relief it's been bringing... makes me wonder why I ever stopped doing it?? Will definitely give this a try!


                          Miles to go

                            I'm not anywhere close to an expert, but I'm coming back from tendonitis at this point, and it seems to be that longer distances aggravate it way more than higher frequency.  I'm even on a mini-streak at the moment, not really intentionally, but just because that's what's working for me in wanting to get the miles in but keep each run fairly short.

                            PRs: 5K: 25:35 / 10K: 53:03 / 10mi: 1:26:15 / HM: 1:55:02

                            Gustav1


                            Fear is a Liar

                              6 days a week.

                              I'm so vegetarian I don't even eat animal crackers!

                              kjkranz


                                Running almost every day will lead to better gains than infrequent longer runs.

                                 

                                This can be as simple as adding in short EZ runs between those long and infrequent runs.

                                RunningOnTheWhiteLine.com

                                Social Media Coordinator @ SKORA Running

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