How often? Dead miles? (Read 780 times)


    Undecided Hi, So I'm a relatively new runner, off and on for a few months, but now the kick has hit and I'm getting addicted. I was wondering if there are guidelines about resting between runs? Is it wise to run 4 or 5 times a week, or is best to have a day in between each? Does it depend on how much you are running perhaps? I remember reading an article about "dead miles", you can run too much in a week so that you are really just wasting time past a certain point? Any feedback or website suggestions would be appreciated. My main goal with running is just for personal fitness and weightloss, I'm not training for anything. Thanks. narelle.

    CPT Curmudgeon

      For a beginning runner, 3x week is perfectly fine. For most people, especially those who aren't training for a specific race or time goal, 3x week is probably going to help them meet their goals. If you're running more than that, and aren't having any physical issues, and you enjoy it, then by all means, run 4-5 times. You will find people on this site that run that gamut, from about 3 runs/week, up to about 12+ runs/week (yes, that means 2 on some days). All depends on goals.

      Another Passion

        Scout's advice is great. I would simply add never to do too much too fast. Slowly increase your number of runs, distance, and pace starting out. Be patient, but consistent, and keep at it! Smile

        "The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare." - Juma Ikangaa
        "I wanna go fast." Ricky Bobby

          I've not seen any guidelines as far as rest goes. Just listen to your body, and take care not to increase your weekly mileage too quickly, so that you have time to adjust to the demands of running. Dead miles are sometimes called junk miles. Typically people are referring to miles that are run at an effort level that don't contribute to your training. Most training plans have easy days and hard days, both of which have specific benefits. The theory is that if you run at a pace that isn't easy, but isn't hard either, you aren't getting all that much benefit from the run as far as your training is concerned. If you aren't training for a particular goal, this probably isn't a big concern for you at this point. Especially as a new runner, all your miles are going to be helping you adjust to running regularly. Most of your runs should be at an easy pace, or what many people refer to as "conversational pace" meaning you could carry on a conversation without straining. Bottom line: If you are enjoying your runs, keep at it and don't be too concerned with anything except keeping your mileage increases slow and steady. Listen to your body as far as rest goes. Have fun!
            If you want to increase your miles per week, I would recommend adding distance/time to your existing runs at first. As your body adjusts to running, I think having multiple rest days for recovery is important. Be sure not to add too much too fast though. A good rule of thumb is to limit your increase for any run or overall week to 10% of your previous high. On your non-running days, walking or other moderate non-running exercise like biking will help your recovery and subsequent runs. When you've built a good aerobic base, you can add a day to boost your weekly mileage. Good luck, and have fun. Modified to add: Since you probably don't know one RA poster from another, there are MUCH more experienced runners on this board than I. My advice is given free of charge, and is worth every penny. Smile

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              Since you're not interested in training for an event, I think you should base your number of runs/week on the balance between how often you want to and how much your body can sustain. There's nothing wrong with running more than 4 or 5 times a week if you can do it without injury (which may not happen immediately, so you should slowly add mileage, sessions, etc). I'm not sure what dead miles are, but "junk miles" are defined as miles that are run at a pace that doesn't really achieve anything-too slow to be a "quality run" and too fast to be an endurance/recovery run. That is, at least, my interpretation of Jack Daniels and others like him. If you run most of your runs at a slow, conversational pace, you have no worries about this.
                I don't even worry about junk miles. Even if I don't get any running benefit, I need to lose weight, and "any" running I do helps in that regard.



                Barefoot and happy

                  I don't even worry about junk miles. Even if I don't get any running benefit, I need to lose weight, and "any" running I do helps in that regard.
                  An easy mile will do just as much to help you lose weight as a junk mile. The difference in total calories burned is negligible, and the easy mile burns a higher proportion of fat (as opposed to carbs). If the goal is weight loss, there's really no reason to venture beyond easy aerobic running (as long as you're doing strength training too to build muscle). Well, maybe psychological reasons... but therein lies danger.
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                    A good thread on junk miles can be found here.

                      Thanks so much for the quick response! All very good advice and information, I appreciate it Smile