>General Running>How long?
so I am back running again the first time in about 6 years consistently. I am just running about 2.12 miles a clip (odd distance but how the loop works) every other day. How long should I wait to add distance? I am at two weeks now—completed 7 runs. Thoughts? FYI 46 year old male. History: pretty good high school XC and track guy. Ran through college and law school. Then back in early 30’s did some half’s and a marathon. Have not really run consistent since my twins were born in 2013.
Based on my age I am thinking another week or so at this distance. And then add another 1/2 mile. Thoughts folks?
I'd suggest gradually adding time to one of the runs until its twice the time of your regular run. Also maybe add a shorter run on an additional day. From there, start increasing the time of all your runs as you get fitter. Miles will take care of themselves.
You'll get a better feel for what you can handle physically on a day-to-day basis, get some mental discipline, slowly let your muscles, tendons, joints and bones adapt, and learn what rate of progressive overload is best for you as an individual.
I have mapped out many short runs and when increasing distance after a long break have just started with a mile run and each day progressed to the next distance, which in the shorter runs may only be a fraction of a mile. These are done at an easy pace. So running each day it took me 9 days to get to a 2 mile run and another 10 days to reach a 3 mile run, but only 4 more days to get to 4 mile distances because I have fewer courses mapped for the longer distances. After about 6 weeks I got to doing a six mile run and then ended my streak by adding rest days. This is a quick ramp up of distance, but is still gradual enough to avoid injury. I typically then do a progressively longer run each week and several shorter runs but gradually increase the distance of those too.
Slow and steady win the race
Keep in mind that muscles will adapt much more quickly than bones and connective tissue. And that an injury will slow your progress much more than anything else.
It should be mathematical, but it's not.
How long are your runs? When I re-started running (more than once in my lfe), I always go by time first: 30 minutes three times per week. But I would start with 3min running, 1 min walking; the next week 4 min running, then 5 min, 7 min, 10min, 15min, until by week 7 or 8 I could go the full 30 min without walking. Which was around 4km. And then made one of the days my "long run" day and increased the time on that day by 5 minutes per week.
When I go from being more lazy in winter to running longer distances in summer, I add a mile to the long run each week for 3 weeks, and week 4 is a recovery week with a little less. The other runs gradually increase along with the long run, but there I just go by feel. I read somewhere you should not increase your distance by more than 10% peer week, that's probably a good guideline to avoid doing too much, too soon. If you start getting shin splints or knee pain, you know you were too ambitious ;-)
Update. So, I have been consistently doing the 2.12 loop every other day. I then added a bit to the fourth day and went to 2.5, then did the 2.12 three more times and then up to 3 miles on the 4th day. I will probably do that again this week. I have kept to the on a day off a day schedule for now.
Where I live is hilly so every run, even the easier short ones, have sections that just kill my quads. Still running everything at a pretty easy 10 to 10:30 pace except for a couple of rainy days when I ran a little harder.
In my opinion, it's the consistency that matters, not necessarily the mileage run. I also run three times a week with SportMe Marathon Trainer and it's great to see my overall progress. What motivates me is the mental and physical benefits I get from every run.