How often should you run is one of the most asked questions by any runners, newbie or veteran for their training. The keyword here is “frequency”, because this is the fundamentals of your training.
Make sure you read the entire article, because we will show you the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ of running. Beginner or veteran, I’m sure you’re going to pick something up from this 🙂
Frequency – or how often you run, this is the one of three fundamentals of training. The other two are duration (how far you run) and intensity (how fast you run). Research shows that a person needs to run at least a couple of times a week to get a progressive benefit from it. There’s a lot of elite runners who runs 14 times per week. So the question remains, how often should you run?
While there is no right answer to this question, let’s consider our goals, life schedule and running experience to establish a boundaries of how too little running can help. With these limits, we can choose a different running frequencies based on our personal preferences so we can see our results fast.
First, let’s consider the most important part, always take good care of your health. Man, woman or child should exercise everyday. Research shows that if you exercise daily you will have a lower risk of chronic disease, leaner and live longer than if you do exercise just a few times in a week.
Though this doesn’t mean that you have to run everyday. If you love running and you’re looking for some form of progress, you need to run at least three times per week. On the other days, you can do swimming, yoga, lift weights or any other physical activities. If you choose running and don’t want to do anything else (I’m looking at you runners), make sure it really counts.
Do this instead, some days do a tempo run, this will develop intensive endurance, speed workout to build speed, and a long run to increase your endurance. Furman University prescribes a weekly training schedule comprising the three types of runs plus cross-training workouts. This system defines the minimum effective training protocol for runners.
Primary reason is to run three times per week is to minimize the injury, the rate of injury increases with running volume. Most runners cannot run everyday without getting injured, if you’re that kind of runner, you’ll fear getting injured in your daily runs, you should stick to a schedule of three to four runs plus a cross-training workout per week to feel confident that you are not sacrificing any of the performance you would get from running daily.
The common running frequency for beginner competitive runners is six to seven times per week (daily run with one day off or rest when needed). I’m not sure about the reason behind this, but from experience point of view, some runners are better off running daily and no cross-training, which is fare equal on either their schedule. Another factor such as durability and personal preferences to your personal routine.
Running Twice Per Day
Most serious runners habitually run more then seven times per week, this is necessary to entails certain personal goals. I think more runners should consider it, because they are waiting for some magical things to happen if they push their running volume beyond the limit their body can squeeze into one run.
Simple rule to follow for runners if they wanted to try (or not) the double runs;
If you plan to run consistently for more than 70 miles per week, double that at lease once or twice a week. Rule behind this is every runner’s training schedule must include some easy runs, because if you do more than 70 miles in just six or seven run each week, none of those runs will be easy. Double if you can schedule fewer than 70 miles per week, but do it once it becomes necessary to run more.
As you’re adding mileage to your weekly schedule, continue to add doubles to keep your average run from creeping above 10 miles. For example, run 100 miles a week, you should run at least 10 times.
Be easy into doubling by inserting one or two very short and easy runs into your schedule. Increase the distance gradually of these runs and add more doubles until you reach your weekly goal mileage, but keep the pace easy in all of these extra runs, don’t do two hard runs on a single day.
Some runners do an easy run in the morning and a longer and/or faster run in the evening. Others do the opposite. It’s a matter of personal preference.
Most runners schedule their easy run in the morning and longer or faster runs in the evening. Other do the opposite, so pick your choice and stick to what works for you.
A competitive runner can exercise more than three or four times a week without running more than four times a week, while a serious competitive runner can exercise twice a day without always running twice daily. While most of the examples of successful runners who run 14 times a week and never do cross-train, most cases, runners who train nine or more times a week are better off running seven times and lifting weights and doing other plyometrics two or more than three times then their normal run.
Hope you’ve learned some valuable insights and scheduling your runs, make sure you observe your runs and note it so you can track what works for you and what doesn’t. Ask yourself how often should you run, and will that benefit you into competing for tomorrow?