Thinking of cutting out one of my weekly runs

As my runs (both road & trail) are getting longer (now between 45 & 55 mins), I've noticed my knees are routinely aching which is something I'd not experienced during my C25K days.

I saw a post from one person saying they were cutting down to two runs per week (from three) for much the same reason and I think I'll do the same once I've hit the one hour mark. I have no HM aspirations, just to keep my aerobic fitness up and help fight the flab. Do 2 x 1 hour sessions equal or surpass the benefit of 3 x 30 mins sessions we ask ourselves? My concerns are really about maintaining motivation with just a couple of runs every week versus looking after my joints which, for 62 years, haven't given me problems until now!

Are all you "Bridge to 10k" folk three + runs a week peeps?

30 Replies

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  • Wow that's great Tractorman, I've run twice a week since late on in the C25K programme - I got overuse injuries. I run twice a week and try to do something else on one other day, if I can fit it in. Since 'allowing' myself to do that I've gone from strength to strength.

    I do parkrun (5k) most weeks and one other long run - up to about an hour and a half maximum - depending if I'm training for something. I actually did my first half marathon at the begining of this month - still running twice a week. I'm not fast, but I've built my stamina and strength.

    There is nothing that says you must run x number of times, it's just a guide and we're all different. It's got to fit you, so nothing to lose in trying it πŸ˜„


  • Madge that is inspiring me that HM training can be done on twice weekly training. I find twice a week easier on me physically as I was getting overuse injuries on three times a week such as hip flexor etc. I have 10k distance done but was concerned how much more I could do.

  • Thanks that's really kind of you, during the training the 5k parkrun wasn't enough, so that went up to 8 - 10k in total on that day for a couple of weeks, otherwise there was only other one 'long' (and slow....) run. I did take a long time to get there though......πŸ˜„

    I did cross train on one non run day, as well, not madly, but a bit of rower and static bike, and weights, glutes and squats - I just wanted to feel strong and able on the day......😬


  • I run twice a week too , I was also getting over use injuries .

    It suits me a lot better and I was able to complete my training and do a Half Marathon injury - free .

    It's all a learning curve and you will find out what suits you best .

    Good Luck ! :-) xxx

  • I tried four runs a week and soon came off the rails. However, you do get stronger in your legs, knees etc but that happens over time. Deffo cut back if you are running longer and feeling it. It's about enjoying running whilst keeping fit, healthy and trim.

    I used to walk downstairs on the morning after a run and be as stiff as Frankenstein's monster, but not these days. I am nearly 60 so it shows what can be done. I started running because of stiff joints and being fat

    If you take care and don't overdo it, increase your distances then you will find as you get strongest that you will be able to pull another run in if you feel like it. I can do that now,whereas when I first tried it, it was too soon

    Good luck and take care

  • Yes, I've found that, a couple of times I've run on consecutive days, parkrun Saturday then an 'event' (5 or 10k) on the Sunday, I don't do it too often but it's been ok and I've felt fine.


  • I trained for a marathon last year on 3 runs a week, am doing the same this year and am expecting a considerable PB (disclaimer: the race last year was off-road and very hilly, and this year's one is on-road and flat :) ). After that, I am planning on cutting down to 2 runs per week to try and iron out a couple of niggles, but also to train for a triathlon. I'm only looking to finish the tri, not bothered about doing it fast, but from what I have read the cross-training involved is really good for improving running speed.

    So, that's a very long-winded way of saying what about adding some swimming and/or cycling to your routine? :)

  • Actually Rose, I bought a 2nd hand cycle back in January but haven't used it much, just the occasional 10k meander through the country lanes. Now thinking of using it for my 15 mile return journey to work. Don't fancy it much in the rain though as there's nowhere for me to change out of wet clothing! Perhaps I'll pick my days! :-) Then again, perhaps I'll just cycle to the swimming pool...

  • Oh yes, the weather definitely has to be right for cycling :)

  • Hi, I would say cut one out - keep the two longer runs that you enjoy, and like roseabi suggests replace the third run with something else. My vote would def be swimming - the stretching of swimming balances the squishing of running nicely :)

    I'm personally a bit all over the place how often I run - I like to keep over a certain time per week multi sport wise :)

  • Good advice and see my reply to roseabi. We're not that well served with pools where I live so I will stick to the "geriatric sessions" to avoid being dive-bombed by kids! :-) Need to make the effort to join up though. Oh well, I needed another goal!

  • At the end of the day, avoiding injury trumps all other concerns in my book.

    You are still in the early stages of your running progress and cutting back to two runs per week will do you no harm at all. You will still make progress. It might make sense to cut back to one longer run per week too. A shorter quicker run would reduce impact strains and give you a good aerobic/cardio test - just a thought.

  • I've upped to 4 runs a week recently. I get a bit achey, but otherwise no problems. I do try to mix them up though, only one run will be a long one (so far up to 12 k), one will be a short, fast interval run and the other 2 will be bog-standard 5ks - although I'll settle for only 4K if I'm very tired.

    But there's no point in getting an overuse injury and twice a week seems perfectly good!

  • I think cutting to 2 is a good idea.

    I ran 10k on Monday then walked around the Ideal Home exhibition for hours and my knees are still aching.... Not experienced that before! I was doing 3 x between 5 and 7k a week and I'll stick with that or do just 2 runs a week if I'm doing a longer run.

  • I find slow walking (like going round Exhibitions - but museums in particular) the most difficult/painful. On the occasions I visit the "biggies" in London, I need 48 hours for my legs to recover!! Perhaps I should try jogging round them instead (also known as "how to get thrown out of the National Gallery"!)

  • Interesting discussion, thanks everyone :) I have been doing only two runs recently, so difficult to maintain any consistency with work commitments, running the B&B, holiday, family visits etc! Ideally I like to do one shorter interval type run, one 5k and one longer run (8-10k). I can see that three long runs might increase risk of injury so two runs sounds sensible.

  • I run three times a week. 1 hour of running Tuesday, 1 hour of interval and strength training on Thursday and a long run (varying length) Saturday. I did get a niggle in my groin at one point, but I think it was not so much because of the three weekly sessions, but because I pressured myself to improve both pace and distance at the same time.

  • What an interesting and diverse set of responses - thanks everyone! I'm going to swap out my Friday run with a cycle and see if my knees thank me tomorrow. I think what I take from all this advice is to be flexible with my attitude to exercise, whatever form it takes and never say never, never say always! I'm going to experiment with all of your advice and see what works for me. Great Forum peeps, as ever!

  • I started 2 runs a week when I was training for my triathlon and have sort of stuck with it. My body seems to love running twice a week and swimming once a week, it just feels like the swim puts everything back in place. I really wished I loved the cycling side of the Tri but I just didn't feel the love. They say triathletes have less injuries than runners who don't cross train.

  • I guess they get injured less as they are working opposite but complimentary muscle groups - but no, I don't get a buzz out of cycling like I do with running.

  • I do three runs a week... Sunday, Tuesday and Friday... but I don't run HM or great distances at all... and am not fast. I just tootle along however it suits me.. :)

    The other folk replying to you are far more experienced and amazing than I.:)

    My usual pattern is a favourite 5K, a speedy ( sometimes ...) 3K and my best most favourite day is Sunday which is always a longer run, time wise, usually about 45 mins to an hour, and varies in distance :)

    I keep up the three run pattern to keep the 66 years old ( soon to be 67) bones, muscles, and joints strong.. and the old heart and mind too :) I do other exercises too.. use my cross-trainer, for core strength and stamina, swim, cycle and walk.. ( miles.... with my new Granddaughter in her pram. ) I do have the distinct advantage of being retired. :)

    I run three times a week because so far it suits and seems fine.. everything holding out.. fingers crossed...and because I really love it... No great aspirations, just want to keep on running :) x

  • If you're doing that at 66 then I'll have some of it as well please! Inspiring as ever Oldflioss! :-)

  • Thanks...67, Monday!

    It is, with me, just a matter of not going at anything frenetically, just as ever, slow and steady! Having a routine and not worrying if I have to take an extra rest day sometimes...:) I am not an exercise fanatic, I just build it in to my day.

    If I tell you, that my Nan, (who was 98 when she died), who lived with us in our big old rambly Victorian house, asked for a new pair of step ladders for her 80th birthday.. because she was having to stretch too much to reach the top of the windows, when she cleaned them in our home... you may guess I was brought up in home where you kept active, kept moving, and just ignored old age generally; that I come, hopefully from good stock! :)

    You just do what you feel is right for you... your body will soon let you know if anything is amiss. You are doing just fine :)

  • I have to disagree. YOU ARE amazing and experienced. Rfcx.

  • ... and you are really kind to say that :)

    Hope all is still going smoothly with you two :) x

  • Slow but steady. πŸ˜€ Thank you.

  • It is your choice. However, I increased from 3 to 4 runs a week rather than decreasing. When I was doing three runs a week, I preferred to run 2 x 5k and a "long run" day. I managed to get up to 10k. The reason for 2 short and a long run is that it allows recovery for my legs on the long run day. This has worked well for me. When I introduced a 4 run routine, I dropped down to 4 x 5 k and only when I felt ready started to again increase my run on a long run day. I wouldn't want to run less but prefer regular running but it depends on you and how your legs recover. I also recommend strength and flex exercises, I believe this enables me to keep my legs, particularly my knees moving

  • Yes, I agree about the strength and flex part at least! I do the S&F podcasts (that come from the same stable as C25K) inbetween run days. Still have achy knees though!

  • I've found that my legs have got gradually got stronger and can cope with more running. When I first started increasing distances and frequency of runs I did it a little too quickly and ended up with sore knees and various niggles. I just cut back on distance and frequency of my runs for a little while and did some stretches to strengthen my knees and sort out the niggles. I've actually increased run frequency since then. I think the key is to build up gradually and do strengthening exercises. I remember reading that your cardiovascular system strengthens much more quickly than your muscles and joints!!

  • Well, you know they say the Road to Hell is paved with good intentions. As I said, I had thoroughly intended to ditch my Friday run for a cycle. I took the pooch out, lovely day but very windy and when I got back, nicely warmed up, I thought "I really fancy a run, not a cycle!" and off I went. It's no good, I'm addicted!!!

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