How many times a week?

Hi all! I graduated only a couple of weeks ago. I'm not that interested in increasing my distance yet because my aim was to get fit and I still feel like I'm making progress just be rerunning week 9.

However, I'm running between 3 and 4 times a week and DH thinks that I could increase it to run up to 7 days a week - I think he's trying to kill me!

So what do you think? Can I run more days per week or should I carry on as I am? I don't want to get so tired that I have to rest for very large blocks of time as I'll lose my fitness.

11 Replies

  • I would not suggest cutting out those rest days at this stage.

    I'm sure you have heard often on here that your improvement comes from your recovery (or over-recovery) and that to recover you need time off running. With your body only having been running for around 3 months it will still be getting used to the stresses. If you run more than 4 times a week then you won't have many recovery days and I think you are asking for an injury.

    If you want to do more without running further then why not put some other types of training in on the non-run days? You could swim or cycle, or go to a gym and use a elliptical trainer. These are all non-impact exercises that will continue to build up your cardio' fitness without stressing your joints and ligaments etc. I like to do intervals on the elliptical. By working at close to max capacity for short periods (20 seconds is enough to start) with easier recovery periods between you'll build up your oxygen utilisation, which will help your running a lot. A bit of strength training is also very good and will help your running.

    Overall, I would not run any more often, but put in some other training instead if you want to progress further without more distance.


  • Yes you can increase it to running 7 days a week if you want - obviuosly not in one go but if you add an extra day a month say, you'd be up to running 6 or 7 days a week in 3 months.

    I'm not sure why you would run 7days a week if you don't want to, though. You won't be appreciatively fitter running 5k 6 days a week rather than 4, say.

  • Yes, I agree. DH runs 7 days a week and I think he thinks I can do the same. I don't think I'm ready but I also think that I'm not challenging myself (but I'm alright with that!)

  • No, no, no!

    You will get hurt. If you are a new runner you don't get classed as an intermediate runner til you've been running 18 months to 2 years. Your skeleton has to get strong enough for you could sustain running every other day never mind every day. I think sometimes people have a sense of bravado (men in particular). Don't get drawn into it. Stick to running every other day, tops

    I have been on the couch for weeks because of an overuse injury. I've been running 18 months. I only ran every other day,having tried 4 days a week, and it nearly did me in. It's horrible being injured, in a lot of pain and unable to run, but I could have avoided it by being more sensible

    Don't let it happen to you will you

  • Thanks for that. I hope you're feeling better.

  • Don't. As others have said, you are a new runner and you need those rest days. At this stage in the game you shouldn't be running more than once every other day. Find something different to do on your rest days (cycling or swimming?) so you use a different set of muscles and allow your running stretched ones to recover.

  • Maybe it is male bravado, but if you are not going over the 10% total running volume per weekit doesn't matter whetehr youy break that time up into multiple runs or fewer longer runs. It's overall miles on your feet clocked that is making the difference.

    This is, of course, assuming you do not have any pre-existing condition/injury/whatever.

  • I read a book called "The Art of Running Faster". In it the author explains that it is far easier to run 5 miles twice a day than it is to run 10 miles in one go. He then goes on to say it's such a hazzle to have to remember which days you're meant to go out twice. So why not be sensible, he concludes, and just make it a habit to run twice daily for six days and then have a recovery day where you only run once.

    So to answer the question: 13 times a week is good number.

    (disclaimer: I do most definitely not agree with the author)

  • If you are sufficiently experienced and committed runner that you even consider buying books that tell you to run 13 times a week then maybe that is the thing to do. It's certainly not for me!

    I cannot imagine anyone who has been running for less than 3 years, maybe 5 years, running 13 times a week. Then again, much as I enjoy the odd run I can't really imagine wanting to run 13 times a week.

    Is 13 times a good number? Not for me!

  • wimp

    (that was VERY much tongue in cheek)

  • Guilty as charged!

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