Increasing your distance

Hi folks. Knees sorted and back on track :) :):) My tip here if you're not in the countryside is get off the concrete pavement and run on the street itself, much better for your knees. I'm running 40 mins 3x week at the mo. My plan is to be able to run (slowly oh so slowly) for 60 min. Wondering how to do this. Would you increase each run or just have 1 run where you build up to 60 min and 2 x 30 min runs? For the 30 min I was planning on doing the stepping stone podcast.

What do you fellow runners think is the wise way forward?


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14 Replies

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  • 1 Totally agree about roads rather than pavements. Those sloping driveways are killers for the knees. 2 I would recommend only one longer run per week. Be kind to your body!

  • I wasn't sure whether your body needs to train at the same rate hence 3 x steadily increasing runs or if it works like the c25k on the basis of challenge your body then rest it. I suppose the other two runs if they are short function a bit like resting days. I am in no big rush but I'd like to be running comfortably and easily for an hour by the end of the year if my body plays along.

  • What I found was that doing longer runs every time just made me too tired.

    Everyone is different, and I have separate issues with fatigue, but lots of people find that mixing it up helps all aspects of running. For me, I do a mixture of 5ks doing fast(ish) intervals, 5ks at a medium pace and longer runs if and when I feel like it, but no more than one long run per week.

    Do what your body can cope with, but perusing past posts on here will inform you how frustrating it can be to overtrain and then end up on the injury couch for weeks - many new graduates have gone down that path!

  • Thanks. I think I'll try gradually lengthening one run a week and see how it goes. Maybe just every second week

  • Not used stepping stones myself, but lots on here recommend them. I increased my distance by keeping two runs of 5k and one as my longer run which I increased gradually until I hit the magic 10k. I think it is recommended to not add increments of more than 10% each week, but once I had worked up to 8 I felt ready for 10! As ever, listen to your body, respect the rest days and be prepared to drop back distance if you start to feel the strain! I developed a niggle in one of my legs having increased my distance, but it has now settled again after a few 5ks. Good luck๐Ÿ™‚.

  • Thanks Sandra. I think that's what I'll do.

  • The golden rule, as mentioned, is to increase by 10% of volume per week. So if you run 5 k 3 times a week, go up 1.5k the following week. You can spread that across all three runs (although it would not advance you very quickly) or designate one longer run and do 6.5k on that day. The folloiwng week, you increase by 1.65k, the week afte, 1.8 etc. It starts increasing quite quickly after a few weeks.

    that is a maximum for consistent increases though. If one week you have run 20% more its not going to kill you, or if you choose to just build by adding 1k each week that'll work too.

    If running on the road, be aware of the camber, and try to swap direction/which foot is kerbside approx halfway to avoid imbalance.

  • Thanks, that's very helpful. Hadn't thought of spreading that 10% over the week. I assumed it was 10% further on every run of the week but that makesa lot of sense.

  • 1 longer run you need to give your body time to recover :)

  • Thanks Rob. I know you're right. Not sure now why I thought 3 x longer runs a week would be the right approach, it is starting to look like a bonkers idea!

  • I agree on the roads rather than pavements, on the quieter side roads around my way I run on the road as the constant up and down of the driveways I think effects my knees and other joints. I try to run facing the on coming traffic so I can hop back onto the pavement if I have to.

    I think I followed Rignold advice and increased my distance slowly each week with one longer run and two 5Ks.

  • I run facing oncoming traffic too on quieter streets only but there is still more traffic than you'd expect considering the time I run. I do occasionally have to go back on the pavement but if you can spend a lot of your running time off concrete, it does seem to make a difference. I suppose grass is the ideal running surface.

  • Glad you're mended and on the move again :-) Can't believe it's been 5 weeks since graduation and like you I'm aiming to increase one run a week to a longer interval. Managed a 6k on Tuesday, a 30 minute which came in at 4.7k on Thursday and this morning did my second Park Run so all in all, feeling pretty chuffed that the 3 times a week habit is forming and sticking. Really pleased you're back though and some great advice on this thread which I've found interesting so thanks all :-)

  • Hi wez, yes thank goodness. Really did not want permanently dodgy knees but in a way it was good, it made me think about how I run and start doing daily strengthening exercises which I would not otherwise have bothered with. Your running sounds brilliant, looks like you've settled into a good running routine now. Roll on summer!

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