Written by: Editor in Chief
As a cross country coach for my daughter’s school, and founder of the Alameda Island Runners one of the questions I am most often asked is, “how often or how much should I be running?”
While there is no one right answer because every individual is different (e.g., work, family, stress), there are some key elements we can all implement
to build both mileage and duration safely and hopefully injury free. We have three key elements of run training – frequency, duration, and intensity.
To become good at anything you often have to be repetitive, or practice frequently. First lets explore how often we need to be running to see improvement which is what most of us are after. Research suggests that you have to run at minimum three times per week. Now if this is the maximum you can do you need to optimize those sessions. Ideally you would see a speed workout (track session), a tempo run, and a long run. Each would have at least one day between for recovery since the workouts will all have some level of intensity or duration. I wouldn’t suggest anything less if your goal is to see improvement in fitness and results. One of the key benefits to this protocol is the reduced risk of injury typically associated with high volume/mileage weeks.
If however, you are looking to take your running to the next level, set some PRs, and test yourself you need to be running six or seven times per week. Often this type of schedule works best taking Monday off since Long Runs typically occur on the weekend. If you are more advanced in your training (35+ miles per week) don’t be afraid to run daily so long as you are putting a majority of those miles in at an easier pace, then take recovery days when you feel the need.
For The Advanced Runners Only: If you are near 70 miles a week and looking to up that or restructure your schedule, you can consider adding one or two double run days into the mix. Remember to keep one of them easy.
30 RUNS IN 30 DAYS CHALLENGE
Simple, just get out and run. That is 30 distinct runs in 30 days. To constitute as a run it has to be 30 minutes in duration. Remember if you need a day off it’s ok. Do a double the next day, 30 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes in the evening.
Post your daily runs on Twitter to http://twitter.com/Fit_Endurance and use the hashtag #30Runs
Remember always use your best judgement when building up the miles. Most running injuries are a result of not listening to your body. If your body is telling you it’s too much listen.