How often should I run?
11 April 2022
A bit like a meaning of life question, runners often want to know the answer to this: how many times a week should I run?
And not unlike the meaning of life query, it’s certainly thought provoking. Google simply suggests
"Running just twice per week is sufficient to see improvements in health and fitness. Running just 10 miles a week reduces the risk of heart disease by an impressive 42 per cent, according to a study published in the British Medical Journal.”
But really that’s only the starting point.
Almost by default, when you join a RunTogether group, challenges pop up on a weekly basis - be that trying to get fit for that slightly longer run in the summer through the local woods, a parkrun, or perhaps that local 10km.
A better answer would involve string and questioning its length! For most of us, any coach will tell you three is a better option as it gives you some scope to run shorter, longer and should the fancy take you, a bit quicker with a day off in between. That’s going to do the job for you for anything up to a half marathon and your Run Leader will easily be able to fine tune that formula for you to make sure it’s perfect for what you require.
And that’s the biggest thing you need to understand. Everybody is individual and it’s about understanding what works for you. Marathon legend Paula Radcliffe used to use a 10-day week for her training as she knew she couldn’t jam everything she needed to do into seven. It makes sense when you think about it. A long run is the same for everybody: long! Be it three miles or 30. And as a result, those runs take a while to recover from. Maybe you need two days, maybe three. Your next run will give you the answer.
But remember, your Run Leader will be the best route to take when it comes to individual advice. They’ll have years of experience and more importantly will be able to recognise what works for you and what doesn’t, but remember think longer, shorter, and faster as your three run elements for the week not forgetting the odd mobility and stretching session and you’ll be well on the way to improving.
Who are you?
Get Me Started Runner
You are early in your running journey and enjoying sessions for beginner runners/joggers.
Keep Me Going Runner
You enjoy sessions for runners/joggers who want to develop and maintain positive running habits. The positive habits and group running keep you going.
Challenge Me Runner
You enjoy sessions for runners/joggers who are looking to increase pace and/or running distance through more challenging running activity.