How Often Should You Run? (Tips for Optimal Health Benefits)
Running is perfect for you if you are looking for a new form of cardio to challenge yourself and your body. However, running too often can be more harmful than helpful.
Well, how often should you run then? If you are new to running, you should stick to a schedule of running around 3 times a week. This provides you with enough time to let your body recover after such a vigorous training session.
Below, we discuss how many times a week you should run and how to do it safely.
No one wants to go into a new sport and end up with an injury within the first week. So, keep reading to find out how you can get in shape the right way!
Factors to Consider When Deciding How Often to Run
Before you head out and begin to pound the pavement every day, there are a few factors to consider.
1. Injury Risk
All of these factors will have a significant impact on how often you should be running throughout the week.
You may have your running shoes tied but if you fail to consider your risk of injury, you could end up hurting yourself.
For those who have a history of injury, especially within the knees, ankles, and hips regions, you are going to want to run less frequently and for smaller distances at a time.
2. Current Fitness Level
Additionally important and truly different from experience level is your current degree of fitness.
For instance, if you have never run before but have been regularly engaging in another form of exercise (such as biking, hiking, swimming, spinning, rowing, or using an elliptical machine), you should already have a strong foundation in cardiovascular fitness.
This will help you handle more running and advance in your training volume more quickly.
3. Experience Level
One of the main factors to consider when entering the world of running is your current experience level.
For those that have never run for long distances before as a sport, you are going to need time to develop a strong level of endurance and for the joints to strengthen to take on the stresses of running.
For those with experience in running but have taken some extended time away from the sport, it may not take as long to begin running at a more frequent level.
However, it is safer to run on the side of caution to avoid injury and burnout.
Age is just a number is a wonderful proverb that has many facts, but it can affect how much you should run.
There are many exceptions to the rule, but in general, as we age, our bodies become less capable of handling stress from exercise and require more time for recovery.
You will probably discover that your body no longer recovers as quickly from a run as you get closer to and through your 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s and that you need to schedule in more rest days each week.
5. Time Available
No matter what workout routine or sport you decide to participate in, finding the time to do it can be one of the trickiest parts.
With everyone having so much to do in so little time, it is important to make the time to go for a run.
In order for you to commit to this schedule, ensure you are running at a time that works for you.
This may mean going for a run in the morning before work or later in the evening when all of your tasks for the day are completed.
Whenever you decide to schedule a run, make sure that you are able to commit and make it work.
How Often Should You Run
When beginning any sport, determining the frequency of when you do it is a completely personal choice.
However, below are some rough guidelines to get you started:
Within the running community, it is agreed that beginners should aim to run at least 3-4 times per week with an active rest day in between.
This will help build your endurance and stamina without overworking the joints and muscles.
It is recommended that as a beginner, your runs last around 20-30 minutes to avoid injury and exhaustion.
With an extensive stretching and warm-up routine completed both before and after your run.
Intermediate runners or non-athlete runners often have a schedule of around 5 to 6 runs a week.
This involves 1-2 active rest days which will either involve going for a walk or cross-training to keep the blood flowing to the muscles.
Intermediate runners can easily rack up 15-50 miles a week with more intense runners averaging 30-70 miles a week.
In order to complete their physically taxing training routine of up to 14 runs each week, elite runners run twice on most days. ‘
Two runs each day, sometimes known as “doubles,” allow you to dramatically boost your running volume while still allowing your body some rest.
Doubles are often only advised for seasoned runners who are fit and log 60–70 miles a week or more of running.
Even still, it’s crucial that you pay attention to your body’s signals and take note of any indications of possible injury, weariness, or overtraining.
Additionally, it is not a good idea to double with two miles of intense running; at least one of the exercises should be a simple recovery run.
Determining how many times you should run in a week is individual to the person. With so many factors influencing the amount of running your body can do, it is important to be safe.
If you are new to running, aim for around 3-4 runs a week with plenty of rest in between each session.
For those with more experience, aim for 4-5 runs a week with an active rest day in between to ensure the blood is flowing through the muscles and injury is prevented.
Running is a great form of cardiovascular movement that comes with many benefits. However, runners can also injure themselves easily.
Take precautions and know your limits. Warm up, stretch, and rest to keep your body at the best it can be!