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1199 Views 4 Replies Latest reply: May 27, 2012 5:31 PM by SlowestTurtle
SlowestTurtle Amateur 14 posts since
May 14, 2012
Currently Being Moderated

May 24, 2012 7:27 PM

How often is too often?

Two months ago, just before my 41st birthday, I began learning how to run long distances. I run 3 times per week. I ran my first 5K recently.

 

I'm trying to figure out how many times per week is safe/good/smart to run.

 

Most beginner  training plans seems to suggest 3 times per week. There are articles stressing how important the rest is and how lack of recovery time can lead to injuries. I understand. It makes sense.

 

Yet I see that elite runners run 2 times per day almost every day. Don't they need rest? But I also understand that they are the elite and I am not, so there is no point in comparing myself to them.

 

I am slow and have to take walk breaks on my runs, so I am not looking to run 12 times per week.

 

But every once in a while I feel like running an extra time or two. And sometimes I even feel like running in the evening on the day when I already had a run in the morning.

 

So far I resisted doing any of these extra runs because, based on things I read, I'm concern that I won't give my body enough time to recover.

 

However, some sources seem to suggest that easy/recovery runs while fatigued could be beneficial. Here is an example:

 

http://www.active.com/running/Articles/A_fresh_perspective_on_recovery_runs.htm

 

Needless to say I am a bit confused. Is it okay to sometimes run 4-5 times per week for a beginner like me? Is it okay to occasionally run 2 times per day, given that the second run is an easy and short one? Or should I stick to 3 times per week routine until... well... until when?

 

What do you think?

 

 

 

 

Two months ago, just before my 41st birthday, I began learning how to run long distances. I run 3 times per week. I ran my first 5K recently.

 

I'm trying to figure out how many times per week is safe/good/smart to run.

 

Most beginner  training plans seems to suggest 3 times per week. There are articles stressing how important the rest is and how lack of recovery time can lead to injuries. I understand. It makes sense.

 

Yet I see that elite runners run 2 times per day almost every day. Don't they need rest? But I also understand that they are the elite and I am not, so there is no point in comparing myself to them.

 

I am slow and have to take walk breaks on my runs, so I am not looking to run 12 times per week.

 

But sometimes I feel like running an extra day or two. And sometimes I even feel like running in the evening on the day when I already had a run in the morning.

 

So far I resisted doing any of these extra runs because, based on things I read, I'm concern that I won't give my body enough time to recover.

 

However, some sources seem to suggest that easy/recovery runs while fatigued could be beneficial. Here is an example:

 

http://www.active.com/running/Articles/A_fresh_perspective_on_recovery_runs.htm

 

Needless to say I am a bit confused. Is it okay to sometimes run 4-5 times per week for a beginner like me? Is it okay to occasionally run 2 times per day, given that the second run is an easy and short one? Or should I stick to 3 times per week routine until... well... until when?

 

What do you think?

 

 

 

 

Two months ago, just before my 41st birthday, I began learning how to run long distances. I run 3 times per week. I ran my first 5K recently.

 

I'm trying to figure out how many times per week is safe/good/smart to run.

 

Most beginner  training plans seems to suggest 3 times per week. There are articles stressing how important the rest is and how lack of recovery time can lead to injuries. I understand. It makes sense.

 

Yet I see that elite runners run 2 times per day almost every day. Don't they need rest? But I also understand that they are the elite and I am not, so there is no point in comparing myself to them.

 

I am slow and have to take walk breaks on my runs, so I am not looking to run 12 times per week.

 

But sometimes I feel like running an extra day or two. And sometimes I even feel like running in the evening on the day when I already had a run in the morning.

 

So far I resisted doing any of these extra runs because, based on things I read, I'm concern that I won't give my body enough time to recover.

 

However, some sources seem to suggest that easy/recovery runs while fatigued could be beneficial. Here is an example:

 

http://www.active.com/running/Articles/A_fresh_perspective_on_recovery_runs.htm

 

Needless to say I am a bit confused. Is it okay to sometimes run 4-5 times per week for a beginner like me? Is it okay to occasionally run 2 times per day, given that the second run is an easy and short one? Or should I stick to 3 times per week routine until... well... until when?

 

What do you think?

 

 

  • Jasko123 Legend 461 posts since
    Apr 18, 2011
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. May 25, 2012 2:09 PM (in response to SlowestTurtle)
    How often is too often?

    Recovery time is highly individualized, just like training plans should be.  My greatest progress came from adding extra runs (same day), and the professional advice is confusing, so it is imperative to find the right formula for your fitness level and goals.  I would say adventure outside of the rules if you are feeling strong and have enough energy. 

     

    The recovery issue is tricky because sometimes you can actually become stronger by pushing the body as opposed to resting, so this is (again) why the same "cookie-cutter" training guides are really not relevant, except as a broad, general guideline.  Overall, progress is the goal, so take the suggestions and modify them to best suit your personal situation.  Go out and run as much as you can and as often as you can....and the walk/run/jog combination is fine...every mile counts!

     

    P.S...Do not worry about slow...endurance will eventually lead to speed. 

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,431 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. May 25, 2012 7:42 PM (in response to SlowestTurtle)
    How often is too often?

    It's important to consider your "base" when deciding to add miles. If you're running 10 miles per week, you don't want to jump to 20, or even 15.  "Too much, too fast, too soon" is an invitation to injury.  So it's not just a matter of how good you feel, but making sure that you continue to feel good  What you add should  be in proportion to what you're already running.  10% is the usual recommendation for weekly increase in total miles.  But in the early going, you might go from 10 to 12, which would be 20%.  So if you're doing 5 miles 3 times a week, you could easily go to 17 by cutting one to 4 miles and adding a 3-miler.

     

    Recovery, of course, is vital to avoiding injury and over-training.  Recovery is also when your muscles grow stronger.  Recovery can take many forms, from rest to cross-training to running at a slow pace. After any "hard" workout (long runs, speed or hill work, races), you need a recovery day.  So make sure you get recovery time.  Elites, by the way, usually recover with slow (for them) running.  They also use periodization in their training to give them weeks of easier training mixed in with the hard work.

     

    Len





    Len

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,431 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. May 26, 2012 1:38 PM (in response to Jasko123)
    How often is too often?

    Let me provide you with what is admittedly a rather extreme example.  I'm a good bit older than you and I've been running distances up to marathon (one a year whether I need it or not) for 28 years.  Here is what I wrote. "Let me tell you, when you get to a certain age, 6 days is just not enough recovery between a 10 mile race and a half-marathon. I "ran" a half this morning and it was excrutiating. My legs were dead by 5 miles, by 11, I was mostly reduced to walking with occasional bouts of running. Fun times." The 10 on Sunday was hilly and at a pretty good pace for me.  The half was today (Saturday) on a flat course, and I was simply not recovered enough.

     

    Len





    Len

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