I posted this on the 5k training board, but that doesn't seem to have much action right now so figured I would post it here too.
I recently completed the C25K program and love running. I am working on loosing 15 lbs., but more importantly really want to focus on my running and hoping this becomes a big part of my life. I wonder though if I'm doing too much too soon. I have my first 5k on February 9th and am pretty confident that I can complete it without too much difficulty. This is what I've done the last few days and wonder if it is too much:
Thursday - treadmill - 2 miles
Friday - treadmill - 3.1 miles
Saturday - no workout
Sunday - 3.1 miles at the track
Monday - treadmill - 2 miles
I planned to go the gym today during lunch and doing 2 miles and maybe some machines. Is this too much? Shoudl I do the elliptical instead or bike? Don't want to overtrain, but I feel good and wonder if there really is an issue with me running too much?
First of all, listen to your body. Be alert for any unsual/unexpected aches/pains. Be somewhat cautious, at the beginning, about running on consecutive days and about increasing mileage. Obviously these things have to happen, just make sure you're getting enough recovery time as well. You should limit your mileage increases to about 10% per week. Early on this has to be approximate, just don't go doubling your mileage (or even 30% increase) week to week. "Too much, too fast, too soon" is a sure road to injury.
As usual, Lenzlaw has already given you very good advice. I would just like to put a stress on something that was difficult for me. Not only is it important to watch mileage but also your level of effort. I use running (too) for stress control, so most days what I want to do is get out there and run as fast as I can. Not only is an invitation to all kinds of injuries, but I have found out that it is also a pretty bad training strartegy even if you do not get injured. So my advice would be: learn to run at different paces and, most specially, learn to run slow. As you become a better running, taking care of your body and paying attention to your training becomes more important.
5k: 20:12 (December 31st 2012)
10k : 44:30 (November 6th 2011, March 18th 2012)
Half Marathon: 1:35:27 (February 3rd 2013)
Recently running half marathons. Six completed so far. Now looking for number 7. Once I get to 10 I will start thinking about full marathons.