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I've been doing the couch to 5k (though I never was on the couch, just a walker instead of a runner) since May and have completed it and am now working on the 10k zen lab trainer (on week 9, after doing my first 30 minutes straight earlier this week!). I've been trying to run most days out of the week--around 5--and do trampoline or yoga on the off days. I'm wondering in general about how often I should run as a beginner and if it is ever safe on my knees to run everyday--should I be taking breaks every other day, a couple days in a row, or not at all, if I'm not getting injuries? It's funny, because when I mostly walked, I was constantly getting shin splints, but I haven't gotten a shin splint since I started running. The only pain I've felt has been a slight cramping in my left foot. I am afraid of messing up my knees, though, and would like to prevent that.
If it helps, I am a 30 year old female, of about average height & weight, though on the chubby side of average. I have severely sprained both of my ankles in the past, but have never had a knee injury.
Anyway, any thoughts would be appreciated. I'm new to this and have found so much contradictory information that I thought it
Start slowly, focus on your core running and core work outs on alternating days. e.g. Let's say you run 4 days per week with alternating days being core work outs and/or rest days. If you already doing 5Ks then you should be able to due three, 3 miles runs per week with a long (let's say 4mil). If you are not doing that you you might not be ready for 10K. If you are already doing 13 miles per week, then you can slowly increase to three 5s plus a long (5, 7?) per week. There are many training programs on the web, again just make sure you go slow, don't risk injury and enjoy your runs so the runs become a normal part of your life as a life-long activity for better health.
Sounds like your are doing great with your running and cross-training. The 10k does require that you extend the long run schedule out and hopefully also work in some speed intervals at the lesser mileage. Of course, pushing out beyond the 6 mile range helps with endurance, but stabilizing in a comfort level of 4 to 5 would also be fine in training for your first 10k. Also, it is fine to do a run/walk routine to slowly work up to increasing the distance.
I think running five days a week is totally resonable, especially if you are alternating the miles and balancing with other workouts.
I do run every day, but it is not recommended, so rest/recovery and other exercises are critical while you are building stamina and progress.
Congrats on your positive goals and best wishes.