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6984 Views 16 Replies Latest reply: Jun 9, 2010 10:24 PM by architeuthis 1 2 Previous Next
RunningChick333 Amateur 8 posts since
May 4, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Jun 3, 2010 3:17 PM

Is running everyday the best way to train????

NEED ADVICE!! I am a 16 girl cross country and track runner at my high school. My coach challenged our team my freshman year to see how many days in a row we could run & I havent stopped: 600+ CDs (consecutive days) and counting. However, my friends have warned me that if I run everyday I'll do serious damage to my knees and I should take Sunday's off to cross train. I read a Runner's World article about Ron Hall "The Streak" who's run everyday since 1964. He's in his 70s and still running everyday. I love running everyday but if it'll seriously damage my knees I'll stop. Does anyone know the truth???

5k PR 23:08

2 Mile PR 13:20

Mile PR 6:05

800 PR (i've only ever run in the 3200 relay, never an open race ) 2:47

  • JasonFitz1 Legend 578 posts since
    Jun 19, 2009

    Wow, that is an unbelievable streak!  You're not going to do any damage to your knees by running every day if your form is good and you're not running hard every day.  If you have 600+ days in the bank, I doubt your form is bad.


    I'd advise you to keep doing what you're doing.  Listen to your coach, don't do anything too ridiculous, and make sure to always have fun with your training.  You'll be going for another 600 days!


    Cheers, - Fitz.

    Strength Running
  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008

    Is it  the best way to train?  For the vast majority of us, no.  Your body and muscles need recovery time.  Alternating hard days with easy days is one way to provide some recovery.  Taking one day off a week is another recovery strategy as a part of a good training plan.  Maybe if you're running at an elite level, you run 7 days a week.  But elites plan their runs very carefully, to make sure their muscles recover.  Even then, elites will take periods of time each year, often a couple weeks, with no running at all.  Running every day is unlikely to cause injury to your knees, as long as you have good form.  The problem is fatigue.  Running every day can cause muscle fatigue, resulting in loss of form, and increasing the potential for injury.


    BTW, those streaks you read about can be maintained by as little as one mile, negotiated any way you can: limping, on crutches, etc. as long as it's on foot.




  • RobinfromMaine Pro 162 posts since
    Dec 6, 2008

    The most risky thing about keeping a streak going is the pressure you may put on yourself to keep it going, to run when you really shouldn't. Otherwise, if you're not running hard too often, have good biomechanics, good habits in stretching and warmups, you'll probably be OK. Yes, you could get an injury, but you can be injured even if you're not running every day -- some of that is luck. The most recent studies say that running per se does not hurt your knees.


    Good luck,



  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008

    I have to admit, doing an easy mile just barely qualifies as running.  I will only advise that you back off at the first sign of injury.


    You may want to check all this with your coach.  Do you do intervals, say instead of the hills, or maybe alternate weeks?  That might mean taking it a little easier on Tuesday.  You also might consider keeping Sunday's run closer to 8 than 5 (not fast though, typical long run).  It looks like there is a distnct fall-off from your 2 mile pace to 5K, maybe partly due to track vs. XC course.  The extra endurance could help.  Also double check your tempo run pace.  The McMillan Running calculator is a good resource:  Your 2-mile PR and your 5K PR give distinctly different paces.


    Have fun and good luck.




  • Durunner Pro 92 posts since
    Jun 29, 2009

    As others have already told you, it isn't the best way to train.  Elites run everyday because that's the only way they can get the high mileage that they run.  They also run 2 or 3 times a day too.  As Len said though, they often take some time off after a big race.


    Being that you are young, your body will recover much better and you can get away with running everyday better than I could.  If the streak is that important to you, then keep it going.  Personally, I just don't see the point of it though.  Even if you don't do much harm by running an easy mile on the 7th day of the week, you don't gain any benefit either.  To me, it is much better to just take a day off and get complete rest than to go out and run an easy junk mile.


    I run over 50 miles a week and within the next year, I hope to get up around 80 miles a week.  Even with that, I think I'll still likely take a full day off every week.  Either way, good luck with your running.

    Chasing Boston

    2009 Philadelphia Marathon 3:48:12

    2010 Pocono Run for the Red Marathon 3:14:31

  • RobinfromMaine Pro 162 posts since
    Dec 6, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    11. Jun 5, 2010 2:52 PM (in response to Durunner)
    Re: Is running everyday the best way to train????

    I'd like to play devil's advocate for a moment. What is the *evidence* (not reasoning) that a full day of rest is best for *all* athletes? If the elites run daily, could it be because running daily is best training for *them*? What is the *evidence* that a full day of rest is better than twenty-two hours of rest? ( if I run for two hours, and run the following day, I am still spending twenty-two hours *not* running.) Perhaps two days off would be even better? How about three hundred sixty-four days off? Are there any studies (please provide links if possible) that examine optimal rest intervals?



  • DaveVause Community Moderator 1,447 posts since
    Jul 9, 2007

    Individual reponse to stress and recovery is so variable that there cannot be a formulation that works for everyone. That said, there is peer-reviewed science that discounts a correlation between more miles and knee problems. Also, its clear that the notion of "junk miles" is debunked. There's good evidence that structural, histological, and biochemical benefits accrue with miles done a low intensity....provided that the stress doesn't overwhelm the body's ability to recover. From my own experience, 5 years ago "recovery" meant a day off, now it means 1-4 miles of easy running.


    It is all subject to the individual athlete's level of conditioning and ability to recover from stress.

  • Jasonhomey Pro 236 posts since
    Jul 19, 2004

    What it all comes down to is that everyone is different. For most people, running every day is not the best and optimal way to improve their running. For some people, not running one day here and there will drive them crazy. You probably are keeping yourself from lowering some of your PR's by running every day, but who knows if that is really true. I know that I find it hard to run hard two days in a row now, but as a kid, that wouldn't have been any problem. I have a background in tennis, and as a child, I had no problem playing 5-6 hours a day in heat that would give people a heat stroke. I know that wasn't normal and I was lucky to be able to do stuff like that. So if someone came along and told me that wasn't good training, I would say for most people it wouldn't work. Cal Ripken had no problems playing every day and happened to have a different physiology than most other athletes and didn't get injured ever beyond tweaks here and there. Everyone is different, you just have to learn where you fall realistically in the "chart" that experts make about training daily. I do think that cross training on days you don't run would serve you well and you should try some other sports to mix it up because I don't care how much you love running or any sport, doing it every day will create burnout.

    Do or do not, there is no try. - Yoda


    Marathon - 3:24:47 10/17/10 Columbus Marathon

    1/2 Marathon - 1:34:26  09/07/03 Columbus Half Marathon

    30 K - 2:22:36 09/28/03 Heritage Rails to Trails

    10 Mile - 1:12:20  08/17/03 Alum Creek 10 Miler

    4 Mile - 25:43 11/26/09 Pilgrim Progress

    5 Mile - 34:43 05/26/2003 Upper Arlington 5 Miler

    5K - 18:55 05/22/11 Physicians Free Clinin 5K Fun Run

    10K - 40:50 02/27/11 Last Chance for Boston

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