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2025 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Aug 19, 2010 6:09 PM by Runnergal262
emmaleigh47 Pro 174 posts since
Jun 24, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Aug 17, 2010 6:34 PM

Increasing running days per week

Hello... I am looking for all of the experienced people for a quick question.


I have been running 3x/week (intervals with walking of course) since June 21st and I havent missed a workout.


Starting the week of July 27th I increased it to 4 days/week - with back to back runs on Saturday and Sunday. I have to run on Thursday nights because that is the night of my outdoor running course to prepare for the 5K. I run every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.


I have been able to do this without injury or worsening soreness (I will admit I am a little sore kinda all the time because of the excess weight and fibromyalgia which I dont like to admit) but I am able to do my runs... and function of course.


So my question... I would LOVE to go up to 5 days/week. I know I should be crosstraining, but I cant seem to find an activity that I like... or the time to do it... whereas running is just out my front door.


So here are the questions:


1. Can I safely increase to 5 days / week

2. What cross training exercises do you recommend and at what frequency?

3. Does weight training still have a role... I still lift for back/arms etc but stopped doing legs because of the running workouts.


Thanks for listening - you guys have always been sooo helpful!

Started: July 2010 at 273#

Fox Cities 5K on 9/17: 45:19 (264#)

Shake a Tail Feather 5K on 10/16: 45:09 (254#)

Hope Run for Africa 5K on 10/23: 42:45 (248#)

Jingle Bell Run 5K on 11/6/10: 44:20 (248#)

Turkey Trot 5 mile on 11/25/10: (246#)

Miami ING Half Marathon 3:23:56

Oshkosh Half Marathon 3:16:38 (PR)

Cellcom Half Marathon in GB (horridly windy race) 3:21:56 (244#)

  • Runnergal262 Legend 514 posts since
    Sep 1, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Aug 17, 2010 6:51 PM (in response to emmaleigh47)
    Re: Increasing running days per week

    I'm in the less is more category so bear with me

    Running five days to me doesn't allow any time for your body to recover from the stresses of running and would certainly lead me to burning out on running.  I'd say if you wind up running five days per week, you could do it safely if you kept it easy and light- easy pace, low miles.  You certainly have enough of a base for it in my mind from readin your post, but I am personally more in favor of crosstraining, and I've successfully trained for two marathons using a four-day plan with crosstraining.

    Crosstraining can be anything- from walking, swimming to biking, elliptical and weights to hiking, rock climbing and step aerobics or ?? you fill in what works for you.  Find something you enjoy is my thought.  While I love biking, walking and hiking in the summer, these activities may not be up your alley at all.  I cross train at least two days per week, if not three.

    Weights definitely should still play a part in your workouts.  I work my legs all the time to help keep my strength up in all areas.  I like the idea of a head-to-toe weight workout, hitting all the major areas that will affect my running first, focusing on core and glutes.

  • Runnergal262 Legend 514 posts since
    Sep 1, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Aug 18, 2010 8:51 PM (in response to emmaleigh47)
    Re: Increasing running days per week

    Walking in my mind is crosstraing.  Anything other than running in my mind is crosstraining.  You and I have a lot in common.  I too a former couch potato, formerly overweight individual that has turned into an athlete!! You can do it too.  I started my weight loss journey a long time ago through walking, and know a lot of speedwalkers who walk marathons and plenty of three-day participants, so I have a lot of respect for walkers and the joy of walking as a form of excercise.

    I do know what you mean about loving it and going on forever, I am definitely in favor of doing what is best for you.  If you truly love it, and feel ready for it, I say go for it.  Keep it light-n-easy both miles and pace and you'll be fine given what you've told me.

    { A frame of reference for you- I often run six-eight miles on a typical weekday if healthy, and my long runs if healthy typically range from 8-15 on average.  My marathon training programs can get me up to 50 miles per week in a flash, it has been my expereience that 4 days is better for me but that is me.  }

    Summing it up-I'd encourage you to keep going.  I bet you will be a great mid-distance gal!! My favorite distance btw is a 1/2 marathon!!

    Best to you and give me a shout if you need advice/help.  I'm glad to help anyone who needs it.

  • runningman400 Legend 191 posts since
    Aug 26, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Aug 18, 2010 9:25 PM (in response to emmaleigh47)
    Re: Increasing running days per week

    1)Yes you can safely increase to 5 days a week, as long as you progress slowly into it.  Make your 5th day an easier workout to start and increase pace and distance from there.


    2)You can cross-train 1 or 2 days a week.  You can walk/hike, bike, kayak, use an elyptical...anything that gets your cardio up and uses various muscles in a steady rhythm.


    3)Weight training is important, I had a coach who used to say "you can only move your legs as fast as you can move your arms".  Upper body work is important but make sure to do core work too, strong shoulders and arms are good, but you use your core when ever you move...especially when you run.


    If I were you, I wouldn't work on moving up to 5 days of running.  I'd do a few days of running and a day of cross-training and at least a day of weight training.  Running 5 days makes you more likely to burnout physically and mentally and burnout often leads to injury.  Rest days are just as important as workout days.



       Good luck and rest a little!



  • Surfing_Vol Legend 848 posts since
    Nov 6, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Aug 19, 2010 5:25 AM (in response to emmaleigh47)
    Re: Increasing running days per week



    I agree -- it's better to focus on the rest of your body rather than add another day of running.


    Running is a repetitive motion exercise, which over time can lead to destructive forces being applied to the same parts of the body.  This can result in, among other things, plantar fasciitis or stress fractures, both of which will keep you from running from weeks to months.  I've had both.  They're not fun.


    Find a FUN cross-training exercise or routine so that you can enjoy your runs.


    Surfing Vol

    "Victory through attrition!"

    Charleston Half-Marathon 1/15/2011 -- 1:52:03

    The Scream! Half-Marathon 7/16/2011 -- 1:56:00

  • Runnergal262 Legend 514 posts since
    Sep 1, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Aug 19, 2010 6:09 PM (in response to Surfing_Vol)
    Re: Increasing running days per week

    Heck Plantars was definitely not a walk in the park and very difficult to get rid of for me, I can only imagine what a stress fracture is like.  Very frustrating I'm sure.  You are right, overdoing it/overuse leading to injury that would eventually require "bench time" or even in your case months of total rest is something I was thinking too.

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