If you are constantly asking yourself, “how many times should I run in a week?”, the answer is that there is no right or wrong answer. The number of times you run per week that will get you the results you want depends on several factors such as your personal history with running, injury history and your fitness goals.
To help give you an answer to your question of “how many times should I run in a week?”, here are some guidelines that you can follow, depending on whether you are new to running or training for a marathon.
How Many Times Should I Run in a Week If I Am a Beginner?
If you are new to running and just starting out, you shouldn’t start running every day. The best idea is to ease yourself into your new fitness regime with only 3-4 days of training. If this sounds too intimidating still, these days do not have to be just purely running. As a beginner, you should focus on frequency as opposed to volume.
Try to alternate your routes with walking and running to help prepare your body for a full running route later on. If you need help, there are great run-walk programs, such as the C25K.
These apps help because an audio coach gives you the cues in proven programs so you just have to follow them. By breaking down these days into run/walk, you help prepare your body for longer and faster runs, while still making steady progress.
If you don’t ease into it, trying to run full 5ks off the bat will most likely be very challenging. This, in turn, can make you hate running, leaving you unmotivated to try again.
Running will be new to your body. This will increase the risk of injury. Running is great but it can come with some injury risk so it is best to start running slowly.
By doing so, you can make gradual improvements by alternating between running and walking every other day. This progress will help you stick to your training regime on a more consistent basis while minimizing the risk of injury.
Eventually, you will be able to run the full 5ks, and then even hit 10ks. But remember baby steps first.
How Many Times Should I Run in a Week If I Am an Advanced Runner or Training for a Marathon?
Are you a seasoned runner looking or want to complete a marathon?
For more advanced runners who have included running in their training for a while and are looking to step it up, you can run 5-6 times a week.
Your running routine shouldn’t be the same route, pace and mileage every single time though. Make sure you vary each run to get the best results.
Change your routes, pace and distance to work on your endurance and speed. Keep your body guessing and prevent boredom.
There are three different types of runs that give you a well-rounded running regime: tempo run (for intensive endurance), long run (for endurance) and a speed run (to work on your speed).
By adding some shorter, faster routes, hill intervals and long-distance runs, you can mix things up.
How Many Times Should I Run in a Week If I’m Cross-Training?
If you are wondering, “how many times should I run in a week?”, just know that all the exercise you do doesn’t have to be solely running.
While running is really great for your health, it is also recommended to include cross-training into your routine. Get in some exercise that isn’t on the track. You might want to include strength training to develop muscles (which will help with your running), or even yoga and pilates to improve core and flexibility. Plyometrics can also be beneficial to improve power.
Cross training can be very beneficial in improving your overall fitness. These benefits can even cross over to your running.
Make Sure You Include Rest Days
Make sure you include at least 1 rest day. Your body needs active rest and a full day to recover, especially if you are doing other activities. This will help repair muscles and prevent injury.
Pushing yourself too hard will give you the opposite desired effect and may hinder progress.
When it comes to answering the common question of “how many times should I run in a week?”, there is no definite answer. Everyone is different and things need to be taken into account such as personal goals, fitness history and injury history. The number of times you should run should be the number that you feel most comfortable with and that still challenges you to keep getting better. Just make sure that you find the balance between running and resting.
Looking for a running plan that can help improve your running? Zen Labs Fitness offers a range of running apps that help complete newbies to experienced runners. Armed with an audio coach, proven walk-run program and a supportive, tight-knit community, you have all the ingredients to help get you off that couch and into your running shoes for a great workout.
What is your answer to the question, how many times should I run in a week? Let us know in the comments below, we would love to know!