How many days a week should I run?

When starting a running program, it can be tempting when you are enjoying the new activity to want to get out there every day. 

 

There is nothing nicer than a free activity that gives you an endorphin kick on a regular basis. Although the physiological improvements that come from daily physical activity cannot be downplayed, there are risks to going too hard, too soon with running.

    Although your body’s reaction to running will be a highly individual response, generally speaking I encourage most beginners to commence with having one run followed by two rest days. This is due to delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS, which peaks at day two post exercise. Depending on your previous level of fitness this can be decreased to one rest day following a run day after 2-6 months.

    How many days should I run?

    If this sounds like a long time, it is for good reason. The structure of our tendons requires many months and years to develop, and increasing your impact training frequency too soon may trigger tendon issues which can alter your ability to train into the future. This is particularly the case for people with “older tendons” – which includes anyone over 25 or with previous tendon issues by the way!

      I highly encourage people after they have increased their running from 2 days a week to 3 to be assessed for their running technique and for musculoskeletal issues that may create some grumbles. These sessions are vital in allowing an athlete to learn about their own running style and the individual issues they need to focus on. This can be used to develop a longer term training and strength/ conditioning program which will assist your body to achieve improvement, whatever your goals. For example, some athletes who are struggling to progress past 20-30 minute runs will benefit from other (non-impact) cardiovascular fitness activities prior to adding another run session into their week. This will enable their system to be able to tolerate higher demands before trialling further run increases. Other athletes may require a more specific strengthening program to improve their posture or gluteal activation whilst running.
      How many days a week should I run?

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