It’s a very common question I get asked several times per week: How often do you run Sabrina? Should you run every day? How often should beginners run? Depending on your goals and fitness level my answers are always different.
How often do you run a week?
For me personally I train 4 times a week. So how often you run a week is based on fitness level, running goals, time and dedication. My weekly milage varies depending on what I’m training for as well. Beginners often feel overwhelmed by the idea of running 3-4 times on alternating days per week. Then they need to add flexible days where there should do some strength training as well. Some of my clients sometimes feel like they can’t do it. Do you feel the same way? You don’t have to.
Running beginners versus experienced runners
If you are a running beginner, you should take it easy at first. If you can’t lace up and sweat 4 times a week you still will be fine. There is no need to stress yourself out too much. What you should know is that consistency is key to become a successful runner. Which means you will end up training 4 times a week eventually.
Experience runners sometimes even run more than 4 times a week. I’ve met runners who run every day. But most likely they would run 3-4 miles every day. Not more than that. But should you run 7 days a week? Is running everyday good or bad? The answer is YES it is bad and no, you shouldn’t run everyday.
Recovery is key
If you figured out how often you should run a week there is another thing you shouldn’t forget thinking about: Proper recovery for runners is as important as the training itself. This is where your body rebuilds strength and you will become faster and stronger in the future.
This doesn’t happen overnight of course, but you have to take your rest days very serious. I recommend 2 sometimes even 3 rest days (for beginners) to give your body time to recover. Good to know: Some miles count more than others. Tempo runs, intervals or long runs require different recovery.
Here is an example of a beginner’s exercise plan for the week:
Sunday- Run (most likely the day where you will perform your long run)
Monday- OFF/Rest Day (Meaning: No running at all)
Tuesday- Run in the morning/Gym in the evening OR you can do them back-to-back if you have time.
Wednesday- OFF/Rest Day (Again: No running at all)
Thursday- Run in the morning / Gym at night
Friday- OFF / Rest Day OR an easy run
Saturday- Cross Training such as cycling, swimming, spinning
If you are looking for a individual running training plan please feel free to contact me.
How many miles you should run
Since we know now how many times of running is good for us, let’s face the milage question: How many miles per week should you run? In my running for beginners guide I have discussed details about how to start running and how to avoid common running mistakes for beginners. When you are a complete running newbie try to run without getting stressed out about the milage first. Try to run 30 minutes without stopping and work yourself up.
In general, you can add a mile for every run you do per week, provided you then run at least two weeks at the new level before advancing again. If you run four times a week, for example, you can up your weekly mileage by four miles.
Experienced runners determine their milage based on the next race they are training for and their predicted finish time. For example when I’m training for a half marathon my weekly milage will go up to 50 miles in peak weak. Marathon trainings require even more milage.
How often do you run to stay in shape?
Actually running is really good for your body and you will see the difference in your athletic look very soon when you will be consistent with your weekly runs. Make sure to run at least three times a week and make your training always a bit more challenging. Go for the long run, hit the track and run intervals and also work yourself through the hard tempo runs. The good looking shape of your body will follow.
If weight loss is your main goal it is important to know that you should aim to consume 300 to 500 fewer calories per day than your body uses. Track your runs and food to find out how many calories have been burned and how much calories you have eaten during the day.
Please also read about running frequency.