“Running is bad for your health” is not a true statement anymore. So what’s true? Is running good for you? The right question is “how much running is good for you”? There are three variables that need to be considered; one, how often should you run? Second, how far should you run? And third how fast should you run?
When setting the running schedule you should keep in your mind that it “does not have to beat up your body”. Your focus should be to strengthen your bones, the tissues and the tendons, not to stress them.
Running can be beneficial for improving the blood circulation, boosting energy, increasing bone density, improving mental health and for keeping the depression away. A study conducted at the Stanford University revealed that runners had 39% lower mortality rate as compared to non-runners and also runners had less physical disability.
Studies reveal that to get the progressive benefits from running a person should run a couple of times in a week. A number of elite runners usually run for at least 14 times in a week. So how often should you run?
There could be a lot of answers for this one particular question. Just as every individual is different, similarly every individual’s need for running also varies. You can set your running frequency according to your personal preferences, your body’s need and also according to your desired results. While setting your running frequency also take into consideration factors like your daily schedule, your running experience and your goals.
For optimizing your health it is important to take regular exercise. Whether you are a man or a woman, a runner or a non-runner, your focus should be on the health promoting activities. Taking regular exercise keeps you away from chronic diseases; it makes you physically fit and improves the quality of your life. You get beneficial results even if you exercise for a few days of the week.
When we talk about exercise or physical activity, even running can be a smart choice. Now here we are not asking you to run every day, the least you can do is run three times a week and you can get the beneficial results. However, if you choose to run three times a week then you can add other physical activities to your routine as well, such as yoga, swimming, weight lifting and aerobics.
For beginners, running three times a week is the most suitable option as it will help you develop your stamina and running speed. Another reason why running 3 times per week is suggested for the beginners is that it minimizes the risk of injuries. Running involves high risk of injury and the more we increase the running volume the more will be the rate of injury. There are some runners who are at a risk of getting injured more frequently; such people should opt for running 3 times a week plus cross-training workouts. This would keep them satisfied and they will presume that they can run daily without any injury.
The maximum frequency for non-elite runners is 6 to 7 times a week. Researches prove that some people are better off running every day and for such people cross-training is not a good option. The factors that determine how much you should run are durability and personal preference. Here the word “durability” means how much frequency of running you can handle.
Running Two Times a Day
Most of the serious, habitual runners would choose a running routine, twice a day. You can try this trick: divide the extra mileage that you usually try to squeeze into one run, into two. For example, if you decide to run 70 miles or more in a week, you can double your running routine once or twice in a week. This will help you achieve your goal and at the same time make those “runs” easy.
You can perform short runs in the morning and longer ones in the evening or you can do the opposite. It depends on your personal preference.
You can also divide the number of miles on number of runs you can perform, e.g. if 100 miles is your target then you can run for at least 10 times a week, performing double runs on alternate days.
If you run 9 times a week and lifting weights or doing polymetrics 2 to 3 times a week then you can consider your every workout as a “run”. The maximum amount of training suitable for elite runner is two runs per day along with 3 strengths or plyo workouts in a week.
Be practical and set realistic goals to reap the maximum benefits from running.