While running can be an active and cost-effective way to improve your overall fitness and mood, there are risks associated with running every day. Here's everything you need to know about how often you should run and how long you should rest between runs.
Is it necessary to run every day?
No, is the short answer. As a new runner, it's a good idea to mix up your workout routine and include a variety of activities in order to improve your fitness, conditioning, and overall athletic balance. This will also lower your risk of injury and keep you mentally engaged in your workout. You may gain the necessary conditioning to run every day at a later time and then re-evaluate your training plan, but remember that adequate rest is always essential to any training plan.
On a recovery day, keep your exercise intensity at a low level. Recovery days aren't meant to improve cardio-respiratory fitness; rather, they're meant to improve circulation and blood flow, which helps with recovery by delivering fresh oxygen and nutrients to muscles while also removing waste products.
How many times per week should I run?
Susan Paul recommends running three or four days a week on alternate days for most beginner runners. Running on different days creates automatic recovery days. Strength and flexibility training should also be a part of your routine if you want to achieve your health and fitness goals.
Every week, one to two days
Who is the perpetrator? People with extremely busy daily schedules, new runners, those returning from injury or illness.
Why? One or two one-mile jogs per week can feel like a huge accomplishment when you're just getting started. If you keep it up, you'll be able to handle more, as long as you can clear your calendar. Start with three run-walks per week and gradually increase.
Three times a week
Why? Lower-mileage runners should maintain this frequency so that each run lasts at least 20 minutes, allowing the cardiovascular system to undergo fitness-enhancing changes.
Every week, four or five days
Who is the perpetrator? Most non-elite runners who have been running for a while, logging 30-50 miles per week.
Why? With plenty of time for recovery and a normal life, you can reap the benefits of hard training – a stronger heart, more efficient use of fuel and oxygen, and improved lung capacity.
Is it okay to go for a run every day?
Running every day can put you at risk for overuse injuries. Overuse injuries occur when the body is forced to adapt to too much physical activity too quickly. They can also be caused by mistakes in technique, such as running with poor form and overworking certain muscles.
To avoid overuse injuries, follow these steps:
Make sure you have the right running shoes and replace them frequently.
Gradually increase the number of miles you run each week.
Alternate running days with cross-training activities like cycling or swimming.
Before you run, warm up and stretch.
Maintain proper form while running.
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