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Running everyday, Running to combat depression and anxiety.

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veganbettie
veganbettie Posts: 701 Member
Cross posting, hoping to get more responses from seasoned runners.

What are all the runner's running schedules like?

I'm currently running about 3 to 4 days a week, but looking into bumping it up to every day with maybe one rest day, not sure if that will cause injury or not, so i'm looking for some advice.

Reason being is running seems to REALLY help my anxiety/depression, if I have more than 1 day where I don't run, I start to become really anxious which leads to depression for me...not sure if I should just jump back on the meds, or if I should try running more.

Any advice on scheduling would be great, or if you have a similar experience with running helping depression/anxiety, i'd love to hear from you as well.

Was sort of thinking for just doing a mile or so on my normal rest days, and then at least 5ks on my normal run days, and then a long run on the weekend. Granted a mile may not be enough..

Replies

  • LittlePinkShotgun
    LittlePinkShotgun Posts: 101 Member
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    Try it out and listen to your body. Some people call the extra mileage them junk miles... but like you it's my fix/therapy. You could also try cross training with cycling (bike trainer in winter) and/or swimming. You can train for hours and hours and never get bored or over trained in any of the disciplines :smiley:
  • SteveTries
    SteveTries Posts: 723 Member
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    I ran 6 days a week following a marathon plan recently - no issues with injury and I slept better during those 4 or 5 months that I normally do.

    I believe that the reason I had no issues is because the plan was careful to provide a balance of easy and harder days, with no two intense workout on consecutive days. I'm sure there are other approaches but I am comfortable with that and would recommend that method - go slow and not too long on alternate days.

    Build up to it though. It might not be wise to go from 3 days to 6 in one jump.

    Another thought;, why don't you consider finding a half marathon you can sign up to for April and following a plan designed to get you there. If you are anything like me you will find it very empowering and positive as week by week your capabilities grow and you are improving in something over which you have personal control. Then when you do the race (assuming it's your first) you'll have a huge sense of achievement at the end.
  • SillyC2
    SillyC2 Posts: 275 Member
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    If you're running when you feel like crap physically, then don't do 7 days a week. Try yoga on your rest days instead for mental health?
  • lishie_rebooted
    lishie_rebooted Posts: 2,973 Member
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    SillyC2 wrote: »
    If you're running when you feel like crap physically, then don't do 7 days a week. Try yoga on your rest days instead for mental health?

    She never mentioned feeling physically crappy. Just mentally crappy.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,866 Member
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    Same as my response elsewhere, you've not long finished C25K. Which is much the same as you got when you asked the same question in the C25K group.

    Use non running days to cross train.
  • veganbettie
    veganbettie Posts: 701 Member
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    what constitutes "not long finished" C25K? I finished in the beginning of June...I've been running 5k regularly since and a few 10ks and all sorts in between. And I've been running fairly consistently, minus a week here or there when my baby was sick. I for sure know that i'm not a seasoned runner, which is why I was asking opinions.

    I don't feel physically crappy, minus when I did the Spartan OCR a few weekends ago, but i'm tip top now. No pain while i'm running, or afterwards.

    I DO need to work on strength training, so just from everyone's opinions on it, i'll probably just bump up my milage on the days I run or add in an extra running day, and then in between try some body weight exercises.

    My goal this next year is to run a half, so i'll definitely start working towards that. :) Thanks for all your help everyone.
  • SonicDeathMonkey80
    SonicDeathMonkey80 Posts: 4,489 Member
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    I run everyday usually, but if I were feeling depressed, I would seek professional help. Yes, there are cute pictures that say running is a cure-all for life's difficulties, but some things you just shouldn't play around with.
  • veganbettie
    veganbettie Posts: 701 Member
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    so what you're saying is I should stop looking to pinterest to boost my moods?

    q1yfo5jwfhxu.jpg


    ;)
  • meredithco
    meredithco Posts: 4 Member
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    Running is equivalent to medication for treating depression, so it is well worth considering. Many people run daily without problems. I have a friend who is doing ultramarathons after only a year of running. I can't run more than four times a week without it causing knee problems, because I just don't have a good runner's body. Personally, I find that running is vastly superior to other workouts for my mental health, although studies I've read suggest that other workouts help as well.

    I would suggest making changes gradually and listening to both your body and your mind. Maybe keeping a log of both could help you find the right balance for you. If increasing the running days causes pain then find cross-training options. Trust yourself.
  • veganbettie
    veganbettie Posts: 701 Member
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    Thank you Meredithco. :)
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,866 Member
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    what constitutes "not long finished" C25K? I finished in the beginning of June..

    Fair enough, it's longer than I recalled. Notwithstanding that, since you appear to have an objective then work a plan for that, and do other training around it.

    Aimlessly running every day for no purpose cf working towards an objective. Subject to the reasons for your depression, the latter is more likely to be beneficial to you.
  • ATT949
    ATT949 Posts: 1,245 Member
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    Reason being is running seems to REALLY help my anxiety/depression, if I have more than 1 day where I don't run, I start to become really anxious which leads to depression for me...not sure if I should just jump back on the meds, or if I should try running more.
    As the father of someone who lived with untreatable depression for 19 years (diagnosed at 8, suicide on 10/1/14 when she couldn't handle it any longer), please see a doctor and integrate this into a mental healthcare plan.
    We've known for a long time that exercise can be very beneficial in treating depression so this is great that you're eager to use running as a form of treatment but medication has helped many people with depression, some with few side effects, for a long time.
    There's no question that there are exceptions to this. Some folks, like my daughter, only get temporary relief but they're in the vast minority of cases. A larger number of people experience side effects of depression meds and, if that's the case, your meds doc might be able to find a different med that provides relief but that doesn't have the same side effects. As a whole, though, I'm a strong believed in medication based on my exposure to depression medication and depressed family members over the past 20 years, as well as a couple of bouts of situational depression in the past couple of decades.
    Good luck with this. Please keep us posted.
  • SonicDeathMonkey80
    SonicDeathMonkey80 Posts: 4,489 Member
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    meredithco wrote: »
    Running is equivalent to medication for treating depression, so it is well worth considering. Many people run daily without problems. I have a friend who is doing ultramarathons after only a year of running. I can't run more than four times a week without it causing knee problems, because I just don't have a good runner's body. Personally, I find that running is vastly superior to other workouts for my mental health, although studies I've read suggest that other workouts help as well.

    I would suggest making changes gradually and listening to both your body and your mind. Maybe keeping a log of both could help you find the right balance for you. If increasing the running days causes pain then find cross-training options. Trust yourself.

    No, no, and no. Horrible idea to plant in peoples' heads.
  • dougii
    dougii Posts: 679 Member
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    Having been diagnosed with clinical depression myself several years back I would definately say that running helped me as part of an overall mental health plan that was monitored closely by my GP. Along with running we used low dose medications that did not cause me any major side effects (although we needed to play with these a few times until we found the right one). I also began strength training on my off days with a couple of easy miles on the TM afterward; I continue to do this to this day.

    I try to run 5 or 6 days a week (including those after strength training runs) and run a variety of mileage ranging between 2 to 10 miles depending on how I am feeling and what my schedule is. I also try to run first thing in the morning as this seems to set me up for a good day everytime (endorphins). Don't ramp up your mileage or days too fast as this will potentially cause injury. I also don't have a plan that I follow as I am not a big fan of racing - and after multiple years of running regularly I would say this has not been detrimental for me.

    Everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another. Please be sure to stay in regular contact with your physician while you are working through these issues. You will find what works best for you given time and patience. Run strong!
  • miladymarathoner
    miladymarathoner Posts: 78 Member
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    for the record, there is evidence that exercise CAN treat depression effectively.

    http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Exercise-and-Depression-report-excerpt.htm
    http://www.ajpmonline.org/article/S0749-3797(04)00241-7/pdf

    Seeing a heath professional is always recommended. Sometimes they know more stuff than we do. All that school, right?

    That said, my personal experience has shown me that exercise, specifically running, effectively treats my tendancy towards anxiety and depression. I'm in your boat, I'd like to develop a daily running habit to help ease anxiety.

    After a run, life seems so much more manageable. I've learned which habits control my anxiety and which make it worse. I think everyone is different and the most important person to make decisions for your mental health is YOU. Seeing a professional can often make valuable information available to us as we make decisions.

    That's my two cents. I wish you the best!
  • MountainMaggie
    MountainMaggie Posts: 104 Member
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    I run everyday usually, but if I were feeling depressed, I would seek professional help. Yes, there are cute pictures that say running is a cure-all for life's difficulties, but some things you just shouldn't play around with.

    Agree and disagree. I have been off all meds for two years and exercise and diet are more effective by far, for me, than any anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, mood stabylizer, etc. I was unhappy for the first 34 years of my life, meds or no. This is me, my story. I lost my brother (non-biological) to reasons directly tied to mental illness. I do not believe he could have lived un-medicated, but also believe his meds led to his downfall. Yes, discuss your issues with a doctor, or several, actually. But take control of your healthcare. Most docotrs will prescribe pills and never lifestyle change. If they did, we would have much healthier, happier country. You may need meds, but my advice is that meds are 1/4 of your treatment. Exercise, nutrition, and positivive attitude are the other 3/4. It's also been my experience that the longer you take a med, the less they work (whether addictive or not), and will often create new side effects after prolonged use, so read up, seek second, third, and fourth opinions, and if running keeps it all away, more power to you.
  • parkerpowerlift
    parkerpowerlift Posts: 196 Member
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    Cross posting, hoping to get more responses from seasoned runners.

    What are all the runner's running schedules like?

    I'm currently running about 3 to 4 days a week, but looking into bumping it up to every day with maybe one rest day, not sure if that will cause injury or not, so i'm looking for some advice.

    Reason being is running seems to REALLY help my anxiety/depression, if I have more than 1 day where I don't run, I start to become really anxious which leads to depression for me...not sure if I should just jump back on the meds, or if I should try running more.

    Any advice on scheduling would be great, or if you have a similar experience with running helping depression/anxiety, i'd love to hear from you as well.

    Was sort of thinking for just doing a mile or so on my normal rest days, and then at least 5ks on my normal run days, and then a long run on the weekend. Granted a mile may not be enough..

    I haven't had the chance to read everybody else's replies. However, your post resonated with me because I can relate. I started my hobby of running over the summer. Never being a natural athlete, running has been a challenge. But over the course of the past 7 months, I have grown to really like running. In the summer, I was out doing C25k and C210k every other day. I was doing 3-4 days of running. Not only was I consistently losing weight every week, but running had become therapy. I was able to disassociate from my problems, my thoughts, my anxiety and worries for that time. Pushing myself to go out, jam out and get my runs in helped me feel stronger and better about myself.

    As the weather grew colder, the night grew darker sooner and life got busier, it has been harder for me to get my runs in. When snow hit my area, there was a 3 week period where I didn't get any running in. As a primary outdoor runner (I have no gym membership), this crippled me.

    I think my anxiety and other issues would be better if I was able to get out and run more...or going to a doctor and getting on some medicine. You aren't alone, OP.

    I'm 7 months into running and went from feeling like near death at 30 seconds of running to running up to 6 miles at a time (very slowly, haha). What has been easy on me is doing 3 mile runs throughout the week and a longer run of about 6 miles on a Saturday or Sunday. However, I was lucky enough to have all of Christmas week off from work. Therefore, I've been cranking out more running than normal. I have done three or four different runs this week, each between 5-6 miles. I have found that the first half is now fairly easy for me. Doing 5k status is fine. Some days, I can get through that second half with no problems.
    The past 2 times that I have run 6 miles this week, it was painful! Haha.

    My advice would be that if you enjoy running, and if you can get out more, try to do a bit more running! It is such a healthy way to destress :)

    However, if you've needed meds before, maybe those would help as well. I know I eventually will need them. Or a therapist. I went to my very first session last Monday!
  • Carrieendar
    Carrieendar Posts: 493 Member
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    I would think the only real danger here is injry from overuse. But, then again, as an avid runner I have found that becoming too attached to running can create a lot of anxiety (I didn't get my miles in this week! I feel a tweek in my foot! my paces are all off!). You want to make sure you don't end up there. I think every runner has a sweet spot as far as days running and mileage goes. find yours but don't feel stuck there; be flexible because I think there can be a lot of disconnect between the running body and the running mind!!
  • veganbettie
    veganbettie Posts: 701 Member
    edited December 2014
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    Thanks for all you're concern and thoughts!

    I have been to a doctor in regards to my anxiety and I am doing better, I just don't want to manage it with medication if I can avoid it. In partially because I'm a breastfeeding mother, and for a few other reasons. I really AM okay, and if I get to the point where I need more help, I can promise you it's not something that I would ever over look. Mental health obviously something you shouldn't mess around with, but I do know myself pretty well.

    Running has helped. I haven't really made any adjustments since I posted this thread as it was around the holidays, but I think I'm aiming for a half sometime this year, that way I have something to shoot for and to focus on. So i'll likely just up my mileage, and MAYBE add an extra day, but i'm not really sure on that one yet. :)

    Again, thank you everyone. It's nice to see people that understand. I appreciate it!!