Veterans, have mercy on a newbie

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carriekwi
carriekwi Posts: 45 Member
Hi all!

I apologize. I know that I am about to ask a question that will make all long distance runners sigh. It has likely been asked one thousand times....

I am an aspiring distance runner. Right now I am running 3 to 3.5 miles daily. I don't think I will ever runner marathon distances, but I would like to do a 10k comfortably. Not in a hurry to increase distance. Mostly, I want to run for fun and health.

I know everyone is different, but is it advisable to run the same distance and to run daily? In other words, should I be varying my distance to prevent injury? Also, at what point do I need to incorporate recovery days? 3-4 miles doesn't seem like a lot....

Any advice would be appreciated!

Carrie ;)

Replies

  • Curtruns
    Curtruns Posts: 510 Member
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    I would direct you to some literature on running. The problem with posting on a forum is you will get lot of well intentioned but conflicting advice that will likely get you confused. I started off with Runner's World, Complete Book of Running.

    amazon.com/Runners-World-Complete-Book-Running/dp/1605295795
  • Curtruns
    Curtruns Posts: 510 Member
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    and no apology necessary ;)
  • kristinegift
    kristinegift Posts: 2,406 Member
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    carriekwi wrote: »

    I know everyone is different, but is it advisable to run the same distance and to run daily? In other words, should I be varying my distance to prevent injury? Also, at what point do I need to incorporate recovery days? 3-4 miles doesn't seem like a lot....

    Any advice would be appreciated!

    If a 10k is your goal, I would advise looking up a training plan (Hal Higdon comes to mind). You can start at the beginning, or in whichever week you think matches your current ability.

    You can run daily, but rest days are important too as they give you time to reap the benefits of all the work you've put in. You can walk or cross-train on those days, but stay away from running.

    Variety in your running diet (so to speak) is also important; you want to have shorter, easier runs that are run at a comfortable pace, as long as one longer run (also a slower easy pace!) to work on your endurance. If you want to work up to 10k, you can't just do 3 miles every day and work your way up a mile at a time until you're running 10k every day. I don't think your legs would be very happy with you! You need recovery days that are short and easy, runs that are more mid-length (3-4 miles), and longer runs that will work their way up to 6 miles/the 10k distance and maybe even longer if you're up to it!
  • carriekwi
    carriekwi Posts: 45 Member
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    Thanks Curt and Kristine. I will check out both the runners world book and the hal higdon program! ;)
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,719 Member
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    I'm fairly new to running, my knees wouldn't thank me for running every day. Start with 3 days a week and add in days and mile from there.
  • SKME2013
    SKME2013 Posts: 704 Member
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    I started a year ago with the free app C25K and then followed up with the C210K. (Now I am training for a full marathon and I ran a couple of halfs)

    Using the app takes the guess work out as it tells you when to run/walk and when to have a rest day.

    You do not have to start at the beginning but you can jump into let's say week 5 if you feel fit for it. I would also start straight away with the C210K as the beginning is a repetition of the C25K.

    Otherwise, more miles at a slow pace, but not more than 10% compared to the week before. At the beginning I never ran on two consecutive days to prevent injury and to get your body used to it, but than...I am 50.

    Best of luck
    Stef.
  • SonicDeathMonkey80
    SonicDeathMonkey80 Posts: 4,489 Member
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    When I first started out, I would run 1-3 miles about 3 times per week. I gradually built up a weekend long run to about 7-8 miles. The trick to starting out is to not stress your body with consecutive days running, high miles per week, and speedwork.
  • snowflakesav
    snowflakesav Posts: 645 Member
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    There is nothing wrong with what you are doing. Eventually alternating longer runs with shorter runs for recovery is a good principle to follow. You are off to a great start.
  • TomZot
    TomZot Posts: 165 Member
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    carriekwi wrote: »
    Hi all!

    I apologize. I know that I am about to ask a question that will make all long distance runners sigh. It has likely been asked one thousand times....

    I am an aspiring distance runner. Right now I am running 3 to 3.5 miles daily. I don't think I will ever runner marathon distances, but I would like to do a 10k comfortably. Not in a hurry to increase distance. Mostly, I want to run for fun and health.

    I know everyone is different, but is it advisable to run the same distance and to run daily? In other words, should I be varying my distance to prevent injury? Also, at what point do I need to incorporate recovery days? 3-4 miles doesn't seem like a lot....

    Any advice would be appreciated!

    Carrie ;)

    Another good one... http://www.jeffgalloway.com/
  • aldousmom
    aldousmom Posts: 382 Member
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    If I'm doing something new (speed, distance, etc), then I run fewer days so as to recover. There are a million 10k training programs on the internet. I LOVE all of the running info found here, though.
    You will never be able to read it all. :smiley:
    http://fellrnr.com/wiki/Main_Page
  • sarahz5
    sarahz5 Posts: 1,363 Member
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    You are already doing 20 miles a week? For how long? Maybe this is just me, but I would guess that you could definitely do more mileage at a go if you spread it out differently (or maybe even if you didn't). You could probably do a 10k now.
  • beemerphile1
    beemerphile1 Posts: 1,710 Member
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    When I was training and racing I only ran 3 to 4 times per week. I have some age group trophies to show for my efforts.

    Keep in mind that rest days are not days off they are also part of your training regime. You tear down muscles and on rest days you rebuild muscle. Running every day places you at a much higher risk of overuse injury.

    I currently only run for fitness and personal enjoyment.
  • dalhectar
    dalhectar Posts: 52 Member
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    There's nothing wrong with running daily. If that's what you are doing, I would use that to your advantage.

    I would follow the Daniels approach to base building. Every four weeks, add 1 mile to your weekly mileage for every day you run. So after your third week of running ~20 miles a week, jump up to 27 miles a week for the fourth week. To get used to running longer distances, I would make sure one of those runs is at least 5 miles. Split the mileage of the other runs as you choose. After two weeks of running 27 miles a week with a 5 mile long run, jump up to 7 miles for your long run. Keep the weekly mileage at 27 weeks though, so other other runs will be slightly shorter. Run 27 miles per week with a 7 mile long run for 1 week. The following week, add 7 total miles for the week (34 miles per week total) but keep the long run at 7 miles. The week after that, make the long run 1/5 mile longer to 8.5 miles, but keep the total weekly mileage at 34 miles a week. Do that for 2 weeks.

    9 weeks, 243 miles, 20k-30k burned calories, ending up at 34 miles a week with a 8.5 mile long run. Running 10ks will be old hat. At this point you'll have a solid base to make a few decisions:

    - Add speed work to run a faster 10k or 5k. All the running before this should be done at conversation pace. But now your legs are used to running a lot and speed work can be added safely.
    - Add distance to be able to run a half marathon or marathon. having three weeks of 34 miles a week under your feet puts you in a better shape than many people who want to start tacking longer distances. The base building you did will pay off in droves as you ramp up to 50+ miles per week.

    Regardless of how you choose to continue running, good luck and enjoy the road!
  • lorierin22
    lorierin22 Posts: 432 Member
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    There is also a program called Bridge to 10K. It starts with the assumption you can already run a 5k (which you can), so you don't have to start with all of the walking at the beginning.

    But it sounds like all you would really have to do is maybe take a rest day once or twice a week and build your long run on whatever day you choose. The other runs you can keep the same. Just add either a mile each week (or .5 mile each week if you want to be more conservative) to your long run day. Build up to a long run of 8 miles and you should knock a 10K out of the park! Good luck! :)
  • carriekwi
    carriekwi Posts: 45 Member
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    sarahz5 wrote: »
    You are already doing 20 miles a week? For how long? Maybe this is just me, but I would guess that you could definitely do more mileage at a go if you spread it out differently (or maybe even if you didn't). You could probably do a 10k now.

    Hmm... That's actually an interesting thought. I have been running about six months. I started just as a means to burn calories to increase weight loss but as I neared my weight goal, I found that I just enjoy running! I am doing over 20 miles/ wk.... Perhaps I will try taking a day or two off each week but make the following runs longer... That is, keep my mileage but decrease number of runs. Thanks!
  • carriekwi
    carriekwi Posts: 45 Member
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    dalhectar wrote: »
    There's nothing wrong with running daily. If that's what you are doing, I would use that to your advantage.

    I would follow the Daniels approach to base building. Every four weeks, add 1 mile to your weekly mileage for every day you run. So after your third week of running ~20 miles a week, jump up to 27 miles a week for the fourth week. To get used to running longer distances, I would make sure one of those runs is at least 5 miles. Split the mileage of the other runs as you choose. After two weeks of running 27 miles a week with a 5 mile long run, jump up to 7 miles for your long run. Keep the weekly mileage at 27 weeks though, so other other runs will be slightly shorter. Run 27 miles per week with a 7 mile long run for 1 week. The following week, add 7 total miles for the week (34 miles per week total) but keep the long run at 7 miles. The week after that, make the long run 1/5 mile longer to 8.5 miles, but keep the total weekly mileage at 34 miles a week. Do that for 2 weeks.

    9 weeks, 243 miles, 20k-30k burned calories, ending up at 34 miles a week with a 8.5 mile long run. Running 10ks will be old hat. At this point you'll have a solid base to make a few decisions:

    - Add speed work to run a faster 10k or 5k. All the running before this should be done at conversation pace. But now your legs are used to running a lot and speed work can be added safely.
    - Add distance to be able to run a half marathon or marathon. having three weeks of 34 miles a week under your feet puts you in a better shape than many people who want to start tacking longer distances. The base building you did will pay off in droves as you ramp up to 50+ miles per week.

    Regardless of how you choose to continue running, good luck and enjoy the road!

    This is excellent! Thank you! I looked at several online training programs that are very similar. I think that changing up the way I am running will rally help, add a longer run out two proceeded by easier days.