How Often Do You Run & What Distance?

FREQUENCY: I've been running every day for several weeks now and enjoying it. I haven't had any injuries or felt much soreness, and I always look forward to my daily run and feel energized afterward. But I've heard some people say lately that it's bad for you to run every day, that it should only be done every two or three days. What's the general thinking on this? How often does everybody here run? Is it really unhealthy to run daily, if the runner isn't struggling with it or feeling any pain?

DISTANCE: Also, how far do you run? Alternating between speed walking and running, I only go about 3.5 miles per day, but my eventual goal is to bump it up to 5 miles. With my usual run times, I *think* that'll take me about an hour and ten minutes. Is that too much? Too little? What does everybody else aim for?

PACE: And lastly, do you recommend running slowly, at a moderate jog, or a quick pace? How much walking do you mix with your running? I start and end with speed walking, as well as dropping down to a walk when I need to catch my breath, but my eventual goal is to build my endurance so I can walk less and run for longer amounts of time. What do you think is a healthy amount of walking between spurts of running?


  • steph6556
    steph6556 Posts: 575 Member
    I love this thread!!! I’m a jogger/ fast walker too. It takes me an hour to go about 5.24 miles and I do that five times a week ( always resting on the weekends) I don’t know anything about “ how much” is good/bad for a person. I just do what feels good for my joints and especially my back. What I’ve recently noticed is I don’t want to have anything in my hands or in my ears lately. Sounds weird but for years I’ve been running with my phone ( to gauge my distance and for my music) but lately I’ve started running free without anything on me and it’s really enjoyable. That’s totally off the subject, sorry.

    As a pace, I cannot seem to increase my speed. If I go faster I tend to hurt my back or hips. Seems like I’ve found my comfortable pace as is and since I’m not training for anything, I’m fine as is.

    I’m glad you are enjoying it! Have you found some routes you enjoy? I alternate between several routes and I always include very steep hills for the walking portion. How about terrain? Do you switch it up? I’m asking out of curiosity, not to judge what you’re doing. One of my routes is a dirt path and man, does that kick my butt!
  • spiriteagle99
    spiriteagle99 Posts: 3,361 Member
    What is your goal? If you just want to be healthy, then 45 minutes of moderate activity 5 days a week of is enough. Your walk/run strategy is fine for that. If you want to do some races, then increasing your distances and including one day a week of faster running should make you faster without significantly increasing your risk of injury. A good rule of thumb is no more than 20% of your total weekly mileage should be speedwork. You can take rest days on a schedule or just do it when you get tired or start losing enjoyment of your activity.

    I usually run 5 days a week, aiming at 35-40 miles a week or about 5.5-6 hours. I normally do a couple of races each year --half marathons and marathons-- though not this year due to Covid. Race training will mean an increase in weekly mileage, peaking at 55 or so. I also walk a couple of miles every day, with occasional longer hikes when I can. On the days I don't run, usually one day is a rest day and on the other I do some sort of cross-training, either a hike, biking, low impact aerobics or yoga/pilates. Some weeks I rest on both non-running days.
  • AwesomeSquirrel
    AwesomeSquirrel Posts: 583 Member
    I’m a reasonably new runner too, got into it through C25K which I started in April this year.

    My minimum targets are 3 runs per week and 100 km per month. I don’t have a specific speed goal that I’m working towards but I’m encouraged to see an increase in avg speed MoM. For October I’m sitting at 7:09 min/km so far and I know I’ve logged runs everywhere between 07:40 and 06:35 this month.

    I try to do 1 long run per week (10-11K currently) and then the others really depends on what I can fit in but over time my avg distance comes out to 6.8km per run.

    I stopped doing walking intervals after C25K but nothing wrong with that if you like it!

    I would encourage you to be very aware of how you respond to daily running, it’s easy to fall prey to overuse injuries through a quick and enthusiastic ramp up and if I read your post correctly you’re only a couple of weeks in. You might consider the 10% rule for increasing mileage from week to week. I also find that having a cut-back week once a month with significantly lower mileage suits me right now.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,830 Member
    Always recommended to NOT increase your weekly mileage by more than 10%.

    So keep that in mind as you plan on increasing mileage.

    The run/walk intervals are probably saving you.
    Though you could easily be on the cusp of finding that straw that will break the camels back.
    So really read the body well since you are not used to that with running. You don't notice major soreness, but perhaps a little twinge in the knee has been noticed, perhaps a little spasm in lower back a couple of times.

    So don't increase mileage same time you increase % of running - either keep it the same, or increase the % just 1 day a week, not each day.
  • springlering62
    springlering62 Posts: 5,017 Member
    I started running last year at age 57. I was running 2-3 times a week.

    After my fourth painfully bruising and bloody fall a couple weeks ago, my trainer sat me and told me it’s not for me. She suggested speed walking.

    I’ve done it every day for two weeks now and actually look forward to it. It’s not a mental and physical grind like running, not nearly as painful, I don’t trip on uneven pavement, and I burn as many calories as running.

    I do at least 3 miles, usually more, since I was already in the habit of a five mile walk every morning.

    My goal right now is to increase speed. I’ve already increased it nearly 30 seconds a mile, and realized yesterday that I’m soon gonna pass my ridiculously slow running speed anyway. So that’ll be a win.

    One thing that’s already helped me is a trick I learned in a “Juicy Joints” yoga seminar. Instead of standing on a yoga block, I stand sideways on my bottom stair and hang one foot over the edge. Try to relax the hip joint and swing the leg as loosely from the hip joint as possible in the air for about thirty seconds. Turn 180 degrees and repeat on the other side.
  • DancingMoosie
    DancingMoosie Posts: 8,469 Member
    I usually run for about an hour on Sunday, something like 6-7, sometimes 8 miles. I usually do 1 other shorter run during the week. I also do cardio in the morning, step aerobics or kickboxing. As long as you are progressing gradually and don't have pains or fatigue, you should be ok.
  • pondee629
    pondee629 Posts: 2,487 Member
    To be blunt, what I do, or what anyone else does, is not relevant to you. Your schedule and mileage is personal to you, your goals and your current conditioning. If you'd like to compare yourself with others, enter a race. That having been said, I run three/four days a week, three to five miles per run, at a pace at which I can carry on a conversation. I try to keep a run through the entire distance, sometimes I'm not feeling it, and will walk a portion. I plan on increasing my distance gradually in preparation for, hopefully, the Atlantic City Marathon in October 2021. But, that's just me, your situation is different.
  • littlegreenparrot1
    littlegreenparrot1 Posts: 589 Member
    These are kind of 'how long is a piece of string' question. The answer is always it depends....

    I was marathon training and following a plan, did that at the beginning of Oct.
    Running 4x a week, weekdays up to 6 miles at a time, weekend long run got up to 20. Mileage goes up as the weeks progress.
    Some days were interval training, some were slower paced.

    The last couple of weeks I haven't done more than 5 miles at a time, in November the plan starts again.

    I find that running every day is counter productive, I do other stuff or have a rest on off days.
    My goals are distance based, I'm not really bothered about speed so my training reflects that.

    So your best bet is to think about what your goal is and take it from there.
    I tend to sign up for ridiculous trail races and work backwards 😆
  • TurquiseTurtle7
    TurquiseTurtle7 Posts: 16 Member
    Thanks for weighing in, everyone. It's interesting to see what everybody's methods are.

    I'm not training for a marathon or anything, just running for fun and general health (mental benefits as well as physical). I've been at it a couple months now, and am still trying to get a sense of what kind of goals to set myself. Goals and progress measurement help me stay motivated with my overall fitness efforts. Right now, I guess my goal is just to find out what I'm physically capable of, but I'll try to be mindful of what my body's telling me if it starts to hint that I need to dial things down. And I'll definitely take any increases slowly.

    Happy running, everyone! :)
  • mwstewart207
    mwstewart207 Posts: 16 Member
    I am so happy to find this forum for runners! I was afraid I was going to have to start one.

    I have been running for most of my life. Currently I am in my pre-training mode before starting on my marathon training plan just after the first of the year. Due to a couple of deferrals from cancellations due to our friend COVID I find myself registered to run two marathons in 2021. I have never run more than one a year.

    At 57 yrs old by the end of 2021 i am either going to be in the best shape of my life or a complete mess.

    Happy running to all!

    It was 36 F when I ran this morning