How Many Days a Week Should I Aim For?



  • Aerobic training is actually pretty darn slow training and is base building.  180-age and then generally +-5 beats depending.  It is an excellent way to build your base.  When I started I had to slow way way down.  Over the last year I have managed to speed up at the same low heart rate. 
  • I'll have to find a HRM cheap one of these days.  It's been a long time since I've used one.

    In the meantime, though, how many days a week do you guys run?  Also, how many miles do you run per week?
    Socks are a scam. Just saying :-)
  • Hey Bryan- Cheapest HRM is your watch and Carotid Artery pulse check... Still think with your 5k objectives a little Fartlek will go a long way towards your goal. 6-11 runs per week, 6-7 days, 45-75 mi., 4 weeks OFF per year.
  • Then do whatever you think is going to get you the most miles. Less big days or more smaller days. For me, 7 smaller days helps me keep my mileage up because I do any kilometres on days that I blow off or make excuses for not running on.
  • edited May 2013
    @vitarunner: I agree on the 5K goal and how to achieve it.  Right now, it's a "nice to have" to me because I feel like I'm going to end up injured again because it seems while I am quite capable of running fast (I did a 22min 5K on less than 20mi/wk), my body isn't used to the constant punishment (read: lack of base) and so I end up injured--I think the bruised hammy is an example.

    @Harbourboy: I'm not trying to be flip or anything.  My original question was just a question of whether I really should be trying to run more times a week or more miles per run (assuming fixed miles) so that I can do some proper base building.  I had read a recommendation that rec runners should be doing 6 runs/wk, but I doubted that recommendation really had a good basis for someone running as few miles as I am currently.  I was curious what you guys thought of that recommendation given my situation (ignoring speed goals and concentrating on getting up to consistent mileage).
    Socks are a scam. Just saying :-)

  • I was running four days per week and averaging say 20 miles a week.  However I'm training for my first marathon and now I'm running five days a week but it's a slow progression of miles over 18 weeks.  The other thing I do to keep from getting injured are body weight squats every day.  Glute exercises couple times a week.  I also do leg presses at my Y with heavy weights.  This is primarily for down hill skiing for increased power but I find it also helps with running.  I also roll on my black roller every day to keep the muscles supple.  It all seems to work for me. 
  • There is a training plan that I was following when I thought cutting down the number of days would help with the ongoing issues I was having (before I realized what I really needed to fix).   I had read an article in Runners World which stated that you can still perform/pr while training on a 3 day running cycle.  Basically you are doing a tempo/speed/long run (cross train on off days).  There is a book you can purchase (of course) at the time I was able to find the plans online, but now it looks like they have updated the original links that I used.  Here is info in case you are interested:

    The Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training (FIRST):
    The FIRST - Training Programs Main Page (from here you can link to the program): 

  • Base is always a good idea. Although, I mention quicker pace as a stressor with low miles based upon your schedule. In Europe club runners most often start with speed work and short races (mile) and work up. Similarly, that's how it's done at the high school level where base is also unrealistic due to time constraints. in 1985 Bernd Heinrich (Why We Run Author) set 100k US record doing 100m repeats almost exclusively. Scientific theory is proven and disproven regularly, nearly as often as it changes. Run as often as you can with varied pace and pay close attention to how you feel. Feel good? Run more. Feeling Beat? Rest.
    Read:  RUN: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel- Matt Fitzgerald
  • Actually, I did base on the off-season back in high school (I ran XC/Track).  We had about 12 weeks of base either in the winter or summer, with only tempo runs and fartleks for speed work until we started the season.

    I'm not really on a schedule right now (in that I don't have a race that I'm training for).  I just want to make sure I have a good base to hopefully avoid injury when I start speed work.
    Socks are a scam. Just saying :-)
  • I guess all these responses tell us that there is no right or wrong answer to this. We'd be interested in how you get on.
  • I'll definitely let you guys know.  I'm on pace to get 4 runs in this week (maybe 5), so I'm on my way.
    Socks are a scam. Just saying :-)
  • My number of runs per week varies widely, but I feel best when running 5-6 times per week. I find that the more often I run, the more often I need to run, and the more I enjoy it. My tactic for getting mile in was to work through lunch at my desk and run at 3:00 or 4:00 before heading home. Probably helped to have a flexible academic schedule for that though. I've never been able to run early in the morning, just not a morning person at all. When my older kids were younger I used to run at night a lot and enjoyed it. 

    I'd second Vitarunner's suggestion to get in some speed work. If you're doing 4 runs per week, maybe do one session where it's either a tempo or some intervals/repeats. Maybe a mile warmup, 3-mile tempo/interval session, 1 mile cooldown. Other two runs during the week 3-5 miles easy, then maybe a longish run on the weekend ~6-8 miles.
  • Right now, I'm feeling good that I got in a 7mi run on Monday (my first 1hr run since February or so!) and two 4+mi runs so far.  Add in one more and I'll make 20mi this week :-)

    I'll try to aim for 5 runs per week and see where it gets me.  

    I'm leery of doing speed work because of the bruised hammy--more specifically, bruising it again.  I'll have to suck it up sooner or later, though!  
    Socks are a scam. Just saying :-)
  • Just did my 5th run this week, taking me over 20mi a week for the first time since...well, probably years ago.
    Socks are a scam. Just saying :-)
  • Nice job. I average about 30km a week which is about the same as the 20 miles you've done here.
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