Beginner Running Program for More than Three Days per Week
Hi, I love your beginner running programs. But they only cover three days in the week. What if I want to run 7 days/week? Should I follow the same instruction of the specific week I'm in?
Or is there another plan?Answer by Dominique:
Thanks for your question about my Beginners Running Program
And great to hear you have taken to running with this much enthusiasm!
I have the following bits of advice to offer:1. The beginners running programs - a trusty guide
2. Changing the programs to your needs - two options
3. Seven days of running per week - good or not?
4. Alternatives - cross-training and strength training
The Beginners Running Program: A Trusty Guide
My first running tip would be to take the beginner running programs as a guide mostly.
I have set them up with the idea that any person, no matter what fitness level should be able to start them and progress through them.
The approach is to gradually, very gradually increase the time spent on your feet and the time spent running.
So, they are not the gospel according to Dom. Take them as a useful guide. And make adjustments as you see fit.
Changing the Programs to Your Needs - Two Options
You're eager to hit the ground running all week, and I admire that! To accommodate this ambition, here's some ways to approach it:Option 1:
Follow that week's training for the first three days. If you found it challenging, repeat the same routine for the rest of the week. So, basically, do every workout of a given week twice.Option 2:
Found the training relatively easy? Then you could decide to level up! For the rest of the week, follow the program set for the next week. So, basically, run two weeks of my programs in one week.
And then there are variations on that. You could repeat some of the workouts and do some new ones from the next week. A bit of mix and match.
Just, remember, this is not a race against time. It's the start of a life long journey towards better health and fitness. For that reason, option 1 has my preference. I'll get into that a bit more in the next section.
Seven Days of Running per Week - Good or Not?
You're raring to run seven days a week, which is fantastic! However, remember that Rome wasn't built in a day. Jumping from zero to all-week exercise can risk injuries. And burnout.
You may be super enthusiastic about running for a number of weeks. Maybe even months. But running every day can have its toll on you.
Many elite runners have a rest day once a week or once a fortnight.
I'd much rather see you run four times a week consistently for years and years, decades even, than seeing you run seven days per week and lose your enthusiasm for the sport.
So, I am not saying you can't run seven days per week, but try to ensure that what you are doing is sustainable for the long-term.
I'd like to propose an alternative to you in the next section.
Alternatives - Cross-Training and Strength Training
As a safe alternative to running seven days per week, let's lace up to run on alternate days.
So, what do you do on days when you're not running? That’s where cross-training and strength training step in!
On your non-running days, try other fun activities like long walks, cycling, swimming, or working out at the gym. They not only provide variety and keep exercise interesting, but they also help improve your performance in running by enhancing your overall fitness level.Cross training
will ensure you're still exercising seven days a week, and it also gives your running muscles some recovery time.Strength training
is super important when you want to run a lot. Strength training will help you build a more resilient, strong body.
Check out these pages for more information:Cross-Training for RunnersStrength Training for Runners
Remember, in the journey of running, consistency beats speed. Slow and steady builds champions. Your motivation and persistence will carry you to wonderful places!
So, best of luck on this journey. I applaud your enthusiasm and wish you well on your fitness journey.
Best of luck and happy running!