Can Only Run Three Consecutive Days

by Homer

can only run three consecutive days

I am a truck driver who works every Monday morning to Thursday evening on the road.

I am either driving or sleeping on the road and my truck only stops for fuel or food or unloading at destination.

Because of this I can only run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
I am training for mostly 10k races and would like to get to a sprint triathlon in 6-7 months' time.

I don't want to overtrain and get injured, but I need to work hard.

Do you have any advice?

Answer by Dominique:
Hi Homer,

Thank you for reaching out! Your situation is definitely a challenge when it comes to running training, but don't worry, we will navigate through with the best possible approach together.

As you have three consecutive run training days available, one of the most beneficial methods to adopt would be a "Hard-Easy-Hard" training approach. Let's break this down.

1. The First "Hard" Day (Friday)
2. The "Easy" Day (Saturday)
3. The Second "Hard" Day (Sunday)
4. A few important points

The First "Hard" Day(Friday)

can only run three consecutive days

So, let's start your training weekend with a bang! This day needs to really push your limits, so consider opting for a tempo run. A tempo run implies running at a pace that feels challenging but sustainable, often described as "comfortably hard." It's about running at the edge of your aerobic threshold.

Alternatively, you could opt for a good interval workout. And there are variations available as well, e.g. a tempo / interval session of some kind or a longer run with tempos added to it.

Even with only three days of training, I'd recommend for some type of quality (=faster) work on one of the three days.

If you can manage to squeeze in an easy run in the late afternoon or evening, that'd be fantastic! But remember, this should be "easy," just to add extra mileage and help with your endurance, not a race against the clock. When doing this, first add a short run of 30 minutes. Then slowly build up from there. Don't go gung-ho with super long extra runs. It's bound to lead to injuries.

The "Easy" Day (Saturday)

can only run three consecutive days

After your hard session, your body needs a rest day—you've earned it! However, this doesn't necessarily mean "no running". We call this an "active recovery" day.

The big mistake you can make here is that you make all three days hard training days. That would be detrimental to your training. If you go hard on the Friday, then the Saturday needs to be recovery.

If it is not, then the Saturday is going to be "sort-of-hard" and the Sunday is going to be pretty ordinary because your legs can't take anymore. Apart from the additional risk of injuries, ironically, the training impact of hard / hard / hard is going to be worse than that of hard / easy / hard.

This could be a leisurely jog around your neighborhood, or maybe even a brisk walk if you prefer, depending on how used you are to two days of running in a row.

The point is to get your muscles working, but at a far more relaxed pace than the previous day. Plunging into another hard session without properly recovering may lead to burnout, injuries, and ironically, it can even hinder your progress.

A good alternative is some form of cross-training, e.g. bike, rowing machine, elliptical, etc. This gives your running muscles a rest and still allows you to work on your endurance. This may be particularly helpful when preparing for a multi-sport event like a sprint triathlon.

The Second "Hard" Day (Sunday)

By now, your muscles have recovered from Friday's intense workout, yet you've kept them engaged throughout Saturday's easy activity. Now, you're all set to take on Sunday with another hard run!

A running program is not complete without a long run. Running is an endurance sport and there is nothing better than the long run to help build your endurance. So, that's what I'd recommend doing on the Sunday.

A Few Important Points

can only run three consecutive days

Also, please consider a few important points. Firstly, listen to your body. If it's telling you it needs more rest or you're pushing too hard, heed that advice! Overdoing it during your three-day running stint could potentially lead to injuries that may set you back from your running goals.

Lastly, I highly recommend you check out the section on Increasing Mileage Safely on my website for more detailed advice.

I really hope this advice helps make the most of your three-day running routine. It's going to be a challenge, but with thoughtful planning and patience, and a dose of hard work and discipline, you will be able to achieve a lot!

Good luck with your training and stay safe on the roads, Homer! I'm rooting for you!

Kind regards,

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