How Often Should I Jog?
I have been running 2-3 days a week for a little over a year now and I feel like I am a fairly good runner.
But am I running enough?
I try to run for about 45-60 minutes both outdoors and on a treadmill with incline.
Is three times a week and different lengths good? Is it ok to walk a bit when running?
Thanks so much,
CarolAnswer by Dominique:
Thank you for your question about running training. Firstly, I like the consistency
. You have been running for over a year now and have consistently done 2-3 runs per week. You are able to run 45-60 minutes. That's all good stuff.
To determine whether this is enough, let's cover off on:1. What are your goals?
2. Are you running enough? Running for fitness
3. Are you running enough? Running for performance
4. About walking during running
What are Your Goals?
To determine how often you should run and whether you are currently running "enough", we need to think about your goals.
Some people run for general health and fitness, some for stress relief, and others might be training for an event like a 5k or a marathon.
Your current running routine sounds like a solid foundation for health maintenance and enjoying 5k or 10k fun runs. Let's get into that a little bit more below.
Are You Running Enough? Running for Fitness
Different guidelines exist on the amount of exercise you need per week. It's often around 30 minutes per week five times per week.
Those 30 minutes can also be walks and other forms of exercise.
This is considered the minimum of what you should do to stay healthy or get healthier. With three runs of ~60 minutes per week you meet that threshold. With only two runs you end up a little below the threshold.
But it's only counting the running! You might well do other activities that raise your heart rate and help maintain and improve your cardiovascular system, so two runs AND other forms of exercise can also be enough for general fitness and health.
When you are really focusing on running solely for health reasons, then I can also recommend my Running for Fitness
Are You Running Enough? Running for Performance
When you are considering how often you should go out for a jog, any race plans would be important to take into account.In it for performance and faster times? Then running 2-3 times per week is NOT enough.
Don't get me wrong. I really like that you are able to do 45-60 minutes of running. That's a fantastic base of fitness.
However, when you want to get faster, running 4-5 times a week is much preferred. The more mileage you cover, the more endurance you'll build up, the faster you'll be able to go.
For 5k and 10k races you can get by with 3 runs per week. It is not optimal, but you can run them reasonably well on a limited amount of mileage.
You could be faster by running more, but you might not want to do that. If you're targeting a half marathon, I would strongly advise you to run more than three times a week and add some long-distance runs to your routine.
And don't get me started on running a marathon on only three runs per week! I am sure it's been done. I am also sure that more running would have equated to a better performance and more enjoyment in the race itself.Want to increase your mileage and number of runs you do per week?
Do so with some care. It's vital to listen to your body. Each runner is unique - some of us can ease into higher mileage without issues, while others may need more recovery time. Check out my Increasing Mileage Safely
page for further guidance.
About Walking During Runs
Lastly, I'd like to dispel a quick myth. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having some walking breaks in your runs.
It's okay, really!
My beginner running programs are all set up as run/walk programs. And, I'll let you in on a little secret: I sometimes do a bit of walking in my runs as well. I might be doing an interval session and after a particularly tough interval, I might just need a 10-20 second walk break to catch my breath again. That's fine. And on my Sunday group runs we often do hilly trail runs and on plenty of those hills we walk. Or we walk a bit because somebody is having a hard day. Nothing wrong with a bit of walking in your runs!
I hope these insights help, Carol. Remember, your fitness journey is personal and unique to you. Find what works best for you, have fun with it, and keep getting stronger and healthier each day.
Wishing you all the best in your running and fitness journey.