Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Is it Good to Run Everyday?

Within the last few weeks, I've decided to run 7 days a week and take
off a day every 15-20 days depending on how I feel. I feet great
especially in trouble areas like my achilles and plantar which I
assume feels good because of the increased blood flow from running on
a daily basis. Over the past few years, I've floated between 5-6 days
per week of running and since I added speed work I moved back to 5
days per week of running to allow my body to adjust. The funny thing,
and I think others have said the same thing, is I have the most aches
on days I take off.

There's a lot of discussion around how many days a person should run
and how much time off is needed to allow the body to heal. Of course,
this will vary by individual but as we talk about evolution, it's hard
to believe we can't run everyday, for the most part. Seems to me the
key is a complete understanding of your body and what days you can
push it and which days to back off and just run very easy (you have to
listen to your body at the highest level). I'm only running 30-40
minutes on the additional 2 days and it feels great. It has only been
a few weeks so we'll see how it goes but my tendons and muscles feel
so much better which I attribute to running on a daily basis but maybe
there's more to it.

Thoughts? Other folks experiences?



  1. I've never tried running every day. Maybe that's my problem! I've been plagued by minor aches and pains, lately, and taking additional time off to try and heal them. Not sure how much it's helping. I have found that when I run two or three days in a row I tend to start to break down, but I suspect this is more product of my body still not being really in good running shape (only been at this 9 months) and not ready for running that much. But maybe I should be going the other way and run MORE? Hm. Not sure. Will be very interested to see how this works out for you longer term.

  2. A friend described in great today when he said, "you can run every day but you CAN'T train every day." That's a great distinction. You can run and run easy every day but you can only run hard and train on a few days. This is the discipline issue and one practiced even by the elite runners. It's common to see an elite runner coast by at 8:00-9:00 min. per mile pace in the morning then come blazing by at a 5:30 or faster pace in the afternoon, then follow with an easy day. Ryan Hall is known to do an 18 mile tempo run at 5:00 pace then the next day only do a single session easy run of 45 minutes as opposed to his normal double day sessions.


  3. Harry,
    Consistency is the key to becoming a better runner and racer. More days per week will translate into more aerobic potential and faster race times. It's true you cannot _race_ every day (or train _hard_ every single day), but you can run every day and that counts as training. I'm a big believer in Arthur Lydiard, Phil Maffetone, Ernst Van Aaken, and Stu Mittleman type of training--fairly easy and aerobic. That kind of training can be done everyday. It's amazing what we can achieve if we keep at easy aerobic paces. My longest training week was 303 miles (all easy and slow with some walking breaks). No injuries that week. Yet if I run a 30-40 mile/week with 2 speed sessions, I often get injured. I'm sticking to one tempo run per week and the rest easy runs. Good luck with all of your training and racing...I enjoy your posts on the minimalist/huarache google group!


  4. Chris, that's really well said. It took me a while (I'm a slow learner :) to come around and realize that it is consistent aerobic training and improves form, technique and performance, and slowly, without knowing it, you start to increase your aerobic range and can actually run faster with less effort but it takes times and patience. I did reach that Arthur Lydiard said you should run every day.

    Wow, 303 miles in a week is unbelievable . . . over 40 miles per day.

    I'm with you in that I've reduced my harder sessions to about 5-6 miles weekly consisting of about 2 miles intervals one day and no more than 3-4 miles of tempo on another day, all the remainder easy aerobic running where I concentrate on form, technique and just plain enjoying the experience of running.

    That's great advice Chris.


  5. I'm pretty sure that running every day is the way to go, but I'm not there yet. I've had stretches where I've run daily. I think the key for me is to make sure that if I am running daily that my runs are easy runs, and that I keep my moderate or tough runs to 2 or 3 per week at most.

    I think with good technique, it's possible to run daily, with minimal stress on the body.


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