Running is an important part of many people’s lives. It helps you keep fit and gets you moving your body. However, running isn’t something to take lightly, especially if you’re new to it. If you have just started running and want to know how many days a week you should be running, there’s no right answer.
The number of days you run weekly will depend on you and your body. We’re all different; some people are in good physical condition, while others aren’t. It’s important to be kind to yourself instead of trying to force something that could harm you. Ultimately, however, running for three days a week is ideal.
If you want to learn how many days a week you should be running and how to build that number up, keep reading! We’re going to go through everything you need to know.
How Many Days A Week Should I Run
The answer varies depending on several things. You can probably run four or more days a week if you’re a running veteran. However, even two days might push you too far if you’re just starting out. In the end, a goal of running for three days a week is good once you build up to it.
Whichever category you’re in, it’s okay! Nothing can happen overnight, and running is something that requires a lot of work. Be kind to yourself, and listen to your body always. That way, you will learn the answer in no time.
Figuring Out How Many Days A Week You Should Run
The best way to determine how many days a week you should be running is to do a self-assessment. You don’t need to get the professionals involved if you don’t want to. Simply doing this alone is fine since you know yourself better than anyone else.
Take a look at what you should consider while doing a self-assessment in the section below, and work from there.
Do A Self Assessment
Self-assessments are the best way you can calculate the answer to this. The numbers will vary depending on the four factors mentioned below. However, try and stick to whatever option you think is best for you.
Take some time to do an accurate self-assessment to get an accurate answer. Be honest with yourself, or else you won’t be helping yourself. Write everything down as you go to come up with a good idea of where to start in your running journey.
Consider the following:
- What is your current fitness like? – how fit are you right now, as you read this? If you aren’t running right now or have never run, it’s always best to take it slow, and we recommend running 1 or 2 days a week as a start to avoid stressing the body too much and limit the risk of injury. Don’t try to add more than one extra running day a week if you have not been able to run consistently for a while. You can start running every other day for two or three days. This will give your body the recovery time it needs between runs.
- What is your schedule like? – not everyone has the time to run, and you need to consider this. Use a calendar to track which days you would have time to get out and run. You can’t force a running regime into a schedule that’s already packed full, so be honest with yourself. If you’re too busy already, you will be spreading yourself too thin, and you won’t be able to stay committed to it.
- What is your running background? – consider if you’ve ever had injuries or are new to running. If you’re new or have experienced injuries, consider running between 1-3 days a week for at least a month. After that, consider adding another running day.
- How do you respond to running? – if the number of days you’re running every week makes you feel cranky or fatigued, you’re probably overdoing it. Consider removing a day or do and see how you feel. Your body will always let you know if you’re pushing yourself too far for the time being. Pay attention to your body, and react accordingly.
How Much You Should Run If …
- Running 1-2 days a week if you – are new to running, are recovering from an injury, are too busy, or recently had a baby. Be gentle with yourself because one day of running is better than none.
- Running 2-3 days a week if you – have been running for at least a month and want to increase your runs, have had time off, or are coming back from an injury. Taking the time to run 2-3 days a week is great for losing weight or maintaining fitness.
- Running 3-4 days a week if you – want to maintain your current fitness level or improve it. This should be combined with strength training and cross-training for the best results.
- Running 4-5 days a week if you – are a very seasoned runner and want to run at least 50 miles a week. This is very stressful on the body and is a good basis for training for a half-marathon.
- Running 6 days a week if you – are a young, advanced runner. If you do this, you need a day of total rest and be careful with pacing, warming up, and cool-downs. This is often too much for most people’s bodies to handle.
- Running 7 days a week if you – are on a run streak or an elite athlete. This isn’t recommended as you are not allowing your body to rest, and is only for the competitive, elite runners.
How To Build Up The Numbers Of Runs You Go On Every Week
There are four things to consider if you want to learn to run more:
- Time it carefully to ensure you aren’t pushing yourself if events or races are coming up
- Test it out by adding an easy and short run that’s around half the distance to see how your body reacts
- Assess how you react to the extra run after a couple of weeks to ensure you aren’t overexerting yourself.
- Work it up by adding one mile to the shorter run every two weeks until it’s the same length as your regular ones. Make sure to keep monitoring yourself.
The number of days you should be running will vary from person to person, depending on several factors. You should aim to run three days weekly to improve or maintain physical fitness.
It may take some time to work up to that, and that’s fine! As long as you listen to yourself and take care of your body, you will eventually reach your goal.