The 'Experts' view???

I have just started running (well about 2 months now) and feeling good about my progression. I love reading runners world online and in the bath (the paper version of course)

 One 'Expert' in RW this month said that running 3 times/week for 30minutes will just maintain fitness.

Now for a beginner that sort of statement is quite a putoff and counter intuitive. So could someone please explain? I am 17 stone and 39. I am now running intervals for around 30mins 3 times a week and not only enjoying it but also feeling that I am improving both in performance and in fitness. Surely this must be improving my fitness compared with no running at all? If you want to encourage people to get fit, then might I suggest experts moderate or qualify their comments especially in a magizine that is targeted at all levels of runners.


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  • Hi
    I'm not an expert, but I think they mean that once you're in a regular routine, after a few months if you don't start increasing your distance or your speed, you will eventually reach a sort of plateau where you don't improve any more.  I have experienced that myself, where for months I just go out and do the same distance every week, but adding an extra mile to my weekly distance each week or adding in some hills brings in the fitness benefits.
  • No expert - On week 8 of the couch to 5k from coolrunning....

     But Vicky is probably right. Certainly my fitness is still improving. Well at the start running for 60 seconds was a challenge. Running is still a challenge, but it was for 28 minutes this evening image. So if you are like me, then yes your fitness will still be improving. 

     3 x 30 min is a goverment recommendation iirc from some time back for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, so I guess he would be marking that as a good point to reach and maintain. 

     Keep going. I finish the c25k next week. After that I could stop on that supposed plateau of 3x30min. But I'm going to aim for running for an hour next..

  • Agree with both other comments. There will come a point if all you do is run 30 mins that your fitness will plateau unless you mix it up a bit.
  • If you continue to run 3 x 30mins a week, you'll reach a plateau, and to maintain the fitness you have got by getting to that plateau, you have to continue with the 3 x 30mins, if you stop, you'll lose that fitness and need to do the same again to get to it.

    Obviously, you'll be fitter it the 3 x 30mins plateau than you would be by doing nothing, and if you are doing 3 x 30mins and eating carefully, you'll loose weight, however, it is worth remembering that to loose 1lb a week, you need to be in calorie deficit by 3500 cals, and to do this JUST by running, you'd need to run 35 miles a week.

    Bottomline here, some running is better than no running, any cardio excersice is a good thing, what YOU want from it, either just maintaining fitness and getting some excerisce, or getting faster, going for longer, or loosing weight, is up to you, but you will have to alter your training program to get your personal desired results.

  • A spot-on response from Danowat as always, I can't add anything to that.image

  • I'm about to hit week 4 of couch potato to 5K, with a few repeats. I agree at first 60 seconds was hard but last night I hit the 5 minute interval and felt good!!! The plan is to increase beyond the 5K... to 10K..... 1/2Marathon, upto the full Marathon, so I can see where everyone's comments are going. I...onwards and upwards.

    Thanks for all your comments!!!!


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