Running 3 days a week

Gaz.Gaz. ✭✭✭
Hi All,

For the past 6 months I have been running 4 days a week, right, the thing is I dont really like running on 2 consecutive days as the second days run allways seems really hard work and I dont feel fully recovered from the previous run,
so do you think I will get the same benefit from running 3 days keeping the weekly milage the same or should I persevere with the 4 days ?

I have been doing runs of 4, 6, 8, 12 miles and now intend to do 8, 10, 12 miles, I will be increasing the longest run.

I would appreciate any advice or comments




  • Hello Gaz,

    I don't think there are strict rules about things like this, especially if you don't have to build up distance and/or endurance for a specific distance (like a marathon, for instance). If you always feel uncomfortable running on consecutive days then there's really no reason for you to do so.

    Having said that, it may be that you'd like to be able to build up to it. If so, then you may well find that if you were to do a shorter run on the "extra" day you'd feel less tired. For instance, you're currently doing 4, 6, 8, 12, and really they're all significant runs. Doing any two of those on consecutive days could easily be tiring, if you're unused to it, but maybe you could throw in a 2 or 3 mile slow run between the 4 and the 6, or between the 6 and the 8? Only if you actually want to, though, as ultimately the main plan is to have fun :-)
  • Gaz

    I only run 3 times a week - I do a 6-7 an 8-10 and a long run, i too find that I can not run 2 days in a row but still improve on the above

    I also train in other sports to help improve overall fitness
  • Gaz,
    like WW, I only run 3 days per week (go to the gym or bike a couple of times per week, so 5 workouts every 7 days). I find that this is find for training for all distances from 5K to the marathon. I do fartlek Tuesday, speedwork/tempo run Thursday and long run Sunday. Works for me ;-)
  • Gaz.Gaz. ✭✭✭
    Thanks Guys for the info, you have given me plenty to think about and I think I will give the 3 days running a go with maybe 1 or 2 days MTB and see how I go.

    I love running so much I could run 7 days a week but I know my limitations, I just want to enjoy my running to the best of my ability and try and run injury free.

    Thanks again

  • I'm trying to keep to three days a week - at least for now. Guess the only thing that suffers for me is the speedwork. I need all of the three sessions to get the overall mileage I'm aiming for. I sort of do a tempo run for the shortest one, but that's about it.
  • In my opinion, it depends on what you want from your running. If you are just looking for fitness, plus occasional races for fun, then 3 days per week is fine - and the risk of injury is low.

    If you want to maximise your improvement then persist with 4 and - when you can cope with that comfortably - build up to 5 and then 6 runs per week. You will find that your body will adjust in time, as long as you are sensible in your training progression.
  • Marmite Master,

    When you did your last marathon, what sort of mileage did you peak at with those three sessions? Also, when you go to the gym, is it just recovery stuff, or anything more intense.

  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    Why be governed by a seven day week? If you don't feel comfortable running two days in a row, just run every second day. That way you get 7 runs in a fortnight, without having a 3 day or a 4 day week. There was an article in RW (I think) a while back suggesting a 10 day running "week", with various sessions mixed through it.

    Might be worth experimenting with something like that.
  • neilruns,
    last marathon was a while back now (Feb and April 2001), but mileage peaked at about 40 - 45 mpw. Ran a 3:09 PB off this at Las Vegas. However, things have improved significantly this year after joining a club. I'm still doing 3 runs per week but really focusing on quality and looking to take ~15 minutes off my PB in London, which judging from recent 10K and 1/2 marathon times should be possible.

    For the gym sessions, I tend to do 10-15 minutes bike (working up to a good pace to get thoroughly warmed up). Then weights, 3 sets of 12 reps (leg press, lat pulldown, leg extension, pec deck, hamstring curl, shoulder press, sit-up bench). Finish with 10-15 mins rowing, usually go a little bit daft on this one.

    During the summer I was biking instead of the gym and would do ~21 mile on Wednesday and ~32 mile on Saturday at ~20-21 mph average.

  • Hi Gaz

    I guess you just need to experiment to determine what suits you best. I normally train 5/6 times a week - but I don't have a set schedule, so I can chop and change it to suit what I'm doing that particular week.

    Each week I aim to do:
    1 - strength session (hills, hilly fartlek)
    1 - speed session (intervals, reps, fartlek)
    1 - paced run (tempo, negative split)
    1 - long easy run (8+ miles)
    1/2 - Steady runs (2 - 6 miles)

    I know its seems like alot but it suits me fine . My weekly mileage is about the same as yours just accummulated in a different way. I always try to follow a hard session with a rest or easier run to stop me from getting tired. For instance, this week:

    Monday: Rest
    Tuesday: Hills
    Wednesday: 5 miles steady
    Thursday: speed work
    Friday: Tempo run (4K)
    Saturday: Steady 6
    Sunday: Easy 10

    Don't know if this will be of any help - may be by varying the training you're doing, training on consecutive days won't seem like such a chore.

    Let me know how you get on

  • Gaz.Gaz. ✭✭✭
    Thanks everyone for your good advice,
    I have plenty to think about.
    Now I am going to work out what to do next week.
    As Donutto says all I want at the moment is to get fit with occasional 1/2 marathons for fun, at this stage I havent got any thoughts about doing a marathon, well maybe one day.
    This week I have done 3 runs, 8, 12.5, 10 miles, and to be honest it was harder than doing 4 runs of 4, 12, 8, 4 miles, back to the drawing board.
    Maybe for just fitness running I am doing too much, but I find it hard to stop myself doing too much.

    Thanks again, Gaz................
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