Should i run everyday?

Like most running related questions, the answer to this is complicated.

It depends heavily on what you are trying to accomplish for your running. So this article will be broken down by where you might be in your goals and whether or not you should run everyday.

But first…

Can you run everyday?

Of course you can.

It might suck for a while, but the human body can do just about anything.  Ron Hill of the United Kingdom is famous for having the longest running streak in history. Hill ran at least one mile a day for 19,032 days in a row, ending his streak at the age of 78. Although, Hill is also a former Olympian.

Benefits

There are benefits to running everyday. 

First, you will get both physically and mentally tough very quickly. Second, making a habit of running will make it very easy for you to get out the door and run each day. Third, if you are able to take care of your body well enough, and avoid breaking down physically or mentally, you will find that you get very fit. Fourth, and probably the most important: we can affirm that you are, in fact, a badass.

How much should I run a week to lose weight?

If you are attempting running everyday to lose weight, let us stop you right there.

 The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise of 75 minutes of vigorous exercise; they recommend the goal of thirty minutes a day, five days a week. If you match that with a well balanced diet, you should be able to lose weight.

Therefore, we recommend five days of running a week, for thirty minutes a day, to be a great starting point. If you have just started running, you may even want to spend a few weeks easing into that goal.

Once you reach the goal of five days of running, for thirty minutes each day, do that consistently for 4-6 weeks before increasing your mileage.

After 4-6 weeks of this training, you should be able to complete a 5k pretty easily. After this, you may want to consider adding another day of running to your schedule and making those runs longer.

How much should I run everyday?

Once you surpass the American Heart Association’s minimum recommendation, you may want to start working in longer runs. If you do this, try not to do the same amount every day. Each of your longer runs should be followed by an easy run.

As we discussed in a recent article, “Should I Run After Leg Day?” hard days and easy days should be balanced out. For instance, a sample weekly schedule for someone training for a 5k or 10k may look like this:

Sample Week:

Monday: 30 minutes

 Tuesday: 40-50 minutes

  Wednesday: 30 minutes

   Thursday: 40-50 minutes

Friday: 30 minutes

 Saturday: 50-70 minutes

Sunday: off or light cross training

Working in hard days

Once you are able to complete the sample week above for a few weeks consistently, it may be time to consider adding in harder sessions worked in to your week. This may start with an interval workout or tempo on Tuesday’s and may lead in to adding a shorter speed session on Friday’s as well.

A sample week training for a personal best in the 5k or 10k may look something like this:

Sample Week

Monday: 30 minutes easy

Tuesday: 15 minutes of warm up and cooldown, plus 30-45 minute tempo or 3-6 x Mile @ Goal Race Pace with 2 minutes rest

Wednesday: 30 minutes easy

Thursday: 15 minutes of warm up and cooldown, plus 4 x 400 @ 10-20s faster than goal 5k pace with 2 minutes rest

Friday: 30 minutes easy

Saturday: 50-70 minutes easy

Sunday: off or light cross training

Of course, you do not want to jump in to this much running without being ready. Make sure to give your body time to ease into each step. Consistency is key. So, until you can do each step of your progression consistently, do not rush forward. As John Maxwell said, “Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.”

How much do the best runners run?

You may have heard stories of some of the top marathoners who log over one hundred miles a week, never taking a day off and often doing multiple runs a week. These are not tall tales and these runners do actually train that much. However, they took years, sometimes decades to reach that level of training.

But these runners are the exception. Even many of the top collegiate runners take a day off a week to cross train, training with an aqua jog, elliptical, yoga, or other activities. Taking a day off not only allows the body to recover from the high impact of running, it also gives athletes a welcome mental break from the day to day grind of running.

So, should I run everyday?

If you want to run everyday, we certainly won’t stop you. All we ask is that if you beat Ron Hill’s record you’ll at least give us a shout out.  But, taking at least one day a week off or to cross train may be beneficial to both your physical and mental health.

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About the Author

Hayden Cox is a former NCAA DI athlete in Cross Country and Track. He has had the opportunity to work with 2x U.S. Olympian, Robert Gary, and a host of elite athletes at the collegiate and professional level. Hayden's ideal day consists of an early morning long run on a mountain trail followed by a giant bowl of pasta and a chocolate milkshake (just don't tell anyone about the milkshake!)

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