The reason I do running is that it is the most convenient. I don't have money for a gym nor do I have space to do fitness DVDs (we live on the second floor and there is no jumping or stuff at that nature for politeness of the downstairs neighbors). Truth be told, I get bored as quickly with the DVDs anyways. I cannot swim so that is out. The only thing near me is the park so that is why I run/sprint there. I don't have money for classes or any new equipment. Besides, I get extremely bored and like to be solitary when I workout. I enjoy having my Ipod and not listening or paying attention to other people.
I do not own a bike and the nearest place to do hills/stadium runs is 20 minutes away and again, I don't drive so that's out. So unless I walk in addition to running as a cross-training strategy, then I don't have all that many options. I don't like doing things that are "in place" i.e. jogging in place, jumping jacks, etc.
I guess I will keep my routine the same..or at least alternate more days, less miles and less days, more miles every few weeks to change it up. My diet is fairly good with a few cheat days/meals here and there. I zig zag calories based upon activity level (more when I do more miles, less on weight training/rest days). So we will see how things go in the next month or two. Thanks everyone for your help.
Your body gets efficient (ie. burns fewer calories) at anything it does regularly - with 5 years of running, you may not be burning as many calories as your think you are. So rather than adding more of the same (running in this case), you would probably be better off adding a different form of cardio entirely. Cross-training with a different form of cardio as well as your running will also give you a more broadly based fitness.
When it comes to running and calories burned, ultimately it is total distance covered that is the major factor. So if your weekly distance adds up about the same with more frequent shorter runs, or longer runs 3 days a week, it is pretty much a wash. There's nothing compelling to go either way.
I don't think there's a right or wrong way to do it (based on your fitness level). You said that most of the people you talk to run 5-6 days a week. Most of the people I talk to run 3-4 days a week. I think it averages out. Not all of us have the luxury of a schedule that allows running 5-6 times a week, but if you do, maybe your body could use that change. In fact, to lose that last stubborn 5 pounds I would suggest making some changes. Either change up your diet or your workout routine. You can't expect different results from doing the same old thing.
Fitness Minutes: (6,854)
519 11/19/13 8:47 A
If you are running for fitness (weightloss) then your schedule is fine, especially considering you are doing some weight training weekly as well. I am both a runner and a swimmer and the reason we can swim 5-6 days per week (sometimes twice/day) is because swimming is so low impact. The worst injury I've seen in my 40 years of competitive swimming is rotator cuff injury from over training.
Running, on the other hand requires a certain amount of recovery (rest between workouts) and variety in training to avoid injuries because of the impact on the joints and stress on the ligaments.
Truth be told, I'm kind of jealous of you. If I could run 3-4 days per week doing 5-6 miles per day at a 6-8 mph pace I would be worried about keeping the weight on not thinking about how much weight I could be losing and could I be losing weight faster/better.
Keep on doing what you're doing. Good luck.
11/19/13 5:32 A
Well I am not new to exercising. I have been running, off and on because of injury, for 5 years now. I do weight training too (3-4 days a week). Where I run, there are no hills. I run at a park that is 5 minutes from my house. I don't drive so I am not going to go looking for a place to do hills/stadium runs.
I am just trying to see if my current schedule is okay, especially for weight loss or if I should switch it. It's recommended to exercise 5+ days (cardio that is) and that's what it seems a lot of people I talk to do. They run or swim 5+ days a week. I only do cardio 3 days..maybe 4 days a week, but they are long and/or intense. I just wonder if they balanced out to be the same (long/intense but less days VS easy/short but more days a week)
I agree with Nanley - unless you have more than 12 months running under your belt, I'd stick with 3-4 days per week, to give you time off to recover from the impact.
If you stick with the same run all the time, you aren't really going to improve. Most runners looking to improve their running will mix things up a bit. eg. * a long slow run once a week to improve distance. * a 'tempo run' at a consistent fast pace, * speed work, incorporating some much faster intervals, followed by some slower recovery intervals.
Doing a trail run using hills to add intensity is another way of mixing things up.
You only mention cardio, but strength training should be part of any good workout program. It gives you different benefits to cardio, and will actually improve your running.
Fitness Minutes: (31,253)
11/18/13 9:52 P
How long have you been running? Because running is such a high-impact sport, it takes time for your body to adjust to all the bouncing and jarring you're subjecting it to. It's recommended that you be running for a year or so before you run on consecutive days. And even with a year or more under your belt, you're best off with at least some non-running days in between running days. (Example: I've been running for about a year and a half, and my current schedule is Sunday long run (anywhere from 8-13 miles), Tuesday 5 miles, Thursday, 6 miles, Friday 5 miles.)
Long answer short, I'd strongly recommend alternating run days rather than doing shorter runs every day.
11/18/13 9:21 P
i think variety is good, personally- i usually do 3-5 miles a day 5-6 days a week. i think it's good to work in longer endurance runs as well as shorter, more intense runs to build speed or do intervals. i think the short answer to your question is- whatever you like! but if it's the exact same 3-4 miles/day, you might want to vary the routine by adding hills/etc to make it more difficult.
11/18/13 7:34 P
So which schedule is more preferable:
Alternating days (3) for 5-8 miles each day or
More days in a row (4-6) for 2-4 miles a day?
I currently run 3 days a week, alternating M/W/F or T/W/Th...I run around 4-8 miles depending on my level of tiredness. So I do 12-24 miles a week.
I was talking to some people at the park and they run nearly everyday 3-4 miles a day, at 12-24 miles a week.
My question is, are there any pros or cons for doing everyday vs alternating cardio runs? If I average the same amount of miles a week doing either schedule, does it matter that I do more miles a day but less days vs less miles but more total days a week?
I'm still trying to lose the last 5 lbs. Running is my only form of cardio, minus the walking I do to get to and from work.