One of the first questions that the beginner runner often asks themselves is How Often Should You Run?  If you’ve found yourself asking this very thing, then read on.

The three main variables of your training and running habit are duration (how far/long), intensity (how hard) and, probably the most important, how often.

Deciding these variables depends on two things, how much time you can spare to run, and what your goals are.

How Often Should You Run: The Minimum

Presuming you are just running to stay fit, then the rule of thumb is 6 days a week exercise, with one day off. Of course this can include any kind of exercise. If you are looking to get a rhythm in your running, however, then 3-4 times a week would seem reasonable.

Half-marathon and marathon training courses such as the legendary Hal Higdon’s usually recommend four times a week. Three times on weeks days, once at the weekend.

What’s the maximum you should run?

The true pros run up to two times a day, but trying to emulate this when you are starting out is a sure fire way to end up injured and/or burnt out.

Some people are more susceptible to getting injured than others. So you must tailor your running to suit your body. If you find yourself getting niggling pains like knee ache, then cut back the amount of times you run.

Try to avoid “binge-running”: squeezing a run in 7 days in a row, injuring yourself, stopping completely for a period, then running like crazy again.

This kind of training schedule is a sure fire way to ending up injured more times than not. Worst still you will probably finish with running altogether.

Set yourself three days to run in a week and try to stick to it. Preferably you will leave a rest day between each run. As you get better and stronger you can crank this up.

Have fun running

The answer to the question how often should you run? is listen to your body. Keep challenging yourself to do a little more each time but pay attention to if your body starts speaking to you.

If you have a pain and are wondering if it just hurts or if you are actually injured then consider these four things[bullet_block large_icon=”0.png” width=”” alignment=”center”]

  • Is it Swollen, Inflamed, or Bruised?
  • Is There a Loss of Function?
  • How Badly Does It Hurt?
  • How long has it been going on?


This article explains how to deal with pain in more detail. This should give you a little more idea on how to manage and judge the little aches and pains every runner feels.

Please comment below with anything you have to add to this:-)

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