Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Intel: How Much Do I Run Every Day?

This post is the first in series that addresses comments and questions I routinely hear from both new and non-runners. This series - posts will be tagged with the "Intel" label - is not intended to delve deep into running subjects, but simply to provide informative, concise responses that sometimes entertain. I am not an anatomy professor, particularly accomplished runner or legend of the sport. I'm just a guy that runs often, races frequently and enjoys sharing what he's learned. You can contribute topics by emailing me using the link on my Google+ Profile or by posting in the comments below.

Q: How much do I run every day?

A: I think the general perception of new and non-runners is that people who run cover the same amount of distance every time they head out the door. This is a fair assumption, considering that's exactly what I did when I was first starting out. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday I'd get home from work and run one of a couple of routes, each of which was about 3-4 miles. There are plenty of runners that take this approach for years and have great success with it. However, people like me that regularly complete half marathons and marathons tend to run varying distances.

I recently completed a training cycle that prepared me for a marathon. I typically ran six days per week, and daily distances varied from as low as 5 miles all the way up to 20 miles. Here's a sample week towards the end of the cycle.

  • Monday - 5 Miles
  • Tuesday - 6 Miles
  • Wednesday - 5 Miles
  • Thursday - 7 Miles
  • Friday - Rest Day
  • Saturday - 10 Miles
  • Sunday - 20 Miles

There's a lot more to it than running different distances every day, like intensity and type of approach, but I'll cover those types of questions separately. Just know there's no right or wrong response to this question. The answer largely depends on your goals, the time you want to invest in running and how much you love the sport.

One last thing. If you're interested in seeing how much I actually run on a daily basis, check out my profile on dailymile. I post my workouts there just about every day, as do thousands of others.


  1. I never know how to answer that question, either. And I'm on the other side of the spectrum from your disciplined (amazing) approach to running. Sometimes I say "it varies, 30-90 minutes a day, usually." A newbie's eyes go wide... woops. Sometimes I say "depends, but I did xx miles last week." Wide eyes... woops. So my typical response is "I try to run every day, something longer and something faster each week." Seems that's a more-manageable idea for most.

  2. Ha. That comment is from Hilary, who is not Unknown at all. :)