Should you be running everyday? Do you need regular rest days? What are the benefits with running everyday and should you do it?
While this may not be for everyone, there are certainly physical and mental benefits to running everyday.
Who shouldn’t run everyday
Running everyday is not recommended for newer runners or runners that have experienced recent injuries. If you have been running for less than two years and are consistently running five or more days per week then you should build your running mileage higher. Add an extra day per week and start to build your adaptation to higher running mileage.
If you’ve been injured in the past 1-2 years or the body starts to become sore when you increase your running load you shouldn’t try and run everyday. It’s a recipe for your next injury. Again build mileage slowly and increase mileage and the days you run slowly. For example. If you can currently run four days per week, move to five for at least 6-8 weeks before increasing further.
Who should consider running everyday
If you don’t fit into the above categories you could consider. You’ve been running for more than 2 years and regularly running five or more days per week. You also haven’t had any recent injuries meaning you’ll be able to handle the load of running everyday.
The other consideration is the mental benefit running gives you. Do you look forward to your rest day as much as your runs or are you motivated to always motivated for your runs?
If you’ve got past these important questions and are still interested in running everyday then get ready to benefit.
Running everyday means everyday you have a routine that gives you the benefits of running . When we run everyday, running becomes a habit in our lives. When we automate a habit into our lives, it becomes simple and easy to fit running into your life as it happens with little thought as it fits into your day
Regular exercise like running increases your aerobic fitness and decreases your chances of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and stroke. Whether you run everyday or make stout the door 4-5 days a week you’ll still get these benefits. Everyday running makes it easier to become a habit in your life.
Making anything a habit requires planning. This the same for running, to be able to achieve the goal of running everyday you’ll need to plan ahead for running to find its place. Fitting running into your life is possible if you commit to this goal. We often think we are too busy to do things, this is often a vote for not wanting or prioritising well enough. We can find the time for the things we want when we prioritise and plan. Running everyday means planning your life to have running on the to do list each day.
If you are trying to become a better runner and improve your personal best times then mileage matters. Increasing your mileage will improve your aerobic fitness and over time you’ll become stronger and faster. Put simply, if you want to be a better runner, run more. The easiest way to achieve this is run more often. You do not need to run big mileage on each run, but running more (or everyday) means you’ll naturally accumulate more mileage.
If you choose to run everyday with a goal of improving your running then structuring your week is important. Ideally if you are going to run seven runs per week you’d plan to have a long run. 2-3 x quality sessions like intervals, tempo or a hill session. Vitally important is 3-4 easy aerobic runs. These easy runs are the vital as they help you accumulate mileage and aerobic fitness. They also act as your active recovery from the harder sessions you are doing. With this in mind the pace of your easy runs needs to be easy to assist with recovery.
A recommended seven day running structure could look like this;
Monday – Easy Run
Tuesday – Tempo Run
Wednesday – Easy Run
Thursday – Intervals
Friday – Easy Run
Saturday – Hill Repeats
Sunday – Long Run
Think about how you are currently structuring your weeks running. Is this type of structure achievable for you?
If you can achieve this type of structure you’ll increase your mileage and improve your aerobic capacity. Over the course of time you will get stronger and faster.
It is often thought that running too much can and will lead to injury. If structured and planned correctly running everyday can have the opposite effect and make the body resistant to injury as the body gets stronger from the everyday load it adapts to.
To help you prevent injury listen to your body and be prepared to alter your schedule at the signs of fatigue or pain. While the everyday runner needs a schedule they also need it to be flexible and changeable when necessary. There is no benefit in pushing through harder workouts when the body is crying out for less. If you feel some general soreness after runs then alter your schedule and run easy when the body needs recovery. Don’t keep a rigid schedule, be ready to change when you need to.
To put simply though, running more makes you a better runner. If you are smart about your scheduling and training you’ll become stronger over time. Your body will adapt to the load and become resistant injury. Contrary to often popular belief, your body
There also overall physical and mental health benefits with running. Not specifically running everyday, however evidence shows that mental health and sleep is improved on days that we run. Running improves mental clarity, relieves stress, improve mood and concentration and gives more consistent sleep patterns. All these add up to huge gains in overall health.
While running everyday doesn’t give the runner a regular rest day, improving sleep can have a profound effect. Daily exercise leads to being able to fall asleep faster and staying asleep throughout the night. These are game changers in the sleep deprived world we live in. More consistent sleep will have a huge impact on how you show up in your daily work and lifestyle activities. Sleep also helps your body recover from the impact of running, improve your sleep and you have less need for rest days.
I’ve never found a runner who didn’t gain enhanced mental clarity from running. It’s one of the more important aspects of why people run. Often we hear running described as meditative or that the solitude is what often drives some to fall in love with running. Equally runners find joy and a sense of belonging in the community of running and being amongst the like minded make us happier and healthier. Whatever works for you is fine, and encouraged.
With all that’s said before on this article, running everyday can have great benefits for some runners. It is certainly not advisable for new or runners who can be prone to injury. However it may be a goal for these runners to work towards in the future.
If you do consider running everyday, you can certainly see some benefits. Keep a schedule which is flexible and changeable. Listen to your body and let it decide whether you skip your workout for an easy day. Most of all choose to run everyday because you see a benefit to both your overall lifestyle and your running.