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Running 5 Days a Week: Benefits and Scheduling
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Running 5 Days a Week: Benefits and Scheduling

Written by Isabel Mayfield | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Published on 2022 July 13
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8 min

Regardless of where you’re at in your fitness journey, running consistently has plenty of benefits. In this article, you can learn all about these benefits, as well as tips to help you schedule your workouts.

running 5 days a week

Whether you want to maintain fitness or get fitter, you won’t be able to do so without showing up for your workouts on a regular basis.

Creating new habits might feel difficult in the beginning but will definitely pay off in the long run.

Getting into the habit of running more regularly could be a goal of yours. If it is, then educating yourself on the long-term benefits and organizing your workout routine will be essential in you being able to make this dream a reality.

In this post, we will go over the numerous health advantages of running as well as provide you with a training regimen on which to base your exercises.

Running 5 Days a Week

How often each person can run will depend on their body type and fitness levels.

Generally, it is not recommended to run more than 3 to 5 times a week. Rest days are an important part of any exercise routine. Giving your body proper rest can ensure you keep your injury risk low and do not end up suffering from shin splints or stress fractures.

How Many Miles Is It Recommended to Run per Week?

It is recommended that each run lasts between 20–30 minutes when you are first starting out. How far you can go in this time will depend on your fitness levels but will generally land you between 2 and 4 miles.

The total amount of miles you run per week should be somewhere between 5 and 19 miles. If you are training for a half-marathon and want to increase your half-marathon pace, you’ll have to add the extra mile on almost all of your running days. Advanced runners can push themselves to run up to 30 miles per week, but this running might leave novice runners at the risk of overuse injuries.

If your goal is to run 5 days a week, you can start easy by running a single mile every workout. If this feels okay and you want to increase your weekly mileage, it is recommended to follow the 10% rule. This rule states that you should increase your mileage or intensity by a maximum of 10% per week to avoid injury.

No matter your mileage, it is important that you pencil in your 2 rest days per week. If your muscles don’t fully recover during this time, but you still want to maintain your training schedule, adding supplements into the mix might help.

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5 Benefits of Running 5 Days a Week

The list of running benefits is a long one, but these are 5 of our favorites. Any amount of running will noticeably improve your physique and condition, but consistent physical activity will help you to get the maximum benefits of your workouts.

Reduces risks of cardiovascular diseases

Cardiovascular diseases affect the heart and blood vessels. Poor heart health is responsible for diseases like heart attacks and strokes and 1 in 4 deaths in the United States every year.

A recent study that followed participants for 15 years found that as little as 5–10 minutes of running per day decreased the likelihood of heart disease by up to 45%.

Burns calories

How much weight you can lose from running will depend on the number of calories you burn while you run.

The average person can expect to burn between 80 and 140 calories per mile run. Whether or not you are on the lower end of this number will depend on your weight and running speed.

Things like age can also have an impact on the number of calories burned while running. The decreased muscle mass of older runners means their workouts won’t burn the same amount of calories.

Promotes endocannabinoid production

The endocannabinoid system is a system within the body that helps regulate and balance bodily functions. It is responsible for many functions within the body, including regulating stress, immune function, and eating and sleeping habits.

Running helps improve all of these functions through the creation of cannabinoids, which, when absorbed in the receptors in the brain, give us an almost blissful feeling (also known as “runner’s high”).

Among other things, the absorption of cannabinoids produced by running contributes to the feeling of reduced anxiety and calmness after your workouts.

Improves blood circulation

Proper blood circulation is important because it ensures that blood and oxygen are being properly distributed throughout the body. This keeps all of your organs functioning at an optimal level and can help keep your brain sharp and heart healthy.

Running improves blood circulation because the rate of your heart increases with high-intensity exercise. As this blood flushes through your body, it can help remove fatty build-up in the arteries, which is one of the main causes of heart attacks and strokes.

Improves sleep

A good night’s sleep has endless benefits for the body and mind. Sleeping helps improve brain function, enhancing productivity and mood.

Proper rest boosts your immune system, strengthens your heart, and can even aid in weight loss by improving your metabolism.

Studies have found moderate aerobic exercise is the most effective way to relieve insomnia. This is partly due to the hormones that are released while you exercise. Serotonin and adenosine are released while you run, both of which promote better sleep.

Running 5 Days a Week Schedule

One of the best ways to ensure you stay on track with any fitness goal is to create a workout routine and stick to it. This is a 5-day schedule you can either choose to follow or use as a base for you to create your own.

Monday

Start the week off strong with a high-intensity workout, such as hill climbs.

How to hill climb

Start with an easy warm-up of running 1–2 miles. Then do 5–10 hill repeats at a pace that feels intense but allows you to catch your breath as you jog down the hill. End this workout with a short jog and then a stretch.

Tuesday

Treat yourself to an easier time while also increasing the number of miles you can run by doing a base run.

Base run

A base run can be described as a short-to-moderate-length run that is done at a comfortable pace. What your base run looks like will be determined by your soreness and overall energy that day. Find a pace that feels natural for you, and maintain that speed for 20–30 minutes.

Wednesday

Make the most of your recovery time while also increasing your weekly mileage by doing a recovery run.

Recovery run

A recovery run should last between 20 and 40 minutes and set a similar pace to jogging. You should run a distance of between 2 and 5 miles. The distance you choose to cover will be dependent on your running experience and level of fitness. During your run, you should go more slowly than the pace you set for your base runs but get your heart rate up to help move the lactic acid build-up in your muscles.

Thursday

Rest day.

Friday

Challenge your endurance by doing a tempo run.

Tempo run

A tempo run should be more challenging than your base run but not exactly hard. If you are monitoring your heart rate, then your goal should be to find and maintain a pace that is 85–90% of your maximum heart rate.

An example of a tempo run would be a warm-up of 1 mile at an easy pace, followed by 4 miles at a challenging pace, followed by a 1-mile walking cool-down.

Saturday

Follow with another base run, meant to slowly increase your weekly mileage.

Base run

Remember to find a pace that feels natural for you and maintain that same amount of speed for 20–30 minutes. As you get stronger, you should gradually add more miles into your base runs.

Sunday

Rest day.

Tips to Help You Stay Consistent

Consistent action taken over a long period of time will always get you better results than overworking yourself followed by a lengthy break. Even if running 10 miles a day is your goal, you are better off starting slow and building up your endurance over time.

Try different training plans

You can follow a running schedule that is made up of mostly base runs and doesn’t include a variety of exercises. For some people, this is an adequate training plan, and the routine of doing more or less the same workout every day doesn’t bother them.

For others, trying different exercises will be an important way for them to stay engaged in their workouts. Making it easier for them to stay consistent for the long haul.

Track your progress

One of the best ways to stay excited about your new exercise routine is to track your progress along the way.

In the beginning, you can expect your workouts to be more difficult, and there will definitely be days that you are tempted to skip. Being able to track your progress and notice substantial improvements in the span of just a few weeks is a great motivator. It can help you put on your running shoes and get out the door, even when you really don’t want to.

There are many apps you can use to track your progress. Even just having a notes document on your phone that you can use to track your distance and mile times works perfectly.

Try cross-training

Of course, you’re reading this article because your goal is to run 5 days per week. But if a lack of differentiating workouts or even injuries are keeping you from being able to do so, you might want to try cross-training.

Lifting weights is a good way to get your body primed to run long distances.

Working out with heavier weights strengthens your muscles and bones to be able to withstand more impact, which helps prevent injury and sets you up well for high-impact sports like running.

Although it might not seem like it, skipping a running day to focus on building your bone and muscle strength can help you increase your weekly mileage. Ultimately getting you closer to reaching your running goals.

A Word From Our Coach

Setting new fitness goals for yourself is always a good idea. It’s important to stay committed to your journey of self-improvement, and taking care of your body is something that will serve you for years to come.

Choosing a training plan that is catered to your certain level of fitness will be an important part of staying consistent.

If you are completely exhausted at the end of the week, then making adjustments will be necessary. Five days of running a week might be something you gradually build up to.

Always keep in mind that the goal of any fitness plan should be feeling good. If training 3–4 days a week is more accessible in the beginning, then that is a great place to start.

Bottom Line

Whether your goal is losing weight, running a half-marathon, or just simply getting back into the habit of exercising regularly, running 5 days a week can help you get there.

Benefits like improved cardiovascular health, better sleep, and overall better quality of life make adding running into your exercise routine a no-brainer.

Written by
Isabel Mayfield is a certified Yoga Instructor with over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry. She is passionate about self-improvement and loves to help people improve their sense of self-worth through education and support in meeting their fitness goals.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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