How Far Should I Run

Okay, to wrap things up, we’re going to talk about how far you should be running. Let me warn you now, the answer is squishy.

I’ve never liked the phrase, “listen to your body.” My body gurgles every once in a while, but that’s it. When I hear somebody say you should be listening to your body, it’s not quantitative enough for me. I want numbers. Tell me how many miles, or how many minutes. Don’t tell me to listen to my body.

But it’s true. Everybody is going to be different. So let me tell you a few things that may help you decide how far to run.

In all the time I have been running slow, I’ve never woken up with sore legs. Nor have I ever finished a run out of breath. Why? Because this is Zone 1 we’re running in. It’s SLOW.

What this means is that you can probably run a lot farther than you’d think. If you’ve tried running before, and maybe you did 10 miles in a week, you’re probably going to be able to do 15-20. It’s going to take you longer, but it’s not as hard on your body.

Here is what I recommend. Go out and run for 30 minutes. Now let’s see how you feel right after the run, and the next day.


After the run your legs feel a bit wobbly, you feel like it was a good exercise, you’re a bit sweaty, you’re a little tired, and the next day your legs are a bit sore…


This is probably a good distance for you. Cut back a little, or keep the same amount of time. Go out again either the next day, or the same day.


After your run you feel like you could go longer, you don’t feel tired, you didn’t break a sweat, and the next day you can’t even tell you went running…


Increase the amount of time. Go another 10-15 minutes the next day. Or if you really feel good, double the time and go an hour.

Once we’ve found a good amount of time, we want to do that just about every day. If you’d like, you can do twice a day, but cut back a little on the time each day. Or go shorter for the second run. What we’re trying to do is complete one week where you feel like you did a good amount of exercise, but it wasn’t strenuous on your body. Once we have that distance down, then if you want to increase from there, do it at 10 percent each week.

So, if you’re running 10 miles a week, then up it to 11 the next week. Then 12.1, 13.3, 14.6 . . . actually, I don’t like doing math in front of people, so you can continue it from there.

I’m willing to bet what you bump up against is not being to tired to run, but not being able to find enough time in the day. My pace at 140 beats-per-minute was 13-minute miles. I could easily run six miles, but it took me an hour and a half to do it. Add in the time to change clothes, drive to a location, drive back, and it was eating up a lot of time. However, it is important to note that the more miles you put in, the quicker you’ll start to improve. I’m not talking weeks, but if you can put in 25-30 miles a week, you’ll see results sooner than if you’re only doing 10.

There you have it. Run almost every day. Run good, long distances, and keep at it.


This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to How Far Should I Run

  1. Pingback: A Few More Things | The Open Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *