NEW!Incredible offer for our exclusive subscribers! Read More
Beginner Runner

How Often Should You Run

5 Mins read

When planning your running routine, the first critical component you need to figure out is your running frequency.

As in, how often should you run per week?

And as we are going to see in today’s post, the answer to that question is not all black or white.

How Often Should You Run – The Beginners Guide To Running Frequency

Without further ado, here are the steps you need to take to determine how often you should be running.

The Main Factors to Consider

The exact mileage and time investment you’d need to devote to training will vary drastically depending on many factors.

These include:

  • Past experiences,
  • Present conditioning level, and
  • Future aspirations.

Here is how to make sense out of this.

Find your Goals

The first thing you need to consider is your running goals.

For instance, an overweight beginner trainee with the main goal of losing weight may only run (or run/walk) no more than three times per week.

Nonetheless, a fit runner with years of running under their belts may run five or six times per week.

Because of this, it’s almost impossible to prescribe precisely how often everyone should be running per week.

All I can do here is provide you with general running rules.

But here is the good news:

By getting clear on your running goals, you’ll be able to come up with a better training plan for yourself to help you reach your desired destination.

So what are your running goals?

Are you running to achieve a specific time goal?

Are you running for health reasons?

Are you running for (fill in your reason)?

Once you have a clear answer, map out how much time you have to devote to training.

Next, determine how many sessions to fit into your schedule, while taking into consideration your family, work, school, any other commitment you may have that can interfere with your training plan.

Additional resource – How to walk 10,000 steps

How Often Should You Run

How Often Should You Run When You’re a Complete Beginner

According to experts, running two to three times per week is recommended, especially when taking up running for the first time or returning to the sport after a long layoff.

This gives you enough time to increase stamina, strengthen muscles and connective tissues, and build the habit of regular exercise.

Not only that, two to three runs of 20 to 30 minutes each will make training more approachable to the complete beginner.

On the other hand, shooting for six days a week can increase the risk of injury and burnouts.

This also might be unachievable due to time constraints.

In other words, doing too much too soon can discourage you from getting past the first month of training—if you get started at all in the first place.

How Often Should You Run When You’re an Intermediate

If you have been running regularly for the past few months, shoot for four to five days a week.

Nevertheless, be sure to listen to your body and increase your weekly volume gradually.

How to Progress?

Once you’ve been running for three to four times per week for a few months, add an extra running day, or preferably, start introducing speed training into your program.

To build your fitness up to running five times per week, follow the guidelines:

  • Week 1-6 – Run (or run/walk) three times for 20 to 30 minutes at up to 60 to 70 percent of maximum heart rate (MHR)
  • Week 6-10 – Run three times for 30 to 40 minutes at up to 65 to 75 percent MHR.
  • Week 10-13 – Run four times for 30 to 45 minutes at up to 70 percent MHR.
  • Week 13-16 – Run five times for 25 to 40 minutes at up to 65 to 75 percent MHR.

What I Prefer

Personally, I run three to four times per week, devoting the rest of the week to cross training, and one day of complete rest.

But, all things considered, you’re better off sticking to three days a week while incorporating some type of cross training three to three days a week.

The Exact Mileage

As soon as you figure out how often you should run per week, you’d want to determine your weekly volume—or how many miles to run every week.

As I have stated in my previous beginner runner posts, the ideal way to keep running while reducing the risk of injury is to run without obsessing over mileage.

In fact, during the first few months, forget about distance, pace, and all that sort.

Instead, focus on running for a specific length, 30 minutes for instance, at a relaxed pace, and without much huffing and puffing.

To get to that point, you’d need to train in a run/walk format in which you alternate between intervals of low intensity running—or jogging—for 30 seconds, and recovery walking breaks.

Once you get there, start to gradually increase mileage while following the 10 percent rule.

how many times to run in a week

Here is an exemplary beginner’s running plan for the week

Monday – 30-minute easy run in the morning + 45-minutes of cross training (weight lifting – optional)

Tuesday Rest or 30 minutes of cross-training such as cycling, spinning or swimming.

Wednesday – 45-minute run at tempo pace

Thursday – 60 minutes of Cross training – Weightlifting.

Friday – 30-minute easy run in the morning + 30-minutes of cross-training in the evening (Yoga – optional)

Saturday – 50 to 60 minutes long run at a relaxed pace.

Sunday – Rest.

Additional resource – How to walk 10,000 steps

Should you Cross Train?

As you can already tell, I’m a big fan of cross-training.

And once you fully understand the benefits it has to offer, you’ll definitely catch the bug, too.

As a beginner runner, you would be smart to vary your training program to include a wide variety of activities because this will increases your overall conditioning.

This can help you build the exercise habit, and make you a well-rounded runner from the get-go.

Ideal cross-training exercises for runners include brisk walking, spinning, swimming, strength training, or yoga.

All of these can improve your overall conditioning and supplement your running.

For the full guide on cross training for runners, check my post here.

So pick the ones that work the best for you.

Additional resource – Running Vs. Strength training

Do not Forget to Rest

Take enough rest between challenging workouts.

Ideally, take one day of full rest—meaning no running or cross—training allowed.

Just rest on your butt and count your blessings.


I hope today’s post gives you some clear answers to how often should you run per week.

The rest is just details.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

Keep training hard.

David D

Additional resource – How to walk 10,000 steps

New to Running? Start Here…

If you’re serious about running, getting fit, and staying injury free, then make sure to download my Runners Blueprint Guide!

Inside this guide, you’ll learn how to start running and lose weight weight the easy and painless way. This is, in fact, your ultimate manifesto to becoming a faster and a stronger runner. And you want that, don’t you?

 Click HERE to check out my Runners Blueprint System today!

Don’t miss out! My awesome running plan is just one click away.

Related posts
Beginner RunnerRunning Workouts

Get Fit Indoors: 6 Fun and Effective Workouts for Beginner Runners

15 Mins read
In today’s post, I’m sharing with you the essential beginner treadmill workout guidelines you need to get started with indoor running the right and safe way. By the end of this beginner guide to treadmill running, you’ll learn: How to use the treadmill The benefits of treadmill running The exact treadmill training gear you need How to take your first steps on the machine How to stay motivated when treadmill running The Treadmill workout apps you need
Beginner RunnerRunning InjuryRunning Workouts

Run, Recover, Repeat: How to Supercharge Your Training with Recovery Runs

8 Mins read
Quality workouts, think interval sessions and long runs, get the majority of attention in most runners’ training plans,  but recovery runs are usually ignored. In fact, the recovery run has been the often-than-not forgotten workout. That said, recovery runs are one of the most valuable runs. As we are going to see, recovery runs are essential. Running at a relaxed pace can help you develop proper form, build endurance, establish base mileage, and might even, as the name implies, speed up recovery. As a result, in today’s post, I’m sharing with some training guidelines on how to do the recovery run right.
Beginner Runner

How to Prevent Running Injury

8 Mins read
Looking for the best advice on what to do to prevent running injury? Then you’ve come to the right place. Here’s the…

Leave a Reply

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