Running is a good workout, and it offers many benefits to your health. When you run, you improve your cardiovascular health, increase your bone density and you may even sharpen your mental acuity. Even a little bit of running is good, but how long should you be able to run without stopping? Different people have different thresholds for their endurance, so here, we’ll consider a few different scenarios.
If you’re a beginner, break up your running by walking. Alternating intervals of running for 30 to 60 seconds with walking for 30 to 60 seconds, you should be able to go for about 10 minutes total. As you get more accustomed to running, build your endurance by working up to a longer time, rather than increasing your speed. Once you’re able to go for more than 20 minutes, bump up your running interval, making it longer than the walking stretch. Run every other day so your body can recover on your off days. As you move forward in your practice of running, you’ll notice that you’re running or jogging during most of your run, only walking a little bit.
If you’re jumping back in after several years away from running, you can expect your endurance to be lower than it used to be. Maybe you used to run competitively but haven’t maintained your running foundation. You can’t expect to pick up exactly where you left off, but you can get back into the swing of things fairly quickly if you start slowly. Begin with a walk-jog or walk-run combination running for about 10 to 15 minutes to start. If you have been running occasionally, you can probably go slightly longer, for 20 to 30 minutes. The important thing is to listen to your body so you don’t overdo it.
Intermediate runners will have different goals, and this will determine how long they should be able to run. If you’re an intermediate runner who is just looking to stay in good health, go by the standard guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These state that people between 18 and 65 years of age should engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity five days per week, or vigorous activity for at least 20 minutes, three days a week. Moderate-intensity activity requires work, but you should still be able to hold a conversation. Vigorous-intensity activity requires more effort and doesn’t leave space for conversing. If you are not just trying to stay healthy, but are training to compete, it is a good idea to work with a trainer to help you create a plan that will allow you to reach your goals.
Seasoned runners should be careful not to overtrain. If you are someone who runs 40 or more miles each week, pay attention to the intensity of your runs and how your body is responding. You can certainly run five or six days each week, as long as 70 or 80 percent of your runs are low to moderate intensity. If you push yourself with too much high-intensity work, you risk burnout or overuse injuries like plantar fasciitis or shin splints. Rather than running as hard as you can every day, diversify your training with movements like swimming and biking, or supplement with cross-training and strength training. Monitoring your body’s response to your workload will help you modify it so that it will work for you. Take a rest day each week, too, but remember, you don’t have to be sedentary; gentle mobility work like yoga or foam rolling is perfect for a day off of high-intensity training.
At the Wellbridge Athletic Clubs, we’re all about helping you reach your goals and live your best life. This is why we offer world-class training that keeps up to date with the latest in health and wellness. At any of our club locations, you’ll be greeted by our friendly team before you’re challenged and motivated by top-notch instructors in our fitness classes. You’ll make new friends because you belong here. Join us today or contact us to learn more.