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Running Question...please help!

Is it safe to run every day for about 30 mins? (I usually log a little over 3 miles in this time period, on a trail made of gravel-ish stuff, with a few uphills and downhills... but it's the same trail every time). I was thinking of changing up my routine a little bit because it's getting boring... today I did the same distance, but instead of keeping steady the whole time, I did short bursts of sprints followed by a recovery walk, and a little jogging here and there in between as well... this took about 35ish minutes. Am I going to start seeing better weight loss results than I've been seeing since I've just been running for 30 mins straight every day for about 3 weeks?

Would it be safe/a better plan to maybe do these sprints/walk/jogs on 3 days and maybe do a longer, steady run (say, 45 mins or so) on the off days, leaving one day of rest?

Some would probably suggest that I try to do something other than run, but a) I love being outside to work out, especially in the summer in ct!, b) I have to work out in the morning (early) and none of my friends are up that early to play sports or anything else fun, c) I don't belong to a gym because I hate them/have no $, and d) No bike, so I can't do that, and e) I LOVE running and I'm thinking of entering a few races in the fall or next spring... haha just trying to cover all the bases on why I run :)

As you can see I'm a beginner at this running thing but I absolutely love it :) I've really been running since March, but it hasn't been every day until this summer...

Tue. Jun 13, 11:00am

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You really have to listen to your body. If you feel a pain that hasn't been there in the past then you want to take a day off. Overuse injuries are so common in new runners. We find it fun so we want to do it everyday. Be careful and make sure you are stretching!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006, 11:39 AM

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IMO, you can run every day for 30 minutes. Your heart will thank you for it. However, the scale won't be affected much. You have to keep your body guessing if you want to lose weight. So, you would be better off doing some longer runs (potentially even going slower), some intervals (like you did yesterday!), and maybe even mixing in some regular walks. How about running for 15 minutes, stopping and doing push ups, situps, etc... and then continuing on the run?

Another thing, can you change your route? Maybe run the loop in reverse?

Tuesday, June 13, 2006, 12:03 PM

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I would not run every day. 4x a week is the max I would do. Your muscles need rest and recovery. On the off days I strength train (particularly legs) to keep my muscles in balance and prevent 'runner's knee'. Strangth training doesn't need to be too strenuous and doesn't exactly hit the same muscles as running - google 'fast twitch and slow twitch' to see what I mean. Some resistance bands would probably be all you needed for quite awhile. Definitely change your routes and it's great to do some days of intervals and some of long distance, etc. Personally I like to do a bit of crosstraining to hit muscle groups that running doesn't. I enjoy hiking (I live in the mountains so get lots of elevation), biking (stationary bike for rainy days I don't feel like running) and swimming. Since you really love running, I would just recommend doing these as the opportunity presents and adjust your running schedule accordingly.

Do check out Runner's world or the Cool Runnings web sites if you haven't already. They are full of good info. It's great that you've discovered the joy of an activity you really enjoy, but be careful not to injure yourself :-). Keep up the great work!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006, 12:09 PM

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I try to run 5x a week. Running high intensity intervals, not only helps burning more calories, but also improves your speed and tones your muscles (obliques, abs and upper body).
I run the same route too, but depending on how I feel, I do either intervals, hill work or steady run. If you're running for weight loss, it is recommended to count the time, not the distance. Running the same distance, in a while as your speed improves will cut short your exercise time. Make sure to add hillwork if you want to improve your speed - find the toughest hill on your route, and run up fast and walk down X repeat.
Many training programs have long jogs on recovery days, so if you feel some energy in your legs, it's probably safe to jog in between high intensity runs, as you suggested.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006, 1:28 PM

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A combination of some long runs, some intervals (sprint/walk), some hills, some walking, a rest day or two AND some weight training will get you the best weight loss results.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006, 1:42 PM

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Jeff Galloway

Check out Jeff Galloway's web site. He has a lot of good thoughts on long-term injury-free running. Of course, every person's body is different so there is no one right answer to how many days a week a person can run.


Tuesday, June 13, 2006, 1:59 PM

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