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I'm running every day since a month and now I'm pondering about how to add more running sessions in a week. However, I want to do it safely, without getting injured. My current weekly distance is around 60 km (37 mi).

My current schedule is like this:

  • Monday: recovery (8 km)
  • Tuesday: interval (6 km)
  • wednesday: progressive pace (5 - 7 km)
  • Thursday: long run, moderate pace (15 km)
  • Friday: easy pace (8 km)
  • Saturday: pre-race preparation (8 km)
  • Sunday: race (5 - 15 km), or test run

If the race is on Saturday, I do my pre-race prep on Friday, an 8 km recovery training on Sunday and an easy pace 8 km on Monday. Two days to recover from a 15 km run seems short, but I managed to recover enough to run a proper race. The moderate pace comes down to a time that is 5 minutes more than I would need in a 15 km race.

I'm anxious to add more speed training, like High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and my goals lie between 10 km and the half marathon distance, though I run shorter (5 km) to support my 10 km goal. My recent best times on the 10 km is 45:22 minutes, and the half marathon 1:41 hours. I'm 54 years old, male.

Additional information

I'm an experienced runner (16 years of continuous practice, lots of injuries, and have recovered from all of them). Since January this year I've been on a regiment of 60 - 70 km in 4 - 5 sessions per week to support half marathon racing, and I've switched to daily sessions to support 10 km racing since April of this year.

The reason for the mid-week long run is that while raw speed is not much of an issue (2:55 min/km I can do easily in bursts of 30 s), endurance at speed is. While I know the cause is probably bad running economy (which I'm working on with daily exercises to increase my strength and agility of my legs), I still need to push my body to maintain the target pace, and not to speed up when I get fatigued, only to be forced to slow down before the finish because I'm spent.

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4 Answers 4

Rather than adding more sessions, I would start adding more time to your current runs.

Also, pay attention to your pacing. Most of your running should be fairly easy, distance running is a sport that relies more on volume than it does intensity, so I would look at increasing your distance in the current sessions. Even in your longer, easy runs, you can add some pickups/strides in small amounts. However, the biggest problem with runners is that they go too hard on their easy days, and not hard enough on their hard days.

I would have two higher intensity sessions a week, one of threshold type work, and one of interval type work. Intervals are at or faster than race pace, with long rest so that you can make the time interval, and threshold is slightly slower than race pace on shorter rest. Both of these done as part of a workout program will both increase your top end speed (intervals) and increase the time that you can spend at race pace (threshold). Separate them by a couple days each with easy effort runs.

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I tried what you suggested for three months, and it was just too hard on my body. My intervals were just too fast, while the slow easy runs only made me tired; there was no apparent super compensation. It didn't work. What I do now seems to work much better, after a month of experience. –  René Van Belzen May 1 at 20:37
    
Good feedback, everyone reacts to things differently. If you truly want to add more sessions, I would go with short (10-15 min) morning (or night if you already run in the AM) sessions 1-2 times a week and gradually increase the frequency of those. Good luck with your running! –  JohnP May 1 at 21:01
    
Thanks! I know I'm a bit of an outlier concerning how I respond to "traditional" training methods, but it is how it is. Your suggestion makes sense, since HIIT, while hard on the body, doesn't involve much time and distance. –  René Van Belzen May 2 at 6:48
    
After giving it some more thought, I think I'll increase the length of my training sessions instead. Since I'm only running 60 km per week, I have some leeway for more distance. The majority should be done as easy runs, anyway, to avoid over-training. –  René Van Belzen May 27 at 14:53

That's quite a lot of training for some one who has only been training for a month. However, you are doing well and to be running 45 minutes for 10k already is very respectable.

To be able to add more quality training to your week, I would change the structure slightly.

Monday easy run/shorter distance Tuesday. Hard/ intervals Wednesday longer Thursday intervals but not as hard as Tuesday - maybe progressive run day Fri. Rest or easy Sat. Intervals Sunday long run or race

I would try to incorporate a rest day every 7-10 days

Hope that helps

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I wrote that I have been training daily for a month. Before that I trained 60 - 70 km per week in 4 - 5 sessions. I will edit my question to avoid further confusion. –  René Van Belzen May 1 at 10:27
    
Ah I see, that makes more sense then. Hope you found my answer useful –  Tracy at 2bactive May 1 at 13:16
    
Well, I felt slight critique on my ambition, which is quite understandable you not knowing my running history. Next time I will include it in a question that is similarly specific, so there'll be less confusion. –  René Van Belzen May 1 at 14:30

To add more running session per week for pounding your weight and it should be safe also,then you have to do hard work for this.In the initial stage when you start running please cover less distance.Increase the running area slowly,so due to that you are able to add more running session per week very easily.Running is the best way for shading the pounds gained by you.So add the session to your running but in the slow process.

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I'm sorry, but I don't quite understand what you are trying to explain to me. I do understand that I need to be careful with increasing my weekly distance, but HIIT doesn't add much, since sessions are very short, according to the Tabatha protocol, especially when starting out (two times 20 s of sprinting, 4 minutes of warmup and cool down). That shouldn't pose much of a problem for me. –  René Van Belzen May 1 at 14:51

Based on the information you provide, you are doing the correct mileage to be competitive in 10k races already. You say that you become fatigued before the finish and need to slow down. This (in my experience) is due to not having the cardiovascular fitness you need i.e. your body is not yet efficient enough at converting the O2 in your lungs to energy in your muscles.

I would keep your running distance the same (or even slightly reduce it) and consider two things. First, I would add swimming (or possibly cycling - but this will be less useful in my experience) to your weekly regime. Swimming for 45 minutes (front crawl) 3 or more times a week (combine this with a run by running to and from the pool for maximum effect) will improve your cardiovascular fitness without increasing the risk of injury. Second I would find a hill to use to increase the intensity of one or more of your runs without increasing mileage.

You also need to consider your nutrition. Ensure you are taking on board sufficient carbohydrates and fluids throughout the week to support the energy expenditure and a avoid "hitting the wall" too early. Finally, make sure you are eating enough protein to support muscle growth and repair to reduce chance of injury.

Sources: my own experience. I have previously run a 38 minute 10k and that was not at my peak performance.

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