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I am a 19 year old male and recently restarted doing running after around one year. I am very thin and would like to become bigger and fatter.

Ocassionally (actually quite often), I feel tired and unmotivated to go running. But in order to keep the habit and the schedule going, I just go and run at a speed slower than I normally would run at. This way I follow the schedule but am not really doing the 100% training everyday.

Recently, I wondered whether it would be more beneficial for me to not go running at all the days I feel tired and unmotivated because when running slowly, my speed is much slower than my normal running speed. Maybe my body develops the habit of running at slow speed and so in long run my speed gradually decreases. Moreover, maybe resting the body will make me more faster for the future running sessions.

So my question is, should I stop running slowly and instead either go and do 100% training or not go at all.

(I run around 5-6 km 6 times a week)

  • Alternate your runs. You don't ever want to run 100% every day because then you can't reap the benefits of a previous workout. I would suggest looking at different running schedules and types of running workouts. Variety makes it easier to find motivation, and you won't burn yourself out either. Look up workouts like fartleks, tempo runs, hills, and look for a routine that works for you(fartleks are awesome btw). Also...if you're looking to become bigger and fatter...you're going to have to eat more and start lifting(though you can still run because running is awesome). – Demarini Mar 5 '15 at 15:39
  • @Demarini I am not running 100% everyday. Normally, I just run 5 km everyday in 25 to 27 minutes, which is tiring but definitely not 100% exhausting. It is just that somedays, I dont even feel like running this much. – Joe Slater Mar 5 '15 at 17:47
  • And unless your injured those are the most important days for you to run. Not just important physically, but very important mentally. Running consistently for weeks upon months upon years in my opinion is one of the most mentally challenging things out there. It takes a lot of work and determination to get out there every day, especially when you're sore, or tired, or you have a busy day. If you can push through and get that done, then you will be better not just in running, but life in general. Keep pushing, you can do it, even if your mind is telling you that you can't, you can. – Demarini Mar 5 '15 at 17:51
  • If you are "very thin" and your goal is "to become bigger and fat" I'm not sure that running will help you achieve that goal without adding resistance or weight training and diet. – BackInShapeBuddy Mar 5 '15 at 18:05
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If you have several days in a row where you are tired and unmotivated, by all means take a day or two off. This is your body telling you that it needs a break.

If all it is, is that you feel tired because it was a long day at work, get out and go running.

Basically you just need to learn to listen to your body, and not your head. Your body will tell you when it needs a break, your head will almost always try to talk you out of getting out the door.

Running is a cumulative activity, where it's not so much going out and beating yourself into a pulp twice a week, but the day in, day out steady mileage that produces the best results. 6 days a week of slower running is better than 2 or 3 days of hammering it and then sitting around for a couple. (Depending on your goals, this is for endurance and general fitness. If you are sprint training, or other warrior run type stuff, different rules will apply).

  • I disagree that your mind will try and get you out the door. Some people find motivation easily to get out, some not so much. I used to be one of the people not so much, and my mind would make every excuse in the book for me, even though I knew I was fine. What got me through it was i would have to become self aware of the excuses I was trying to make and really focus if I was injured and it wasn't a good time to run, or if I was just being lazy. – Demarini Mar 5 '15 at 15:35
  • @Demarini - Reread. I said the mind will try to talk you OUT of getting out the door. – JohnP Mar 5 '15 at 15:39
  • Oops, haha, my mistake. – Demarini Mar 5 '15 at 15:41
  • Okay, thanks. Yes it is my head which tries to stop me from running, not my body. So I will just go runnng almost everyday, even if it is slow some days. – Joe Slater Mar 5 '15 at 17:34
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Your concerns are absolutely spot on. Your not doing this right. Running 6 times a week is sapping your ambition and body.

Cut the sessions down to 3-4 times per week with days between them and vary the intensity. For example:

Mon - normal pace

Tue - rest

Wed - normal pace

Thu - lighter pace

Fri - rest

Sat - fastest pace (beat your time/distance/whatever)

Sun - rest

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This comes from a girl, so please take with a grain of salt. You have said you want to become bigger and "fatter" - running won't help. I'm assuming you want muscle and not fat - you should put on lean muscle mass as opposed to just body fat. Drinking protein shakes can help you do that. To develop the muscle, you’ll need to strength train on a regular basis. Since strength training doesn’t burn many calories, it’s not likely to prevent you from gaining the weight you want, but it will help prevent your body from putting it all on as fat.

  • The reason I like to go for running is because I can get fresh air and to strengthen my weak digestive system. I also do 3x50 push ups, sit ups and bench dips every morning. Have been doing this for the past year or so but have not really gained weight. (I am just 58kg) Perhaps my technique is wrong. I also tried doing only the push ups etc in the morning for 3 months but I did not feel as healthy as when running. – Joe Slater Mar 5 '15 at 17:31
  • I agree with TV Mohini. Getting bigger is about muscle development. If you do not have access to a gym, do a search on "bodyweight fitness". There is also a good reddit forum devoted to this topic. – Eric Gunnerson Mar 9 '15 at 0:59

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