Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Worthwhile Runs

When people start a training plan everyone has certain mileage a day or week they plan to run. Like running shoes, people have their preference on what works for them. Depending on what kind of race you are training for will determine what type of mileage you do.  

But when is it not worth it?  What is the least amount of miles you would need to do to make your run at least worth while?  

For me personally I think 3 miles is a good number. I feel like I at least accomplished something by running a 5k. But for someone else that may be training for a 5k that may sound like alot. I know many people that are on the running streak that their goal is to run at least ONE mile a day. Kudos for them! Call me lazy but isn't that a lot of work to get up and out the door for just one mile? I suppose it is better than nothing. For me, I don't even feel like I am getting a good workout in until I start breaking a sweat and that is not until a few miles into my run. 

I asked a running friend this same question. He replied saying 6 miles because he doesn't even feel like he gets in a good groove until midway through a run. To many people that may feel like a long run, but to him he feels like he is just getting out the door to do something.  

So my question to you is what is the shortest distance you would run to make your run worth while and why?  -L

46 comments:

  1. For me, it's at least 3 miles as well! However, I only run 3 days a week - sometimes for if I'm lucky. I definitely admire those who are doing running streaks!!

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    1. Yes, running streaks are quite the commitment.

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  2. For me too, 3 miles is the basic. But, sadly I still complete it in 50-60 mins. And, that is what I have been fighting with. Any tips will help!

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    1. Well in that case I think the duration is better than the distance. You are still out there doing it and that is all that matters.

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  3. For me, it's at least 30 minutes but I generally try to do 3 miles and that tends to be closer to 40 minutes. I tend to think of short runs in term of times instead of miles.

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  4. I'd say 2 miles right now. I'm trying to get to 5k more consistently, but 2 miles is a good number since I'm not that fast.

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    1. That's great, especially if your goal is the 5K.

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  5. At this point in my running/training, 5 miles is the lowest I go. I try to only run 5 days per week and lift the other two days. 5 miles for me is around 40 minutes, which I think is a great baseline for a workout for me at this point.

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    1. That is a great baseline. Depending on time, I try to get at least that in, but if I am pressed for time it is 3 miles.

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  6. 3 miles is always my minimum... when my knee wasn't horrid, I would always do a 5 mile loop on my street. I LOVED that distance. I want to start doing that again!

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    1. That's a perfect distance. Especially if it is a loop and not an out and back.

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  7. This is a great question. Until recently, I always strived to run a 5k during my weekday training runs. Although I'm trying to increase the time and distance of my weekday runs, I'd still say that a 5k is what I'd consider to be a worthwhile run for me.

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  8. At least 3, but I prefer 5-6. All summer I've run little and biked a ton due to knee injury, so believe me when I say that when you go from avid runner to not being able to run, right now I'd take ANYTHING....a mile without pain and problems! Sooo....sometimes it's perspective :)

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    1. Oh I am sure. A mile with no pain is something to be proud of.

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  9. 5 miles, that is my magic number. But I would still go out for a 3 mile run.

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  10. I feel the same way about those one mile per day people...it isn't worth putting on my sports bra for only one mile! My minimum is two miles, but there's an additional walking warm up/cool down, so I'm closer to three for exercise.

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    1. I'm chuckling over your comment, Shelley! I feel *exactly* the same. I have precious few good running bras, so they'd better see some mileage 😜

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  11. 3 is my minimum. I like 6--that's under an hour and it just feels right. But I'll do 3 if that's all I have time for.

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    1. I can always run 6 with my running buddy because that is his minimum but I'm good with 3 if I am running by myself if I am not in training mode.

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  12. 3 is my "number." Anyhting under 6 is good for me. Beyond that and my everything starts to hurt. I've had way too many injuries to do distance... plus I get bored! :)

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    1. At least you are up to that. Never want to risk injury.

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  13. I have run less than a 5K for a morning run but not often! It is hard to get all sweaty for less than 30 minutes, I really like to do at least 5. That is a sweet spot for me :)

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  14. I've never really thought about it that way but I would say 3 miles probably

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  15. Usually I say 3 miles, but when I was starting to run again after my injury I was starting with 15 minute runs. I agree that its tough to get motivated to get out there to run for such a short time!

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  16. Like you, I think 3 miles is my threshold for running outside. I can see doing less on the treadmill as a warm-up for something else, or if I'm testing out new shoes. At OTF I barely reach 2 miles per class, but that's only 15-20 min on the TM.

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    1. I have a hard time running consistently on the treadmill. I need some other type of distraction, like tv.

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  17. I agree...three miles is substantial to call it good ;-) A lot of times, I might even just do two miles. I heard (long, long ago...probably not a valid fact anymore) that you need a minimum of 20 minutes to make it have any kind of impact (aerobic threshold? calorie burn? fat burn? LOL) I have that 20-minute thing ingrained in my head, but if I'm doing a streak, I have no problem with a just a single mile (I know, double standards LOL)

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    1. I think 20 minutes is still valid for today. I can agree on that.

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  18. I used to consider the distance that I ran as a valid way to gauge fitness improvements. I worked on increasing my "normal route" from being 3-ish miles to being 4, then 4.5, etc. And that was fine.
    When I got into Ironman training and had a coach guiding my workouts, I realized that I couldn't just focus on increasing run distance all the time. Sometimes the purpose of a run was to learn how to run well after a hard bike workout. So with that, I've come up with an easy 2 mile route around my house that I occasionally do. If I have a short run, or if I have to run very early in the morning, this is easy because I'm never too far away.
    That said, I've been marathon training more recently so haven't had many "shorter" runs! But now into taper, I've brought back that route a bit!

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  19. 30 mins is usually my minimum to sweat and feel good...and be done in less than 30 mins:)

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  20. Such a great question! It depends on my running 'fitness', but I would have to agree with most comments here. 3 miles feels like a legitimate distance.

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  21. 3 miles is my minimum as well. I suppose running a single mile would be ok if it were part of another workout. When I'm in marathon training (if I'm training the way I should) my minimum is 5 or 6.

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  22. 3 miles is my minimum too. I think also just from a time perspective. A twenty minute workout seems sort of silly to me, whereas 30 minutes seems worthwhile as a minimum. 3 miles is closer to 30 minutes than 20 for me. That's my logic anyways.

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  23. Generally it's 3 miles for me as well, but I work a ton of hours so it's hard to get in too many more than that during the week. I do agree though that during marathon training, that "first mile feeling" stays with me a lot longer and I don't hit my groove until about mile 5.

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  24. 3 miles/5km is the usual minimum but sometimes I'll go for 20 minutes, not including my warm up or cool down. Especially if I'm feeling a bit achey and just need to shake my legs out a bit without overdoing it.

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  25. I understand what you mean. Typically my minimum is a 5k as well. When I was training for 5ks I thought that was a lot! But its really all about perspective...a marathoner or ultra runner would say my "long" runs of 10-12 miles aren't that long. But to me they are!

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  26. I'd say a 5k is minimum. I'm kind of a snob, lol

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