How Much To Run if You’re Not Training for a Race

Hello and Happy Wednesday!

Earlier this week we talked about half marathon training plans, but what if you are not training for a race? Today we’re talking about Running for Fitness.

How much should you run? How often? How fast? How far? How now brown cow?

Well, how much / far / fast you run depends on your:

a.) Current ability

b.) Goals

How vague and politically correct of me to say that Smile

Lucky for you I am not in the mood to be vague about my thoughts on anything – running, immigration laws, women’s rights…  happy-hour-drinks-bar-club-relationship-bacardi-limon-ecard

So when I got this question I put together a rough training plan to give you an idea of how much to run:

I have worked up from not running to doing 4-5 miles 4 days a week plus two circuit days. Do you know if its ok to run the same distances every time? I can’t find any info on this. I wonder if I need to dial it down one day and do a longer run at least one day a week? I know its recommended that you only increase mileage by 10 percent a week. Which is how I built up my miles from 0.  Any info would be appreciated. I don’t want any injuries! I want to know the safest way to keep running.


First, I think if you are NOT training for a race it’s a good idea to switch up your cardio. So, this plan says ‘Running’ but feel free to use the cardio of your choice. I run because I am trying to stay in running shape, but I would recommend doing other forms of cardio to avoid injury/burn out.

You pick the cardio, just not Bacardio Winking smile


In answer to “Do you know if it’s a good idea to run the same distances every time?”

It’s not bad per se, but it’s not good. Doing one or two steady state runs and one interval or hill run is a better idea then doing the same thing each time.

And try to ‘switch it up’ every few weeks. So taking a step back in training and/or increasing the time and intensity of your workouts is a good idea. It keeps your body and mind from falling into a rut.  This can include something as simple as cranking up the incline or sprinting to a mail box every now and then.

As with any fitness or running plan – if you feel like you need an extra rest day, take it! Once you are at a place where this is too easy – push it! Push it real good. Remember to assess where you are and increase the difficulty / distance every six to eight weeks or so. Running Plan for Fitness

I usually take 2 days off from running a week and one complete rest day. If you wanted to add in some extra cardio on one of the strength days that works too.

This morning I did 4 miles and Jillian’s 6 Week Six Pack Level 2 for the first time. She is not messing around. I also did that conditioner trick where I slathered my hair with a good conditioner, wrapped it in a bun and left it in for 4 miles or 45 minutes. Run.Rinse.Repeat.running visor

Yep, representing for Englewood, FL today! what what. I wish I was there now actually… englewood, fl

Question: What’s your favorite form of cardio this week?

Disclaimer: Check with your doctor, therapist and nail lady before starting any new fitness or diet plan.


  1. says

    I used to be such a steady state runner – FINALLY started to change things up and it’s been great!

    I have never seen the second half level 2 6w6p…One day, one day when I’m not wheezing tryna make it

    No cardio this week due to injured foot..back to the weighs. Boooo!

  2. says

    I’m totally guilty if doing the same runs all the time. I’m trying to switch it up but old habits die hard! Love the conditioner trick too :)

  3. says

    I ran for years without ever training for a race (just for fun, but I had no idea what I was missing with racing!). I would run about the same as the person asking the question 4-5 times a week for @4 miles and it was perfect for me to clear my head and break up my day.

  4. says

    Good advice. I usually run 6 days a week with 3 steady pace runs, and 3 interval sprinting runs. Doing this allows me to switch it up every now and then to not get bored, and still feel like I’m doing enough cardio. I really never run longer than 4 miles though.

  5. Tiffany says

    My favorite form of cardio is shoveling this week! Got a solid 9 inches which meant about two hours of shoving – an a hot chocolate reward.

  6. says

    Busted & Guilty of pretty much doing the same ol’ same ol’ so tonight I’m going to do my ab workout, step aerobics and some free weights.

    I did shovel snow for about 40 minutes last night after I ran :)

  7. says

    I run also to keep in shape for my body and for races but I do enjoy doing other cardio. I just started INSANITY so that would be my “favorite” per some insane way this week.

    I agree if you’re not trying for races, to switch up the cardio. So many great fun ways to get in a good cardio workout other than running.

  8. says

    I’ve been on the bike lately. I finally signed up for USAT Olympic Distance National Championships in August. I need to up my bike strength. I have a good track workout along with other running to keep my running sharp. I’ll wait another month before I get in the pool.

  9. Erin says

    I have been ONLY running lately b/c I just did the NOLA Marathon (Sorry I missed you!) My shin has been hurting since actually a few days before the marathon. X-rays showed nothing but I’m still trying to rest and it’s KILLING me. I miss running. Though I have been going back to my old favorite Jillian Michaels’ 30 day shred and you’re right, she works you hard!! I’d die for a chance to do a real workout with her.

  10. says

    Running’s my favorite. I do the occasional circuit that involves cardio as well though. I usually choose to run though, because I can just go outside and zone out. It’s a good time.

  11. Emily Baggs says

    I have started running over a year ago after to help me get into shap. now after losing 7 stone I’m training for a marathon in Oct.

  12. Theresa says

    i’m training for a May half-marathon, June triathlon, and a November full marathon…so I guess running is my favorite cardio…not sure if you ever get to the midwest but is doing a conquer the capital marathon (half in May, full in Nov) which is what i signed up for! would love to see you and SR in Wisconsin!

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