Is An Hour Running Each Day Too Much? UPDATED 2022
Many runners want to get better and improve their fitness. However, to improve your running you need a perfect combination of volume, intensity, and recovery in your training plan.
If a training plan is correct, your fitness will rapidly improve, and your speed will naturally increase. That will mean you will become a much better runner.
However, many beginner runners think that running an hour is the threshold for performance gains. While this is somewhat true. Is an hour of running each day too much for the beginner on an inexperienced runner?
In this article, we discuss whether running each day for an hour is beneficial and if so, what are the benefits of doing it.
Running More Than An Hour – What Should You Know?
Running more than an hour takes multiple months of build-up. If you are a beginner or experienced runner, running one hour isn’t something you should jump into straight away.
When you start increasing your mileage up to the 1-hour mark and beyond, the body endures much more fatigue, impact, stress, and tension than a sub-1-hour run. Hence why it is important to build up the volume over a period of months rather than weeks.
By doing this, you will allow the muscles, tendons, and bones to strengthen. It will also help your heart and lungs to strengthen, which will ultimately help you to improve your fitness. If either of these is pushed too hard, you may end up injured, fatigued, or burned out.
However, for the beginner runner, running more than 1-hour should only be once a week, rather than multiple times a week. This is because running more than 1 hour should be classed as your long run. The long-run is your longest run of the week, and this should be longer than anything else you do during the week’s training. If you try to replicate this more than once a week, you may not be able to plan adequate recovery, which can cause injuries in the future.
If your goal is to improve your fitness and you are already running more than an hour once a week, try to implement some tempo runs or speed work into your training. Doing so can help improve your threshold speed, v02, and overall fitness more than adding an extra-long run to your training plan.
Is An Hour Running Each Day Too Much?
For most beginner and inexperienced runners, running an hour each day is too much. Unless your goal is to run a marathon or another long event, you should be keeping your daily mileage slightly lower and try to mix various forms of workouts into your training. By doing this you can work different systems in your body and prevent you from running the same speeds and distances every day.
While running an hour each day is quite common for high-level runners, the hour is usually broken up into different formats.
This could include a warm-up followed by a 20-minute tempo run and a cooldown. Alternatively, it can be by warming up and some intervals, followed by a short warm down.
As you can see, most top-level runners aren’t just running 1-hour straight during their runs. However, some mid-week distance runs may include this, it is generally only a few times per week.
How to Run for an Hour
When you begin running, an hour seems like an impossible goal. However, with time and patience, you can get to the 1-hour mark without any noticeable fatigue.
To run for an hour, you should start with the walk-run method. That means splitting your run into segments of running and walking. Start with 10 minutes of total running, combined with some walking. Then each run should slowly increase the amount of running by 2-3 minutes. Once you reach 30 minutes of total running, you can start to reduce the amount of walking. For example, 2×15 minutes running with 5 minutes walking in the middle.
Once you feel comfortable enough to remove the walking and you can complete the 30 minutes nonstop, start to increase the distance of your run. Once you reach this level, try to increase the total weekly mileage by 10%. If you try to do more, you may risk injury or illness.
Building your runs up to an hour requires patience, consistency, and recovery. If done right, you will reach 1 hour of running without any injuries, fatigue, or lack of motivation.
Benefits of Running For 1 Hour
Even if you aren’t a top-level runner there are many benefits of running for 1 hour. This includes improved speed, increased cardiovascular fitness, strength, and weight loss.
Studies have also found that by running for one hour, you may be able to extend your life by 7 hours. It will also help reduce the chances of cancer and heart disease.
Another study found that by doing regular runs, you are more likely to live three years longer than non-runners.
It can also help you burn more calories. Running for one hour has been proven to burn more than 500 calories. That means running is one of the best ways to shed unwanted weight. It is also one of the best forms of exercise to improve mobility, strength, and fitness in such a short time.
Just remember not to jump into one-hour runs straight away. Slowly build up your fitness to handle the distance. That way you prevent injuries, fatigue, and more. It will also help prevent a lack of motivation and help you to be much more consistent in your fitness journey.