How to Determine Run Frequency and Duration

So how do you determine your run frequency and duration? The short answer is: It depends on a few different factors including where you're currently at and what your running goals are.

So how do you determine your run frequency and duration? The short answer is: It depends!

First of all, when we talk about run frequency, we are referring to how many times per week you are running or want to run.

When we talk about run duration, this is how long each run lasts for. This can either be in minutes, hours or miles/kms, however you want to measure it.

So, determining your run frequency and duration really depends on a lot of factors including:

  • your current fitness level
  • your current running schedule
  • whether you’re dealing with an injury, like plantar fasciitis, ITB tendonitis, or Achilles issues
  • how much time you want or are able to dedicate to your running
  • what your overall goals are

Your current Fitness Level

Are you just running?

Or have you been incorporating strengthening and flexibility work?

A lot of runners don’t care to spend their time stretching and strengthening, but ultimately carving out some time to do so will help keep you running injury free, for longer.

Don’t think about adjusting run frequency, duration or intensity until you have a solid base of these two things in addition to your running.

Your Current Run Frequency

How many times per week are you currently running? Every other day? 2 days per week? 5 or 6 days per week?

Are you wanting to increase or decrease your run frequency? If you’re looking to increase your frequency (number of days per week that you’re running), make sure you do it slowly and gradually.

Give yourself easy run days and rest days. Remember the 10% rule for increasing your mileage.

Are You Dealing with An Injury?

Are you currently working on rehabbing an injury like runner’s knee or hip bursitis/tendonitis? Or do you have a sneaking suspicion that an injury might be brewing?

If you answered yes to either of these, then now is not the time to ramp up your run frequency or duration. In actuality, you should be scaling back or stopping all together to make sure that you’re injury free before continuing to run. If you push through, you could make things worse and you might be out longer than you want to be in the long run.

How much time do you want to or are you able to give to your running schedule?

A lot of people have significant time constraints given work, kids, and household responsibilities.

Some people might say they have 30 minutes a day and that’s it, and so they want to make the most of that time. Others are willing to get up earlier, go to bed later, or carve out extra time on the weekends in order to up their run frequency or duration (long runs, in particular).

Consider the amount of time you can dedicate realistically to your running or training before you decide to make any changes or increases in your schedule.

What are YOUR Run Frequency/duration Goals?

Is your goal to get faster? Run further? Run more often? Complete a race?

What are your goals for the race? Do you have a time goal? Or is your goal ‘to finish’? Is your sole goal to get through your training and the event without injury?

You really need to consider why you’re running and what your own specific goals are for your run frequency and duration of your runs.

For example, if you want to run faster, you don’t necessarily need more time per run to work on this, but you do need to incorporate some intervals or tempo training into your current run schedule.

If you wan to run further, then, yes, you’ll have to increase the duration of at least one of your runs per week.

If you want to run more often, then you’ll have to increase your run frequency. Don’t play with intensity and duration at the same time! Just work on increasing your number of runs per week (gradually), then you can start tweaking the other factors.

If you’re looking to complete a race or an event (a lot of them virtual these days), then your run frequency and duration of your running will depend on the event distance and your goals for the event itself.

More tips, LIVE trainings and running advice

For more info as well as FREE live trainings, PDF downloads, advice and support on your running journey, join Running Community for Moms on Facebook! Just click HERE to become a member!

Rachel holding her kids in front of her house

Get back to normal. Get back to running.

I help Moms at all stages of postpartum get back into running successfully to relieve pain, remove discomfort and enrich lives.

Learn more about me
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.