Running, How Much Is Too Much?

I’ve finally started to run/jog after years of neglecting all cardio. I need to lose some fat and hope to lower my blood pressure a bit too. I don’t want to lose muscle or inhibit gains. I’m thinking 2-3 days a week for no more than 30 minutes. I’m currently on a 4 day split but may go back to a 5 day split fairly soon and plan to run on my off days from lifting.

Thoughts on how best to accomlish my goals?

Your weight is a consideration. If you are in the 200 pound range and haven’t done much or no running before, than 3 x 30 minutes of jogging (on the street I assume) could definitely take it’s toll on your joints.

I’d start with maybe two 15-minute runs for a couple of weeks and see how your body handles that, then up the volume from there.

Start slow. Really slow. I am only about 175, and had sprinted in the course of playing sports over the last 10 or so years, but had not done any jogging/distance running since high school.

I started out too fast, got some “shin splints” or whatever and it really hampered my other activities.

Get some good shoes, I went to New and found a resource where your footprint kind of determines what kind of shoes you should get. This really does make a difference. I wear Nike Free’s or chucks in my day to day and sprint work, but for distance, getting a good pair of runners helped a lot.

Take care of tissue work and mobility in your ankles and hips. Check out anything by Mike Boyle or Cressey and you should find some good mobilization stuff. I start by rolling on a Lacrosse ball then ankle mobility, roll out hips and thighs with LAX/ and foam roller then hip mobility.

When I started over the 2nd time, I started with 1 minute jog:1 minute walk for 15 minutes, then just added a minute each time. 3-4x per week if you have the time. Once I got to 30 Minutes, I started going 2 minutes Jogging to 1 walking, and kept on adding to the jogging while eliminating walking until at 30 straight minutes.

You may feel like a pussy for the first little bit, but that’s better than being hurt. I’m going 5+ miles now pretty easily at about a 7:30/mi pace. Not super human, but pretty good. My lower legs feel way better and my sprint/sports performance has improved slightly. Calfs got a bit bigger too, without any direct calf work.

As far as losing strength: That’s why I started off really slow. it allowed my body to never get pushed too far and affect my lifting. My conditioning rose gradually and never impacted my strength work. I’m following 5/3/1 and still making PR’s every workout. I’m on my 4th cycle and still hitting 7-8 reps on my last set on 5-3-1 day, so my strength is still increasing. You just shouldn’t try to do too much too soon with running. Its just like the philosophy of 5/3/1, start off lower than you think you should and keep making progress for a long time. It may seem too easy, but taking 3 months to get to 30 minute jogs 3x per week isn’t that long of a time, and the slow buildup will allow you to get used to the increased volume.

To not lose size, I just started taking an extra shot of Olive oil at one then two meals per day, for an extra 300 then 600 calories or so, and I’m not losing at all. I’m not really trying to gain mass now, so I can’t say if endurance work and mass gain can be done together, but that doesn’t seem to be an issue for you now.

You’re a lot bigger than me, and I managed to mess myself up by doing too much too fast (seeing fat women running further/faster than me at the onset was a HUGE ego destroyer, but now I am at a much higher level, making more progress in 3 months than they have made in their whole lives is a huge ego booster).

So, Start slow, don’t do too much too fast, and take care to stretch and address tissue and mobility work.

Best of luck, let me know if you have any other questions.

Good stuff. Thanks for the advice. I’ll check back in and let you know how I progress.

The running is going well. I’m running 3 miles 3 times per week. Finally coming in under 30 minutes. I’ve gone from trying to hang on and complete the run to trying to improve my time. Actually spritning the last 1\4 mile.

I’ve noticed that my rest time between sets when lifting is getting shorter because I’m recovering quicker - unintended benefit.

I go back to the doctor in 4 weeks and will see if the blood pressure is better then. I have noticed that my face is red now not purple at the end of my runs so that has to be at least a bit of improvement in terms of BP. We’ll see.

I’m finding it a bit addictive too. There is a dirt trail to a state park near my house that would be about 6.5-7 miles there and back. I’ve got my eye on it. For now I want 27 minute 3 mile and then 24 minute 3 mile.

definitely try “fartlek” it’s swedish word to define that type of running consisting of sprints various length and speed while on the run. Helps developing stamina and anaerobic endurance. After couple of months of such running you’ll have the feeling like you have an additional tank of energy while running pretty fast. Helped me a lot.

Basically you speed up and jog whenever you feel like it,no strict script applied to it.

constantly running the exact same distance will limit how fast you improve. its like lifting, you have to mix it up.

if you only want to run 3x per week and your goal is set for the 3 mile. i would do

day 1- sprints. 4x 200 or 400m with 60-90sec rest, try and keep CLOSE to the same pace each sprint. add 1 sprint per week.

day 2- 3 miles + 4-6x 50M max effort sprints after.

day 3- either a 30-40minute jog and record the distance or do 4-5 miles and record the time.

day 1 builds speed and pacing, day 3 builds endurance. and day 2 is the combination or speed training and endurance. and the time to judge the results.

not trying to tell you what to do, but i run alot and im not exactly light for a runner.(6’ 2", 205)

hope it helps!

Thanks curnzy and gorelik too.

I guess I’m finding now that I’m not so out of shape cardio wise that 3 mile runs aren’t the be all end all. It’s been good and quite useful so far but it seems to be losing some value the longer I do it. I will say it’s a bit more of an ass kicker when I try to shave off a few minutes from my normal pace. I need to add some sprints or interval type stuff to my running routine so thanks for the suggestions.

Update: My f’ing blood pressure has not changed a bit. I’m pissed now. Sprint! Sprint! Sprint! That’s my new favorite! (Elf reference there) Doc gave me script for some meds but I’m not onboard yet. I’m going to drop another 10 LBS and sprint 3 days a week for another month or two and go back and see where I’m at.

I ran sprints Fri/Sat/Mon and they are really stimulating my legs in a new way. Way more effort invovled in this type of work than slow paced running. Today I ran a mile warm up in 7:52 and then 4 laps - 8 sprints - sprint the starights and walk the turns at the track. Totally gassed. Thanks for the advice Mighty Stu.

I do think the 3 mile runs have prepared me to move up to sprints so not totally worthless but I’m suprised the cardio and weight loss have not altered my BP numbers.

running is a grand pursuit. sprints are awesome. cardio can actually benefit strength

sounds like great progress on the sprints
have you ever had any coaching on sprint form to really get the most out of the effort?


My lifts have been going up as my bodyweight has gone down so I have to assume the cardio is helping my strength training efforts. I haven’t had any coaching for sprints or anything else for that matter. Trial and error has been my method. Don’t sprint on grass/uneven surfaces is something I recently taught myself.

[quote]Wilba wrote:
My lifts have been going up as my bodyweight has gone down so I have to assume the cardio is helping my strength training efforts. I haven’t had any coaching for sprints or anything else for that matter. Trial and error has been my method. Don’t sprint on grass/uneven surfaces is something I recently taught myself.[/quote]

way to go on the progress and what you’re seeing in your bench. good.

if you want to get into the technique more and don’t have a coach near by, there’s something called the complete athlete that has lots of great technique drills - when i started using these with my athletes, performance went up immeidately

it’s not just about speed but technique for getting off the line faster and recovering from the ground faster to get going faster

review / overview here