How many times a week to train to improve your running skills according to your personal and professional life. Here is the full title of this article! But it was a little long... Longer than what you usually see on this subject anyway. Usually (here for example) you would have seen a shorter title talking only about how many times a week to train to improve. Here I will go further and explain why you should not just think about running. The personal life / professional life factors have a huge effect on the amount of training you need to do to progress!
To progress in running, there are no 36 ways
The magic formula is a formula that does not make you dream, sorry. What works is to be regular and agree to spend some time there. Unfortunately, except when you're just starting out, if you hope to make significant progress by training only once or twice a week... It's going to be complicated!
But you don't have to spend hours and hours there! On the contrary, I will show you that in some cases, training more will be counterproductive! The objective today is to help you understand the right volume of training to help you progress according to your personal and professional life. At the end of this article, you should have a good idea of how many times you train per week to improve and optimize your results!
Here we are looking for the best ratio quantity / result of the training. And it is not necessarily the one who trains the most that will have the most results! He's the one who'll train the smartest!
How many times a week to train to improve: the basics
But let's start with the basics. In a perfect world where life has no stress in store for you other than the stress you inflict on it during sport, how many training sessions a week help you progress? As I told you, at 1 or 2 training sessions per week, yes, we will progress a lot, but we are far from reaching our potential. And then at some point, the soufflé will fall back and we will either stagnate or progress very slowly. The body will have progressed to the maximum of what it can do with these 1 to 2 training sessions.
By running 3 times a week, you can get 80% of your maximum potential. This is clearly the best quantity / result ratio available! At 4 times a week, progress is still very significant, we can think of reaching 90% of its maximum potential. In short, running 3 or 4 times a week, this is really the area that will be the most suitable for most of you, I will come back to it.
Training 5, 6, 7 times a week, not profitable?
Of course not! But the gains you can make from there are limited! 5 times a week is still very effective for experienced runners! When you go to 6 or more... the gains are really minimal, it's for those who want to take the last few seconds off their 10km or the few minutes off a marathon. The gain exists but it requires a lot of investment in relation to the result obtained!
And then until then, we were talking about the perfect world, I'll call you back. Who lives in this world honestly? So let's get down to the serious business with a version of this question that you've probably never seen elsewhere and yet it's fundamental to understand.
Progress in running in real life!
For someone who has a busy life? Intense work days that bring their share of stress, an active family life, personal projects next door and the unexpected that goes with it? In short, the normal life of many of us. Everything I have just mentioned brings stress, fatigue that affects your potential for progress. There is nothing you can do about it, it's the way you have to accept it.
Stress is necessary to progress... to a certain point!
This nuance is the one of the effectiveness of the training you will do... In fact, the more you train, the more stress you bring to the body. In a perfect world, the more training stress you have, the more you progress. So the answer to our question "how many times a week do we train to improve?" would be "as much as possible". Unfortunately, that's not how it works. In reality, this stress is added to the stress of daily life. And we often cross the line of "too much stress" where the body can no longer adapt and instead of progressing... we stagnate or regress.
Depending on the level of stress your daily life brings you and your natural ability to manage stress, the training you will be able to do as you progress is quite different. Especially since the natural ability to manage stress is very individual, some people have a much greater ability to tolerate and adapt to stress than others. In short, genetically you are more or less limited in your ability to train a lot and have benefits... That + the stress of normal life... It can be a lot of limitations that mean that the volume of training we have to do to progress... is not necessarily as important as we sometimes want to hear...
How many times a week to train to improve, it's individual!
In short, for some, training 6 times a week with a busy life will work. They will progress less than if they had a very relaxed life obviously but it will still be effective for them. For others, training 6 times a week will greatly exceed their natural tolerance for stress. It is then like a kind of physical burnout that will take hold. And instead of progressing we will see a regression set in... We often talk about overtraining, we are right in the middle of it. Overtraining can be at 15 trainings per week for a pro athlete, but it can very well be at 3 or 4 trainings per week for an amateur with an extremely busy life.
We are all different, it is impossible to say where the limit is! On the one hand it is individual, and on the other hand it depends on your life which is by definition different from that of others! The important thing is therefore to understand the philosophy behind this notion. Finding your optimal training volume is finding what is right for US! Find out what you want to do, what your schedule allows you to do and above all what your body agrees to do!
The right dose is found by trying different training volumes
This is the summary of this article. Finding out how many times a week to train to progress in running is therefore understanding your body and doing what is right for you. Quite simply. So you have to test different things and see how he reacts. If we have progress, it is because our training volume is working, if we don't have any or if we regress, then we have to ask ourselves the question: am I overdoing it? (or not enough, it's also an option but that's not the point here!)
I hope it was clear and that it will help you define your optimal training volume! In a future article, I will come back to the ideal content of a week of training for someone who trains 3, 4, 5 or 6 times a week. If you don't want to miss it, subscribe to the newsletter with the box below!