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My Four Rules of Running

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When I first started running, I had no idea what I was doing.  All I knew was that I really wanted to get my negative behaviors under control and pick up a healthier outlet. 

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I also wanted to tone up, lose some beer weight, and RACE.  I was very interested in racing from the start.  It seemed like an easy way to motivate myself – a form of commitment. 

 

I spent the first two years of my ‘running life’ operating under one theory: the more I run, the better I will be.  I understood that I needed rest days, but I really always thought that more mileage was better. 

 

Also, running seemed like the most efficient exercise.  I could get dressed, run out my front door, and be done with my workout in 30 – 45 minutes.  No driving to the gym.  No fighting with my bike pump.  No waiting for yoga to begin.  I really loved to run, too, so I thought doing any other exercise was kind of silly and pointless.

 

And then… I started to get injured.  A lot.  In one year alone, I suffered from six or so small running-induced injuries, including a very painful case of Runner’s Knee (here’s how I eventually beat it after a 2.5 month hiatus from running).

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I started to question EVERYTHING about my nutrition and training.  Why was I getting injured so much and my fellow running buddies were not?   I was eating enough calories from quality foods (underfueling is a big cause of injury).  I wondered if my body just wasn’t designed for running.  I was wearing proper shoes.  And I didn’t think I was overtraining. 

 

The trouble was that when I asked myself, “Am I overtraining?”  I was looking at overall weekly mileage.  I was running 20 miles or so a week while prepping for a half marathon and didn’t think that seemed too high.  In fact, it seemed low compared to my friends’ training plans.

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The problem wasn’t my total mileage – it was running on back-to-back days.     I would rest on Monday; run Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday; do yoga on Saturday; and rest on Sunday.   Once, during marathon training, I ran 35 miles in four days. 

 

Once I realized back-to-back runs were the culprit, I stopped doing them… and guess what?  Most of my nagging injuries disappeared.  The moment I slipped up and started to run back-to-back again, my knees began to ache again.   A benefit to not doing back-to-back runs was that I was forced to incorporate other forms of exercise into my routine.  And that’s when I really began to fall in love with biking and swimming, and now I look forward to triathlons more than road races!  My knees are so strong from the cross-training – and the lack of back-to-back runs – that I don’t even need to wear knee sleeves anymore.  Who would’ve thought?

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Many people can run back-to-back without problems.  Some people can also run 100-mile ultramarathons.  Heh.  I cannot, and that’s okay!  I just needed to figure out what worked for MY body, not someone else’s.  

 

The other day, someone asked me to list my top running rules.  My personal rules are:

 

1)  Always have fun!

2) Never be ashamed or afraid to walk.  Walking rules.

3) Try to avoid running back-to-back days.

4) Enjoy cross-training – you need it!

 

I hope these four rules allow me to run for many, many years. 

 

What are your personal running ‘rules’?  Can you run back-to-back days? 

{ 143 comments }

 

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  • Katie @ cooklaughmove August 17, 2011, 4:22 pm

    I can occassionally run back-to-back days, especially if it is a morning run and the next day is an evening run. I don’t do it often (mostly often one of the back-to-back runs is more social) because I always feel it in my knees and ankles!

    Reply
  • Raya August 17, 2011, 4:23 pm

    I have a similar rule!! I absolutely cannot run two days in a row-I get terrible shin splints (esp now that I’m just getting back into running with a “training” mindset.) so I run every other day or even every 3rd day, and that works best for me! I do other stuff (cross training) on the in-between days! Right now I’m loving the Core Fusion DVDs!

    Reply
  • Mallory @ It's Only Life August 17, 2011, 4:24 pm

    Great post! This rule may sound intuitive, but don’t try running through injury is a rule of mine. I used to be a little obsessive with running too, and if something hurt I’d either suck it up or take an anti-inflammatory before running (*bad!*). Now I’m smarter about it, I listen& respect my body, and I haven’t had a major injury in a while!

    Reply
  • steff (steffsays) August 17, 2011, 4:24 pm

    amen!! i’ve had issues with runners knee since my high school soccer days that had me believing i’d never be a runner. but with good shoes, plenty of cross training and limiting my running to 2-3 days per week i too have managed to put my knee braces into the bottom of a drawer and forget about them! :)

    Reply
  • Leslie August 17, 2011, 4:26 pm

    One time somebody told me that if you’re training for a race you should never run more than two days in a row, and you should try not to take more than two rest days in a row. I stick to that and so far, so good!

    Reply
    • Sunny August 17, 2011, 4:28 pm

      I’m training for my first half marathon and this is a rule, I’ve stuck too. I’ve never been injured and I hope it continues. =)

      Reply
      • Leslie August 17, 2011, 4:32 pm

        Good luck on your first half! You might get hooked…they are SO much fun!

        Reply
    • Baking N Books August 17, 2011, 4:47 pm

      Definitely good advice. But of course it’s highly individual and will change as your running habits change, improve – or what your goals are.

      Awesome for taking on this race!!

      Reply
      • Casey August 18, 2011, 8:53 am

        I am also training for my first half marathon, and my training plan follows the rule that Sunny describes above. However, there are times when I have to switch a run, which throws things off a little, but I haven’t had any issues yet.

        Reply
  • Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) August 17, 2011, 4:26 pm

    I like hearing about how people got started running because I want to be a runner, but it’s so tough for me. I love the challenge and plan on getting back to ‘wogging’ once Baby D is here, but I would love to be able to train and run a race, beyond my one 5k I ran.
    I’m glad to hear even the real runners think walking is ok- phew!! :)

    Reply
  • Lisa August 17, 2011, 4:26 pm

    What great advice! I especially like #4–it *is* enjoyable to change things up. :)

    Reply
  • Natalie @ Will Jog For Food August 17, 2011, 4:27 pm

    I love walking during my runs! I usually follow a 3:1 run to walk.

    I never really thought about the back to back running thing before. I might run 2 days in a row once in a while but not too often. I love mixing up my cardio so I don’t get bored. I’m gonna try to get back into swimming soon, just got to get some goggles & a bathing suit.

    See you at HLS!!

    Reply
  • Heather August 17, 2011, 4:29 pm

    It’s funny that such a minimalist sport really does have a number of things to think about to make sure you can run healthy for life. I love that you mentioned figuring out what works for YOU, everyone is different and our bodies adapt differently. :)

    Here are my rules for running:
    - No more than 10% increase in volume per week
    - Hard days are always followed by easy days (track workout on day 1 followed by maintenance run on day 2)
    - If it hurts and you have to alter your stride to run – STOP!
    - New shoes every 300 miles

    Reply
  • Gavi @ Gavi Gets Going! August 17, 2011, 4:30 pm

    I love your running ‘rules’! I can run back-to-back, but I’ve also noticed that I feel so much better when I only run or work out five days a week rather than six. My running rules are:

    * Run because you want to, and run when you want to. After reading “Born to Run,” I realized that I was sometimes pushing myself to run when I didn’t feel like it, and I was also occasionally ignoring my desire to run if running wasn’t in my plan for the day. Now, I try to pay close attention to what I feel like doing, and I honor that!
    * Don’t compare yourself to anyone else, and be cautious when comparing yourself to yourelf. Every person’s body is different, and every person’s running story is unique. Like you, I’ve gone through injuries and various ups and downs with my running career, and I’m at a very different place with my running now than I was six months ago. It only makes me feel bad to compare myself to other people, and I have to be careful about comparing myself today with myself from six months ago.
    * Have fun and stay safe!

    Reply
    • Baking N Books August 17, 2011, 4:47 pm

      I think these apply to blogging as well :)

      Reply
    • hilary August 19, 2011, 12:34 pm

      Love these additional rules!

      Reply
  • Leanne (Bride to Mrs,) August 17, 2011, 4:34 pm

    I’d like to start running again, I love the feeling I get from improving :) I want to start exercising out of love for my body & to feel good, instead of exercising to lose weight. I’m going to turn 25 in October and don’t want to bash my body any longer.. I just want to be healthy & happy.

    Love your rules!

    Reply
  • Lindsey August 17, 2011, 4:35 pm

    Always cross train and stretch! Also, ice after long runs! I can do short runs back to back but prefer never to run 2 days in a row :)

    Reply
  • Lindsey @ Chick Flick Chic August 17, 2011, 4:38 pm

    My #1 running rule is to never taking running for granted! When you are injured and fear you will never run again you realize you should be thankful for the ability to be active!

    Reply
  • Kelly August 17, 2011, 4:38 pm

    So, this is my 2nd week of “running” and I am NEW to it. I committed to Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I don’t like running, but I feel like my other excercise options aren’t doing anything for me right now. I am not in great shape and need to lose weight. I walk A LOT. I am just wondering when you first started running how long did it take you to be able to run a mile without walking? I feel so lame that I have to walk so much, but every day I am able to run longer distances without walking, so I just need to keep pushing I guess. The three days a week thing works really well for me, and I get up and get it done. I do other workouts on Tuesday and Thursdays to keep things interesting.

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP August 17, 2011, 4:49 pm

      Yay! Good for you :) Hmm I would say I progressed pretty quickly and could run a mile straight in 3 – 4 weeks. I don’t know if this is ‘normal’ though. But please dont feel lame walking!!! Walking is really awesome. I still walk ALL THE TIME. Every run!

      One tip for reducing walk time, though: When you decide to walk, pick a visual goal, like a lamp post, and tell yourself you will run until that spot. Then, start running about 3 feet before the spot because you’re so bad ass. It really helps!

      Reply
  • Laura @ My Reason to Tri August 17, 2011, 4:39 pm

    i swear, our running stories and injuries are identical! i cant really run back to back days either without my knees starting to whine. my rules 1. apply bodyglide liberally to inner thighs…always! 2. if running becomes a chore, take a day off 3. RICE soreness early before it becomes a real problem 4. cute running clothes really do make a difference!

    Reply
  • Johanna B August 17, 2011, 4:39 pm

    This is a great post! You should be proud. I don’t run. I walk and bike and swim and do yoga and stretch a lot. I may never run and that’s ok for me cuz you’re right – Walking rules!!!

    Reply
  • Kathryn @ Flopoodle August 17, 2011, 4:44 pm

    I totally agree with this! I also only realized the importance of rest days during half marathon training, and now I run every other day or two days in a row at the most. Thanks for the great tips!

    Reply
  • Hillary August 17, 2011, 4:45 pm

    My biggest running rule is to listen to my body. When I was training for my half last summer/fall, I did NOT listen to my body nearly as much as I should have—and after the race, I was left with some seriously painful knee/hip issues. Now I’m much more attuned to when I need rest/walks/cross training and I’m injury free! Great post, Caitlin.

    Reply
  • Susan August 17, 2011, 4:46 pm

    Advice I’ve gotten from multiple time ironman atheletes: to be a better runner, you have to run more. Not mileage, but more days. The example was to run for 2 miles or 20 minutes everyday, in addition to your normal exercise. I want to try this, but just haven’t motivated myself yet.

    My advice is to stop running if you’re injured or not having fun, even if that means months off running. I took over two months off last winter because of an injurty and it really gave me a chance to heal. This past spring, I took two months off after a disappointing marathon because running wasn’t fun anymore. I’m back at it now and it’s fun again.

    Reply
  • Brittany August 17, 2011, 4:49 pm

    Those are fantastic running rules!

    I had never thought about it, but I think my running rules are as follows:

    1) If muscles hurt, slow down. If bones hurt, STOP.
    2) I can’t run fast during *every* run. Embrace the easier runs.
    3) I can always run one more mile. Totally my mantra during 20+ milers.
    4) Most importantly, I’m never “too good” for anything. Not too good to walk, to run “only” a 5k, to stop at every water stop, to take an unplanned but needed day of rest, or to admit when I need to cut back on training. We are all human!

    Reply
  • car August 17, 2011, 4:49 pm

    this post really spoke to me! i used to run back to back days, then i got a stress fracture in march and now i’m sidelined again with residual effects of that (after having gone back to running back to back). once i’m better, i’m going to implement more rest days and cross training FOR SURE.

    Reply
  • Emily W August 17, 2011, 4:50 pm

    Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Especially in NJ when it’s 90% humidity outside– I’ve found that stopping to walk and take a quick drink every mile in this weather has been so helpful.

    Also– the 10% increase rule. Important!

    Reply
  • alli August 17, 2011, 4:50 pm

    wow, did i ever need this post! i haven’t been running in 6 days due to runners knee. my right knee is swollen and achy. i’m afraid that puts me out for biking as well, and with no access to a pool i’m at a loss for what to do cardio-wise. it was super hard the first few days, but i have a new goal: YOGA and strength training! i love both, but neglected both because i love running more. but now i’m actually looking forward to strengthening my body in other areas. i know i injured myself due to lack of stretching and increasing my mileage too much too fast. it’s hard when my mind says yes! and my body says no. though my run felt great while i was doing it, it was a couple of days later that i was really hurting.
    i always ran M-W-F-Sa with no problem fri-sat. saturday is always my long run day so friday is a lot shorter of a run.

    i need to think of what my running rules are for when i’m back in it. until then i’ll be working on carving some killer arms! :)

    Reply
  • Leah @ L4L August 17, 2011, 4:51 pm

    I don’t do well with running back to back days either. The first time I tried training for a half, I was running 4-5x a week and only lasted ~6 weeks before my plantar fasciitis flared up so bad I had to quit cold turkey. When I got back into it, nearly 2 years later, I limited myself to pretty low mileage and only running 3x a week – one speedwork session, one tempo run, and one long run. It has worked out VERY well for me. I also strength train 2-3x a week, just never the day before a long run. This works really well for my body and I’m glad to have figured it out!

    Reply
  • Ashley August 17, 2011, 4:53 pm

    So glad you posted this! Especially #2. I am currently in physical therapy for tight IT bands and a pulled popliteus muscle in knee. I was feeling crappy and embarrassed about probably having to walk the 5k at HLS this weekend. Really great post, thanks!

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP August 17, 2011, 4:54 pm

      You can walk with me :) I plan to walk the 5K so I can actually talk to people.

      Reply
      • Ashley August 17, 2011, 4:58 pm

        Great! I just saw/responded to your tweet too. I should have known not to be embarrassed when the blogging community is so awesome/supportive.

        Reply
  • Ashley O. @ The Vegetable Life August 17, 2011, 4:53 pm

    I could not agree more! When I was training for my first HM I started running back to back days and quickly realized that my knee pain was worse when I did! So I alternated running and circuit training/yoga days and the pain went away!

    Reply
  • Devonshire August 17, 2011, 4:55 pm

    Great post! I love reading about al your running advice! I’m trying to transition myself to becoming a runner. I’ve got a lot of weight to loose which is kinda holding me back a bit so i really enjoyed rule #2 “Never be ashamed or afraid to walk. Walking rules.”!

    Reply
  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) August 17, 2011, 4:57 pm

    If it’s under an hour, I can run back to back, but I try not to. My current marathon training has me running 4 days a week, so I try to space my runs apart to give myself a break. I learned my lesson a few weeks ago when I ran 7 miles at night and woke up early the next morning to run 10. My legs were hurting!

    Reply
  • Kara August 17, 2011, 5:00 pm

    I agree completely about making running fun! That’s why I love running with groups of people.

    I run back to back days. I actually do two back to back long runs every week, but that’s only because I’m training the JFK 50 this fall. Yeah, it’s pretty nuts, but temporary. :)

    Reply
  • Lori Lynn August 17, 2011, 5:05 pm

    I’ve always thought that I needed to run back-to-back in order to keep my momentum. I’m a “late-bloomer” runner, and have only been running for a short time. I guess I was always scared that if I skipped a day then I would have a harder time the next time (though I would do a rest day). I had some stress/circumstances happen that I stopped running the end of May, but kept doing cardio, and am trying to work my way back up to it again. It’s taking awhile, b/c I actually did lose my momentum, but it’s a work in progress!

    Reply
    • Sarah @ w30 August 17, 2011, 5:17 pm

      I’m a late bloomer, too! Power to the Newbies!! :)

      Reply
  • Lee @ in the pink of condition August 17, 2011, 5:08 pm

    Those are great rules! My other rule that I want to add is to ALWAYS warm up properly and to stretch after every run! Like you, I am also prone to injuries, and this has helped me tremendously :-)

    Reply
    • Sarah @ w30 August 17, 2011, 5:20 pm

      A burning question I’ve had for a while … for you, Caitlin, any other commenters …

      I really need to warm up before running or I get terrible side cramps. Usually I walk briskly for five minutes before I start actually running. I’m doing my first 5k in September, and don’t know what I will do to warm up. Obviously I don’t want to walk for five minutes after the race has started. How does that work at races? Do you usually warm up somewhere? What do you recommend for warming up – maybe something that is more contained, like jumping jacks?
      Thanks!

      Reply
      • CaitlinHTP August 17, 2011, 5:22 pm

        Lots of people will walk/run prior to the start of a race before the gun goes off! It’s totally normal. Have fun at your first 5k :) :)

        Reply
        • Sarah @ w30 August 17, 2011, 5:30 pm

          Thanks! I can’t wait! Have fun at HLS!! :)

          Reply
      • Lee @ in the pink of condition August 17, 2011, 5:47 pm

        Yeah I think a good 5-10 minutes of brisk walking or light jogging is really good for your muscles, to loosen them up. I usually do that, and then I stretch for a little, so that I’m not stretching on tight/cold muscles! Good luck!

        Reply
      • Lee @ in the pink of condition August 17, 2011, 5:47 pm

        Yeah I think a good 5-10 minutes of brisk walking or light jogging is really good for your muscles, to loosen them up. I usually do that, and then I stretch for a little, so that I’m not stretching on tight/cold muscles! Good luck!

        Reply
  • Cate August 17, 2011, 5:10 pm

    I love your four rules and definitely agree with them! Walking breaks & cross training are your friends :)

    Reply
  • Tropical Eats August 17, 2011, 5:14 pm

    i needed this. thank you. :)

    Reply
  • Sarah @ w30 August 17, 2011, 5:16 pm

    Great post! I really needed to read this!
    I have degenerative disc disease, so I’ve been very wary as I’ve picked up running. So far, mostly good (I had a successful lumbar fusion surgery in 2003, so I think my body can handle it), but I will be sure to not do any back-to-back days. Also, one of the things I love about you is that you are such a proponent of walking. I sometimes beat myself up for taking walking breaks, so it really helps to remember that you, a successful runner and TRIATHLETE, walk too! :)

    Reply
  • Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats August 17, 2011, 5:17 pm

    I love this post so much! I used to run back to back days as well and I really struggled with shin pain. I have been doing cross training on my days between runs and taking one rest day every week. It seems to help a lot!

    Reply
  • Lisa August 17, 2011, 5:34 pm

    This is really interesting…I wonder if that was my case too?

    I was a fairly new runner but didn’t increase my speed or mileage too much. I was running a total of 10-20 miles a week depending on the week. Everyone around me could run twice that but never get injured.

    I cross-trained from the beginning. I was a swimmer, in fact that’s how I lost 100 pounds. So I was swimming and running and biking but not much else. I disliked yoga, was bad about stretching, and avoided weight lifting. I think I was also running back to back days. That’s an interesting idea.

    Reply
  • Bonnie August 17, 2011, 5:34 pm

    Great post! I’ve never thought of my own personal “running rules…” I want to put some more thought into what mine are now too! I can run back-to-back days; yesterday I did an easy 6.7 miler and was going to hit the weights today but wanted to run and so listened to my legs and ran for almost 12 miles today. But generally I’ll leave a blank day in between long runs and try to only run every other day so I can incorporate strength training into my days too. I kind of go in phases – lots of weights/body weight exercises then lots of running…I need to get better at spacing them out. Thanks for that reminder!

    (and I hope to meet you at the HLS! It’s my first time, I’ve never met anyone face to face, and I’m nervous since I’m newish to the blogging scene…but stoked and really looking forward to the experience all the same!)

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP August 17, 2011, 5:51 pm

      Hi Bonnie :) I can’t wait to meet you! I’ll be doing reg at the hotel from 4 – 5 if you wanna stop by and say hi! Don’t worry, it’s really fun. You’ll have a blast.

      Reply
  • Kelly August 17, 2011, 5:41 pm

    I used to run back to back all the time but like you suffered from small nagging injuries. Now I run on T, TH and Saturday and do weight training on M, W, F and it works sooooo much better.

    Reply
  • Carolina John August 17, 2011, 5:45 pm

    That’s the beauty of triathlon. And I too was glad to see no knee sleeves showing up at the lake logan oly! You don’t want to waste the transition time putting those things on. Cross training also builds lots of balanced muscle strength (working the opposite muscles used in running) and lots of core strength, which is really the key to staying injury free.

    Reply
  • Gina @ Running to the Kitchen August 17, 2011, 6:03 pm

    I can usually do 2 days of running back to back but never after a long run. I try to keep 2 days in a row my max. I’d love to not have to but it’s sometimes hard to fit everything in I want to do in a week without back to backs!

    Reply
  • Nicole August 17, 2011, 6:04 pm

    Those are really great rules and maybe help to explain my injuries. I am back on the running bandwagon after many injuries so I have to start right back at the beginning again. Maybe commenters can help on this too….I ran 2miles this week or about 15min. Next week I was going to add in another day of running 15min (I walk 5min, run 15min and then walk 10min). Now technically, that is adding in more than the 10% rule, however when most people start running, they usually start off running 2 days a week. So how do you determine what mileage to actually start at? Is 15min twice a week too much? If it helps, I also take 2 spin classes a week so I’m not totally sedentary and starting from nothing.

    Reply
  • Mia August 17, 2011, 6:11 pm

    this might sound really weird but something that has worked really well for me in terms of preventing injury is:
    a. making sure I am relaxed when I’m running, and
    b. running without music

    When I first started running I was very anxious about the whole thing…anxious about being outside alone, anxious about not being able to complete the loop, anxious about looking too stupid, too slow, you name it…I used to be SO tense when I was running, and I got injured constantly!

    About a year ago I started running for relaxation, i run 5 – 6 days a week (about 40 miles) with absolutely no injuries and I have gone from running 10 min miles to 8 min miles easily.

    for the music thing – it helps me a lot to pay attention to my breathing, it’s like I need to hear my self breathing and having earbuds in makes that very challenging.

    I know these tips are a little “zen”, but they make running so much more enjoyable :)

    Reply
    • sonia the mexigarian August 17, 2011, 11:12 pm

      that’s so funny. I used to be soooo pissed when I couldn’t use my ipod for a run. though in the last few weeks of my training in june i stopped using it since it died on a run and enjoyed running without it. though i did wear it for my 10k, needed that extra motivation :) training runs, I am good without.

      Reply
  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss August 17, 2011, 6:20 pm

    I just decided to increase my mileage for training and was worried that it may lead to injuries (I’ve had so many before!!), but so far it’s been great being that there’s at least one rest day between the runs..and two before any long runs. I used to run back-to-back days, but not anymore!

    Reply
  • CJ @ http://healthy-happy-whole.com/ August 17, 2011, 6:20 pm

    Wow this is a really great post! I had a bit of a problem with running two years ago when I ran EVERYDAY, no exceptions and eventually my body could not take it anymore. Initially I had started running for fun, training with my husband to do a 5k for a really good cause, and then i took it to an ultra-competitive level and it ruined it! Thank you for reminding me that running can be theraputic and wonderful, if you respect your four rules :-)

    Reply
  • Leah @ Why Deprive? August 17, 2011, 6:27 pm

    I learned the hard way that I absolutely should not run back to back days. Its just asking for trouble.

    Reply
  • Ida August 17, 2011, 6:34 pm

    I think the biggest rule is that every body is different, so dont compare your running to someone else.

    Reply
  • Joyce @ Jranola Joyce August 17, 2011, 6:34 pm

    Thanks so much for this!
    I’ve been having lots of joint pain after running way too much too quickly in the past 2 years.
    I now know the importance of rest days!!

    Reply
  • Army Amy* August 17, 2011, 6:36 pm

    I like that you are pro walk breaks. Sometimes taking walk breaks gets a bad rap!*

    Reply
  • Julia August 17, 2011, 6:40 pm

    I’ve been in and out of running for years (I actually did XC in high school) and I am again just starting to get into it again by starting the Couch to 5K program. I do have some knee issues anyway (they ache a lot and hurts to do up and down stairs) which I was told it was because they were knobby more than a few times. I’ve only done the 1st week of running/walking and the whole time my knees are killing! Any advice for that one?

    Most of my friends are runners (completing 1/2 marathons and fulls) and my boyfriend recently completed his first full marathon – so proud!:) It’s awesome that my friends are so accomplished but also really intimidating. I feel like I sound like a wimp if I complain of my knees after 20 minutes when they run for hours at a time!

    Reply
    • Susan August 18, 2011, 10:36 am

      I’m not a doctor or physical therapist, but will speak from my personal experience of having knee pain. What I’ve found is that my knees tended to bend outwards when I did stuff, instead of tracking straight. I had to work consciously on making sure that when I did things like lunges or squats that my knees were tracking forward instead of outward. I worked a lot on strengthening my outer thigh muscles so that it became instinct to track straight. When I did that, my knee pain went away.Not sure if that makes sense, but I would look in a mirror when you do something like lunges and see what your knees do.

      Just my experience! And no question – active stretching before running, static after!

      Reply
  • Marissa C August 17, 2011, 6:40 pm

    Can I just say I love your attitude towards exercise? Obviously weight control is a motivating factor for you (Not saying you are fact–just noting what you said above in your post about why you started running), but it doesn’t seem to consume your attitude toward working out. Once I realized exercise makes me FEEL good and be healthier overall, I learned to like it more!

    Reply
  • Mary August 17, 2011, 7:04 pm

    I also can’t run on back-to-back days, and I try never to do the same type of any exercise 2 days in a row. Triathlons ROCK, and I definitely feel the cross training improves strength in all areas and prevents injury.

    Reply
  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats August 17, 2011, 7:05 pm

    No back-to-back running is a very good rule. I was using running intervals on the treadmill last spring to loose weight and I was doing it just about EVERY DAY. And guess what? I pulled my IT band and couldn’t run for months. Shocking… not. I’m back into running now (for FUN!) and so thankful for it because I missed running, it’s such a stress relief to go out and run on a nice day. I’m doing my best to not run back to back because I never want to get injured again!

    Reply
  • Kristin August 17, 2011, 7:11 pm

    such a great post!!! i totally agree!!! i cant run back to back anymore either! Running Rule #1- LISTEN to your body (knees!) i have to tell myself that all the time!

    Reply
  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey August 17, 2011, 7:16 pm

    I cannot do back to back runs either – after 3 days, I feel like my legs are going to fall off!!

    Reply
  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife August 17, 2011, 7:26 pm

    I don’t LIKE running back-to-back days, so this post hit a chord for me too!

    I love cross training if I am training for a running race. :)

    Reply
  • Penny August 17, 2011, 7:26 pm

    I love this!! I’ve wanted a post like this from you for a long time!!!
    I started running about 2-3 months. I downloaded a training app to my iphone and stuck to it religiously. I also devoured everything I could on the net about proper form, rest days, breathing….everything.
    I’m still a newbie for sure, but I have no doubt I’ll keep running and eventaully improve my speed and distance. I absolutely love it when you offer tips and advice…on anything. :-)

    Reply
  • Lara August 17, 2011, 7:29 pm

    I used to agree wholeheartedly with everything you said, but I think the real problem is that people increase things too quickly. When I was a beginner runner, I couldn’t run more than 2 days in a row without something hurting as well. It took me 3 YEARS to go from running 20 miles/week and 3 times/week to running 45-50 miles/week and 6 times/week. I seriously had to increase my mileage SO slowly and sure I had a few injuries but I found that as I ran more, I got so much stronger. I kept losing fat and gaining more muscle and my endurance got so much better. I do cross train still- yoga, body pump, and swimming when I have time- but running is my main form of exercise. If you’re just running for health and exercise, I think you are totally right for running every day and just taking it easy. However, if you wanted to place in races and qualify for Boston/NY like I did, you would definitely need to run more than that. I think that anyone is capable, it’s not like someone’s body just isn’t made for running, but it takes a lot of patience and hard work to get there.

    Reply
  • maria August 17, 2011, 7:34 pm

    spotted an “operation beautiful” type message at another website – this week’s posting which will expire Sunday so go look now if you want to see it!

    http://www.postsecret.com/

    Reply
  • Rosa - Fitness, Food, Fulfilled August 17, 2011, 7:35 pm

    I too used to run back to back days when I was on Weight Watchers and trying to drop 30lbs. I would easily do 40 – 42 miles in a week. That changed when I developed plantar fasciitis. So painful. I kept getting re-injuring until I realized I wasn’t warming up my feet enough before taking off on a run and that I can’t do back to back anymore. Cross training is a lifesaver too. But I’d still always rather be running.

    Reply
  • Melissa @ TryingToHeal August 17, 2011, 7:44 pm

    Great suggestions! i can run 3 days back to back but I always take the day off before and after a long run to recoup! I try to do yoga in between to help with flexibility!

    Reply
  • Sarah August 17, 2011, 7:50 pm

    I also only run every other day. This was a recommendation from my physio and my sports medicine doctor. Faithfully sticking to it has helped a hip problem I have (FAI syndrome) not only NOT get worse (the only way to fix it is surgery), but I’ve been able to keep the inflammation at a minimum! My other running rule is that I must do at least 20 min yoga on a day I run. I can’t convince myself to stretch so yoga does the trick!

    Reply
  • Delia August 17, 2011, 8:14 pm

    I spent a summer as a student in San Francisco near the beach and without a gym, so I was running every day ~35miles/wk. Halfway through the summer, I developed hip bursitis and had to take NSAIDs. Even worse, I had to cut down on the running, which was a major bummer in such a beautiful city and also because I was training for the SF half too.

    Nowadays, I usually use the elliptical on the weekdays due to the time crunch and try to run on the weekends when I can wander.

    Reply
  • yvonne August 17, 2011, 8:40 pm

    I have no idea of what is too much or too little anymore.

    On Tuesday, I had a bit of a scare. I was on the elliptical for 1/2 hour. I got off, got water & went to the bathroom & was heading over to the weights when I noticed that my finger started throbbing & was pooling up with blood underneath the skin. I ended up panicking (I blame the high heart rate) & in the hospital where the doctor said it was just a broken blood vessel. Later on that day, I felt really dizzy as well. I had gone for a long run on Sunday (2 days ago), rested on Monday, and was back at it on the Tuesday. Now I’m scared to run again, and I’m really frustrated because it seems like everyone else is able to run every couple of days.

    Every time I do a long run (about one hour at 4.2 m/hour @ 165 heartbeats/minute), I end up exhausted & depressed the day after. Is this too much? It’s slow, I know, but my heartrate is so high that I can’t run faster without blowing out of the third level zone.

    I’ve lost about 60 pounds, but I’m scared about putting the weight back on. My friends say that I’m too hard-core, but I’m still 8 pounds overweight. Basically, I do a long (1 hour) run once a week, do sprints 2x a week, and go to the gym or walk for an hour on the treadmill on every other day. I always make sure that I’m getting some kind of exercise.

    I look at people saying that they’re doing an “easy” 6.2 miler. I’m not doing that kind of workout, so why won’t my body stand up? I don’t think that what I’m doing is excessive, is it?

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP August 18, 2011, 10:33 am

      Aw you POOR THING! How scary and frightening. Your schedule doesn’t sound too much, but your symptoms make me believe there is something else going on (maybe a medical condition). Have you spoken to your doctor about all of these symptoms? I really think you should – and take it easy in the meantime (i.e. don’t exercise until you have an answer). Trust me, you will not gain back the weight in a week or two :) I promise. Congrats on losing 60 pounds so far. Remember that your health, though, is about more than your weight, and clearly something is going on!!

      xoxo keep me updated!

      Reply
  • Katheryn August 17, 2011, 8:51 pm

    My rule is run because you want to, not because you should.

    I also cannot run on back-to-back days. And that’s okay! I really enjoy other forms of exercise as well, so it’s the best of both worlds.

    Reply
  • BroccoliHut August 17, 2011, 9:02 pm

    Excellent advice! I’ve been getting injured a lot recently, and after reading this post I think it’s because (when not injured) I run 6 days a week. I guess I need to incorporate some cross-training and rest days!

    Reply
  • Lexi @ A Spoonful of Sunshine August 17, 2011, 9:06 pm

    I was just talking to someone about knee problems earlier today. The “perfectionist” in me definitely likes to go to the extreme when it comes to exercise, so I could see how back-to-back running days could be harmful.

    I know every form of exercise is different, but I wonder if the same principle could apply to yoga. I’ve been doing a lot of back to back yoga lately and noticed that both my hip and knee problem spots have been flaring up. I’m also knock-knee’d to begin with, which I’m guessing aggravates the problem.

    Have any of ya’ll had a similar problem? :)

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP August 18, 2011, 10:35 am

      Yup. Yoga is hard! I can’t do it too much or go too hard either. You should talk to the instructor about modifications, too.

      Reply
  • Luv What You Do August 17, 2011, 9:33 pm

    I always remember to ENJOY THE RUN! There was a 6 month period where I wasn’t allowed to run and I was pissed! When I am training, getting tired, and not feeling up for a run, I remind me myself that I don’t have to run, I GET TO RUN and that helps (atleast get me started). Once I’m started, I feel better with each step…especially when I pass a deer on my path.

    I will run back to back but usually one run is a shorter run (under 5 miles), but I typically like to cross train when I can (and get some yoga in there!)

    Reply
  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin August 17, 2011, 9:40 pm

    I think I’ve run back-to-back days a few times, but as a rule I try not to. I don’t want to burn out on something I love and end up hating it! :P

    Reply
  • tmart August 17, 2011, 9:48 pm

    I am a long-time blog reader and I must say that this post has many good points, however, I don’t completely agree with everything. I do think that everyone needs to know their own body and what they are capable of. However, if you are getting injured, you cannot automatically assume that it is ‘too-much’ for sure. I think too many people get discouraged at first with nagging injuries or problems and therefore feel like they have to throw in the towel with reaching their potential as runners. Injury could be related to improper footwear, sloppy form, running on unever surfaces, even mental fatigue can make form suffer. Sometimes it takes pushing through and really challenging yourself and your body to know the upper limit of what you are capable of- both from a milage and a quality perspective.

    With that said, I realize that I’m at the other extreme. I run everyday, I think my last day off from running was about 60 days ago. I like to do 80-100 miles a week with some swimming when I can. I find it fun to push myself and test what I’m capable of. Surprising yourself after hard work is pretty much the coolest thing ever.

    Reply
    • liz August 18, 2011, 7:14 am

      I agree with your points here. I would add that injuries can often come from lack of enough muscular strength. I don’t think we can entirely rely on running to build the muscles we need to stay strong, healthy and injury-free as running mileage increases.

      Reply
      • CaitlinHTP August 18, 2011, 10:35 am

        True that to both comments! Thanks, guys!

        Reply
  • Brittney August 17, 2011, 9:51 pm

    I normally don’t run back to back days either. I think your body needs the time to heal itself and recoup. It seems to have worked well for me!

    Reply
  • Mel August 17, 2011, 9:55 pm

    I don’t know that I have my own “rules of running” but this post is making me think that I should. I ran XC and track all four years of high school. I enjoyed the camaraderie I had with my teammates and participating in something active, but I also suffered a lot of stress from it. My team was very, very good (we won State my sophomore year and placed every other year) and because of this I never felt like I was good enough. Literally, my fastest 5K in high school was 22:48 and my fastest mile was 6:07-not bad by any standards! Except when I compared myself to my faster, sub 20:00 teammates. I think that running became kind of a chore for me, and it wasn’t enjoyable at all. Now that I’m out of high school (and college) running has become more enjoyable. It hasn’t been something that I have stuck with consistently, I’ve fallen in and out of running patterns but I think based on my history with running it’s something I will always go back to. Now instead of competing with my teammates, I run to build connections with others. Some Saturday’s my Dad and I run together at the waterfront and then share breakfast afterwards as a means for catching up, other Saturday’s I run with a local group that was founded by some war widows to honor the service and sacrifice of the American military (it’s called “wear blue: run to remember”), and when I was at school I used to run with my best friend to catch up on life and partake in something we both enjoy doing. In light of all of this, I suppose my running rule might be to not compare myself to others, and instead focus on the relationship building that running can produce! :)

    PS- Just got a Garmin Forerunner 110 for my birthday and am in love. I didn’t know it was possible to love a piece of technology so much!

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP August 18, 2011, 10:36 am

      Garmins are so fun :) Happy belated birthday!

      Reply
  • Sharon Koch August 17, 2011, 9:56 pm

    Great post… I can relate on the injury front, plantar fasciitis and a heel spur sidelined me for awhile. And because of that, I truly now embrace the value of cross-training. I don’t often run back to back, and now change things up including a lot of biking and swimming as well. If I am running with other people, I don’t listen to music, otherwise I love running with my ipod. That’s about it, not too much for rules!! Just try and put in a bit of something most days and live for the races!!

    Reply
  • Deva (Voracious Vorilee) August 17, 2011, 10:04 pm

    Love your rules! I have asthma, so one of my rules is not to run outdoors when it is too horribly humid out (smog gets high and it affects my lungs in a BIG way). Right now I am dealing with the mental side of running and I’m not sure how to play the mental game in a way that works for me.

    Reply
  • mego @watchmegorun August 17, 2011, 10:06 pm

    I agree with all of these rules, especially #4. After a troubling bout of runner’s knee, I realized how important it was to focus on strengthening my body in other ways. Since then, no injuries! Another rule I live by is: Water is your best friend. Staying hydrated during training runs is the only way I can survive. I guzzle so much water in a day, but it keeps me energized and my muscles from cramping.

    Reply
  • Sonia the Mexigarian August 17, 2011, 10:55 pm

    When I first started running, I decdided to sign up and train for a 10k. I was following a Couch 210k program and it helped a quite a bit since it had plenty of walking the first few weeks. Though I did push myself too hard, trying to condense my weeks down, running back to back days, not cross training and not resting. I ended up wth a calf injury :\ I was out from running for over a month (got seriously sick as well) and missed the 10k. Once I recovered I started the training over again, this time taking at least two rest days in btween runs and cross training and lots of yoga. Now I am coming back from a bone contusion and though I know I can run a 10k, my body isn’t where it was 1 month ago and I accept that. It’s hard, but acceptable, and I know I will steadily get back to where I was.

    I never liked running before. Running was for crazy people . . . now I am one of those crazy people. I may not log in 20 mile weeks, but I enjoy the time I am out there listening to my body and talking shop with Hubby’s grandpa :)

    I follow those rules you listed Caitlin, and I always stretch and ice after every run, no matter how small.

    Reply
  • Dee August 17, 2011, 11:07 pm

    I’ve never been a runner and have signed up for my first 5K and am working my way thru a C25K progrqam. My rule is that speed doesn’t matter. The goal is to “run” it from start to finish without walking. And if I need to walk, that’s OK too. I keep reminding myself that I just have to try my best.

    Reply
  • Kim August 17, 2011, 11:17 pm

    This is a random question,

    Do you know of any running bloggers who have Rheumatoid Arthritis?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • mi-an d. August 17, 2011, 11:36 pm

      runningoffthereeses.com has RA and runs. :)

      Reply
    • Jen August 18, 2011, 12:07 am

      I don’t know of any bloggers, but have a friend with RA who is an avid runner – she feels that running really helps avoid stiffness & has definitely slowed progression of the disease!

      Reply
    • CaitlinHTP August 18, 2011, 10:38 am

      I asked on Twitter, I’ll let you know!

      Reply
    • Susan August 18, 2011, 10:40 am

      I’m one. I don’t know if I’m a good sample, however, since I feel like my disease is fairly under control through use of medication. I will tell you that having RA doesn’t seem to slow me down. Or maybe it does…that’s it, I finally have an excuse for not being too fast!

      Reply
    • CaitlinHTP August 18, 2011, 10:49 am Reply
  • mi-an d. August 17, 2011, 11:40 pm

    hi caitlin, i love this post! and also love your 4 rules!! so simple and easy! :)) i used to do the back to back and pulled my quads so i stopped. so i would just do yoga and strength training. i started running again, and i only run 2-3 per week, 2x power and asthanga yoga, 2x crosstraining, i foam roll and it’s all good in the hood!! :)) i have bad bunion on my left foot and it used to hurt me so much so i can never run that much. anyways, i feel much better about running now… thanks for this post!! told ya before i’ve never raced before..i feel always feel like everyone is crazy runner athlete. but i like the walking policy. :)) thanks again!

    Reply
  • ashley @ ashley's adventures in alaska August 17, 2011, 11:55 pm

    I love these rules! Mine are:
    never run more 2 days in a row (I get shin splints like crazy if I try to)– run with friends when possible– drink lots of water afterwards–where the most badass outfit possible. These work for me. :)

    Reply
  • Khushboo August 18, 2011, 12:57 am

    I used to do back-to-back runs all the time and only now can I saw how inefficient it was! Now I’ve scaled back to 3 runs a week with strength/cross training in between and I am so much more buzzing and my runs are also faster and more enjoyable! I walked for 5 minutes in between my run yesterday and whereas normally I’d hate to ‘give in’, I could hear you saying ‘its ok to walk’…haha I totally embraced it :)

    Reply
  • Elise August 18, 2011, 4:27 am

    My number one rule is “Listen to your body.” Since I had ACL repair (with torn meniscus) and arthroscopic surgery on my right knee BEFORE I ever started running and racing, I’m very in tune with my body. If something hurts, I immediately stop, and then I assess if its a good/bad hurt. If its a pain that isn’t injuring me, I continue but if its bad pain, I stop and figure out how to heal/prevent it from happening next time. I also never run back-to-back, and often times only run 2x/week — even while training for a marathon. You only get one set of knees, and I’d like to keep mine for a while and keep doing what I love: running & racing!

    Reply
  • Claire August 18, 2011, 6:15 am

    I’m currently running 5 days a week as I’m 7.5 weeks out from a marathon, so I’m doing S,S,M,W,Th. Usual running would be 4 runs a week, so I run 2 days in a row once a week, but try to avoid doing it any more than I absolutely have to. In marathon training though, I’ve found a light short run the day after my long run does wonders for my recovery. I’ve also suffered from runners knee, and my running rule would be to never ever take running injury free for granted. It is such a gift. I distinctly remember thinking if only I could just do 3x5ks per week I would be happy. Although now that I have recovered this seems to be a very light week, I’ll never forget what it is like to have to stop altogether.

    Reply
  • Eliza August 18, 2011, 7:08 am

    Hey Caitlin!!
    Was wondering if you had the link to the post you did a while back about starting out as a runner?
    I run to keep fit- but only at times of my life that aren’t too hectic.. and I really want to motivate myself to make it part of my routine..- does anyone have any tips?
    Thanks

    Reply
  • R. Chandra August 18, 2011, 7:20 am

    my #1 rule – walk often! i am training for a marathon and usually do some sort of walking or running every day – but at least 2-3 days a week i just walk. i live in the city so i walk as much as i can to school, work, for errands, etc. on top of that. i’ve run two half-marathons in the past 1.5 years and my body responds great to this. i have NO interest in speed with running so i am perfectly happy with a 10:00-12:00 min/mi average for my runs that include walking. it makes me feel good, and LONG distances are so satisfying to me. i do 40-50 miles a week & never have been injured.

    Reply
  • RunToTheFinish August 18, 2011, 7:33 am

    you are so right we all have different needs for our workouts and how our bodies react. For me I agree that running is something I LOVE to do, so any training has to allow me to maintain that

    Reply
  • Allie August 18, 2011, 7:37 am

    I don’t run much but I always make sure I do different workouts on back to back days. I also got sucked into the trap of thinking that I had to do as much as possible as often as possible but as soon as I realised I wasn’t getting any results I changed my tactics.

    Reply
  • Anna August 18, 2011, 8:27 am

    I try not to run back to back days either! My body will start reacting…I’ve had foot issues, hip issues, etc…I advise anyone picking up running or increasing their mileage to go slow and listen to THEIR body. It is so easy to look at what your friends are doing and want to do the same, but everybody is unique!

    Reply
  • LakeLady August 18, 2011, 8:40 am

    Never commented before, but this is EXACTLY what I needed to hear today1 I’m coming off a bad bout of tendonitis from running too many days in a row and realizing that I need more rest days/cross-training was a bitter pill to swallow. Reading about how positively you’ve handled this helps me realize that I too can turn this into a positive. Thanks!!!

    Reply
  • Amy August 18, 2011, 9:02 am

    It’s ironic that I read this post this morning. I’m re-reading the Complete Book of Running and just read the section last night about listening to your body and building a training plan around that.

    My 1 rule when I run is no walking. I would rather slow down to a turtle’s pace then walk.

    Reply
  • LindseyAnn August 18, 2011, 9:23 am

    I just went and re-read the shoe fit post (how did I miss that before?), and I want to hug the girl who wrote it. She hit the nail on the head. I seriously want to print it off and post it in our running store for people to read.

    I’ve learned that, while I am stronger, if I run more than 4 days a week right now I will end up hurting. And, at least once a week, I leave the watch at home and just run. I don’t worry about time. I don’t worry about speed. I just go and enjoy it. :)

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP August 18, 2011, 10:43 am

      Yay! I am so glad it was a good post.

      Reply
  • Faith @ lovelyascharged August 18, 2011, 10:28 am

    This post came at a perfect time – I just bought a bike and have fallen in love with cycling, but I felt bad abandoning my dreams of making myself into a runner. I’m a person who has to fully commit to something to make progress, so I felt like if I didn’t run every day, I’d never get to where I wanted to be training-wise. This way though I can alternate days of running/cycling and still enjoy both activities without my performance suffering!

    Reply
  • Yolie @ Practising Wellness August 18, 2011, 10:37 am

    I definitely get runners knee too and cannot do back to back. In fact, if I do most things like spinning and running and ellipticalling more than a couple of days in a row I get a bit tender in my right knee…it’s a bit sore. So I try to mix it up, and include lots of yoga too. That works best for me :-) I love your running rules, they rule, lol! *groan, so bad, i know* :-P xyx

    Reply
  • Lauren @ SassyMolassy August 18, 2011, 10:58 am

    I agree that no everyone’s body can handle certain mileage or back to back running as well as others. For me, to stay uninjured, I definitely need to do cross training, but also vary the types of runs I’m doing (tempo, easy, progressive) and the surfaces I run on (road, trail, bark). Stretching and foam rolling is also super helpful.

    Reply
  • marian @ marianwrites August 18, 2011, 11:46 am

    love this post! last year when I got into running, i thought that in order to be a serious, hardcore, badass runner (anything less would be shameful, OF COURSE!), I had to run as much as possible. After too many injuries i found out how silly I was to think that. Now I have a much better outlook on running, I’ve taken up yoga, and I’m injury free! Your outlook on exercise is always so refreshing to me.

    Reply
  • jphelton3@aol.com August 18, 2011, 11:57 am

    I’m doing this… http://www.toughmudder.com in 66 days.. thanks for this post! I really needed it.. especially the part about not being ashamed to walk. <3 jen

    Reply
  • Laura August 18, 2011, 11:58 am

    My rule… SLOW DOWN. Its amazing how I’m able to get my mileage in and keep my confidence up by holding myself back in the first few miles. If I want to run really hard the last two miles, fine, but I need to start slow otherwise my first two miles will probably be my only two miles.

    Reply
  • Veronica August 18, 2011, 12:29 pm

    I run M,W,F,Sa but I walk 2 miles of treadmill hills (5-12% incline) on Tu and Th. So I do workout 6 days a week, but walking is so ridiculously low-impact that I dont worry about it. Plus, walking is such good QUALITY exercise. Its easy to run sloppy just to get the miles in, but when you walk hills its the equivalent of 30 minutes of squats.
    I can run 3 miles without breathing hard. But after 2 miles of walking I’m dripping with sweat and can’t carry a conversation.

    Quality. However you exercise, make sure its quality time. Thats my #1 rule.

    Reply
  • Jen Correa @ Mom's Gotta Run August 18, 2011, 12:39 pm

    I JUST made an appointment with the doctor for my knee after reading you post and referring back to your earlier post. Thank you so much. I guess I’ll feel better when I know what is wrong- maybe.

    Reply
    • Caitlin August 18, 2011, 12:40 pm

      Oh I hope your knee feels better soon!

      Reply
  • Eileen August 18, 2011, 12:48 pm

    Great post!! I am a newbie at running (about 10 weeks in) and I’ve been frustrated and discouraged because I’m not running that far (~3 miles) and I still need to walk part of the time. Thank you for the reassurance that this is ok!!

    Reply
  • Dana @ the Big Fat Skinny August 18, 2011, 6:22 pm

    These rules RULE!! I agree completely! Back to back running, and overtraining and NOT cross training breeds injury! Love this post Caitlin!

    Reply
  • Cristina @ Girl Meets Pink August 18, 2011, 7:46 pm

    Those are awesome rules!! I’m one of those runners who always walks in between. No joke. I don’t really see myself anytime soon running without stopping. Sometimes it happens, but most of the time there’s a walk in between “lamp posts” or whatever I see in the distance to break it up.

    Cross training? I don’t love it (yet) but I’m hoping some Yoga can push me into the love zone.

    Reply
  • Kate August 18, 2011, 8:12 pm

    how did you know how much to eat so that you wouldnt injure yourself?

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP August 18, 2011, 8:15 pm

      When I’m training for a longer race, I eat a base of 2000 calories a day plus all the calories I burned off during any exercise that day.

      Reply
  • hilary August 19, 2011, 12:36 pm

    Love love this! I run a lot of days in a row and I have started running every other day and incorporating new exercises weekly (Yoga, Rowing). I have noticed that my running has become stronger and I am in better shape.

    My rule– never feel guilty for not taking a run! It wasn’t meant to be and you can try again tomorrow.

    Reply
  • Victoria August 22, 2011, 1:44 pm

    I read your blog all the time, and really love it. I have shared this post on mine, hope you don’t mind. I have just started training for my first 10 km race in the fall, and this blog was perfect!

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP August 22, 2011, 1:52 pm

      That’s fine :) Good luck at your 5k!

      Reply
  • Alett August 23, 2011, 10:00 am

    Those are excellent rules!

    I do not run back to back days…often. The caveat being triathlon training. For example this weekend I have a 90 minute ride with a 20 min brick run after on Saturday and on Sunday I have a 90 minute long run on schedule. The only way I can do back to back runs is if only one of the runs has a “hard” component or if both runs have “easy” component. A few years back hubby and I were training for the Goofy challenge (half marathon on Saturday followed by full marathon on sunday). We started training in June; the race was in January. We did back to back long runs over the weekend starting with doing half the distance of Sunday’s distance the day before. We slowly built up to a max of 10 miles on Saturday and 20 miles on sunday. I think the only reason I didn’t get injured is that these were easy miles (easy paced miles). As a general rule though I try not to do back to back runs!

    Reply
  • current iraq war status May 3, 2012, 1:57 pm

    As an atheistic twenty-year-old in the early 1970′s, when “Imagine” came out, I disliked its lyrics (I ALWAYS listened to the lyrics.) and its melody. I have not changed. I did hear that Lennon had, for which I’m thankful for his sake. It’s too bad the self-serving secular media doesn’t clue everybody in to Lennon’s change of heart about the lyrics’ sentiments. But that is as likely as a typical crowd of people refusing the offers of a man on the street corner handing out $100 bills.

    Reply
  • Kelsey March 6, 2013, 3:08 am

    Thanks for posting this again! I’m just starting training for my first 1/2 marathon and am trying to run as much as I can without causing injury. The information on back to back days sounds good! My current running schedule has me at a 2 days run, rest 1 day, run 2, cross. Makes me feel good that it lines up with what you’re saying.

    Reply

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