Nathan Pennington Running in The Distance

Run 3 Times a Week | Tips to PR Faster

Can you run 3 times a week and still get legitimate results? Yes. You do not need to be running 7 days a week in order to set a new personal best for your chosen event. Of course, there are many runners who run 3 times a week simply for fun and to get in better shape. I am a big believer in quality over quantity. Racing success is about training smarter, not necessarily harder.

Higher mileage is not always the answer. In fact, there are many runners who have great success on running lower mileage. I got up to as high as 142 miles a week. That being said, it left me tired and lethargic. I ran my personal best for the marathon (2:19:35) off of 85 to 90 miles a week. So, it is not so much as about the volume you are doing as it is the quality of the work.

Be patient with yourself during your training. Remember, it takes between 3 to 4 weeks for the body to adapt to the stress load you are placing on it. So, a longer training plan is always going to be better than a shorter training block. I have created training plans here that range from 8 to 24 weeks in length. The optimal time frame to train for most races is 12 to 24 weeks.

What Happens If You Run 3 Times a Week?

Naturally, your heart will not have to work as hard the fitter you become. In addition, you will improve your body's lactate tolerance the fitter you get. Also, you will be able to sustain your goal race longer. The reason being is you will be able to clear lactic acid more effectively the better shape you get into. So, if you run 3 times a week consistently you are definitely going to see some positive changes.

Running 3 times a week will also help you to lose weight. In addition, you will improve your stamina and endurance. The fitter you get the more days a week you will be able to train. Again, patience is key. I see far too many runners trying to rush their fitness. I would recommend running easy and relaxed for at least 4 weeks. In addition, do strides twice per week during your easy workouts.

Strides are great for working on your acceleration. Also, for improving your leg turnover and leg speed. Strides are too short to build up any large amounts of lactic acid. So, you can do these short 50 to 100-meter long sprints without causing additional fatigue.

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Is Running 30 Minutes Three Times a Week Enough?

I think it is especially if you do not have a great deal of time in your schedule to work out. Remember, the best results are going to come about my consistency. You have to be diligent and tenacious in this sport to see significant results. You are either trained or un-trained, there is no in between. So, how badly you desire success is going to come down to your willingness to endure.

I see far too many runners giving up too soon. Of course, your goal may not be to run a specific distance in a specific time. That being said, most runners do have time goals they want to run their chosen distance in. So, in order to sustain race pace effectively you have to stress the energy systems of the body and often.

Running for 30 minutes, 3 days a week will certainly generate a good deal of fitness. Remember, quality is what matters most. In addition, recovery in between your hard workouts is also vital. I would highly recommend investing in a heart rate monitor. I use the Garmin 245. It helps me to not run too fast on easy days and too slow during tempo runs or my faster long runs.

How Long Does it Take to See Results from Running 3 Times a Week?

As mentioned above, it will take between 3 to 4 weeks for the body to adapt to the training you are putting it through. You will start to see some adaptation to occur in about 14 days though. So, make sure to start focusing on lengthening the distance of your tempo runs. We run between 85 to 89% of our max heart rate running at our lactate threshold.

A big reason why runners slow down in their races is not spending adequate time training at the anaerobic threshold. Also, they are trying to win their races in the first mile or 2 of the race. Remember, proper pacing is absolutely essential to set a new personal best. In addition, hydration and proper nutrition in training and in your races also plays a major part.

I would also start spending at least 10 minutes a day focusing on mental training. So, visualize yourself getting across the finish line in your goal time. Our goals have to start in the mind first. I credit mental training to helping me break the sub 2:20 marathon barrier. I saw myself breaking that barrier even while I was a 2:43 marathoner.

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Is Running 2 Miles 3 Times a Week Enough?

I think for most runners it is. That being said, the faster you get the more volume will start to play a bigger role. Is your goal to become an advanced or elite runner? If so, running at least 5 days a week is mandatory and up to 7 days a week. Again, you have to focus first on building a strong aerobic base first. You do no want to jump into doing fartlek workouts, speed sessions or faster long runs until you have run easy first.

I ran 5 to 7 days a week from 1992 to 2018 when I retired from the sport. Of course, every runner has different objectives. My goal as a high school athlete was to make it to the Olympic Games. I did not quite make it to that level. That being said, I did earn a 2008 USA Track and Field Olympic Trials “A” standard time of 2:19:35 for the marathon. Yes, there were many tough times along the way.

So, you have to believe in delayed gratification. Also, have a long-term vision for what you are doing. Great results do not come overnight. So, running 3 times a week will certainly yield superior results for most runners. I would focus on one easy workout, 1 tempo run and 1 speed workout per week. Of course, the fitter you get you may want to add in an additional day of easy running.

Is Running 20 Minutes 3 Times a Week Enough?

If you run 3 times a week for 20 minutes you can still get legitimate results. 20 minutes is about the minimum time I would focus on though. The reason being is if you are only running for 10 minutes you are only burning sugars. 20 minutes or longer you will be burning fat. The fitter you get the longer you will be able to run.

In addition, the faster you will cover the distance of your workouts. Also, you will not need as much recovery in between each of your track or road intervals. Again, this will take time so you really have to be patient about this. Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I create new training videos there each week to help runners like you get to the next level.

Closing Thoughts

I hope that this post has been helpful to you. Remember, continue to work on your leg speed and practice running at or below your goal race pace. Running easy is important. That being said, if too much of your weekly volume is spent running too easy you will not be as prepared as you could be. You will not get any rest in your races.

So, you have to make sure you are training well below goal race pace for at least 15 to 20% of your weekly mileage. The world's best middle to long distance runners run around 40% of their mileage at or below their anaerobic threshold. So, they make racing look easy for a reason. It is not simply because they are talented or Kenyan.

I have known many talented runners that simply did not want it badly enough. I have also known average level runners who stayed consistent and became elite runners. So, rely on your determination and work ethic if you are lacking genetic talent. You can still produce superior results with consistent training and belief in what you are doing. I already know you have what it takes otherwise you would not have read this far.

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