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How often should you train for your running goal?

Finding the right training frequency in running is crucial for success and injury prevention. It should be adapted to your previous training, your goals and your life. Training and recovery need to be balanced, and a gradual increase in frequency is advisable. In this article, we provide a table to help you find the optimal training level and explain how frequency affects your performance level.

Things to consider when increasing your training

Your training frequency should be tailored to your previous training volume, your running goals, your ambitions and, of course, your life. Always remember that training and recovery go together and need to be in a healthy balance.

Keep in mind that a gradual increase in training frequency is advisable to avoid injury. One additional training session per week every six months is a healthy amount. Ideally, you should not increase the frequency overnight, but gradually: Run once more this week, next week for example again your normal 3 units. The week after that, again 4 times, and so on.

How to find the optimal number of training sessions per week

The following table will help you find the optimal amount of training for you. At the same time, it is important to improve your other fitness factors (strength, flexibility, speed and coordination).

Beginner Jogger Intermediate Ambitious Professional
Improve performance 4 4 5 8 12
Maintain performance 3 3 4 5 7
Just for fun 2 2 2 3 3

Your performance changes depending on how often you train

You have probably asked yourself how often you need to train in order to reach a certain target time. The following table suggests the number of sessions per week you would need to train to achieve a specific marathon and 10km finish time.

42 km / 10 km Beginner JoggerIntermediate Ambitious Professional
< 2h15 / 28:53 12
02h30 / 32:06 9 8
02h45 / 35:19 7 7 7
< 03h00 / 38:30 6 5 5
03h15 / 41:45 6 5 4-5 4
03h30 / 44:45 6 5 4-5 4 3
03h45 / 48:09 5 4 4 3-4 2
< 4h00 / 51:22 4 3-4 3-4 3 2
4h00 / 57:48 3-4 3 3 2 2
5:00 / 1:04 3 3 2 2 2

How often do you need to train to achieve a specific finish time?


The above tips in summary:

  1. Adapt to individual needs: Make sure your training frequency fits your previous training, goals and lifestyle.
  2. Balance training and recovery: Make sure you allow enough time for recovery, as this is just as important as the training itself.
  3. Gradual increase: Increase the frequency of training gradually to avoid injury. An additional training session every six months can be a healthy amount.
  4. Planning and monitoring: Plan your training with running.COACH to find the optimal training level for you and track your progress.

Create a customised and dynamic running training plan with running.COACH that prepares you for your running goals based on your current fitness level. Try the plan for 2 weeks free of charge and without any obligation.


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