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I noticed that a lot of training plans have you running most every day with a day or 2 off at different intervals. Why is this?

I am currently training for a half marathon. If I run on Sunday (6.5) I take Monday and Tuesday off and then run the same distance on Wednesday. I would then take Thursday and Friday off and on Saturday I would run 7.8. I would then take 2 days off and continue this interval.

It has worked really well for me.

If I followed the marathon training plans out there I would be running more often at less distances.

I know there has to be a reason for training the way the marathon training programs suggest. I am curious as to why those are better than my 1 day on / 2 days off, upping by distance each week.

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For good or bad, the authors of many training plans are or were serious runners. Elite athletes who take the approach that "any day I am not running is a day my competition just got faster than me". These training plans also assume that you recover quickly and that you are not prone to injury.

These programs are only better if you want to keep improving your performance. Presuming you can handle the workload and not get injured, you will become stronger and a better runner the more you run.

If your goals are more fitness-oriented or you run for pleasure or social reasons than it could be that your approach is better. I hope this answers your question.

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I have run 8 marathons and the first 4 I did using traditional programs that involved 5 or 6 days a week of running. But the last 4 I changed it up.

I am a huge fan of the FIRST program. Essentially it focuses on quality runs not quantity so you don't get burned out and you have a less chance of being injured. One day is track, one day tempo and the other a long run. You are supposed to cross train (bike, swim or row) 2 more days but I have not found it necessary. You have to really commit to the distances and times so the runs themselves are hard but you only have to do 3 a week. The program was detailed in the book Run Less, Run Faster by Bill Pierce, Scot Murr and Ray Moss.

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It all really depends on what kind of running you are doing. I know that there are some who run distance workouts and take two days off in-between, but I also know some who do tempo interval workouts and take one day off a week. The long run can be the most beneficial, but also can cause the most damage if done too hard, too long, and too frequently. So you can continue doing your individual workout, especially if it seems to be working for you, but be careful with your body as to not overwhelm it. You only get one haha. Throwing some sporadic tempo interval runs may be beneficial for you, as training in only one area may decrease your abilities in another. Many believe there is only one way to run, but there are many different factors and abilities that are tested. Having tempo interval runs will allow you to work on running through tiredness towards the end of the race, and force you to focus on your running form, which one may not necessarily work on if they simply do distance runs and nothing else.

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