Frequency is how often one runs. The more often or frequent one trains, the greater the aerobic capacity (ability to consume O2) you will develop. This will often lead to the increased rate of getting this O2 to the muscles as needed, as well as using the O2 more efficiently. Since running is an oxygen-driven sport, running frequency is the basis for training. If one wants to get into shape, run often! Not running for a period of no more than 2 days often will result in the loss of previous physical fitness. In a seven-day week, running for about five of the seven days is a good strategy. Running six days is excellent. Many runners run all seven days of the week; however, it is highly recommended that one day per week be taken off for rest for a beginner runner.
During is how long one runs; another way of phrasing this is the length of the workout. How long one runs depends upon the person’s shape as well as his present “phase” in the training cycle. If just beginning, twenty to twenty-five minutes is sufficient (20-25 min). Each week, 5+ minutes may be added in duration. After five weeks, forty to fifty minutes should be sufficient. Once a week (every seven, not five days), a longer run often to twenty minutes LONGER
than normal should be incorporated into the week. The greater the duration (the longer the run), the greater the aerobic capacity and muscular endurance will be developed.
Intensity is how hard one trains. No one should ever train at “maximum intensity” for every training session (workout). It is very difficult to know just how “hard” to train in order to produce the best “results.” Everyone responds differently to intensity training; it is a function of one’s body type, shape, diet, etc. Some people thrive on this type of training; others barely handle one. It is important to do at least one intensity training session per week-perhaps two-depending upon location, fitness level and where one lands on the “training cycle”.
Remember: a race, or races, count as an intensity session! Once the race session begins, one intensity session one per week is sufficient in addition to the race day. We like to think of easy runs (aerobic or conversational pace runs) as like depositing money in the bank. All this money will allow you to spend it during higher intensity workouts or races. As you can see, more money you have, the more it will allow you to run faster in workouts and races. We consider summer training as depositing lots of money and the State Meet as shopping on Black Friday.