In the last couple of weeks, I've had a couple different friends have to pull out of or change their race plans because of overtraining. It saddens me to hear about them doing this because this common mistake is easily avoided.
Since running is definitely "an experiment of one," I can't tell you what the perfect balance of running is. You need to find that out for yourself. And your training buddy will probably have a different balance.
For me, I've found that 3-4 days of running mixed with strength training is the perfect balance for me. What does my weekly schedule look like? Thanks for asking, I'll share me current program =)
Monday: P90X Core Synergistics
Tuesday: run- usually a tempo or speed workout
Wednesday: P90X Shoulders & Arms, Ab Ripper X
Thursday: run- either tempo or speed, the opposite of what I did on Tuesday
Friday: P90X Legs & Back, Ab Ripper X
Saturday: long run
For now I'm focusing on three quality runs and then a mix of strength training to make sure my core and upper body is strong enough to carry me through a marathon. This schedule also allows for plenty of rest and easy stretching.
Do I think you should follow the same program as me? No. Because I know everyone is different and their body responds to the stress of exercise differently. Some people are going to need more days of rest. Some are going to feel better with less strength training and more runs. The important thing to remember is to listen to your body and find the balance that works for you.
What have you found to be the perfect balance for you?
With all that in mind, these are the events I'm currently training for.
The first weekend in October I will be joining 11 other runners from across the country for the Capitol to Coast Relay. What is that you ask?
And in December I will be tackling the marathon again. I'll be running locally at the Dallas Marathon (formally White Rock) with a few of my running buddies. It should be lots of fun lol!