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Are longer runs or more frequent shorter runs better?

I have just finished a short run and wondered if a long run or more frequent short runs are better for you. Let’s take a look at what I have found.

Running long distances with more rest days is more beneficial for building the endurance needed, where if you have less time, you may find running shorter distance more often might suit you better.


Let's take a deeper look to see what is best for you.

Benefits of Longer Runs

Lower intensity long runs prepare you for continues effort by increasing your endurance.

Improves Endurance

One of the main benefits of longer runs is that they improve endurance. Longer runs force the body to work harder and adapt to increased physical demands, leading to improved stamina and endurance. This is especially true for long-distance runners who often engage in training regimens that involve running for extended periods at a steady pace.

Burns More Calories

Another benefit of longer runs is that they burn more calories. Longer runs require more energy, which leads to greater caloric expenditure. This makes longer runs an excellent option for those looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

Improved Cardiovascular Health

Longer runs provide cardiovascular benefits. Running long distances for a long time at a moderate pace can improve your heart health. It does this by increasing heart strength which leads to a reduced risk of heart disease. Running long distances on a regular basis has also, been shown to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of having a stroke.

Benefits of More Frequent Shorter Runs

Shorter and more frequent runs allow you to split up your workout into multiple days which may suit people on busy schedules or people who are motivated more to do exercise little and often.

Easier To Do In your Daily Routine

I personally find more frequent shorter runs are easier to do consistently in a daily routine. Shorter runs take less time, making them a good option for those with busy schedules. Additionally, shorter runs can be completed in a variety of settings, making them a versatile workout option.

Less Risk of Injury

More frequent shorter runs also have a lower risk of injury compared to longer runs. Shorter runs put less strain on the body, reducing the risk of injuries such as stress fractures and IT band syndrome.

Variety of Workouts

More frequent shorter runs allow for more of a variety in your workouts. Shorter runs can be completed at a faster pace or with more intervals, providing a more diverse workout experience.

Finding the Right Balance

The ideal running routine for you will depend on your fitness goals, physical abilities, and lifestyle. Both longer runs and more frequent shorter runs are both a good option to fit into your workout routine. To find the right balance, it is important to consider your available time and fitness goals.

If you have a busy schedule, more frequent shorter runs may be a more practical option for you. On the other hand, long-distance runners looking to build stamina and endurance may benefit more from longer runs. It is important to start slow, gradually increasing intensity and duration to reduce the risk of injury and improve overall fitness.


Whether longer runs or more frequent shorter runs are better for your health depends on your fitness goals and lifestyle. Both types of runs have their benefits and finding the right balance is key to building a sustainable workout routine.

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