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I just started running today and I'm wondering how important rest days are. I'd like to run five days a week, and I know my heart could handle it, but I'm not sure my legs could.

Also, today was the first day and I ran 3 miles(the track had mile markings). I was hurting pretty bad, but my legs felt alright. Now they feel a little achey. Would recommend starting a little lower, or is 3 miles five-to-seven times a week alright for starting?

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I'd be looking to drop the frequency to start. You may be in suitable shape to do it 5-7 times a week, but you'll quickly risk injury by starting out that much. Your skeletal system needs to get used to the pounding, as do the smaller supporting muscles. Also, if you're in the wrong shoes, you could risk stress fractures, neuromas or plantar faciitis.

If you can get thru 3 miles in a shot starting out, that's great. But I'd keep it to 3x a week for a couple of weeks just to get the body used to it, and for you to get familiar with what your body's telling you.

After that, add a day, or swap one of your 3mi runs with a 5mi run at a slower pace. Then see how you like it, and tune your plan according to what you think you want to achieve at that point.
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hello there,
I'm just at the same stage as you are in my running and I have been doing it for 6 weeks! lol
But I agree with Curtis, if you up the frequency too much at the start you could risk stuff like shin splints, which are mightelly sore :D
Have you also thought about throwing in some walking with your running? Can make it a lot easier on the old joints and stuff, and means you can go for longer :D
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I strongly agree with Cdn. It's really hard to overstress the importance of rest days, especially when starting out or after a long lapse without running. It's a surefire way to get injured. I'd start off running every other day at most, then filling in the gaps when you start to get acclimated to the running.

But if you're the kind of person who has to do it every day for it to stick as part of routine, try cycling or swimming on those non-running days until you're ready to run 6-7 days a week.
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Rest days are crucial for almost everyone. Due to my work and family demands most of the time, the weekends are my rest days and I run Monday to Friday. Most training plans call for one rest day on the weekend and one in the middle of the week.

If you are just starting out then it is important to take those rest days. If you need something to stay active then walk, or bike or swim.
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just as important for a new runner as they are for experienced runners!!!!

It's like weight lifting - the recovery phase is what builds your muscle - you are tearing it up with running and have to let yourself rest in order to be able to keep going!

At the most, for a new runner, I would suggest running every other day - you are doing great it sounds like!
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