How Many Miles Should I Run A Day – A Complete Guide

Running is a good form of exercise that can help you maintain your fitness, and release endorphins which ultimately, will make you feel good. It’s also not time-consuming, as other forms of exercise, and very cheap too!

If you are looking for the cheapest way to keep fit and lose weight, then you definitely should try running. And if you’re not sure where to begin or you have questions like: “how many miles should I run a day?”, “how much should I run a day to keep fit?”, “how many miles should I run a day to lose weight?”, “how long is a good run?” etc., then this article is for you. Continue reading to learn more about the ideal running regimen for you and how to integrate it into your lifestyle.

The recommended number of miles to run per day depends on your fitness level and goals. Starting with 1-3 miles of running per day and gradually increasing the distance is a good approach. It’s important to avoid injuries by listening to your body.

Is It Good To Run Everyday?

Before starting a running routine, beginners ask questions like “is it better to run every day?”, “how much should you run a day?”, “how far should I run a day?”, etc. This article is going to address that.

It’s safe to say that running 1 to 4 miles for up to 30 minutes every day is not harmful as long as you warm up and cool down properly. It is not necessary to run daily to reap the advantages of running. However, when you engage in running daily, you start to gain the following health benefits:

  • It contributes to the development of robust bones and muscles;
  • It fortifies your skeletal structure;
  • It enhances your heart and lung health;
  • It effectively burns a significant amount of calories;
  • It aids in sustaining a wholesome body weight.

Is It Better To Run For Time Or Distance?

You can track your running either by time or by distance, which are the two most common methods. But the question “is it better to run for time or distance” has always been raised in the running community, especially with the number of technological tools available which are designed to track your mileage with pinpoint accuracy.

The truth is that each method has advantages and disadvantages. The one you choose is frequently determined by your needs, preferences, and schedule.

One advantage of running for time is that it is simple to incorporate a run into your daily routine. A timed run guarantees that you can fit in a workout without worrying about covering a specific distance when you only have a limited amount of time. However, running by distance can be an important part of your training if you want to prepare for a longer event.

Covering a certain number of miles each run can be motivating at times and it encourages you to maintain a consistent pace to meet your daily goal. If you run at a consistent pace, your mileage and speed will most likely be the same regardless of which approach you take.

5 Factors That Affect How Many Miles Per Day You Should Run

If you plan on setting a running routine for yourself, then you will know the importance of planning your running sessions. Doing this will enable you to create the perfect routine for your body goals.

There are several factors to consider when determining how many miles you should run per day. These factors include:

1. Level Of Fitness

If it has been a while since you exercised, then you should start slowly. However, if you’ve been running, training, or participating in sports, you might be able to handle longer runs. Try not to push yourself too hard, because it is possible to incur injuries when you do.

2. Health Objectives

If you run primarily for general health and to lower your risk of degenerative diseases, the US Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults get a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity weekly or a weekly total of 75 minutes of high-intensity activity.

These guidelines translate to easy jogging for 30 minutes five days a week or more intense running for 25 minutes three days a week, which could work out to running 2 miles a day or running 4 miles a day.

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3. Age

As we get older, our bodies may not be able to handle as much physical stress. It’s important to be mindful of this when deciding how many miles to run per day. Older adults may want to focus on shorter distances or lower-impact forms of exercise.

4. Running Goals

Truth be told, running seven days a week isn’t sustainable in the long term. It’s a good idea to take at least one day off per week. The amount of time you spend running each day is ultimately determined by your weekly goal. To get the weekly average, divide that number by the number of days you run. For instance, if you have resorted to running 40 miles a week and will be running five days a week, then on average, you should be running 8 miles a day. But if you only have four days to run, this volume increases to 10 miles per day.

5. To Lose Weight

If you’ve been wondering, “how many miles should I jog a day to lose weight?”, then consider the three-miles-a-day rule. Three miles is popular because it is difficult but doable for most people.

How Many Miles A Day And A Week Should I Run?

Interestingly, there are no definitive answers to how many miles you should run per day, considering the amount of running research available.

However, as stated earlier in our non-exhaustive list of factors that can influence how many miles you should run per day, determining your ideal running volume is frequently best answered on a case-by-case basis.

Most running mileage guidelines are presented for weekly mileage goals, but those recommendations can be adjusted for daily targets. Here are some general guidelines to follow:

Runners training for the half marathon

For Beginners

When starting, beginners are often advised to focus on minutes rather than miles, especially as they work up to running continuously by reducing the frequency and duration of walk breaks. As you gain fitness, limit your run/walks to 20-30 minutes or 2-3 miles of combined running and walking.

For The 5k Runners

A 5K run is 3.1 miles and it’s a great distance for a starter. In just two months, you can train for a 5K run. Nonetheless, the Department of Health and Human Services also suggests 150 minutes of running per week. You can meet the requirements by running 2-6 miles per day, depending on how many days you run per week. Elite runners will almost certainly run more.

For The 10k Runners

If you are training for a 10k race, then you should aim to run at least 3-4 times per week. You should also include one to two days of cross-training per week to help build your fitness and injury resistance. With that said, average runners can run 20-30 miles per week, so a daily mileage of 4-8 is reasonable, with a weekly long run closer to 10-12 miles.

For The Half and Full Marathon

For runners training for the half marathon, the average weekly mileage is 30-40 miles, so running 5-9 miles per day is typical, with a long run of up to 15 miles or so expected depending on the number of days you run. However, if you are training for the full marathon, then your mileage should be 35-60 miles per week and an average of 6-10 miles per day depending on the number of days per week you run.

For Advanced Runners

You can run several miles a day if you are a seasoned runner. However, keep in mind that more is not always better. Running 3-4 miles a day is good for experienced runners, while seasoned runners can increase their mileage to 5 miles per day.

How to Increase My Mileage?

Runners increase mileage

As a beginner, your main goal should be to run consistently and allow your body to adjust to running. This means running 2-3 days per week for 1-4 miles. It is advised that you do not increase your mileage weekly but maintain the same routine for 3-4 weeks at a time to give your body time to adjust. When you’re comfortable with this, you can increase your mileage.

For the more experienced runners, you can modify your mileage by making use of the 10% rule. Sometimes increasing your mileage by 10% works, such as increasing from 50 to 55 miles after becoming very comfortable with that volume. However, if you add another day of running, your mileage may increase by 15% to 20%.

Advanced runners will realize that there is a certain distance they are comfortable with, but getting past it will be difficult. You may become increasingly tired, prone to injury, or perform poorly in workouts.

How to Build a Habit of Running Regularly

Making a decision is simple, but persisting with it until it evolves into a habit can be challenging. Whatever may be your reason for creating a running routine, it will be beneficial to consider doing the following for it to be a habit.

Equip Yourself With The Right Tool

If you’re going to stick with it for a while, invest in comfortable shoes and outfits you’ll enjoy wearing. It will be much easier in the long run if you don’t have to worry about equipment when you start first.

Begin Small

Though there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to altering your habits, initiating brief runs and progressively adhering to the 10% rule each week until you attain an hour or more per session can help you establish the habit without overwhelming yourself.

Follow A Warm-Up/Cooling-Down Routine

Every run should begin and end with a few minutes of light exercise to get your blood pumping. Additionally, as you become more familiar with your body during training, contemplate incorporating other cooling-down routines after completing a run.

Find A Running Buddy

Running is more enjoyable when done with others, and the people in your life are much more likely to encourage you to keep going if they can provide moral support. So start looking for potential partners in your neighborhood, workplace, or social circles—or, better yet, groups that already exist.

Follow A Training Program

This approach is among the most efficient methods for establishing a running routine. Find training programs around you or online and stick to them for a while, and before long, you will be used to hitting the road every day.


How Do I Know If I’m Running Too Much?

Your body will be the primary indicator of whether you are overdoing your running. And you don’t have to wait until you get a runner’s knee, Achilles tendonitis, or a stress fracture to reduce your mileage.

Running excessively can result in overtraining syndrome, and you’ll know by experiencing symptoms like mileage reduction, tiredness, sleeping difficulty, pains and aches, inadequate motivation, etc. Take a break from running if you notice any of these signs and symptoms. If you develop a running injury, you should also stop running.

How Many Miles Is Healthy To Run A Day?

As stated earlier, this can be determined by your experience level. However, to be on the safe side, you should be looking at covering between 3-5 miles a day, no matter your level of experience. Also, if you have an injury or a health issue, you can lower the mileage a bit and still be fine.


Determining your ideal daily running distance is a unique, personalized process that requires consideration of your fitness level, experience, age, and desired outcomes.

Striking the right balance and avoiding overexertion are key to staying on track. Take time to reflect on your goals and listen to your body to ensure they’re sustainable.

Keeping tabs on your progress can keep you motivated and help you achieve milestones. Remember to stay consistent, dedicated, and positive.

Are you looking to create a routine for your goals? Did I miss something? Comment below so we can chat.

Also read:


  1. Running and jogging – health benefits // Better Health Channel: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/running-and-jogging-health-benefits
  2. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans // U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: https://health.gov/sites/default/files/2019-09/Physical_Activity_Guidelines_2nd_edition.pdf
  3. Aerobic exercise: How to warm up and cool down // Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise/art-20045517
  4. 5K run: 7-week training schedule for beginners // Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/5k-run/art-20050962

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