How Much Running is Too Much? Finding the Right Balance

Running has a lot of benefits for your body. It’s an excellent way to lose weight, reduce stress, and sleep better at night. But, did you know that you could put too much stress on your body if you’re overdoing your runs? So, how much running is too much? Read on to find out.

Experts recommend that the average runner stays under 20 to 30 miles in a week. That being said, every runner’s body is different. Ultimately, your body will tell you when enough is enough. Listen to your body’s signs to know when you’re overdoing it

How Much Running Is Too Much?

Can you run too much? Yes, it is possible to run too much. Running more frequently can help you see improvements in your pace and timing. You’ll likely also notice that you’re burning body fat and keeping your lower body muscles in good shape. But, there are risks of excessive running.

When it comes to determining how much running is too much, there’s no scientifically correct answer. Everybody is different. The standard estimate is not to run more than 20 to 30 miles per week. However, where you stand on this list will differ from other readers.

Want to make sure you’re within the right recommended exercise time for your age group? Let’s take a look at how often you should be exercising per week.

Table of recommended exercise time per week

Youth (6 to 17 years old)1 hour of moderate-intensity activity daily
Adults (18 to 64 years old)150 minutes per week walking or running, strength training at least 2 days per week
Seniors (65 +)150 minutes per week walking or running, strength training at least 2 days per week, and activities to improve stability/balance
Pregnant Women150 minutes of moderate physical activity weekly
Adults With Chronic Conditions150 minutes of moderate physical activity weekly
Adults With Chronic Conditions150 minutes per week walking or running, strength training at least 2 days per week

8 Drawbacks Of Excessive Running

If you have goals to meet, excessive running won’t help you meet them more quicker. Pushing your body too far could have negative effects on your body. So, what happens when you run too much?

Excessive running

1. Aches & Pains

How much running is too much for muscle building? If you’re feeling aches and pains in your muscles from running, then it’s a sign that you’re running too much. One of the worst pieces of fitness advice going around is “no pain, no gain”. Your running exercises shouldn’t leave your muscles in pain.

If your muscles are too sore to participate in day-to-day activities because you’ve been running so much, then it’s time to re-evaluate your running routine.

2. Lack of Appetite

If you’re running to lose weight, you may also want to curb your eating habits. Eating smaller portions and healthier foods is an important step in weight loss. However, it shouldn’t get to the point where you don’t want to eat. Good nutrition is necessary to fuel your body and help your muscles recover.

Running and strength training workouts can suppress your appetite. When you run too much, you may not feel like eating at all. If it gets to the point where you’re skipping meals and not meeting your daily nutritional needs, you could be running too much. This can be a cause to worry because your health should be your #1 priority.

3. Lack Of Recovery Time

Your muscles need time to recover between exercise sessions. If you are pushing yourself too hard, you could put yourself at risk of an overuse injury. This can happen to people that are running long distances every day. To avoid injury, make sure you schedule a weekly rest day for your muscles.

4. Low Sex Drive

Exercise and your sex drive are linked. When you exercise regularly, you may notice an increase in your libido. This has to do with an increase in energy and more confidence in your body. But, did you know that running too much can leave you with a lower sex drive?

This can affect men more than women. When men run too much, they risk a drop in sperm count and swollen testicles. Compression from running clothes can affect the blood flow to the groin area as well.

5. Decline In Running Performance

Whether you’ve been running for one week or several years, you should always have a goal to improve your performance. When you’re running too much, your performance won’t improve. This is because your muscles are tired and need to rest to perform at their best.

If you’re running on a daily basis, you should keep track of your progress. You can do this using a notebook, an app on your phone, or keeping a workout journal/calendar. When you notice that your performance is getting worse, it’s a sign that you’ve been running too much.

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6. Resting Heart Rate

Your resting heart rate is the number of times your heart beats per minute. It’s common for people that exercise frequently to keep track of their heart rate. If you’ve noticed that your resting heart rate has increased by 3 to 5 beats per minute, it could be caused by excessive running.

7. Can’t Focus

A lot of people have noticed that their mind is sharper when they exercise regularly. Daily exercise could help you focus and may improve your memory. You may have noticed this occur when you first started running on a regular basis. However, if you’ve been running too much, you might notice the opposite. Too much running can leave your mind just as tired as your body.

8. Feeling Sick and Tired

Did you know that you could get sick from running too much? When you work out, your body loses fluids. It’s more difficult to fully rehydrate if you’re continuously pushing your body too far. When this happens, you may notice that you’re feeling weak, dizzy, and aching.

How Many Miles Should I Run A Week To Stay Healthy?

People smiling while running

You don’t have to go the extra mile to stay healthy. If you’re running to stay in shape and decrease your risk of disease, then you should aim to run between 15 and 20 miles a week.

That being said, every runner is different. If you want to challenge yourself, it’s okay to run more miles as long as your body can handle it. However, if you’re a new runner, you might be worried that you’re not running enough. Don’t worry if you’re not running 15 miles weekly. With practice and training, you will be able to gradually reach this goal.

Safely Increasing Mileage: Tips for Beginner Runners

Increasing your running mileage can help you improve your performance and reach your goals. Now that you’re aware of how running too much affects your body, you might be wondering how to increase your mileage without putting your body at risk. Let’s take a look at what the experts recommend.

1. Practice & Training

If you want to increase your mileage, the safest way is to do it gradually. As you train, you can gradually run for longer distances as your body can handle it. We suggest you train in intervals, such as walking-running or walking-jogging. This will get you used to the longer distances, and then you can gradually work on your pace.

2. Include Strength Workouts

You don’t need to run every day to improve your mileage. If you want to be able to run a longer distance, your muscles need to be stronger. The best way to do this is to include strength workouts in your exercise routine. A great way of doing this is to have 3 running days, 2 strength training days, and 2 rest days.

3. Nutrition

Your body needs the energy to work out. How you fuel the body will determine how successful the run is. If you’re meeting your nutritional requirements, your body will have the energy and strength for the run. However, if you’re not eating enough, your muscles will be too tired to perform. Eating too much food with little nutritional value could also leave you feeling sluggish when you exercise.

4. Limit Alcohol Intake

If you’re serious about improving your personal fitness, you need to limit your alcohol intake. Alcohol dehydrates your body and leads to increased fatigue. Many runners notice that their performance is off after a night of drinking.

5. Change Your Running Routine

The best way that you can challenge yourself to run further without injury is by switching up how you run. Your muscles will get used to running a long distance and your exercise routine will be less challenging. This has caused people to overdo it because they thought they needed to run further to improve their performance.

A better way to increase your performance without going overboard is to change up how you run. On certain days of the week, you can do distance running. For the other days, you should run short intervals at a higher intensity. You can also challenge yourself by changing where you run. If you’re used to running on flat terrain, try running in an area where there are more hills.

FAQ: Briefly about whether to run a lot

Can you overdo running?

It is possible to overdo running if you don’t give yourself time to recover. If you run too much, you could risk exhaustion and injury.

What is the best way to cut back on mileage so you can keep running injury-free?

Shorter and more intense intervals are the best way to cut back on mileage, prevent injury, and still challenge yourself.

Is running every day bad?

Running every day could put your muscles at risk of an overuse injury. It’s important to give your muscles time to rest and recover so you can perform well.


Every runner will have a different tolerance to how much exercise their body can handle. Experts recommend not running more than 20 to 30 miles in a week. Running too much can put you at risk of an overuse injury and leave you feeling exhausted. This can negatively impact your performance.

What are your tips for making sure you don’t overdo it on the track? Let us know in the comments below.

Also read:


  • Overtraining: What It Is, Symptoms, and Recovery // HSS: https://www.hss.edu/article_overtraining.asp
  • Physical Activity for Different Groups // CDC:
  • 5 Ways Running Affects Your Penis and Balls // Men’s Health: https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/a19518904/how-running-affects-your-penis-and-balls/

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