As one of the most accessible forms of exercise, many people readily include running into their exercise routine. But even though this form of exercise is very popular, there’s still a lot you may not know about this physical activity. For example, you may have questions such as, “how many miles should I run per day?”
While running has been proven to have several health benefits like promoting weight loss and preventing cardiovascular disease if you don’t get facts like are fitness trackers safe to wear straight, you put yourself at risk of injury.
Here are a couple of things to keep in mind if you want to make running a regular part of your exercise routine.
How Many Miles Should I Run per Day: What to Know
The answer to the question, “how many miles should I run per day?” varies depending on how familiar you are with this particular fitness routine.
For a Beginner Runner
According to Dr. Archana Batra, one of India’s leading dieticians and lifestyle coaches, a distance of 2-3 miles per day is more than enough for average runner training.
Dr. Batra believes that not only is this an achievable goal but it’s also enough to supply the body with the necessary time to improve heart and mental health and reduce the risk of a heart attack and cardiovascular disease.
For an Experienced Runner
Experienced runners have the liberty of pushing their limits further, provided they’re in good running form. According to Dr. Batra, elite runners can do without running shorter distances because they already possess the aerobic fitness to go further without putting themselves at risk.
For advanced runners, a distance of 4-6 miles is ideal. If this is done four or five days per week, your weekly mileage can easily climb to 20-30 miles.
It’s important, however, to remember that these values are ultimately only placeholders. Whether going 2-4 miles per day is what’s best for you, or if you can go 35-60 miles without worry, depends on variables unique to you.
Here are some questions to ask yourself when trying to create the ideal training plan for yourself.
What’s My Current Running Experience Level?
As we mentioned earlier, how familiar you are with running influences the mileage you can cover.
New runners rely more heavily on aerobic activity to power their runs while more advanced runners will likely have tapped into anaerobic activities, increasing their aerobic capacity in the process.
Some adaptations need to take place before you can start reaping benefits like improved cardiovascular health and muscle strength.
The various parts of your body, from your joints to connective tissues and tendons, will need time to adjust to the demands of daily running. A non-athletic person will have to take it slow to start, compared to individuals with more experience.
What’s My Current Level of Fitness?
Contrary to what many think, experience level and level of fitness aren’t the same things.
Someone who’s just learning how to become a runner but is a very active swimmer or cyclist may be able to run longer distances from the get-go, especially when compared to someone who doesn’t have a history of working out.
In the same vein, faster runners who can cover 20-30 miles on a good day without breaking a sweat will have to slow down if they’re coming off an injury or recovering from surgery. They might be in poor running form and will need more time to get back in shape.
What are My Fitness Goals?
Do you want weight loss? Are you preparing for a race? Do you want to build abdominal muscles, develop muscle strength, or have more explosive power in your legs?
What you want to get out of running also influences your answer to the question of how many miles you should run per day.
If you’re training to race a short distance, you may be able to get away with shorter training runs.
On the other hand, if you’re on a weight loss journey, in addition to knowing how many calories per mile you need to burn, you should also structure your diet.
How Many Days Per Week Can I Run?
For all the benefits that running provides for preventing physical, cardiovascular, and neurological diseases, it’s ultimately like every other form of physical activity – if you can’t stick to a precise training schedule, you lose out.
If you’re considering a three- or four-day-per-week training plan, make sure that you can fit it into your schedule in a way that doesn’t stress you out.
It’s also important to ensure that you set a mileage goal that you’ll be able to realistically achieve in that time frame.
What’s My Injury History Saying?
If you are a high injury risk or have a long injury history, you need to factor this into any running regimen you plan to start.
If you have a high risk of injury, you should be prepared to do less mileage as this is the only effective way to minimize the incidence of shin splints, Achilles tendonitis, soft tissue damage, and other more serious injuries. Therefore, you need to adopt a more cautious approach to training.
Some ways you can do this are by limiting your average training per day and considering supplemental training such as cross-training workouts. For instance, you could look at cross-training before or after running. This will keep you safe while helping you comfortably build your aerobic capacity.
What’s My Workout Structure and Intensity Like?
Even if you have more than a decent training background, you need to consider the intensity of your running regimen very carefully.
The intensity of your workout session has a direct bearing on the wear and tear your body is subjected to. In addition, your workout structure also determines the kind of benefit you get from this particular exercise.
For example, intense forms of running like interval runs, race pace miles, and threshold runs initiate a higher metabolic rate, taxing your body more in the process. This is in sharp contrast to a two-minute recovery run or a moderate running session.
Your running mileage for interval runs, for example, is likely to be lower than your running mileage for the race pace miles. However, interval running is more likely to help with weight loss and cardiovascular fitness faster than the race pace miles.
Other Variables to Consider When Determining How Many Miles to Run per Day
In addition to the questions explored above, two other vital elements you have to give some thought to are:
While it’s true that your age doesn’t matter as long as you’re dedicated to meeting your goals, there are some things you need to keep in mind when it comes to running.
The most important consideration is that the older you get, the more challenging it becomes for your body to manage physical stressors. What this essentially means is that you should be sure to factor in your age when setting your fitness goals.
Your Preferred Workout Style
Even though it might not seem like it, there are different types of running, each with its unique benefits.
It’s a good idea to take the time to find out whether you prefer long or short and fast or slow runs.
As long as injuries are avoided, you can’t make any wrong decisions here since you come out on top no matter which running method and style you choose.
The most important thing is to find the type of running that you’re enthusiastic about and make sure that it aligns with your fitness goals.
The Best Tips for Beginner Runners
Once you have determined how many miles you should run per day to meet your fitness goals, the next step becomes acting on that information. If you’re serious about getting in on this type of flexibility training, some of the best tips you can follow are:
Take Your Time
Remember that you don’t have to start covering long distances or running at fast paces right away.
Consider starting by increasing your average walking speed, brisk walking, or jogging before you get into a full run. This will warm you up and reduce the risk of injury at the same time.
Have a Clear Goal in Mind
Whether it’s weight loss, achieving a balance between speed and intensity or simplyenhancing your sleep quality, make sure you know exactly what you want to get out of this endeavor.
Be Sure to Eat Well
Running alone isn’t what ensures you stay healthy. Be sure to eat healthy foods and get ample rest as well. Some runners don’t get adequate sleep and this can be counterproductive to any developments in health they hope to achieve.
A day of rest or some sufficient rest phase is necessary to give the body time to recover from the rigors of these forms of exercise.
So, how many miles should you run per day? As you now know, the general answer to these questions is applied on a case-by-case basis since everyone has unique variables that have to be considered carefully.
If you have a specific fitness goal in mind and need professional guidance figuring things out, don’t hesitate to contact us here!