If you’re new to the sport, running 3 miles a day may seem impossible, especially if you’ve been breathing and moving like Mr. Burns from The Simpsons after completing the first half mile of your runs. Why on earth would you want to put yourself through the torture of trying to complete three miles every day?
Why 3 Miles is a Good Goal
As you’ve probably heard from every doctor you’ve ever encountered, people need to exercise regularly to give themselves the best chance of staying healthy. These are some reasons why you should lace up your sneakers and run 3 miles a day:
It’s great for weight control
When you look at how many calories running burns every single minute you’re doing it, you’ll realize it’s a superstar when it comes to torching calories. Intense exercise like running makes your body burn more calories even after you stop that activity -- that effect is known as afterburn.
Burning calories while we’re sitting on the couch an hour after our run? Sign us up for that any day of the week.
Quiet time by yourself
As you progress on your running journey, you’ll look forward to your daily run. We know that may seem hard to believe for beginners who think of it as torture, but it’s true.
Whether you listen to inspiring music or simply listen to the sounds of nature all around
you as you move along on your path, you’ll love this time that you get to spend testing the limits of your body while you let your mind wander. When you’re pounding the pavement the rest of the world seems to temporarily drift away.
Tackling a goal that seems impossible can give you an amazing amount of confidence when you succeed. You’ll feel like you can conquer any obstacle thrown your way.
Increase your joy
Tips to Get You to 3 Miles
Don’t expect to put your shoes on, go out and run three miles on your first try. If you’re new to mountain climbing, you wouldn’t want to start with Mount Everest, would you?
The same theory applies to running. You’ll want to start slow, especially if you are currently out of shape or carrying some extra weight.
Even if you can tough through three miles on your first day, you’ll probably pay for that effort the next day with sore legs, knees and ankles. How you reach that three miles is a key part of your plan -- if it feels easier, you’ll stick with it.
Here are some tips to help you reach your 3 miles safely and almost painlessly:
You shouldn’t expect miraculous results overnight. This isn’t a training montage on one of the Rocky movies we sometimes watch for inspiration -- this is real life.
Give it some time. If you’re a beginner, only run three or four times a week. After two or three runs, slowly boost up your minutes spent running or your distance. If you ran 10 minutes at a stretch the week before, shoot for 13 this week.
If you have realistic expectations, you’ll be much less likely to quit. And if you quit, you’ll never reach your goal of three miles.
Pay attention to your body
It’s okay to skip a day if you are experiencing pain or if you are sick. Make sure to get right back on schedule as soon as you’re able.
You’ll notice some days that your legs are tired before your start running. Run anyway, and you’ll see that your legs start to loosen up quickly.
Expect rough days
Every runner out there has rough days -- days where it feels like they are running through a monsoon and they aren’t getting anywhere. That’s normal, and you need to buckle down and persevere to get through it.
But you’ll have other days that keep you motivated -- days where it feels like you made a major breakthrough.
If you keep at it, you might become as addicted to running as we are. And after a few weeks, three miles may seem like a light day of running for you.