Running is one of the best forms of exercise and comes with a lot of benefits to your physical and mental health, which is why a lot of studies recommend running for a mile every day, but what about 5 miles?
If you’re planning to run 5 miles a day, you need to prepare your body and mind for such a taxing activity.
A 5-mile run 4 to 5 times a week is a great way to improve your cardiovascular health, metabolism, mood, and sleep quality, but you also need to work your way up there.
In today’s article, we’ll have a deeper insight into running 5 miles a day from all perspectives, including its pros and cons as well as everything you need to know about it.
So without further ado, let’s dive in!
Running 5 Miles a Day Can You Do It?
Let’s start this by clearing out that running 5 miles every day is not an easy task, and it’ll take some effort and commitment in order to sustain such a feat.
Despite that, running 5 miles a day on a consistent basis is far from impossible.
Running is considered a form of high-impact exercise or vigorous aerobic activity, which means that it can significantly raise your heart and respiratory rate.
According to data from Mayo Clinic, a healthy average adult is capable of maintaining around 75 minutes of vigorous exercise every day.
Based on this information, it’s possible to run 5 miles a day.
However, to be able to sustain such a high-impact regimen for a long time, you need to prepare your body for it to avoid injuries and other health complications.
Is It Healthy for You to Run 5 Miles a Day?
As previously established, running 5 miles a day is quite achievable if you’re in a suitable physical shape.
Not only that, but it also comes with a lot of health benefits to your body and mind. Let’s have a quick look at each one of them:
Helps in Enhancing Cardiovascular Health
One of the most popular health benefits of running, in general, is boosting your cardiovascular health.
This happens due to a variety of effects and impacts that are widely studied and proven by science.
For starters, a lot of studies have concluded that running is one of the best ways to reduce high blood pressure and prevent hypertension, which is one of the leading causes of atherosclerosis and organ failure.
According to a 2020 systematic review and meta-analysis published in Sports Medicine, running was proven to reduce resting blood pressure.
In addition to blood pressure, running a long distance on a daily basis can also help in reducing cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, both of which can have detrimental effects on your heart health.
Increases Your Metabolic Rate
Your metabolic rate is the speed at which your body is capable of turning food into energy and burning it. The higher your metabolic rate is, the more calories you’re going to burn every day.
If you want to lose weight during your day, you need to keep your metabolic rate high along with maintaining a state of calorie deficit (more about that later).
According to a related study, running for long distances consistently, like 5 miles a day, can increase your metabolic rate by up to 12.8%
Clears Up the Mind and Alleviate Stress
Running is a great way to enjoy some “me time” for a lot of people, and there are many people who feel great just by running.
Even from a scientific perspective, many studies and papers have been published to prove the psychological effects of long distance runs.
For example, this study on moderate-intensity running (running at a comfortable pace) found that running for some time can help in inducing a positive mood and clearing up stress.
Additionally, many studies link consistent physical activity and reduction of depression and anxiety symptoms in patients.
Helps You Enjoy Better Sleep
If you have trouble sleeping at night or you’re clinically diagnosed with insomnia, one of the best natural ways to help you sleep better is running.
According to controlled clinical trials to test these claims, having a morning run on a daily basis for 3 weeks caused the following improvements:
- Increase in slow-wave sleep
- Decrease in the sleep onset latency
These changes helped in improving both subjective and objective sleep, and therefore, improving the sleeping quality even for those who didn’t suffer from insomnia!
Improves Your Memory
In a deep study of the long and short-term effects of running consistently, it was shown that the benefits of running extend up to improving brain functions, such as memory and brain-muscle coordination.
These findings agree with various other studies that also link consistent physical exercise and reducing the onset and intensity of dementia.
How Long Does It Take to Finish 5 Miles?
The answer to this question mainly depends on the runner’s pace. However, the average time needed to run 5 miles at a comfortable pace is around 50 minutes.
Of course, a beginner runner might take a few walking breaks, which brings the total time up to 60 or 70 minutes.
On the other hand, professional runners can run 5 miles at a much faster rate without breaks. The world record for the fastest time for 5 miles was achieved by the Zimbabwean-American Phillimon Hanneck in 1993, running the distance in 22 minutes and 5+ seconds.
How Far Should a Beginner Run in One Day?
If you’re a beginner, you shouldn’t try to aim directly for 5 miles a day, especially if you’re not an experienced athlete.
Instead, you might want to start at 20 to 30 minutes of running every day (2 to 3 miles) at an easy pace and work your way up until you’re able to run 5 miles comfortably.
How Many Calories Do You Burn After Running 5 Miles?
Ideally, the number of calories burnt while running depends on your age, gender, weight, genetics, and more. However, running 5 miles should burn around 400 to 500 calories on average.
However, when it comes to losing weight mainly, it mainly depends on achieving a state of calorie deficit where you burn more calories than you consume.
Running is proven to help in weight loss by enhancing your metabolism, which increases the rate at which you burn calories.
Based on these numbers, if you’re on a balanced diet, consume fewer calories than you burn, and run 5 miles a day.
You should expect to lose around 1 pound every week, although these numbers will vary from week to week.
How Much Time Do You Need to Be Able to Run 5 Miles?
One of the best ways to scale up your runs comfortably is following the 10 percent rule. This one indicates that you increase your running distance by 10% every one or two weeks.
Following this rule, if you’re a beginner who runs 2 to 3 miles a day. You should be able to run 5 miles in around 8 to 10 weeks.
The time will vary depending on your physical fitness, progression pace, endurance, and your body’s recovery.
What Are the Drawbacks of Running 5 Miles a Day?
Despite all its merits, running 5 miles a day can have a few disadvantages for some people. In this section, we’ll have a quick look at some of these drawbacks:
Running Long Miles Daily Can Be Stressful on Your Body
Running, in general, is a high-impact exercise, which puts a lot of stress on your muscles and requires plenty of recovery time.
If you don’t take rest days off, and follow a good recovery routine, you might put yourself at the risk of injuring yourself.
The most common running injuries are overuse ones, such as the runner’s knee and/or stress fractures.
Hitting Plateau May Become Boring with Time
Running for a short distance can be exciting, especially when you change routes daily to see new things as you run.
However, if you run the same route every day for 5 miles, things can get pretty monotonous and boring very easily.
Not Ideal for Everyone
As previously mentioned, running 5 miles isn’t ideal for everyone. While running is a generally healthy exercise, some people are recommended to try low-impact alternatives like cycling instead.
If you’re prone to specific injuries, such as stress fractures, shin splints, Achilles tendonitis, and plantar fasciitis, running is not the perfect exercise for you.
Also, if you’re flat-footed or have specific foot conditions, such as bunions, hammertoes, etc, you should run for relatively smaller distances and use orthopedic running shoes while doing so.
Additionally, senior and overweight individuals are more prone to running injuries, which makes long-distance running not a good idea for them.
7 Important Tips That Will Help You While Running 5 Miles a Day
Now that you know more about consistent long-distance running, here are some valuable tips that will help you improve your daily results and hit your 5-mile run goals much quicker!
1. Start Small and Work Your Way Up
If you’re a beginner, avoid the temptation of running the entire distance from the get go and start by running 2 or 3 miles until you’re comfortable with it and follow the 10 percent rule to achieve your goals.
2. Wear Proper Running Shoes
3. Take Care of Your Dietary Needs to Sustain Enough Energy
You are truly what you eat. If you want to sustain your energy and endurance while staying fit, you need to make sure that you consume balanced meals that have all the necessary micro and macronutrients.
4. Hit the Gym More Often
Building a stronger muscle will help you run for a longer distance and increase your endurance. Incorporating some weightlifting and strengthening your leg muscles can go a long way in achieving that!
5. Change Your Daily Route to Break the Monotony
As previously mentioned, running the same path every day can get quite boring with time. To avoid that, make sure that you always mix up and plan your routes ahead.
6. Find a Running Buddy with Similar Goals to Stay Motivated
Another way to stay motivated while running is by looking for a running buddy that also wants to run 5 miles a day. You can celebrate milestones together and hold each other accountable.
7. Give Yourself Enough Rest and Recovery Time
It’s always important to listen to your body when you’re running such a long distance every day. This is not only critical for having enough power to keep on going but also to avoid serious injuries that can keep you off the tracks for a few weeks or months.
Always make sure that you get enough rest by having one or two days off every week and follow a healthy recovery routine that includes icing your knees, massaging your legs, and using foam rollers.
This wraps it up for today’s guide that walks you through everything you need to know before running 5 miles a day.
As you can see, maintaining a running pace for 5 miles every day can be quite tricky, but it’s totally achievable, especially if you follow the previously mentioned tips.
Running 5 miles every day of the week comes with a lot of health benefits, such as improved cardiovascular health, weight control, improving mood, and enjoying better sleep.
Yet, such a long distance can be taxing on your body, so it’s not for everyone, and you should make sure that you allow your body to rest and recover by taking 1 to 3 days off every week.