Is Running 5 Miles a Day Good for You? – Pros and Cons


It is no secret that running regularly benefits your mental and physical health. While there is no denying the benefits of consistent and regular running, knowing how often and far you should be running can be somewhat confusing.


There is a common belief amongst running enthusiasts that running five miles a day is a good goal that most runners should be aiming for. With that said, running this distance every day has pros and cons, which is why some runners are against it.


To help you determine if running five miles a day is a good idea, we will cover these pros and cons and offer our final verdict. So, grab your running shoes and let’s get started!

The Benefits of Running 5 Miles a Day


Before we get into the potential pitfalls of running this far and this often, we are going to cover the benefits.

1. Improved Cardiovascular Fitness

Running five miles a day will undoubtedly help you improve your aerobic fitness. Not only will you ensure that you are getting the recommended 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise weekly, but it can also help lower your average resting heart rate.


Since running requires your lungs to work hard to supply your muscles with oxygen, running daily can help to increase your lung capacity. This helps with overall lung health, but it has the added benefit of improving your endurance, so you become a better long-distance runner. This hugely benefits those hoping to improve their running performance or even run competitively.


2. Cardiovascular Disease Prevention

In addition to improving your cardiovascular fitness, there are many long-term health benefits associated with rigorous daily exercise. For starters, consistently running can help lower your blood pressure and reduce your cholesterol levels. Running a significant distance every day can also help strengthen the heart and improve blood flow throughout the body.


Since ischemic heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, reducing your chances of heart attack is incredibly important for your long-term health.


3. Easier to Maintain a Healthy Weight

Running five miles on a daily basis is a great calorie burn, which can help with weight loss and maintenance after you lose weight. As long as you pair your daily five-mile runs with a healthy and balanced diet, you should find it easy to burn fat and reach your ideal body weight.


Maintaining healthy body weight is essential for your short-term and long-term health and can help your self-confidence. 

4. Stress and Anxiety Relief

Physical activity, especially vigorous cardiovascular exercise like a five-mile run, can positively impact your mental health. It triggers the release of endorphins that react with receptors in the brain to reduce feelings of physical pain, stress, anxiety, and even depression. This can have a lasting impact on your overall mood.


Not only can running five miles per day help reduce your stress and anxiety, but it can also boost your self-confidence, as it will give you a daily sense of accomplishment. Running can also be an excellent opportunity to clear your mind and focus on the present moment rather than stress in your work or personal life.


The Disadvantages of Running 5 Miles a Day

Now that you have an understanding of the various benefits that running five miles on a daily basis can offer, we can take a look at some of the potential disadvantages.


1. Increased Risk of Injury

Unfortunately, when you run every single day, you put your body at an elevated risk of developing a variety of painful injuries. Since a five-mile run is quite taxing on the body, there is an exceptionally high risk of repetition strain injuries, like runner’s knee, a stress fracture, or shin splints.


Practicing proper form and stretching before and after training can certainly decrease your risk of injury, but without a rest day, the risk is always there. Running five miles a day is particularly risky if you have a history of running-related injuries, so those who have hurt themselves should hesitate before committing to running daily


If you are committing to running every single day, you might also force yourself to run when you are feeling sick, as you will not want to disrupt your streak. Running while you are sick can make you feel even sicker and increase your risk of injuries and accidents.


2. Increased Risk of Burnout 

Whether you are an experienced runner or just starting, burnout is always a major risk if you do not allow yourself to recover mentally and physically from your training plan.


Mental fatigue can occur if you run too frequently, as you lose your passion and enthusiasm for running. Instead of being excited to run, you can grow to dread it and almost view running as a chore.

Overtraining your body is also an issue, as you can become too tired to tackle your daily run if you are physically exhausted. Your muscles need time to recover, so running too frequently can leave you feeling sore and drained.


3. Stagnation & Lack of Noticeable Progress

If you run the same distance every single day, it is difficult to see any progress. Sure, you can time how long it takes to complete your daily five-mile run, but you cannot see any sort of distance-related progress.


If you want to improve your abilities as a runner, as well as be inspired to keep pursuing this exciting hobby, you will want to be able to measure your progress in multiple ways. By running the same distance every single day, your runs can also become stale, as you will more than likely grow to see that five-mile run as unchallenging. 


Variety is one of the most exciting things about running. Not just running different distances but running different routes, which can be difficult if you are running the same distance every day.

So, Should You Run 5 Miles a Day?


As you can see, the pros and cons of running five miles a day are almost equal, so you could make an argument either way. This means you have to consider various personal factors to determine if this much running is good for you.


Whether or not you should be running five miles a day will depend on the following factors:

Your Current Fitness Level

If you are new to running or are currently out of shape, starting with a daily five-mile run can be too much, and you may need to build up your running capabilities gradually rather than dive right into the deep end. You do not want to become discouraged because you cannot keep up with such a challenging running schedule.

Your Schedule & Lifestyle

If you have a busy schedule and limited time to exercise, you may struggle to make time for a daily five-mile running routine. You may be better off performing more intense workouts but less frequently.

You Suffer from Pre-Existing Medical Conditions or Have a History of Injury

Running five miles might be unsuitable if you suffer from certain health issues, like joint pain, heart disease, respiratory system issues, and more. This is because your body is already under strain, so running every single day can be dangerous. 


Those with a history of overuse injuries or other running-related injuries can aggravate them if they run daily and do not allow their bodies to recover with a rest day.


Final Thoughts

As you can see, running five miles a day is not necessarily for everyone, but it can benefit others. The main thing is coming up with a realistic running schedule that allows you to set realistic goals and work around your own body’s unique needs.


The most important thing is running regularly and challenging your body, so it does not matter if you run five miles a day or come up with a different routine that works better with your lifestyle, body, and preferences. As is always the case with running, consistency is the key!


For more information about developing an appropriate running schedule, we encourage you to read our running frequency guide – How Many Days a Week Should I Run?

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Josh Jacobson

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