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Cross Training For Runners

How To Start Running 5 Miles A Day & How Long Does It Take?

6 Mins read

Thinking about running 5 miles a day? Then let me start by congratulating you on your decision.

Logging five miles a day is a worthy goal to pursue.

Although the habit has a lot to offer, forming a daily 5-miler is easier said than done.

In today’s article, I’ll explain both the advantages and downsides of running five miles a day and share tips for making the most out of this habit if you ever decide to start running 5 miles a day.

The Benefits Of Running 5 Miles A Day

Here are the pros of running 5 miles a day.

Expect To Improve

Practice makes perfect. That’s why running five miles every can help turn you into a better runner. To become a better runner, after all, you’ll need to run more.

Your cardiovascular power will improve, your running economy will improve, and your body gets more used to higher mileage. This will enable you to run further, faster, and with less fatigue.

Lose Weight

When it comes to losing weight, the key is to induce a calorie deficit, which means burning more calories than you take in.

Guess what? Running works well for burning calories.

Running that long burns roughly 500 calories a session.

That means if you log in fives every day for a month, you’ll burn at least 15,000 calories in a month.  This equals to four pounds a month from exercise alone. In a year, that’s more than 40 pounds.

But, depending on your calorie intake, as in your dietary habits, you might need to make a few changes to your diet to see the fat really come off.

Otherwise, you cannot outrun a crappy diet. In fact, I’d dare say that weight loss is 80 percent diet and 20 percent exercise. There’s no way around that.

Additional Resource – The benefits of running

Not Too Long

Depending on your running speed and fitness level, running 5 miles a day will take up anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.

As a result, you can easily squeeze in the five miles early in the morning or late in the evening after putting the kids to sleep. And you won’t burn your entire Sunday morning doing it.

Additional Resource – Here’s how to start running two miles a day.

Challenging but Doable

Running 5 miles every day can be quite taxing on your body. But it’s not as challenging as running, let’s say, 10 miles a day.

Sure, you might have to push yourself a little bit, but a few weeks in, your body will eventually adapt.

To err on the side of caution, begin your 5-mile-a-day habit once you have established a good level of fitness. As in, running at least 10-15 miles a week for the past six months.

Learn more about the impact of regular running by checking the following studies:

The Downsides

Running five miles a day has its shortcomings.

For starters, logging five miles a day can be repetitive and boring. Of course, you might love the routine, but others may disagree as they like to change things up. Variety is, after all, the spice of life.

It may also make you prone to injury, especially if you’re a beginner or have a history of chronic injury.

If you have a history of knee pain or ankle sprains, pay attention when trying to run 5 miles every day as you might not be giving your body enough time to bounce back between runs.

In pain? Scale back or take a few days off until you’re back to normal.

Additional resource – How long does it take to walk five miles

What’s more?

If you’re just like me and love to lift weights or jump in the pool, doing 5-milers every day might ship away at your ability—and time—to cross-train effectively.

In a perfect world, that means that at least 3 to 4 days of running with 3 to 4 days of cross-training.

Additional resource – How to start running with your dog

How Long Does It Take To Run 5 Miles?

Answering this question is tricky because every runner is different.

But all in all, the average time for a 5-miler is 50 minutes—That’s about 10 minutes per mile, which is a reasonable speed for most beginner runners.

But if you have been running for a while, let’s you can keep a 7-minute per mile pace for more than 30 minutes, then the five miles will take only 35 minutes.

Here are more examples of pace and running times:

  • 5-minute pace: 25 minutes
  • 6-minute pace: 30 minutes
  • 7-minute pace: 35 minutes
  • 8-minute pace: 40 minutes
  • 9-minute pace: 45 minutes
  • 10-minute pace: 50 minutes
  • 11-minute pace: 55 minutes
  • 12-minute pace: 60 minutes
  • 13-minute pace: 65 minutes
  • 14-minute pace: 70 minutes

What’s more?

Most importantly, don’t worry about your times, especially if you’re a “slow” runner.

Running five miles a day is not a race (as we’re going to discuss later).

Running every day—even at the slowest speed—still makes you faster than anyone sitting on the couch the entire day.

I’d recommend that if your current mile time is longer than 10 minutes to first start out with running 2 miles a day. Then you can slowly progress from there.

Additional resource – Here’s your guide to running three miles a day.

How To Start Running 5 Miles A Day

When Can You Run Run 5 Miles A Day?

First, answer these three questions:

  • When was the last time you run 5 miles?
  • Have you finished a 10K run in the past month?
  • Do you run at least three times a week, covering at least 15 miles a week?

If your answer is no, then you probably not yet ready for this challenge.

However, if your answers are all positive, then I guess you’ve got it.

Taking up running out of nowhere without the right base is a recipe for disaster.

You won’t have the endurance, nor the strength needed to handle and endure and withstand and manage the stress build-up on your body from running five miles every day.

Additional Resource – Here’s how to plan a running route.

When Should You Avoid Running Five Miles A Day?

As discussed, running five miles a day has a lot to offer, but if any of the following applies to you, then you should avoid doing it.

  • You’re a beginner runner with only a few weeks/months of experience.
  • Have a history and/or prone to injury, especially knee pain, shin splints, ankle sprain, and stress fractures.
  • You’re over 60
  • You’re overweight, especially if you’re clinically obese.

If any of the above applies to you, running every day can take a toll on your body and mind. You might also need more time to recover from each run.

On your non-running days, feel free to either take the day off or engage in some form of a low-impact cross-training exercise. Ideal options for runners include walking, biking, swimming, strength training, and yoga.

Additional resource – How to start running at 50

How To Start Running 5 Miles A Day?

The best way to start running five miles a day is to simply get started doing it.

Of course, you’ll have to step out of your comfort zone for the first few session, but things will get easier as you push through.

As a rule, start by running two to three miles a day and then slowly add more mileage each week.

You can do this by following the 10 percent rule in which you never increase your mileage by more than 10 percent each week.

What’s more?

You can also break down the distance until you feel comfortable enough to run the whole 5 miles distance non-stop.

For example, you might plan to run for 15 minutes, walk for five minutes, then for another 15 minutes, walk again, until you cover the whole distance. Remember to use a reliable running app to help you keep track of distance.

Additional resource – How To Run An 8-Minute Mile?

The Right Pace – How Fast Should you Run The Five Miles?

It matters less how fast you do it.

The rule is to stick to a comfortable pace in which you don’t feel exhausted by the end of the session.

This is what’s known as the conversational pace, and it is the best way to ensure that you are not pushing your body more than it can handle.

If you think you’re going too fast, perform the talk test. Can you recite the pledge of allegiance without much huffing and puffing?

Panting for air on every steep means you’re running too hard and should scale back.

Additional resource – How to become a morning a runner

Running 5 Miles A day  – The Conclusion

There you have it. If you’re about start running 5 miles a day, then this post should set you off on the right foot. The rest is really up to you.

Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.

In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.

Keep training strong.

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