How Many Miles Should I Run A Week to Stay Healthy?
Often we get caught up in the “more is better” theory. But how many miles should you run a week to stay healthy?
Many experts advise the average person not to run more than 30 miles (48.3 km) a week to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
This is generally considered the sweet spot for sustaining a healthy lifestyle. However, does this mean that we shouldn’t run more than 30km a week?
Of course not!
Everyone has personal reasons for starting to run. This could involve trying to live a healthier lifestyle, complete an event, or even lose weight. Depending on your goal, it will determine how much and how often you will run per week.
Saying that, general health experts recommend running between 15 and 20 miles per week. They class this as the sweet spot, giving the body the exercise needed without add excess stress to the muscles and joints.
However, you shouldn’t live or die by these numbers. The runner that has been training for years can handle much more than your average person. So the miles an average person should run to stay healthy will vary from an experienced runner.
How Much Running is Healthy Per Day?
Once again this comes down to goals. Are you a runner that has regularly been running 5 miles a day? Or are you a beginner starting out?
The healthy amount of running per day depends on the person and their background in running. An experienced runner can easily clock 10km plus a day, which is a healthy level of volume for that person. While a beginner runner is recommended to combine running and walking together, and if lucky may reach 2-3k a day.
However, both types of runners have something in common. As they become more resilient and recover faster, the amount of running per day can be increased. This then increases the volume of running the person can handle. Increasing the amount of running per day that is healthy for that individual.
The most important thing is that you are getting out and exercising. Running for just 5 to 10 minutes 3-4 times per week has been known to provide incredible health benefits. Such as decreasing the risk of strokes and heart attacks. And also helping to reduce the chances of diseases, like diabetes and arthritis.
However, it doesn’t mean you should be focused entirely on running more and more. There is a point when running easy won’t give you any more benefits. Experts have shown that running more than 5 hours per week doesn’t provide any extra health benefits and may place more stress on the body. So, unless you are focusing on distance running events, there is no real need to push the running above this level.
How to Increase Running Distance for Beginners
While knowing the general amount of miles per week to run to stay healthy is useful, the beginner run shouldn’t just jump into running the recommended weekly mileage.
As a beginner starting out running as a form of fitness, it is important to allow adequate time for the bones, tendons, and muscles to adapt to the load placed on them. That generally means slowly increasing the distance you run and planning in recovery days to help the recovery process.
It is recommended if you start out running that you implement the run/walk technique. If you plan the correct run and walk ratio, you will reach the recommended weekly mileage safely and without injury.
How Far Should I Be Able to Run Without Stopping?
This is a common question many people ask. Generally, it depends on your current level of fitness. But for most people, the goal is to run 30 minutes without stopping. Once the beginner reaches that level, they find they can progress much faster.
But as a beginner, it is important to jog, rather than run in the early stages of your training plan.
Since the beginner generally is working towards a better lifestyle and using running as a way to improve fitness, it is important in the beginning that the speed is kept low. Focus more on increasing the distance, rather than speed. Then work your way up to 20 minutes of non-stop running, and then 25 minutes. Soon enough you will find yourself running 60 minutes without any problems, basically running 10k in the progress.
How to Increase Running Distance from 5k to 10k
You may already be a regular jogger, but looking at how to increase your running distance from 5k to 10k.
Typically the journey from 5k to 10k is no different from the couch to 5k, or from zero to 5k. The goal is to continue to build your weekly mileage and increase the duration of your long run.
As you increase your running from 5k to 10k, it is important to place your focus more on the long run than intervals or faster workouts. At the end of the day, the long run is what will get you through the 10km distance, not speed work or intervals.
As a general rule of thumb, follow the 10% rule. This is a good starting point for most beginners. This percentage safely prevents the runner from trying to do too much too soon.
Following the 10% running rule means that each week your total volume or duration is not increased by more the 10% from the previous week.