How Many Miles Should I Run Per Day?

Are you looking to start running but need to figure out how much mileage you should aim for each day?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, as the ideal daily miles depend on factors such as your current fitness level, running experience, specific goals, and personal preferences.

The primary consideration is whether you are training for a specific race– and how long it is going to be. Somebody training for a 5K might choose to run 3-4 miles, several times per week. At the other end of the scale, somebody training for an ultramarathon may feel under-prepared if she isn’t logging at least 10 miles per day. If you’re wondering – “how many miles should I run per day?” – the first step is to work backwards from your end goal.

We understand that this can all seem confusing, but don’t worry! Join us as we guide you through these critical considerations and help you determine the correct daily mileage for you.

From creating a sustainable plan to setting achievable goals, let’s get started.

Why Plan Your Mileage?

How many miles should I run per day?
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You need to keep a few things in mind when planning your mileage and how much you should run in a day:

What Affects How Many Miles I Should Run?

Figuring out how many miles to run daily is crucial to a successful and sustainable training program. Several factors impact precisely how much you should run each day. Your fitness level, experience, specific goals, and personal preferences are just a few.

Seasoned runners and beginners must consider these factors to find the right balance and keep you on track toward your desired outcome.

Fitness Level

Fitness level is critical in determining the miles one should run daily. Running too many miles when not properly conditioned can lead to injury, burnout, or decreased performance. On the other hand, running too few miles can make progress slow and limit the benefits you see from your training.

If you are new to the running game, should you start running 5 miles per day? Probably not!

It’s essential to listen to your body and adjust your mileage based on how you feel. Many gyms offer physical fitness tests that give accurate pictures of your location. These tests can help if you need clarification on your fitness level. Increasing your mileage over time is typically the best approach as your fitness level improves.

Experience Level

Experience level is another factor to consider when deciding the daily running miles. For those new to running, starting slow and gradually increasing mileage is essential to prevent injury and build a solid foundation for future training. 

Whether you’re new to running or have been doing it for years, finding a balance between challenging yourself and staying injury-free is essential. Experienced runners can handle higher mileage and more intense training.

However, it’s still important to listen to your body and avoid pushing too hard too quickly. 


Another significant factor in choosing your daily running mileage is your specific goal. If you’re training for a race or competition, your mileage may need to increase to prepare for the event adequately. On the other hand, running fewer miles is sufficient if you want to improve overall fitness or maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Your body is constantly changing, and so will your fitness needs. Remember to reassess your goals regularly to ensure they’re still right for you!

Balance your workouts between challenging yourself and maintaining a sustainable training plan. Finding a happy medium allows you to reach your goal’s finish line without burning out too soon.


Your personal preferences heavily influence the distance you should run daily. Some individuals enjoy pushing their limits by running extensive distances daily. Others opt for shorter, speedier runs.

Finding a balance between your personal preferences and physical capabilities is vital to a successful and sustainable running program. Running should be enjoyable and something you look forward to, not a chore. Taking breaks, varying your routine, and incorporating other forms of physical activity can also help keep you motivated and prevent burnout.

The Role of a Training Plan

It’s important to understand the benefits of having a structured running plan and how to customize it to fit your personal goals and needs. There may come a time when seeking guidance from a coach or trainer would be beneficial. 

Let’s explore the benefits of having a structured running plan, customizing it to fit your unique needs, and when to seek the guidance of a coach or personal trainer.

Workout plan

Benefits of Planning

Structuring your running plan can bring numerous benefits to your fitness journey. It helps you stay on track, keeping you focused and motivated. A well-planned training program can also help reduce the risk of injury by gradually increasing the intensity and distance of your runs. 

Providing your body adequate time to adjust decreases the risk of injury from overexertion or strain. Creating a solid plan can enhance your results by keeping you on your path, making you track progress, and making necessary modifications. With a structured program, you can make continuous, steady progress toward achieving your running goals!

Tailored Just For You

Believe it or not, there’s no ‘one size fits all!’ Tailor your daily running schedule to meet your specific needs and goals, making it a personalized tool for reaching your fitness aspirations. Your daily running plan should be completely customized to your fitness level, physical abilities, and available time.

You can achieve effective and enjoyable training with a customized daily running schedule. Invest in creating a plan that suits you and accomplishing your running goals! By prioritizing areas you hope to enhance and setting achievable objectives, you can maintain steady advancement and remain motivated.

Professional Advice

When developing your running plan, consulting with a coach or sports medicine professional can significantly improve your results. Regardless of your current experience level, their expertise can guide you in avoiding injuries and reaching your full potential.

Utilize their insights, and you’re more likely to stay on track and achieve your running goals. 

Be bold about asking for help. Having a professional guide can mean the difference between just going through the motions and reaching your running goals safely and enjoyably. With a coach’s help, you can get a personalized plan that includes running, strength building workouts, and flexibility exercises.

How Far Should I Run Each Day?

Based on your goals, you can determine a running plan that’s right for you. Here’s how to do that:

Visualizing Your Goals

Whether you’re aiming to complete a 5K, 10K, half-marathon, or full marathon, it’s crucial to understand what each race entails clearly.

We’ll also review what they involve and how many miles you should aim to run each day in preparation for them. Having a structured plan and a clear understanding of your goals can help you stay on track, avoid injury, and achieve your desired results.


The 5K is 3.1 miles and is a great distance for those new to running or looking for a fun challenge. If you’re preparing for a 5K race, the miles you should run each day will depend on your fitness level, running experience, and training schedule. 

If you’re starting your running journey, aim to run a few short sprints each week and gradually increase the distance as your body adapts. As you get closer to race day, aim for around 3-4 miles per day, with plenty of rest days sprinkled throughout.

Before you know it, you’ll be completing that 5K like a pro!


A 10K race is another fantastic milestone for runners, covering an impressive distance of 6.2 miles.

Whether you’re an experienced runner or just starting, training for a 10K can be an exciting and achievable goal. To prepare for the race, it’s crucial to find a training plan that works for you, considering your current fitness level and experience. 

We recommend running around 4-5 miles daily by race day, with rest days included throughout the week.

If you’re an experienced runner, you may be able to run more, but remember to listen to your body and avoid overtraining.


A half-marathon is a thrilling challenge for runners, covering a distance of 13.1 miles. Preparing for a half-marathon requires a strong commitment, but the right training plan can be a gratifying experience. Aim to gradually increase your running distance to get ready, starting with shorter runs and building up to around 6-8 miles per day

It’s also important to include rest days and cross-training in your routine to prevent injury and improve your overall fitness.

Full Marathon

A full marathon is a strength and endurance test covering a whopping 26.2 miles!

Preparing for a full marathon is a huge undertaking. Still, a solid training plan and commitment can make it enriching. As you get closer to the race, aim to run around 8-10 miles consistently, and don’t forget your rest days. 

A successful marathon training plan will also require a weekly long run where you steadily increase your mileage to prepare for the final challenge of race day. We’d recommend increasing the length of your long run by 10% each week until you hit 18-22 miles.

But remember: the long run is once-per-week — not every day!

It’s important to listen to your body and avoid overtraining, as this can increase your risk of injury. Whether a seasoned runner or just starting, training for a full marathon is a great way to push your limits and achieve something remarkable. With dedication, preparation, and a positive attitude, you’ll be ready to tackle this exciting challenge and finish feeling proud and accomplished.

To summarize, these are the hours you should run to train for these types of races:

  • 5K: 3-4 miles per day, 2-3 days per week
  • 10K: 4-5 miles per day, 2-3 days per week
  • Half-Marathon: 6-8 miles per day, 2-3 days per week
  • Full Marathon: 8-10 miles per day, 2-3 days per week

Ramping it Up

Getting into a running routine should be approached steadily and gradually. Initially, taking things too fast and pushing too hard increases the likelihood of injury and can lead to burnout rather than building up endurance. 

To ensure you’re taking care of your body, starting slow, ramping up your mileage over time, getting enough rest and recovery, and incorporating cross-training activities to complement your running. Following a well-thought-out plan can increase your chances of reaching your goals and keeping yourself injury-free.

Make it Gradual

Gradually increasing your running mileage is critical to successful and injury-free training. To help you on your journey, here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind:

  • Gradually increase your mileage over time.
  • Incorporate strength and cross-training exercises.
  • Vary your running surfaces.

Follow the above three steps to ramp things up gradually, saving yourself from injury roadblocks. You can achieve your running goals by being consistent, taking things slow, and listening to your body. Remember, patience is a virtue in any training plan.

Rest and Recovery

Rest and recovery are essential components of a successful running training plan.

When we push our bodies to run and exercise, we create tiny tears in our muscles that need time to heal. These small tears can accumulate without adequate rest and lead to overuse injuries, such as strains and sprains.  

Taking rest days and allowing for proper recovery helps prevent injury and gives our bodies time to rebuild, grow more robust, and be ready for the next workout. Additionally, getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, and stretching are all crucial components of a good recovery plan.

So, don’t be afraid to take a break and let your body recover; it’ll thank you for it!

See more: How many calories are burned from running 1 mile?

Cross-Training Can Help

Incorporating cross-training activities into your running routine can benefit your overall training.

Cross-training helps improve muscle balance, build strength, reduce the risk of injury, and provide a mental break from the repetitive running motion. This training can include cycling, swimming, yoga, or strength training exercises targeting different muscle groups. 

By including cross-training in your routine, you can work on areas that running alone may not target, leading to a more well-rounded fitness routine. So, don’t be afraid to mix things up and try new activities; they boost your running performance. Remember, variety is the spice of life!

See more: our favorite cardio alternatives to running

The Art of Setting Miles Per Day Targets

Miles per day

A successful daily running plan caters to your individual needs and goals. Avoid the one-size-fits-all approach and, instead, focus on creating a plan that you tailor specifically for you. Gradually build up your mileage, avoid overdoing it, and leave room for flexibility. Your plan should be a flexible guide, not a strict set of rules, so feel free to make adjustments as needed. 

Let’s delve deeper into these critical considerations.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

There’s never a one-size-fits-all solution regarding running training plans and the number of miles to run each day of the week. Each individual is unique and has different fitness levels, experiences, objectives, and priorities, as mentioned before.

It’s essential to consider your personal factors when creating a training plan, as what works for one person may not work for you. It’s also important to listen to your body and adjust as needed. And remember, a professional coach or personal trainer can also be a great resource to help tailor a plan just for you.

Pace Yourself

Starting a daily running program is an excellent step towards improved health and fitness, but it’s important to pace yourself. Rushing into things too quickly can lead to injury and burnout, ultimately derailing your progress. Increasing your mileage and intensity over time is a much more effective and sustainable approach.

It’s also important to listen to your body and take rest days when needed. By pacing yourself, you will build up a solid foundation for your running program and be able to make consistent progress toward your goals. Remember, slow and steady wins the race, so trust the process and enjoy the journey!

Be Flexible

Flexibility with your daily running program is essential to healthily and sustainably reaching your goals. Life can be unpredictable, and sometimes things don’t go as planned. A set plan is great for structure, but leaving room for adjustments is also essential. 

This could mean modifying your running schedule due to a busy workweek, taking an extra rest day when feeling fatigued, or adjusting your goals if you are injured. Embracing a flexible approach will help you stay on track and avoid feeling discouraged when things don’t go as planned. By being adaptable, you’ll be able to make the most of every training opportunity and stay motivated on your running journey.

For this reason, we recommend setting a target of miles run per week rather than miles run per day. Choosing a weekly mileage target has the added flexibility to keep you on track.

Final Thoughts: Choose Your Mileage Wisely!

The number of miles you should run daily is a unique and individualized answer tailored to your specific needs.

Several important factors include your fitness level, running experience, desired outcomes, and personal preferences. It’s important to find the right balance that works best for you and never push yourself too hard. Remember, slow and steady wins the race.

When mapping out your running journey, take enough time to reflect on your goals and make sure they’re sustainable. Listen to your body and how it feels after each run. Being in tune with your body will help you understand when it’s time to increase your mileage or take a step back and reevaluate.

Keeping track of your progress will help you stay motivated and give you a sense of pride and accomplishment as you check off your goal’s milestones. With consistency, dedication, and a positive attitude, you can reach your running goals and enjoy all the tremendous physical and mental benefits of being a runner!

Author Profile

Thalia Oosthuizen

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Thalia started running during the the pandemic as a way of getting out of the house. The running bug bit, and now much of her life revolves around everything to do with running - videos, podcasts, studies, books, articles, and interviews. She's also done several courses on running nutrition and mechanics to aid in her training and advising others.
Thalia Oosthuizen

Revel SPorts Contributor

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