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

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Cross Training For Runners
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David Dack

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, or around 8 kilometers,  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 will get more used to higher mileage. This will enable you to run further, faster, and with less fatigue.

Lose Weight

Alright, let’s talk weight loss, the real deal! You’ve probably heard that the secret sauce for trimming those extra pounds is to tip the calorie scale in your favor – burn more than you consume. Guess what? Running is your trusty sidekick in this mission.

So, what’s the calorie-burning scoop?

When you embark on a 5-mile run, you’re torching approximately 500 calories per session.

Imagine this: if you commit to these 5-mile daily runs for a month, you’re bidding farewell to a whopping 15,000 calories. That’s roughly four pounds of fat disappearing into thin air each month, all thanks to your newfound running routine.

Fast forward a year, and you could be celebrating more than 40 pounds of weight loss – now that’s an achievement worth chasing!

But here’s the catch – it’s not just about pounding the pavement. Your dietary habits come into play.

Running might be a calorie-burning beast, but it can’t undo the damage of an unhealthy diet. Picture this: weight loss is like a dynamic duo, with exercise covering 20% of the action and your diet reigning supreme at 80%..

Additional Resource – The benefits of running

Not Too Long

Don’t worry, we won’t be stealing your precious time. Running 5 miles a day won’t hold you hostage for hours. Depending on your fitness level and pace, you can conquer these 5 miles in a manageable 45 minutes to an hour.

Think about it – you can sneak in this energizing routine either bright and early in the morning or late at night after the kids have dozed off. There is no need to sacrifice your entire Sunday morning for a marathon.

Challenging but Doable

Running 5 miles daily is no walk in the park, but let’s put things in perspective. It’s not as demanding as committing to a daily marathon. You’ll need to summon some determination, for sure, but it’s a challenge well within your reach. This is especially the case if you’ve already been in the running world for while (more on this later).

Keep in mind that your body is an incredible machine capable of adapting to new routines. Within a few weeks, those 5 miles will feel like a breeze. However, a word of advice: before diving into this daily regimen, ensure you’ve already built a solid fitness foundation. Aim to have logged at least 10-15 miles each week for the past six months

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

The Downsides Of Running Everyday

While running 5 miles a day has its merits, let’s not overlook its downsides.

First off, it can be a tad monotonous. Yes, some folks thrive on routine, but for others, the daily grind might start feeling like a chore.

After all, variety is the spice of life.

Moreover, the risk of injury looms, especially for beginners or those with a history of chronic injuries. If you’ve battled knee pain or ankle sprains before, be cautious about this rigorous routine. Pushing your body to cover 5 miles daily might not allow adequate recovery time between runs.

Should you feel any discomfort or pain, it’s wise to scale back or even take a break until you’re back in tip-top shape. Remember, your health and well-being always come first.

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 chip away at your ability—and time—to cross-train effectively.

In a perfect world, that means 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 you 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.

When Are You Ready for the 5-Mile Challenge?

So, how do you know if you’re ready to tackle the 5-mile-a-day challenge? Let’s break it down with a few questions:

When was the last time you ran 5 miles?

Have you completed a 10K run in the past month?

Do you currently run at least three times a week, covering a minimum of 15 miles weekly?

If your responses lean towards the negative side, you might want to hold off on this challenge for now.

Jumping into a daily 5-mile regimen without the right foundation can spell trouble. Your endurance and strength may not be up to par, making it difficult to handle the strain and stress that come with running five miles each day.

When Should You Avoid Running Five Miles A Day?

While running five miles a day can be a fantastic challenge, it’s not suitable for everyone.

If any of the following scenarios sound like you, it might be best to hold off:

  • Beginner Runner: If you’re just starting out and have only been running for a few weeks or months, diving into a daily 5-mile routine might be too much too soon.
  • History of Injury: If you have a track record of injuries, especially issues like knee pain, shin splints, ankle sprains, or stress fractures, you should proceed with caution.
  • Age Over 60: Running five miles daily can be quite demanding, especially as we age. If you’re over 60, consider your body’s limitations and consult with a healthcare professional before starting.
  • Overweight or Clinically Obese: Carrying excess weight can put added stress on your joints and cardiovascular system. If you’re overweight or clinically obese, take a more gradual approach to avoid potential strain.

Additional resource – How to start running at 50

How To Start Running 5 Miles A Day?

Taking on the challenge of running five miles daily is admirable, but it’s essential to approach it wisely to avoid burnout or injury. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

  • Begin Gradually: If you’re not accustomed to daily running, don’t jump straight into five miles. Start with two to three miles a day to acclimate your body to the routine.
  • Interval Training: Consider incorporating interval training into your routine. For example, run for 15 minutes, walk for five minutes, and repeat until you cover the full 5-mile distance. This method can help you build endurance while reducing the strain on your body.
  • Use a Running App: Track your progress and monitor your distance with a reliable running app. This can provide motivation and help you stay on target.
  • Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how your body responds to the increased mileage. If you experience pain, fatigue, or persistent discomfort, don’t hesitate to scale back or take a rest day.
  • Proper Footwear: Invest in a good pair of running shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning to reduce the risk of injuries.
  • Warm-Up and Cool Down: Prior to your runs, warm up with dynamic stretches and finish with static stretches to prevent muscle tightness.
  • Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration is essential for endurance running. Drink water before, during, and after your runs.
  • Rest and Recovery: Ensure you get enough rest and prioritize recovery. Overtraining can lead to burnout and injuries.

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

How Fast Should You Run The Five Miles?

Running five miles a day isn’t just about covering the distance; it’s also crucial to maintain an appropriate pace to prevent exhaustion and injury. Here’s how to find the right pace for your daily runs:

Comfortable Pace:

The key to successful daily running is to choose a comfortable pace. This is often referred to as the “conversational pace.” It means you should be able to maintain a conversation while running without feeling completely out of breath.

The Talk Test:

To gauge if you’re running at a sustainable pace, perform the talk test. Try reciting the pledge of allegiance or having a brief conversation with yourself. If you’re struggling to speak without huffing and puffing, you might be pushing too hard.

Avoid Overexertion:

Panting heavily during your entire run is a sign that you’re running too fast. Overexertion can lead to fatigue, muscle strain, and potential injury. Scale back your pace to find that comfortable, conversational rhythm.

Progressive Improvement:

As your fitness improves over time, your pace may naturally increase. However, always prioritize running at a pace where you can maintain proper form and finish each run feeling energized rather than depleted.


It’s okay to have variations in your pace. Some days, you might naturally run faster, while others may be slower due to factors like weather, terrain, or how you’re feeling that day. Embrace these variations and focus on consistency in your routine.

Additional resource – How to become a morning runner

Running 5 Miles A Day – The Conclusion

There you have it. If you’re about to 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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