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Will Running Two Miles a Day Get Me in Shape? 

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Whether you're looking to start running and want to know if two miles a day is a good distance to begin with, or you're unsure if two miles is achievable for you and want to know more. Or maybe you're looking for some additional information before you lace up your running shoes. 

Running any distance can be challenging, especially if you haven't run for awhile. It's easy to find yourself overwhelmed and unsure how to build a fitness routine that works for you.This article will answer your questions and help you know if running two miles a day is the right distance for you.

Runner running down the road

Is Running Two Miles a Day Good?

Two miles is a great distance for beginners to get started, or for more experienced runners to fit into a busy day. By running two miles a day, you can increase your stamina, work on your form, and help improve your fitness level.

The first few months may be challenging, but the more you do it, the better you'll feel.

Two miles a day is a great starting point and the best part is, you won't need to dedicate too much time.

For experienced runners, two miles is a good distance for recovery days after a long run, easing back into your running after an injury, or maintaining your stamina and endurance.

Regardless of your fitness level, a two mile run is a great distance to fit into your day, especially if your time is limited.

Woman stretching on trail

Are There Any Dangers to Running Two Miles a Day?

Of course, with any kind of running there are downsides that should be considered. Injury, or the risk of injury, is the biggest concern.

Before you start running, it's a good idea to speak with your doctor to make sure that running every day won't harm your health.

Some medical conditions mean it isn't possible for you to run, or that it can become too difficult or even dangerous.

Preventing Injuries

Your doctor can take you through all the risks and help you create an exercise plan that will allow you to get in shape without pushing your body beyond its limits.

This could involve running for a shorter distance, or running a few times a week rather than daily. These are also good options for anyone that's struggling to run two miles a day, or is getting back into running after an injury.

Starting gradually and working up to running two miles is always a better choice than jumping straight in. It's important to keep in mind that even if you can handle the distance, your body may be prone to injuries if you don't allow a few weeks to adapt.

Taking a few runs and increasing your distance every day is always your better option.


Another way to reduce the risk of injury is to warm up correctly. Take the time to warm up by doing a few stretches and gentle movement so your body can prepare for the run ahead.

Other Things to Consider

Here are a few other things you should consider to help minimize the risk of injury so you can have a safe run:

  • Bring water with you on your run to help keep you hydrated
  • Opt for running paths that are smooth and level when you first start running
  • Don't add steep hills until your fitness has increased

Is Running 2 Miles a Day Just for Beginners?

Although many runners start out running 2 miles a day, the distance is not just for beginners.

When it comes to daily running, two miles a day is a great place to get fitness benefits without pushing your body beyond its limits.

If you're just beginning, then you'll likely find that a 2 mile run can be challenging. It's a good idea to incorporate walking into your runs, slow the pace, or drop the distance if necessary. 

The most important thing is that the routine works for you and your body. As your fitness builds you'll be able to handle the whole 2 mile run, but don't push it in the beginning.

A two-mile run is considered to be a moderate distance. And while more experienced runners can run further than two miles a day, this distance will help keep them fit while offering all the benefits of running - without a huge time commitment.

Woman running along a path

How Long Should Running Two Miles Take?

The time it takes you to run two miles will vary from person-to-person. Experienced runners typically can run two miles in under 10 minutes!

But don't be discouraged if you're new to running, or you're not a marathon runner.

Although, most runners can run two miles in 30 minutes, for a beginner, it could be longer. But don't worry if it is, your time will drop as your fitness improves.

Also, don't worry if you need to switch to walking for part of your run. It's far more important to cover the distance and continue running during the week, than to push yourself too far and injure yourself.

Take it slow and work up to running for the entire two miles. Focus on yourself, and the speed will come with time.

How Long Should Walking Two Miles Take?

On average, we walk 3 miles an hour, which is a 20-minute mile pace. This means that two miles should take you roughly 40 minutes.

Of course, this time does not allow for things like waiting to cross the street, taking breaks, or stopping to drink water, so don't worry if it takes you a little longer.

The average will not apply to everyone, so if it takes you closer to an hour to walk two miles, that's fine. We are all walking at different ability levels and in different conditions. No one is going to walk quickly in a heatwave, so don't beat yourself up!

Instead of using the average to measure your performance and improvements, keep track of how long it takes you to walk two miles, and watch the times lower as your fitness improves.

The best person to compete with is yourself!

Runners running at sunset

Will Running Two Miles a Day Help Me Lose Weight?

Running 2 miles a day will definitely help you lose weight, but you also need to follow a heathy and balanced diet. It's important that your body is burning more calories than it's consuming.

It's the classic, eat less, move more. You don't want to restrict your eating so that you're starving yourself, or notice a drop in energy. But you will want to keep yourself in a slight deficit.

It's a good idea to talk with a nutritionist before putting yourself in a calorie deficit. There's plenty of online trainers that can help you and provide individual advice at a reasonable price.

They can show you how to find the right deficit to fuel your body so you can do your daily runs and other tasks, while still allowing you to lose weight.

If you don't want to enter a deficit through diet, then you can increase the intensity of your runs. This will help you burn more calories and put you into a deficit to help you lose weight.

By increasing the intensity of your run, you can also burn fat which changes how your body looks.

There's no doubt, that you can lose weight while running two miles a day, especially if you're paying attention to your diet.

Will Running Two Miles a Day Tone My Body?

Running two miles a day will tone your body. Your legs will definitely get a workout, which means you should notice your legs toning, along with your torso and arms.

But keep in mind, the results you see will be greatly impacted by your diet and recovery.

If you want to tone your body or lose weight, you need to eat a balanced diet filled with vegetables. You also need to allow time for your muscles to recover and repair after your runs. Doing so will help your muscles develop a toned athletic look.

To increase the tone you see, head to the gym. After your run you can use the cross-trainer for an excellent whole body workout, or incorporate some weights into your routine.

When Will I See Results from Running Two Miles a Day?

Assuming you're getting the rest and recovery time you need, you should see results from running two miles a day within a week or so. 

The first thing you'll notice is typically an improvement to your endurance and stamina.

For weight loss or a change in your appearance, it can take longer to notice the changes. And your results are tied directly to your diet.

You'll notice your body getting stronger and your muscle might even grow and get heavier. This means you may not see a huge drop in the scales, even tough you've burnt calories and lost fat.

But don't be discouraged, as the numbers on the scale aren't always an accurate representation of the changes your body is going through.

Providing that you continue your daily runs, you'll see fantastic results, many of them in just a few weeks!

Woman runner on forest path

Should You Run and Lift Weights?

Although this is a personal choice, the combination of cardiovascular and strength workouts will not only improve your fitness, it will also tone your body.

If you choose to do weight training, here are a few things to consider:

  1. Allow plenty of time between your run and weight session for your body to recover. If you do them too close together, you can stress or overwhelm your body, which can lead to injury or burnout.
  2. Listen to your body and pay attention to how your body feels. If you feel like you are pushing your body too hard (especially when doing a lower body workout), you may want to shorten your workout or reduce the intensity. This allows your body a chance to recover versus being injured. 
  3. Stay hydrated, eat a balance diet and get plenty of sleep. All of these things help your body to recover after working out.

How Many Calories Can I Burn Running Two Miles a Day?

As a general rule, you can expect to burn between 160 to 280 calories on a two mile run. Keep in mind that the actual amount burned varies from person-to-person.

The number of calories you burn will vary due to a few factors. First the intensity of your run plays a big part. 

Running at a higher intensity, such as faster or longer, or with fewer breaks will require your body to burn more calories.

You can make your run more intense and burn more calories if you add an incline, such as hills or slopes. Although, always make sure these routes are safe for you to run, and don't push yourself too hard.

Also, your current weight will impact how many calories you burn. If you're carrying a few extra pounds, your body will need to work harder throughout the entire run.

The extra energy your body needs during the run will increase your calorie burn.

Food or stored fat is broken down and converted into energy which is used as fuel, the result is more burned calories.

Is it Best to Eat Before Running?

Ideally you should eat before your run. Eating before running will provide your body with some extra fuel. In addition, it'll help you from feeling sick or lightheaded during your run.

You don't need to eat a lot, especially if you're running first thing in the morning. A banana, toast, or small bowl of oatmeal is plenty to keep you going while you run.

Avoid eating anything heavy, as a full stomach is never good when running. It can leave you with a stomach ache, cramps, or even needing to be sick.

If you do have a big meal prior to running, be sure to give yourself some time before starting out to let your food digest.

Woman running on a winding road

Benefits of Running Two Miles a Day

There are plenty of health benefits that running two miles a day will provide for your physical and mental health. 

Mental Health Benefits

While you run, your body will release endorphins, known as the feel-good hormones.

Not only are the endorphins great for your body, but they also help boost your mood and give you the "runner's high" so many runners crave. 

It's this boost in happiness and positivity that makes many runners choose to run first thing in the morning.

Not only does it mean you have already "ticked" exercise off your to-do list, but it can set a positive tone for the rest of the day. 

Physical Benefits

Running two miles a day helps to improve your cardiovascular health. Your lungs and heart will become stronger, helping you to improve your stamina and endurance.

This not only makes running easier, but also allows you to run further if you choose.

By improving your physical health, you can run for longer without needing to catch your breath. You can also reduce the risk of heart and lung-related illnesses too. Tips to help you run longer.

Woman Stretching

Do I Need Rest Days?

You definitely need rest days! No matter what type of exercise you're doing, your body needs time to rest and recover, and this is especially true after an intense workout.

When you take rest days will depend on your workout routine and whether you're new to running. For beginners, we recommend taking rest days every other day to allow your body a chance to recover.

The fitter you become, and the more your body becomes used to running, the fewer rest days you'll need.

But no matter how fit you are, or how good of a runner, you'll still want to take at least one day a week where you don't run and you can fully rest your body. 

Types of Recovery

There are two different ways you can allow your body to rest and recover from your exercise.

Static Recovery

Static recovery involves staying still, or static to recover from your runs.

This could be sitting down with your feet up, or laying down and taking it slow the day after a run. You'll also want to get lots of sleep as this help your muscles rebuild after and intense run.

Static recovery is a good way to allow your body a chance to rest and recover, but if you pair it with active recovery you can recover even faster!

Active Recovery

Active recovery involves moving your body, but at a far lower intensity than your standard activity.

As an example, if you run two miles a day, an active recovery day could include a one mile walk instead of the run. You're still moving your body, but at a far lower intensity than running.

Active recovery helps keep your blood flowing to your muscles which helps them recover, and can help reduce the aching and soreness in your muscles. All this means that you'll recover at a faster rate!

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