Are you looking to improve your overall fitness or lose weight? If so, adding in a 2 mile run each day could be part of that strategy. When used correctly running is an excellent way to make big gains in your fitness goals.
It doesn’t take a ton of time to commit to two miles. The risk if injury still remains fairly low.
And you still have plenty of time available to do things like strength training, which we know is a HUGE piece of the weight loss process. It’s really important if your goal is running for weight loss, not to make the mistake of skipping the strength work or learning about fueling.
Study after study have proven it takes all three to achieve the long term goal you want.
Additionally, as a running coach I have to state upfront that running streaks are rarely what I recommend for anyone. A run streak is any time you run everyday with no breaks. Whether the goal is getting fitter, faster or losing weight. But it does have some benefits and if you’re going to do it, I want to be the one to help ensure you do it correctly!
Let’s first walk through some of the benefits, followed by key strategies to implement running two miles a day without injury and when you might want to switch it up to either increase your miles or start using a plan that varies mileage from day to day.
8 Biggest Benefits of Running 2 Miles A Day
There are many excellent reasons to choose to run 2 miles a day. 2 miles isn’t just a random amount. It’s the perfect distance to realistically work with in order to achieve your fitness goals and create a lasting daily running habit.
#1 Two Miles Is An Achievable Distance
Running 2 miles is a distance that even a new runner can achieve.
Whether you’re a beginner or have been running for years, most people can complete a 2-mile run without too much difficulty once they get going. This means you won’t dread going out for a run because it is overwhelming.
Beginner runners may still feel challenged, but it won’t be something that feels insurmountable.
- You can use the run/walk method to make it feel easier
- You can go easy most days or run faster when you’re even shorter on time
- On days you don’t feel like running, a two mile power walk is still a great workout!
#2 Helps to Form a Fitness Routine
Creating a consistent running habit is key to seeing long-term results from your efforts.
Running 2 miles each day can help you form this habit and make it easier to stick with over time. Change is difficult, but no matter how challenging something is, if we can get used to it, after a couple of weeks it won’t be so challenging anymore.
Even if you don’t see immediate results, you can feel confident that forming a running habit is getting you there long-term.
- Pick a time that you will workout every day, this helps the habit form
- 2 miles is short enough that you can often convince a friend to meet you which improves their health too
- Remember that the old adage 21 days to form a habit isn’t quite true, it usually takes longer
#3 Brings Your General Fitness Level Up
If you’re looking to improve your overall fitness, running 2 miles a day is a great way to do it. Running is an excellent form of cardio exercise that can help to increase your endurance and stamina.
When you begin to get your heart rate up, it helps improve your cardiovascular health and increases blood flow to your blood vessels. Running strengthens your heart and helps prevent heart diseases.
It also helps battle other health conditions like high blood pressure and stroke. This type of high impact physical activity can also keep you at a healthy body weight.
Don’t get sucked in to thinking you need to run a marathon to see the benefits of running! These short quick runs will add up.
#4 Running Creates a Goal and Purpose Every Day
Running provides structure and purpose to our day. It’s something we can look forward to that gives us a sense of accomplishment. This inspires us to go through the rest of the day with that same vigor.
In addition to your body becoming healthier, running also makes your mind healthier. Serious runners value running not only for the physical benefits but for the mental benefits as well.
Running has the potential to make you happier, and lead to a boosted mood!
#5 It Provides Reflection Time
Running also clears our minds and allows us to focus on other things throughout the day.
Workouts are a time where we can reflect on our day, process our thoughts, and come up with solutions to problems. That 20-30 minutes is the perfect amount of time to think without over analyzing issues in our lives.
#6 Running Can Help Alleviate Depression and Anxiety
Depression and anxiety are extremely common mental health disorders that can have a negative impact on every aspect of our lives. Running the 2-mile distance regularly is a natural realistic way to help combat anxiety and depression symptoms.
#7 Reduced Stress
Running is a great way to reduce stress. When we run, our body releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. Running can also help us to forget about our stressors and clear our minds.
#8 Improved Sleep
Running can also improve our sleep. When we run regularly, our bodies become more efficient at handling stress, which can lead to improved sleep.
Running can also tire us out physically, which makes it easier to fall asleep at night. Especially if you run in the morning, which helps your body get used to the idea that you need the most energy early in the day.
Can I Lose Weight Running 2 Miles A Day?
The simple answer is yes.
Running 2 miles a day can help you lose weight and keep it off over time. Running burns calories, and the more you weigh, the more calories you’ll burn.
Running 2 miles each day can help you create a calorie deficit that will result in weight loss.
But of course that’s not the whole story. As noted above, running alone is not the best way to lose weight.
How To Lose Weight By Running 2 Miles A Day
Weight loss is certainly more complicated than a simple run every day. (Otherwise, you’d probably have a lot more company on your runs!)
Muscle is a factor.
And diet is a critical factor when trying to lose weight. Running can help you create a calorie deficit, but if you’re eating more calories than you’re burning, you’re not going to lose weight. Plain and simple.
Add to that the quality of the food you’re eating is going to impact your mood, energy, sleep, skin and ability to run. So yup that’s all going to determine how long you stick with it and thus can lose or maintain.
Calculate Your Calorie Needs, Make Small Shifts
We’ve already acknowledged that it’s hard to change habits.
That’s why I’m a huge fan of mini habits. Start out by making one tweak and live it with for a few weeks. As that becomes more natural, then you can move on to the next thing.
This is FAR MORE successful than attempting a massive overhaul to your lifestyle.
To successfully lose weight by running 2 miles each day, pay attention to your diet and make sure you’re creating a calorie deficit. You can do this by tracking your calorie intake and making sure you’re eating fewer calories than you’re burning.
Checkout how many calories do runners need, to calculate where you should be. Hint it’s not 1200 or less!!!
Create a Nutrition Plan
Weight loss goes beyond calorie burning. A lot depends on what you choose to put into your body.
Running 2 miles a day and eating processed foods is not going to give you the same results as running 2 miles a day and eating whole, nutritious foods.
Why? It’s not uncommon for people to gain weight while working out and one reason is increased hunger. But often that hunger is due to a lack of nutrients, not a lack of food!
Quality matters when you’re trying to lose weight, so be aware of what types of foods you’re choosing to eat. My personal preference is to focus on eating enough protein to maintain muscle mass and eating lots of fruits and veggies. That’s so much easier mentally than creating a list of do not eat foods.
(BTW I eat everything. I eat pizza weekly, I eat chocolate daily. I have maintained a 35lb weight loss for over a decade!)
Bonus Tip: Increase Your Protein Intake!
This is a quick way to drop sugar cravings and ensures that your body is able to build or maintain muscle to increase your metabolism.
- 97 High Protein Breakfast Ideas to Kick Start Your Day
- 21 High Protein Dessert Ideas
- 17 High Protein Post Workout Smoothies
Incorporate Strength Training
Strength training is extremely important if you want to see results in your weight loss.
A study published in Sports Medicine showed that we can lose 1.4 percent of our entire body fat through strength training alone. That’s similar to how much weight we can lose with cardio activities, such as running, alone.
A 2014 Harvard Health Publishing study showed that those who combined strength and cardio were able to better reduce the size of their abdomen. Since this is where we often carry unhealthy fat, that’s a huge win.
Bottom line: if you really want to lose more weight successfully, you need a combination of cardio (running) AND strength training. This is how you achieve muscle definition.
Will 2 Miles A Day Tone My Body?
Running 2 miles a day can help you tone your body, but it’s not going to happen overnight.
Running will help to build lean muscle, and as you lose weight, you’ll start to see more definition in your muscles. But don’t expect to running to give you abs after a few weeks of running 2 miles a day!
Toning your body takes time, patience, and consistency. Running 2 miles a day is a great start, but you also need to focus on other factors like diet and strength training to see the best results. Incorporating strength-training exercises into your routine will help you build more muscle, which will result in a more toned appearance.
How Much Time Should I Commit to Running 2 Miles A Day?
The amount of time you need to commit to running 2 miles a day depends on your fitness, experience level, and your goals.
If you’re just starting out, you may need to work up to running 2 miles a day. Checkout our guide to running 1 mile a day and get used to that schedule, ensure your body feels good before adding in an additional mile.
Or do a combination of walking intervals and running intervals to get your fitness where it needs to be.
Eventually, you’ll be able to run 2 miles a day.
If you’re doing the run walk method, it will probably take you around 25-30 minutes to do 2 miles, but you can expect that estimate to take longer if you’re doing more walking than running.
If you’re already fairly fit, you may be able to jump right into running 2 miles a day. In that case, it will probably take you somewhere around 20 minutes to run 2 miles.
Or for those who have been doing a lot of other fitness workouts from CrossFit to soccer teams, you might easily run 2 EASY miles in 16 minutes. Remember that the majority of your runs should be at an effort level where you could carry on a conversation.
Running too hard every single day isn’t going to help you see progress. It’s the fastest way to get injured or burned out.
Listen to your body! If you find that running 2 miles a day is too much, cut back on your distance, frequency of your runs, or your speed.
As you continue to run 2 milers, you will likely begin to get faster relatively quickly. You can shave possibly even a few minutes off your initial 2-mile time.
6 Tips for Running 2 Miles A Day
If you’ve decided to take on this goal, let’s talk about the practical tips you need to get it done without injury.
#1 Use A DAILY Two-Mile Run As A Short-Term Tool
Start this process by thinking of this as something you’re going to do for 30 days. That gives you a concrete timeline.
In fact, you’re more likely to see results in your fitness or weight loss goals if you vary your training. That means having shorter easy runs, long runs, rest days and tempo runs or HIIT running workouts. Plus as we’ve stressed, making time to include lifting workouts and even other cross train as well.
You do not have to run every single day to make this strategy successful, but you do need to run on a regular basis.
#2 Create a Consistent Schedule
If you tell yourself the night before that you’re going running, stick to it. Find a time of day that works in your schedule. Pick out your running gear and plan your meals in advance.
Put it on your calendar and let others know you have a standing commitment at that time. This holds you to your plan and gives you fewer excuses to back out when it comes to going for your run.
That being said, you gotta go with life too! So if you miss your normal morning time, start thinking where you can squeeze it in. Over lunch? Right after dinner? Don’t let yourself off the hook if you have committed to this!
Grab a printable running log! I LOVE seeing it written down to track my progress.
#3 Start Out Slow
Honestly, if you haven’t been running at all then my recommendation is to start out with daily power walks. When you reach the point where you can walk each mile at a 15 minute pace, transition to a run walk strategy.
As you continue to decrease the amount of time walking, you’ll find that it gets easier to keep running.
The Couch to 5K training plan is a really great way to see how this might progress.
#4 Take Care of Your Body
If you start running two miles a day, then you need to treat your body like you’ve started doing this extra work.
That means spending a few minutes on your dynamic warm up. Some leg swings, some lunges, movements that are going to prevent you from being injured which means no running and no progress on your goals.
Remember that while 2 miles is short, it’s still a high impact activity. You must take care of your ligaments, tendons and joints.
#5 Accept It Takes Time To Achieve Results
Depending on your previous level of fitness, running 2 miles may start out really HARD. Keep it up, and you will build stamina. Not every run will be easy, but it will get easier overall, especially as running becomes part of your lifestyle.
There is no magic bullet. There is only so much you get to control when it comes to your body, and everyone’s body composition is different.
Running will help you reach your fitness goals, but if you’re not at your healthy weight yet, understand that it may take time.
#6 Don’t Beat Yourself Up If Things Don’t Go According To Plan
We all have lives, and often those lives can get in the way of our running plans. If you’re planning to go running on your lunch break, but you get stuck in a meeting, it’s ok!
Try to move around other things in your day. If it just doesn’t come together, then start focusing on how to make it happen the next day. Use it as an opportunity to not have the same issue happen twice.
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