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Running 2 miles a day: Benefits + how to do it


Running 2 miles a day has the potential to transform your physical and mental health.

Many people turn to running 2 miles a day when they want to improve aspects of their life, whether that be improving their fitness, losing weight or simply getting outdoors more.

2 miles is seen as an achievable distance for many, meaning it’s one of the most accessible running distances out there. 

Many runners run 2 miles a day in order to reach their goal of running 5k or longer distances like a 10k.

So what exactly are the benefits of running 2 miles a day? And what’s the best way to go about it?

In this guide we’ll explore:

  • Why run 2 miles a day?
  • Am I ready to run 2 miles a day?
  • What are the benefits of running 2 miles a day?
  • How much weight can I lose by running 2 miles a day?
  • How long does it take to run 2 miles?
  • How long does it take to walk 2 miles?
  • 6 tips on running 2 miles a day


Let’s get started!

running 2 miles a day

Why run 2 miles a day?

Many runners turn to running 2 miles a day because it is an achievable distance. 

It’s long enough so you get that all important ‘runner’s high’, and it’s short enough so that you don’t feel exhausted after your run.

Running 2 miles a day is also a really great way to get into your daily dose of exercise without causing huge disruption to your schedule.

You’ll finish your run in under 30 minutes, meaning it’s easy to fit it into your lunch break or before you start work.

Before you decide to run 2 miles a day, think about what you want to achieve by running 2 miles a day. 

Getting fit, weight loss and getting outdoors more are common goals for runners. 

Related: Running 5 miles a day: Pros and cons + how to do it 

Am I ready to run 2 miles a day?

The beauty of running 2 miles a day is that it’s an achievable running distance for many.

If you’ve recently completed the Couch to 5k training plan, for example, you will have already completed a 5k at the end of your plan.

Likewise, if you’re a more intermediate runner, then running 2 miles a day offers a gentle way to get your daily dose of running.

Many runners choose to run 2 miles a day, but there’s nothing stopping you from using the run-walk method to complete the distance.

Related: How long does it take to run a mile? Fastest mile times + averages by age and gender

running 2 miles a day

What are the benefits of running 2 miles a day?

You may be thinking: “Is running 2 miles a day good for you?”

There are many well-documented physical and mental benefits of running, and by running 2 miles a day you will definitely see physiological changes in your body.

Here are the benefits of running 2 mile a day:

  • Improves cardiovascular fitness
  • Improves heart health
  • Reduces the risk of chronic health conditions
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Improves muscular endurance
  • Improves bone health
  • Boosts your mood
  • Helps you to sleep better

Improves cardiovascular fitness

There is a lot of evidence that shows the link between regular exercise and improved cardiorespiratory fitness.

According to a 2018 study, several large studies have consistently demonstrated benefit for those that participate in light and moderate physical activity over a sedentary lifestyle.

Improves heart health

Those who start running on a regular basis reduce their risk of heart disease by 35% to 55%.

Running also strengthens your heart muscles – it strengthens the walls of your heart which increases overall heart efficiency. 

Reduces the risk of chronic health conditions

According to a 2015 study, running has benefits in the prevention of obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis and hip replacement, respiratory disease, cancer and disability.

The study adds that running, even in low doses, is associated with a substantial reduction in cardiovascular and all-cause mortality. 

Helps with weight loss

Running burns more calories than most other activities, burning roughly 100 calories per mile.

In particular, high intensity interval training (also known as HIIT) involving running burns the most calories per minute.

HIIT activities like interval training and hill repeats continue to burn calories even after exercise has finished. 

This ‘afterburn effect’ has been shown to burn significantly more calories over time. 

Related: How many miles should I run a day? Benefits + risks of running every day

Improves muscular endurance

Activities like running, swimming and cycling are great examples of sports that improve your muscular endurance.

Muscular endurance is essentially how long your muscles can sustain exercise over a period of time. 

By running regularly, you will improve your muscular endurance and ultimately improve your overall health and fitness.

Improves bone health

Running is a weight-bearing exercise. This means the weight-bearing bones in runners in the legs, pelvis and spine tend to be stronger than the same bones of inactive people.

Low bone density has been linked to stress fractures and frailty in later life.

Boosts your mood

When you run, blood circulation to the brain is increased and the part of your brain that responds to stress and improves your mood is affected.

This change temporarily improves your reaction to stressful situations and triggers ‘feel good’ hormones that can elevate your mood. 

Running also has positive effects on your confidence, motivation and self-esteem. 

Helps you to sleep better

Regular exercise can improve the quality of your sleep and help you sleep through the night.

According to a 2021 study, exercising could help prevent health risks associated with poor sleep, like heart disease, stroke and cancer. 

Related: Does running burn belly fat? 10 effective tips + 3 workouts

running 2 miles a day

How much weight can I lose by running 2 miles a day?

The minimum guidelines for physical activity are 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week.

By running 2 miles a day, you’ll be safe in the knowledge that you’ll be doing at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week. 

Studies have also shown that high intensity interval training (HIIT) increases your ability to lose weight and burn calories. 

So if your goal by running 2 miles a day is weight loss, by combining running at a steady pace with high intensity interval training, you will soon be able to reach your weight loss goals. 

Related: Running for weight loss: The most effective running workouts to help you lose weight 

How long does it take to run 2 miles?

How long it takes for you to run 2 miles will depend on various factors, including your age, gender, fitness levels and running experience.

The average time to run 2 miles is 16 to 22 minutes if you run continuously without stopping.

If you use the run-walk method to run 2 miles, then the average time is 25 to 30 minutes.

Related: How to run a faster 5k: Average 5k times by age and gender

How long does it take to walk 2 miles?

If you don’t fancy the idea of running 2 miles a day, then the next best alternative is to walk 2 miles a day.

On average, it takes about 40 minutes to walk 2 miles.

Related: What is the best Couch to 5k plan? All your C25K questions answered

running 2 miles a day

6 tips on running 2 miles a day

Now you know all about the benefits of running 2 miles a day, here are 6 tips to help you run 2 miles a day.

#1 Be consistent

As with any type of exercise, the key to success is consistency. 

You need to train consistently to develop your fitness and improve your performance.

By keeping up your daily running habit, you will soon see improvements in your physical and mental health.

You will also see benefits in your running performance and form. 

#2 Wear the right gear

Running gear will go a long way to make your runs more comfortable, no matter what time of year you’re running in.

A good pair of running shoes are a must for any runner. The right pair of shoes will provide comfort and stability. 

Check out my guide on finding the right running shoes for more tips and advice.

You’ll also want to wear running gear that helps and doesn’t hinder your run. 

Running leggings/shorts, running socks, a warm base layer and a running jacket are all essential pieces of gear. 

#3 Fuel and hydrate

By running 2 miles a day, you will be using a lot of energy and fluids that all need to be replaced.

Aim to eat a balanced diet that provides you with the right amount of carbs, protein and healthy fats to fuel your runs.

You’ll also want to ensure you are drinking enough fluids to replace the sweat lost on runs. 

#4 Perfect your form

As you’ll be running more regularly, you’ll want to take note of your running form and understand what improvements could be made.

Proper running form looks at everything from your posture and arm swing to your stride and running cadence

Improper running form can lead to imbalances in your muscles and even injury, so it’s worth taking some time to understand what you could improve.

Check out my guide on proper running form for more information.

#5 Listen to your body

Running 2 miles a day can be quite gruelling at first, but over time your body will soon get used to this new habit. 

However, if at any point you feel pain when running, stop and identify what could be causing the pain.

Don’t be tempted to run through the pain as this could make the pain worse or lead to a bigger injury.

#6 Stretch and foam roll

Running daily may mean you feel greater muscle soreness and stiffness after your runs.

Stretching and foam rolling is a great way to help alleviate soreness after your runs. 

Aim to stretch it out after each run in the form of a cool down. Remember also to warm up before each run.

Caroline Geoghegan