Your Guide to Running 2 Miles a Day Transformation

6 min read Chris Zibutis

Chris Zibutis
Written by
Chris Zibutis
Head Running Coach - that one person on earth who loves interval runs 🥵

Is running 2 miles a day good? Shouldn’t you run a lot more to enjoy all the benefits of running?

Running 2 miles a day has many health benefits and can be very motivating. And since it’s easier to sustain than other running plans, it’s a good way to get you moving every day. More than a health booster, running 2 miles a day can transform your life.

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of running two miles a day and how to get started.

Benefits of Running 2 Miles a Day

Running 2 miles a day is a great way to get started with endurance running without exhausting yourself.

Daily running can do a lot to your life, from burning calories and strengthening your heart to increasing your lifespan. Here’s what science has to say about it.

Running for weight loss

Calories burned running 2 miles a day count toward your weight loss goals. Together with the right food choices, good sleep, and effective stress management, running daily can help you shed 2 or more pounds a month.

How many calories do you burn running a mile? It depends on your weight, how fast you run, your gender, and other factors. According to Harvard Health Publishing data, running 2 miles a day at a 12-minute mile pace (about 5mph), you will burn 160 calories. Not bad, right?

Running 2 miles a day to lose weight may work better for you than running longer distances less frequently. It makes running a daily habit, and by doing so, encourages you to stick with it. At the same time, it puts less stress on your body and can feel more pleasant.

Important: A healthy runner’s diet is free from unnecessary calories. Count your calories and don’t open that energy bar or drink that energy drink unless you really need it – a 2-mile run isn’t a half-marathon! Otherwise, there’s a risk you’ll put on weight running.

Better heart health

Every day, your heart pumps blood through a 60,000-mile-long network of blood vessels. That’s a lot of work.

But running every day works your heart even more, and that helps make it stronger. Like any other muscle in your body, exercise grows and strengthens your heart.

The stronger your heart is, the better it can move oxygenated blood through your tissues and send deoxygenated blood back to the lungs for them to breathe the carbon dioxide out.

Running 2 miles a day makes your heart stronger and improves blood flow to the heart. Over time, this can lower blood pressure. High blood pressure is made worse by diet, stress, and a sedentary lifestyle, and it creates many health risks.

Did you know: Running often will also increase your maximum oxygen uptake, which can boost your exercise endurance.

The structural and functional changes that the heart undergoes after repeated training are known as the athlete’s heart. The athlete’s heart is asymptomatic and not a medical condition.

Better mood

Running 2 miles a day can help take your mind off worries. At the same time, it can release brain chemicals that make you feel good. And as you keep putting in your 2 miles every day, you’ll gain confidence from achieving your goals.

Add to all of these the opportunities for social interaction that come with running, and running daily is an effective way to lower stress and improve your mood.

Better sleep

A study on 51 adolescents found that running for 30 minutes in the morning during weekdays for 3 weeks improved sleep quality, concentration, and mood.

Running 2 miles every day at a moderate pace could help you get similar results. If you run at a faster pace, you can combine running with a light warm-up and cool-down jog or brisk walk.

Running can be especially effective if you have difficulties falling asleep, according to a more recent study.

Stronger leg muscles and improved knee health

Running works mostly the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. But more than strengthening your muscles and better defining them, it can be good for your bones, too.

While overtraining can give rise to injuries, including runner’s knee, running 2 miles a day reduces the risk for injuries. Because it requires repeated knee flexion and extension, it may improve muscle strength. As a result, it may reduce the risk of osteoarthritis and knee pain.

Prolonged life

If the benefits we’ve mentioned so far haven’t convinced you yet, we left the best one last. A 2017 study titled “Running as a Key Lifestyle Medicine for Longevity” notes that runners have a 25–40% lower risk of dying prematurely. The study also highlights that runners live approximately 3 years longer than those who don’t run.

How to Start Running 2 Miles a Day

How long does it take to run 2 miles? It depends on your fitness level, pace, and whether you combine walking with running.

If you use the run/walk strategy, it will take you up to 30 minutes. If you can run the distance without stopping, you can do it anywhere between 16 and 25 minutes without exerting yourself too much.

Now let’s look at how to run 2 miles the right way.

Use a run/walk strategy as needed

Are you running for the first time? Or putting your running shoes on after a long time of not running? Combine running with walking to ease your way into a routine of daily running.

You’ll reap the health benefits without exerting yourself or running the risk of injury. Also, you won’t find the run too demanding, which may happen if you carry some extra pounds.

Tip: One simple rule is to walk for twice as long as you jog and to keep combining both until you’ve covered 2 miles. For example, run for 2–3 minutes and then walk for 4–6 minutes.

Gradually build pace

Two-mile runs should feel comfortable. That’s not to say you can’t integrate into them hill running or intervals now and then, once you can run 2 miles comfortably. But to be able to keep up running as a daily habit, you have to dose your effort.

Don’t feel any pressure to run every day either. Putting in at least three 2-mile runs per week, to begin with, can help your body become accustomed to the effort. It can also make running feel more pleasant.

If you’re wondering how long to run 2 miles, you can start at a pace of 12 minutes per mile or slower. This will mean you’ll need 24 minutes for a continuous run, plus some extra minutes for warm-ups and cool-downs. Pushing for a faster pace may not be a good idea if your body is not used to running.

You can then increase that to 4, 5, and 6 runs per week. Should you run every single day, weekends included? Having at least a day of rest can feel better and give your body time to recover.

Strength and cross-training

Running every day is great, but don’t forget that you can enjoy the health benefits of exercise through other workouts as well. Bodyweight exercises, cross-training, and strength training can make you stronger all around.

Depending on the specific workout you follow, they may also make you a better runner by balancing your muscle groups, improving cardiovascular fitness, and varying your training to ward off boredom.

Tip: If you have set your sights on a half-marathon or marathon, mix running with other types of training for better results.

Listen to your body

Running 2 miles every day is going to make you fitter, healthier, and stronger. But the results won’t come overnight. You’ll start to feel better from the first run, but it’s important to listen to your body.

Your body will tell you if you’re pushing yourself too hard or running too much too soon. Pay attention to the signals your body is sending you. And remember that 2-mile runs should feel fun.

How to Make Running a Habit

Making running a habit isn’t just about putting in the effort. To keep going, you need to acknowledge your results and keep yourself motivated.

Set goals

Write down your running goals. Mark them on a calendar. Add them to your task list. And make them reasonable.

In the beginning, it may help to set only day-to-day or short-term goals. Then, as you listen to your body, you can raise the level, running more frequently, doing only continuous runs, and increasing pace.

Keep your goals simple and precise. For example, add a task to your task manager: Tomorrow, I will run 2 miles at [hour] in [place].

Warning: Not writing your running goals down may make them vanish into thin air.

Track and reward your progress

Use pen and paper, a calendar, a task manager, or a running app – whichever you prefer. Logging your progress makes it easier to visualize it. Also, it will help you plan rewards, which can vary from a delicious green smoothie to a new pair of comfy running shoes.

Follow a plan

Your plan can include locations, paces, walk/run strategies, other workouts, and more. With a plan, running 2 miles every day is less likely to feel boring.

Even if your plan won’t be as sophisticated as that of a runner training for an ultramarathon, it’s still valuable. It will have a motivating force and encourage you to stick to it.

Takeaways

Before you lace up your running shoes, here are the things to remember:

  • Running 2 miles a day will transform your life. It will make you healthier, stronger, boost your mood and energy levels, and add years to your life.
  • But it’s best to start slow if you haven’t been running much lately.
  • Combine running with walking, give yourself days of rest, and start at a low pace.
  • It takes anywhere between 16 minutes and 30 minutes to run 2 miles. That’s not so much, right? You can run daily even if you have a busy lifestyle.
  • Writing down your goals, tracking progress, and having a running plan will help you make daily running a great habit.

In the end, getting started with running 2 miles a day isn’t so hard if you take it one step, one run, one day at a time.

Start running today

Sometimes, simply knowing how to train is not enough. You need a personalized running program and some expert guidance to get you over the hard parts. Take a 60-second quiz and meet your personal running assistant.

Select your gender: