Running for Weight Loss: How Many Miles Should I Run and How Many Days Should I Run For?

by Fiona

Hello, my name is Fiona, I asked a question here before and got a great answer to it and it really helped me with my running.

I have lost a few pounds and am beginning to tone up.

I was at the time struggling to get past two or three miles and since I started to read and ask questions on this site I am now running five miles in the morning times.

My time is usually about 53 minutes.

I have to do my running on a treadmill as I have small kids and I dont have anyone to mind them while hubby is working away. But I do have another question which I am hoping to get help on.

I run five miles a day and work up a fairly decent sweat after it. I usually do the run for four to five days a week. I have lost a couple of pounds and am pleased with the results but I heard that in order to loose weight I should be running six days a week doing five miles six days a week which is 30 miles in the week.

Is this correct as I don't want to be doing 20 or 25 and then find out its not working any more.

I have about an hour in the morning I can get the run in before the kids are awake which means im up at six and by the time I have stretched and drank water and my vitamins im off running on my treadmill for almost an hour.

I am wondering if I am doing enough mileage in the mornings or should i be upping it to more miles and how many days.

Many thanks for your help.

Answer by Dominique:

Hi Fiona,
Thanks for another running training question. Great that you found my previous answer helpful and that you are now able to do longer runs. I'll do my best to help you with this one as well.

Weight loss revolves around one equation:

Calories Taken In - Calories Burned

Calories Taken In: the food and drinks you consume during the day provide you with energy (usually measured in calories or (kilo)joules).

Calories Burned: the amount of energy you use during the day with your everyday activities and your exercise.

When you burn more calories than you take in, you will lose weight.

And the more running you do, the more calories you will burn. But there is no hard and fast rule about the number of miles and the number of days to establish weight loss. The more, the better.

The amount of running you do is excellent and provides a good basis for weight loss. HOWEVER, you can't look at your running alone. The amount of calories you consume (the other part of the equation) is critical to whether you will lose weight.

So, running 30 miles would be better than running 20 miles (you would burn more calories), but that does not mean that you can't lose weight by doing what you are currently doing. And you already indicated that you had lost some pounds so I think you are on the right track.

At some point you may find that you reach a plateau. That is pretty normal. Your body adjusts its metabolism based on your lifestyle to a certain extent. Then it would be good to again consider your eating and exercise patterns and see at which point you can make changes. Also check my page on running for weight loss.

Although weight loss itself is an excellent reason to start running, don't fall in the trap of becoming obsessed with weight loss alone. Running 5 miles 4-5 times a week provides benefits beyond weight loss alone.

Regular running makes you healthier and happier. Also see these benefits of running.
Hope this helps.
Best of luck with your running.
Kind regards,

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