Should You Run Every Day? Benefits & Risks of Running Daily

Should you run every day? Running every day has proven health benefits but can be risky for injuries—rest days & cross-training are key.

should I run every day?

Should you run every day? It’s a simple question, but the answer demands a little more than a yes or no.

Exercising every day has proven health benefits, and running everyday can be beneficial too under certain circumstances. But repeated daily pounding on your legs without incorporating recovery days can increase the risk of injury and burn out.

Frequency is one of the three key components to training, along with duration and intensity. How often we run should be determined by considering the length of our runs, the intensity of our runs, and where we are in our training. Each runner is different and based on ability level, and experience, the answer to “should I run every day” depends on a few factors.

Should You Run Every day?

In the world of endurance sports, the adage "more is better" often prevails. It's a common belief that the more effort we invest, the greater the returns in terms of fitness gains and performance improvements. However, when it comes to running every day, this belief can lead us to disaster.

The truth is more nuanced and warrants a balanced approach that recognizes the crucial role of recovery and adaptation in any training regimen.

Running every day involves several variables: frequency, intensity, and duration. These are the pillars of any training program and need to be adjusted based on your individual fitness level, running history, and personal goals. For example:

  • Frequency: How often you run can affect how your body adapts to the stress of running. For beginners, running every day may lead to quick fatigue and increased injury risk. More experienced runners, however, might be able to handle daily runs if they vary the intensity and keep some runs very light and easy.
  • Intensity: The intensity of your runs should vary. Not every run should be at high intensity, as this can lead to overtraining and exhaustion. Implementing easy runs or active recovery runs can make daily running more sustainable.
  • Duration: Longer runs are more taxing and require more recovery time. Daily long runs aren't typically recommended, but shorter runs might be manageable on a daily basis depending on your conditioning.

Each runner's body responds differently to the stress of running:

  • Beginner Runners: If you are new to running, your body requires more time to adapt to the new physical demands. Starting with running a few days a week and gradually increasing frequency as you build strength and endurance is generally advisable.
  • Experienced Runners: Seasoned runners with years of training might find that running daily is a beneficial part of maintaining and improving endurance and speed. Even so, they must still incorporate variety and recovery strategies.

Running daily isn't inherently bad or good—it's about how you structure those runs and ensure they fit within a well-rounded training plan that includes adequate recovery and suits your individual needs.

Benefits of Running Everyday

Is it good to run everyday? Well, it depends.

There are many proven benefits to incorporating a run every day. This study shows that running as little as 5 to 10 minutes a day at a moderate pace is good for your health and helps to prevent heart attacks and other common diseases.

Running every day promotes a healthy lifestyle and can increase longevity. Running even just a mile a day has the following health benefits:

These are just a few of the results you can expect from running every day.

Running Everyday Can Be Risky

Is running everyday bad? While there are plenty of benefits to a daily running routine, there are also some serious risks to consider when asking if you should run every day. The high-impact nature of running puts a lot of stress on your body and running every day without incorporating recovery days can lead to injury.

Common overuse injuries that can occur from running every day are shin splints and stress fractures. If you catch shin splints early, they can be rehabbed by cutting back on training, stretching and strengthening the calves using the techniques in this video.

If you are an experienced runner whose training plan does call for running 6-7 days a week, be sure to focus on recovery just as much as active training. To avoid these injuries, pay attention to your body, don’t be afraid to allow your body to recover and incorporate these injury prevention exercises into your running routine.

Follow Your Training Plan

Running everyday can be dangerous if you don’t go about it the right way. While you can run everyday, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should—not without a plan, at least.

Every runner is at a different level in their running journey. Some are more experienced than others and their bodies are trained to handle more mileage. If you are a beginner runner don’t make the mistake of thinking more is better. Follow a training plan and be cautious when increasing mileage and frequency of running.


The Run Experience Beginner Running Program incorporates more rest days than the Marathon Program, and both progressively increase volume and intensity. None of the TRE programs promote running every day, but there are benefits to running and recovering consistently.

Cross-Train to Supplement Training

cross train

Cross-train to get off your feet, while continuing to improve your aerobic capacity and becoming an all-around stronger athlete. Hopping in the pool for an aqua-jogging session and lap swim will keep your heart rate up while reducing impact. Cycling or doing yoga are also great cross-training options to allow your body a rest from running.

Choose Your Cross-Training Based On Your Needs

Restore: If you feel that your body needs to rest and restore, yoga is a great way to practice controlled breathing, while gaining strength and stretching. On your recovery days, or after a run, try these 5 yoga exercises for runners.

Aerobic, low-impact: If your body is not in total need of a rest day, but you want to get off of your feet and reduce the impact of your training, swimming is a great way to get your muscles firing, your heart pumping, and increase your aerobic capacity.

If you are not a confident lap-swimmer, aqua-jogging is another great way to mimic the running motion while taking away the stress it puts on your body.

Cycling can be fun too if you get some good tunes going and hop on an indoor bike, or better yet take your bike outside and have some fun mountain biking.

Hypothetical Situations about Running Everyday

Still not sure if running every day is right for you? Let's explore some hypothetical situations and how runners (just like you) approached them:

Story 1: Sarah, the Beginner Who Learned the Hard Way

Sarah, a 29-year-old marketing professional, decided to take up running to improve her health. Eager and enthusiastic, she committed to running every day without a structured plan. Within a few weeks, Sarah began experiencing persistent knee pain and fatigue, which culminated in her having to take an extended break.

After consulting with a physical therapist, she learned about the importance of incorporating rest days and gradually building up her mileage. Now, Sarah runs four times a week and enjoys varied workouts on her rest days, feeling stronger and more energized than when she ran every day.

Story 2: Mike, the Experienced Daily Runner

Mike, a 42-year-old teacher and seasoned runner, has been running daily for over five years. He runs early in the morning, varying his routine between high-intensity interval runs, long slow distances, and recovery jogs. Mike swears by his detailed training logs that help him adjust his runs based on his physical responses.

His approach includes meticulous attention to diet, sleep, and recovery techniques like foam rolling and yoga. Mike's story shows that with the right approach and self-awareness, running daily can be sustainable and rewarding.

Story 3: Jenna, the Comeback Runner

Jenna, a 35-year-old freelance graphic designer, used running as a way to recover from a stressful divorce. Initially, she ran every day to clear her mind, but soon, she began to feel worn out and less motivated. After attending a running clinic, Jenna realized the value of mixing her routine with cross-training and rest days.

She adopted a more balanced training schedule, incorporating swimming and cycling, which improved her running performance and her mental health. Jenna's story highlights the psychological benefits of running and the need for balance to maintain long-term wellness.

Story 4: Carlos, the Ultra-Marathoner with a Plan

Carlos, a 50-year-old ultra-marathoner, prepares for races that demand extreme endurance. His training schedule is rigorous, involving daily runs, but he categorizes his days into hard, moderate, and light sessions, guided by a coach.

Carlos emphasizes the importance of listening to his body, taking extra rest days when needed, and prioritizing recovery with massages and nutrition. His story demonstrates that even at high levels of training, the principles of varied intensity and proactive recovery are crucial to success.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long should I run every day?

The length of time depends on your experience, training, body, and running goals. There’s no one-time-fits-all answer. If you can recover from an hour-long run every day, then go for it. If your body can only handle 30 minutes right now, then 30 minutes is how long you should shoot for.

How many miles should I run every day?

There’s no magic number—every human body and runner is different. Your body might respond well to a daily 5K, while another body may benefit from a 10K. Find what works for you, your goals, and your body’s recovery.

Should I run every day to lose weight?

Running every day could help put your body in a caloric deficit to lose weight, but you need to approach it strategically. If you’re relying on running to burn calories, then you’ll need to focus on the long-term game. Running every day could help you lose weight faster, but it’ll also increase your risk of injury—and it’s hard to lose any weight if you’re stuck on the couch.

What’s better: running every day or every other day?

Good question. Well, it depends. Running every day could help build your running endurance and cardiovascular system, but running every other day could improve your recovery and mitigate injuries. You’ll need to decide what you want to prioritize.

It is bad to run everyday?

Not if you approach it the right way. It can be bad to run every day if you’re not prioritizing recovery and incorporating cross-training. However, get all the details right, and you can be just fine running every day.

Is it healthy to run everyday?

That depends on your definition of “healthy.” It can be healthy to run every day if you find it’s good for your mental and physical health. If it’s taking a toll on your body and you find you aren’t able to adapt and recover, running every day could be defined as “unhealthy.”

Jogging every day vs running every day?

Again, this depends on your definition of the two. If you define jogging as an easy run, then this is probably better for you to do every day. If running every day is defined as tempo-like speed, this isn’t going to be sustainable to do every day.

Go Running Everyday—Just Have the Right Expectations

The answer to “Should you run every day?” turns out to be complicated. Just be sure to have fun! Avoid getting stuck in the mindset that to be a better runner, you have to run more and more often. Taking days off in training is healthy and will benefit you in the long run. Have fun with training and allow yourself to try new forms of cross-training instead of thinking you have to run every day.

Running daily isn’t a sentence or a punishment—it’s a privilege. Treat it as such, and your running will never be the same.