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Running 3 Miles A Day: What To Expect + Weight Loss

Running regularly can transform your life. That may sound dramatic but the difference a running habit makes to your overall health can be huge. Sometimes it takes running every day to build consistency and running 3 miles a day can be the perfect distance.

It’s not too far so there’s less risk of overtraining, it doesn’t take too much time out of your day, and will burn a significant number of calories if you’re trying to lose weight.

If you’re new to running, 3 miles can sound like a long way. Maybe you’re thinking it’s an impossible distance! But it’s surprising how quickly your body can adapt.

In no time at all – a few weeks or a few months, you’ll be managing 3 miles without any problem – even before breakfast!

running 3 miles a day

Why Run 3 Miles A Day?

If you’re running to lose weight, make a big difference to your life, or just for the joy of running, you have to start somewhere. It could be running a mile a day, 2 miles a day, or even running 4 miles a day.

There’s no right or wrong amount of running. Instead, it all depends on your current fitness level and your running background.

Do too much too soon and there’s a risk of injury. Run too little and it won’t be challenging.

If you have a previous history of running and you’ve been running sporadically, running 3 miles a day as a challenge can be a good place to start.

If you’re injury prone it may be better to run 3 miles 5 days a week and avoid injury by taking a couple of rest days.

For beginner runners, take some time to build up to this distance. It’s not a high weekly mileage at 21 miles a week, but it would still be a shock to the system on an untrained body.

Try our Couch to 5K Plan first or start at 1 mile a day for a week, then 2 miles a day until you’re comfortable running 3 miles day after day.

running 3 miles a day
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Running 3 Miles A Day To Lose Weight

Losing weight is a great reason to start running. Running will burn calories at a higher rate than most other types of exercise. You burn around 300 calories running three miles.

Run 3 miles every day and it can be a significant aid to weight loss. But there’s no guarantee you’ll lose weight.

#1 Weight Loss Depends On Diet As Much As Exercise

You need a calorie deficit to lose weight: the calories you expend from exercise and your daily activities must be more than you consume. Replace the calories you burn from running with extra snacks and treats and you won’t lose any weight.

As a general guide, losing weight is 80% about what you eat and 20% about exercise. But before you decide to skip the exercise, it’s almost impossible to lose weight without it.

Exercising helps you burn fat instead of muscle mass and improves your body composition. You’ll gain lower body muscles – strong legs and core which helps to reduce body fat.

Find out more: Is Diet More Important Than Exercise?

running transformation

#2 How Many Calories Burned Running 3 Miles A Day?

The calories you burn will depend on your current body weight and your running speed. You’ll also burn more calories if you’re running uphill.

Use our calories burned running calculator to find the total calories burned by running three miles. Just enter your current weight, running time, and mile pace.

Calories Burned Running Calculator


Unit of measurement *

#3 How Much Weight Can You Lose?

As a general guide, it’s possible to lose 2 to 3 pounds a month purely from running 3 miles a day.

This assumes:

  • You don’t start snacking after every run and increase your calorie intake by eating high-calorie foods.
  • You use water to rehydrate instead of high-sugar energy drinks.
  • If you’re hungry from running, fill up on lean protein, whole grains, and vegetables.

Find out more about how much should you run to lose weight and how to burn calories to reach a healthy weight by running for weight loss.

run 3 miles transformation

Running 3 Miles A Day Transformation

Most people start running to lose weight but that’s just one of the many benefits of running. Adopting a regular running routine can transform your life. It’s one of the best ways of investing in your overall health.

#1 A Daily Running Habit Is Good For Your Mental Health

Running is good for your brain! It makes you more alert and productive. Take a run in your lunch break and you’ll be fired up through your afternoon meetings.

But running is also good for your mental health. Run in the fresh air and those daily frustrations and worries become far less overwhelming.

Having a stressful day? Just the simple act of pulling on your running shoes and heading outside to run a few miles can help. It’s a chance to breathe and get a perspective on life.

Try it! The next time life is getting a bit too much, go for a run.

#2 Running Will Improve Your Quality of Sleep

Ever had one of those days when you’re so tired but can’t seem to switch off your mind? You just lie there in bed, unable to sleep.

Regular running and aerobic exercise will help your brain relax more easily at night. It’s not an immediate effect, but the longer you keep up a running routine the better your sleep will be.

#3 You’ll Feel Happier and More Energetic

When we’re feeling down, it’s hard to make ourselves exercise. But when you do, there’s an amazing natural high that follows! That’s because physical activity releases feel-good endorphins in our brains.

Even if you’re not running to lose weight, a daily run will make you look and feel better. You’ll have more energy throughout the day and be in a better mood!

#4 Running Improves Your Physical Health

Regular exercise can help your blood pressure, improve your heart health, and reduce the risk of Type II Diabetes and many other chronic diseases.

Running 3 miles a day will help you smash the recommended physical activity level of 75 minutes of vigorous exercise (or 150 minutes of moderate exercise) for adults every week.

Start a new running routine and typically your blood pressure drops as you benefit from improved blood circulation and cardiovascular fitness.

To get the best health benefits add in some strength training twice a week.

#5 It’s Good For Your Bone Health

Weight-bearing exercise is essential for stronger joints, stronger bones, maintaining bone density, and protecting against osteoporosis.

If you want healthy knees start running! The average runner has less risk of hip and knee arthritis than non-runners.

That doesn’t mean you can’t get knee injuries from running but you can avoid over-use injuries by training sensibly.

Related post: Is Running Good For You? (12 Science-Backed Health Benefits).

weight loss running 3 miles a day

How Long Does It Take To Run 3 Miles?

The time it takes to run three miles will depend on your running speed. For most regular runners it takes 24 to 33 minutes to run three miles at a steady pace.

When you’re a beginner runner, it can take a lot longer. Allow 35 to 45 minutes to complete your first 3 mile run.

Don’t stress about your running speed. You’ll naturally start to run faster as your body adjusts to your daily runs and you become a better runner.

How To Start Running 3 Miles A Day

If you’re new to running, there are some hurdles to overcome before you can run 3 miles a day.

Most new runners struggle with:

  • Running without stopping – even running continuously for a minute can be hard the first time you run.
  • Making the time commitment.
  • Finding the motivation to run every day.
benefits of running

Tips To Start Running 3 Miles A Day

These tips will help you find the motivation and build up to running three miles.

Tip 1 Start With Couch To 5K

Three miles is about the same distance as running a 5K. The Couch to 5K Plan is a tried and tested approach to get people running for the first time.

Using the run walk method, you’ll run for a short period, take a walking break, then run again.

We have different running plans to choose from: download the 6-week Couch to 5K Plan or the 9-week Couch to 5K Plan. The plan you choose will depend on your current fitness level and how quickly you progress from running just a minute at a time to running continuously.

Tip 2 Set A Running Goal

It’s always good to have a running goal. It will help to motivate you on the days when you’re finding it hard to train. Set long-term goals and short-term goals, and make a plan to achieve them. Celebrate when you hit your targets!

Tip 3 Know Your Reasons For Running

Just as important as goals is knowing your WHY?

It could be weight loss for your wedding day, getting in shape so you can keep up with your children, or adopting a healthy lifestyle so that you’re fit and active as you age.

They’re your motivators. Write them down and stick them somewhere you’ll read them every day.

Tip 4 Keep A Training Log

Keeping a training log is a powerful way to track your progress and helps you stay motivated. Jot down how far you ran, your running time, and how you felt.

Just ticking off the days on a calendar can be a huge motivator when you’re attempting a running streak.

Tip 5 Run Every Day But Take Rest Days If You Need Them

Once you’ve completed Couch to 5K, you’re ready to start running more frequently. Gradually increase the number of days you’re running a week and your weekly mileage.

You can alternate your running days with days when you walk 3 miles. Just make sure you always take rest days when you need them.

Tip 6 Add Strength Training

Strength training is hugely important for runners. It helps to build stronger more resilient muscles and improve your running form. Increasing your strength will make a big difference to your running performance.

Related post: 29 Running Tips For Beginners.

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Running 3 Miles A Day For A Month Results

There are many different reasons for running 3 miles a day. It could be weight loss, increasing fitness, getting your running mojo back, or helping you return from a running injury.

The results and what to expect will depend on your starting fitness level, how you train, and what you eat. Other exercise sessions such as cross-training will also impact your experience.

If you gain weight in the first week, don’t panic. It’s just going to be water retention caused by small micro-tears to your muscle fibers and water retention. It’s only temporary weight gain.

By weeks 2 and 3, you’ll start to see some weight loss results. These could be significant if you’ve combined running 3 miles a day with eating a healthy diet or non-existent if you’ve been snacking heavily after every run.

Weeks 2 and 3 can be tough. The enthusiasm for the challenge wears off and your body aches!

But hang in there! By week 4 you’ll start to see all the benefits. You’ll be fitter, probably lighter, full of energy, and loving your new running body!

Complete your running 3 miles a day for a month challenge and set your next goal. It could be running faster, training for a half marathon, or even running 5 miles a day!

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