Want to improve your fitness? Or maybe you’re aiming to lose weight. Running 4 miles a day can be the perfect challenge. It’s far enough to make a big change to your body but still doable if you have some experience of running.
Jumping straight into running 4 miles a day isn’t a good idea if you’re a complete novice. It will seem an incredibly long way! But if you’ve already completed your first 5K, this could be the transformation you’re looking for to turn yourself into a regular runner.
This guide looks at weight loss and calories burned running 4 miles a day, how long to keep up a 4-mile running streak and how long does it take to run 4 miles?
There are tips to get the most out of your running sessions and advice on your running body transformation.
This post covers:
- How long does it take to run 4 miles?
- Who is the running 4 miles a day challenge for?
- Running 4 miles a day to lose weight.
- Your running body transformation.
- Tips to get the most out of running 4 miles a day.
Let’s get started!
How Long Does It Take To Run 4 Miles?
Before you commit to running 4 miles a day it helps to know how long it takes. It all comes down to your running speed.
Fast runners will easily complete 4 miles in less than 30 minutes but most people expect to take 32 to 48 minutes to run 4 miles. Age, gender, fitness, natural ability, and running experience will all contribute to how fast you run.
4 miles is still quite a short distance but you may still find your average time slows over 4 miles compared with how long it takes to run a mile, 2 miles or 3 miles.
If you’re a beginner runner it could take longer to run 4 miles. Allow up to 65 minutes to complete your first 4-mile run. As you get fitter, and your body adapts to running, your times will improve.
Who Is The Running 4 Miles A Day Challenge For?
Some people can go out and start a running 4 miles a day challenge without any previous experience. But it’s not a good idea.
You can end up getting very sore and be completely disillusioned. Plus there’s also the risk of your untrained body picking up injuries.
You want your running every day to be challenging, to help you improve as a runner and get in shape. You don’t want to end up with a serious injury and hate the idea of running ever again.
Running 4 miles a day is a challenging but reasonable target for someone who’s completed their first 5K, has been running for at least 2 months, and typically runs 20 miles a week.
A running everyday challenge can be a great way to improve your running consistency. If you’re the sort of person who struggles with motivation, knowing you have a regular slot every day where you run 4 miles can make a big difference to your fitness.
How Long Should You Keep Up A Running Streak?
It’s up to you! It can help to have a set goal such as running 4 miles a day for a month, but other people prefer to keep running daily as long as possible. There’s a lot of boasting power for a long continuous running streak!
Seriously though, it’s never a good idea to keep a running streak going if you’re risking injury or damaging your health in any way. 4 miles is a doable distance to maintain for long periods, so for many people, a long running streak is possible.
Is Running 4 Miles Every Day Bad For You?
Running every day gets a lot of bad press. Normally from people who don’t do it.
Compared with professional marathon runners who clock up a huge mileage every week, running 4 miles a day isn’t very far. It’s 28 miles a week. You almost run that distance in a single marathon.
There’s a good case for taking rest days to let your muscles and tendons recover from the strain of exercising. If you run fast every day and always on a hard surface you’re certainly increasing your injury risk.
It’s always best to mix up your running surfaces and try to run some of your miles on softer trails. There’s less impact and your joints need less time to recover.
Easy Pace Running
Most of your running should be at an easy pace with an RPE of 3 to 4 on the Rating of Perceived Exertion Chart. If you can’t talk easily as you run, you’re pushing too hard. If you’re running every day make sure one or two of your runs are at a recovery pace.
To become a better runner, adopt the 80/20 Rule for running. Run 80% of your runs at an easy pace and just 20% at a higher level of effort. By running most of your runs at a slow pace, your body has more time to recover.
Running 4 Miles A Day To Lose Weight
A regular running routine is a great aid for weight loss. You can lose a significant amount of weight by running 4 miles a day. For some people, it’s a life-changing amount.
But there are some provisos:
#1 You still need to watch what you eat.
Losing weight only happens when you create a calorie deficit. Replace all the calories you burn from running with extra food, and it’s unlikely you’ll lose weight.
That’s often the problem when people prepare for their first marathon by running long distances at least once a week. These marathon runners get hungry and find it hard to keep their appetites in check. The good intentions of a healthy diet are replaced with fast food and sticky treats.
When you’re running 4 miles a day, the demands on your body are less extreme. With meal prepping, you can have healthy meals ready to eat after your runs and fill up on lean protein, whole grains, vegetables, some fruit, and a small amount of healthy fats.
#2 It’s important to make runs challenging.
Weight loss tends to happen when you’re challenging your body. If you start running 4 miles a day for a month, the first few weeks will be hard work.
But after a while, your body adapts to your new training schedule – running the same distance every day at the same average pace. Those regular 4-mile runs won’t feel so hard.
To keep improving as a runner, you need to make some of your runs more challenging. Adding interval training and/or tempo runs where you run at a fast pace once or twice a week will help.
These harder sessions will burn more calories, build muscle and boost your metabolism. They’ll aid your weight loss and improve your running speed.
How Many Calories Burned Running 4 Miles A Day?
The calories you burn will depend on your current body weight and your running speed. The heavier you are and the faster you run, the more calories you’ll burn. You’ll also burn calories at a faster rate if you’re running uphill.
Use our calories burned running calculator to find the total calories burned by running four miles. Just enter your current weight, running time, and mile pace.
For most people running 4 miles burns around 400 calories. If you run every day, this calorie burn can quickly add up – 2800 calories burned a week, and almost 12,000 calories in a month.
This calorie deficit can equate to losing almost one pound of body fat a week and approximately 4 pounds in weight loss a month. Combine your running journey with making improvements to your diet and your weight loss can be significantly higher.
Find out more about running for weight loss.
Your Running Body Transformation
Running comes with many physical and mental health benefits. It’s one of the best ways of improving your overall health.
These 12 Science-Backed Health Benefits range from improved bone health to a healthier heart and adding years to your life.
But what about your runner’s body? From weight loss to energy levels, what can you expect?
#1 You’ll love your improved fitness level
For me, this is the best reason for running. Being fit feels terrific.
Sometimes you only realize just how good it feels when you’ve let things slip. You miss that wonderful feeling of being able to bound up the stairs two at a time without any effort!
#2 Running regularly builds muscles
Strength training workouts in the gym aren’t the only way to build muscle. Running 4 miles a day will turn you into a fully-fledged runner with strong legs and core muscles.
Combine your running with a balanced diet and you’ll soon be rocking your new body.
Find out more about How Running Changes Your Body.
#3 A runner’s high Is real
Most regular runners experience a boost to their mental health. The release of endorphins during a run can help to lift your mood.
Just a short run every day is enough to make a difference, reducing stress and helping with mild to moderate depression.
#4 You’ll sleep better
In our stressful, busy lives, getting quality sleep can be difficult. Running every day can improve sleep quality and help you fall asleep faster. Find out more about the importance of rest, sleep, and recovery.
#5 You’ll be full of excess energy
Running 4 miles a day is just the right amount of exercise to improve your energy levels. Over-training and running long distances often leave you drained and tired.
A short daily run will keep you fit, help you feel more alert and leave you raring to go for the rest of the day.
#6 You’ll become more efficient
Regular running can help your running form. You may still need to work on inefficiencies in your running style, but running daily will help improve your muscle strength. You’ll soon be running further and faster with less effort.
Tips To Get The Most Out Of Running 4 Miles A Day
These tips will help you get the best results from running 4 miles a day:
#1 Your running routine
Plan your routes in advance and set aside time in your daily schedule. If you’re a reluctant runner, it helps to run at the same time every day.
#2 Introduce interval training
Instead of always running at the same pace, add interval training once a week. Intervals will push your fitness level up a notch.
If you’re new to running wait until you’ve built up a good running base and you’ve been running for 2-3 months. Warm up properly and start with just a low number of repetitions.
Try this session: 2 miles easy, then 4 x 400m at mile pace with 40 seconds recovery. 1-mile easy cool-down.
#3 Add a weekly tempo run
Once a week, add a tempo run to your training plan. Warm with 1 mile at an easy pace, then run 3 miles or 5K at a vigorous pace of RPE Level 7.
It will take constant effort and you’ll only be able to talk in short sentences.
#4 Try cross training
Cross-training can enhance and improve your running. It’s also a good way of working on muscle weaknesses. Find out more about cross-training for runners.
#5 Add strength training
Strength training sessions will make your body more resilient. You’ll be less prone to injury, improve your running economy, and have the strength to run faster.
Add 2 strength training sessions a week to your training program and you’ll soon notice a difference. Try these bodyweight exercises for runners.
#6 Vary your running distance
Don’t feel you need to keep to 4 miles daily. Sometimes it’s better to mix up your running distances.
Instead of 4 miles a day, try aiming for 28 miles a week. This way you can add a long run of 6 to 7 miles to your training plan, plus one or two speed sessions, and for the rest of the week opt for short easy runs. Your weekly schedule could look like this:
- Monday: 2-mile recovery run.
- Tuesday: 2 miles easy, then 4 x 400m at mile pace with 40 seconds recovery. 1-mile easy cool-down.
- Wednesday: 4-mile easy run.
- Thursday: 1-mile warm-up, 3 miles (or 5K) tempo run RPE 7.
- Friday: 3-mile recovery run.
- Saturday: 4-mile easy run.
- Sunday: 7-mile long run at a moderate pace RPE 5.
#7 Take rest days
This guide may be about running 4 miles a day, but if you need a rest day – take one! It’s never a good idea to push your body too hard.
If your body cries for rest, ending your running streak is better than risking injury.
Thoughts From Love Life Be Fit
Whenever I’ve spent 30 days on a run everyday challenge, I’ve always loved the results. I find a month is just the right length of time to make a big difference to your running and weight loss goals.
I’ll lose a few pounds, improve my fitness and reboot my running motivation.
If running every day is your way of going from a running newbie to a regular runner, make sure you don’t overdo it. Gradually increase your running mileage and take rest days when needed.