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Running 8 Miles A Day: Challenge + Weight Loss, Pros + Cons

Some people love a challenge. It may defy logic, but running 8 miles a day is definitely a challenge.

Keep it up for a month and you’ll either be injured or feeling pretty good about yourself. Running 8 miles every day is a long way. It’s 56 miles a week!

Before you take on the challenge, find out what to expect, whether it will help with weight loss, and why it’s rarely the best way to train.

running 8 miles a day

How Long Does it Take to Run 8 Miles?

Everyone runs at different paces. Your fitness level, age, gender, and running ability all dictate how fast you run.

Some advanced runners will complete 8 miles in less than 60 minutes – professional athletes can run 8 miles in less than 40 minutes.

But the average runner runs at a pace of 10 to 12 minutes per mile making the average time to run 8 miles between 80 and 96 minutes.

When you run you’re competing against yourself. Don’t compare yourself to more experienced runners. If it takes you 2 hours to run 8 miles, you’re still making the effort and benefiting from exercise.

Why Run 8 Miles A Day?

There are many benefits of running, but running 8 miles a day goes way beyond the mileage recommended for optimum health. You can get all the health benefits of running such as improved cardiovascular health and healthy blood flow from running 2 or 3 miles a day.

Marathon runners live longer than the general population but there’s some concern that excessive running presents acute cardiac disorders. Running 8 miles a day amounts to 56 miles a week.

That’s a typical peak weekly mileage for an experienced marathon runner but a marathon training plan will break down this mileage into a weekly long run, speed sessions, recovery runs, and at least one rest day a week.

A good training plan includes lots of variety to improve your running skills and fitness. So why would you opt to run at the same pace for 8 miles a day?

#1 It’s a challenge

Many runners are looking for the next challenge to inspire their running. When you’ve been running for several years, taking on a monthly challenge can help with motivation.

Maybe you used to be a regular runner, but something in your life has prevented you from running regularly. You’re looking for some help to get your mojo back!

For a good runner, eight miles a day is about one hour of running. It’s easy enough to fit into a daily schedule. Challenging yourself to complete an eight-mile run every day for a month could help you reconnect with your running.

#2 It’s easier running the same route at the same pace

Instead of planning your running schedule and mentally gearing up for fast-paced sessions or longer training runs, you’re running the same distance every day.

Sometimes that’s easier! When life gets busy, it can be good to know that at a certain time each day, you’re heading out for an 8-mile run.

A running break can be good for your mental health – a time to destress, get some fresh air and clear your head.

#3 It can help you prepare for a half marathon or longer distances

Most advanced training plans require a good level of base fitness. Running 8 miles for a few weeks or a month can help you prepare for starting half marathon training or training for longer races.

It can get you to week one of your advanced training plans.

#4 Become a better runner

Running about an hour a day can transform you into a stronger runner. When I first started running, this is the approach I took. I ran for about an hour a day for 6 weeks, running on trails for one glorious summer.

When I was tired I took walk breaks. Running at an easy pace on soft ground helped me avoid any running injuries. I was building my runner’s body.

It wasn’t my first attempt at running. I’d already run a half marathon and used to run/walk long-distance events. But it was the first time I ran regularly, more than once or twice a week.

It was terrible preparation for my first marathon but that’s another story. Just note that running every day is base training. You still need to complete a race-specific training schedule to get a good result.

how long does it take to run 8 miles

How Many Calories Do You Burn Running 8 Miles A Day?

The exact number of calories will depend on many factors such as your body weight, running speed, age, sex, and running efficiency.

For most people, running 8 miles will burn 800 calories. In a week you can burn a whopping 5600 calories.

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

calories burned running

Running 8 Miles A Day Challenge For Weight Loss

Eight miles a day isn’t a distance for complete beginners. So unless you already have some running experience, you’ll be better off building up to running 5 miles a day or 6 miles a day to hit your weight loss goals.

For more experienced runners who’ve fallen into bad eating habits, it could be an option. Eight miles a day will burn about 2 pounds a week in body fat and if you combine regular running with small improvements to your diet, expect great results.

For beginner runners wanting to lose weight, try combining running shorter distances such as running a mile or 2 miles a day with walking every day.

how much should I run according to BMI

The Disadvantages Of Running 8 Miles A Day

The disadvantages of churning out the same run every day offset the benefits of completing an 8-mile-a-day challenge:

#1 Injury risk

Running every day without rest days always carries an increased injury risk. Take on a long run every day such as 8 miles, and the risk of picking up an injury is high.

If you’re determined to take on this challenge, make sure you mitigate the risks.

How to run 8 miles a day

  • Slow building up to this high level of mileage.
  • Run as much as possible on trails for lower impact.
  • Run most of your sessions at an easy pace.
  • Take walk breaks when you’re tired.
  • Be aware of your body and take rest days if you have persistent niggles.

#2 Risk of overtraining and burnout

8 miles is a long run. Completing a long run every day places big demands on your body.

You may find that weight maintenance becomes difficult, you feel tired all the time, struggle to sleep, and start to suffer from general aches and pains. This is the effect of overtraining.

Overtraining leaves you washed out and completely lacking in energy. Left unchecked, there’s a risk of compromising your immune system.

For a big challenge such as running 8 miles a day, keep a training log and measure your daily heart rate at rest first thing in the morning. If you’re overtraining your heart rate is typically elevated.

If you notice any tell-tale signs opt for complete rest. Try and eat more calories and make sure you’re hydrating sufficiently. Consuming nutritious food is extremely important when you’re following a challenging running schedule.

#3 Training plateau

Running the same mileage every day has limited benefits. Your running technique may improve from all the regular running but eventually, your body will adapt to your workouts.

You’ll stop improving as a runner. The daily runs will keep your body at the same level of fitness but you’ll stop evolving. You need to find new ways to train if you want continuous improvement.

run every day

A Better Way To Run The Same Distance Per Week

When you’re investing so much time and effort into your training, it makes more sense to adopt a weekly run schedule that continuously improves your running.

No training plateaus, less injury risk, and rest days to prevent overtraining.

Instead of targeting 8 miles a day or even 56 miles a week, build a more intelligent training schedule with the following elements:

Interval Workout

Adding an interval workout once a week will help to improve your speed. Running 400m intervals improves your speed endurance – you’ll be able to run faster for longer.

It’s a hard session so start with just 3 to 4 x 400m intervals and each week add one or two more.

Tempo Run

A tempo run is often used to mimic your target race conditions and improve your aerobic capacity.

It should be 20 to 40 minutes in duration and run at a comfortable but uncomfortable pace! Think RPE 6 on the rating of perceived exertion table.

It will be somewhere between your 10K and half marathon race pace but closer to your half marathon pace if you’re running for 40 minutes.

Long Run

A weekly long run helps to build your endurance and it’s essential if you’re training for longer races.

Of course, 8 miles counts as a long run, but you can mix up your training by running shorter sessions during the week and increasing the distance of your longest run at the weekend.

Just add distance to your long run in stages, two miles maximum at a time.

Easy Runs

Try and aim to spend 80% of your time running at an easy pace. The remaining 20% will be speed sessions such as intervals or tempo pace.

Easy runs improve your running efficiency and give your body a chance to recover from harder sessions.

Rest Days

Taking at least one rest day a week helps your body recover for the next running session. Harder training sessions are only efficient if your body recovers fully between sessions.

Cross Training

Instead of becoming obsessed with your mileage, it’s better to swap some easy runs for cross-training.

Cross-training utilizes different muscles and can make you a stronger runner.

Strength Training

Smart runners add strength training to their schedule. Just 2 x 10 to 15-minute sessions a week can make a difference to your running performance and help prevent injury.

Try these bodyweight exercises for runners.

8 mile a day challenge

Suggested Weekly Schedule

This weekly schedule provides a varied running regime and still hits the target of 56 miles a week. Use as a basis for planning your training. Swap easy runs for cross-training to get extra benefits.

  • Monday: 6-mile recovery run.
  • Tuesday: 3 miles easy, then 8 x 400m at mile pace with 40 seconds recovery. 2-mile easy cool-down.
  • Wednesday: 10-mile easy run.
  • Thursday: 3-mile warm-up, 6 miles tempo run at half marathon race pace, 3-mile cool-down.
  • Friday: Rest Day.
  • Saturday: 8-mile easy run.
  • Sunday: 15-mile long run at a moderate pace.

This is a hard training week with a high mileage. Most people would benefit from cutting back some of the easy miles to leave more energy to get the most out of the faster sessions.

The suggested schedule above has 8 miles in total of hard effort and 48 miles of easy to moderate effort. It’s better to reduce the easy to moderate miles to 32 miles to give a 20% hard to 80% easy split. Try this typical schedule:

  • Monday: 4-mile recovery run.
  • Tuesday: 2 miles easy, then 8 x 400m at mile pace with 40 seconds recovery. 1-mile easy cool-down.
  • Wednesday: 6-mile easy run.
  • Thursday: 2-mile warm-up, 6 miles tempo run at half marathon race pace, 2-mile cool-down.
  • Friday: Rest Day.
  • Saturday: 5-mile easy run.
  • Sunday: 14-mile long run at a moderate pace.

When you’re training, total mileage is far less important than making sure you get the maximum benefit from each session. Instead of junk miles, run with a purpose.

Running 8 Miles A day - What Are the pros and cons?

Thoughts From Love Life Be Fit

Some challenges defy logic and that’s what makes them challenges. If you’re itching to test the limitations of your body – go for running 8 miles a day or even running 10 miles a day! Just make sure it has a reasonable end limit such as a month.

Running 8 miles a day isn’t a challenge for beginners. Choose a shorter distance if you’re new to running and still want to run every day.

There are better ways of training than running the same distance day after day. Choose your goal and pick a training plan to get you there. It could be running a half marathon or even an ultra race!

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