Running 8 Miles A Day: The Pros, Cons, Benefits, and Risks

Is a daily 8 mile run good or are there better options?

Running 8 miles a day is certainly significant mileage for beginners, but can be a doable training plan for experienced runners.

However, running 8 miles every day is not necessarily healthy nor the most effective approach to running faster.

In this article, we’re going to discuss the pros and cons of running 8 miles a day.

running 8 miles a day

What Are The Benefits of Running 8 Miles A Day?

There are many physical and mental health benefits of running in general, which certainly apply to running eight miles a day.

These benefits of running long distances include:

  • Reduced risk of developing health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, or neurological diseases.1Lee, D., Pate, R. R., Lavie, C. J., Sui, X., Church, T. S., & Blair, S. N. (2014). Leisure-Time Running Reduces All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality Risk. Journal of the American College of Cardiology64(5), 472–481. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2014.04.058
  • Improved sleep, mood, energy, and concentration.2Markotić, V., Pokrajčić, V., Babić, M., Radančević, D., Grle, M., Miljko, M., Kosović, V., Jurić, I., & Karlović Vidaković, M. (2020). The Positive Effects of Running on Mental Health. Psychiatria Danubina32(Suppl 2), 233–235. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32970641/
  • Helping support weight loss or healthy weight management.

Running 8 miles a day also elevates your running fitness to a level where you can realistically consider following a training plan for a half marathon, or even marathon, as 40 to 56 miles per week (which you are doing if you run eight miles a day five to seven days a week) is typical peak mileage for intermediate marathon runners during marathon training.

Some experienced runners also like the idea of running the same distance, or even the same route every day, because it takes the thinking out of where you will run and how far you will run –in this case, a daily 8 miler.

running 8 miles a day

Is It Bad to Run 8 Miles a Day?

While there are some benefits to running the same mileage every day, there are drawbacks as well, including:

1. Increased Risk of Injury

Beginner runners or those who haven’t been running much recently who suddenly increase to running eight miles every day (56 mile weeks) will experience significant muscle soreness and put themselves at a high risk of injury.

Even experienced distance runners who have been training consistently for quite some time are advised against doing a “running streak,” which means you run every day without days off.

Recovery time is essential to reduce the risk of overtraining, as well as overuse injuries, such as shin splints, runner’s knee, plantar fasciitis, or stress fractures.

2. Burnout

While easy to plan, running the same eight miles every day can lead to burnout.

Signs of burnout may include feeling tired all the time, not sleeping well, not feeling motivated to run, not running well, and not enjoying your runs.

3. Lack of Progress

If you are running the same distance, same pace, and same route every day, you may find yourself at a plateau in your fitness level — neither regressing nor improving.

A top tip from running coaches and personal trainers is that your workouts should be varied.

Gains in cardio fitness and strength occur from including harder efforts and easier efforts as well as longer runs and shorter runs.

running 8 miles a day

5 Ways To Add Variety to Your 8 Mile Runs

Here are some expert running tips for maximizing the benefits of your running routine by minimizing the pitfalls of running the same 8 miler every day:

#1: Add a Rest Day (or Two)

Run streaks increase the risk of injury and overtraining.

If you are running eight miles every day, seven days a week, consider cutting your runs back to only five or six days a week.

Adding a rest day or two will allow your body to recover and repair. This will, ultimately, help you become a stronger runner.

#2: Try Cross Training

If you don’t like the idea of just resting on rest days, consider swapping your runs for another aerobic physical activity, such as swimming, walking, hiking, or biking, to utilize different muscles, or complementary exercises like yoga and strength training.

#3: Change Your Route

Another way to add a little variety to your 8 mile daily runs is to run different routes.

Maybe one day you do your usual out-and-back route, but the next day you figure out a loop, and the next day you run the loop in the opposite direction.

Also, be open to running in different directions and down streets and paths you’ve never tried.

Varying your route will help keep your runs from feeling routine (and you may also discover interesting houses or stores, alleys, paths, and staircases you would have never known about otherwise).

If your go-to route is a concrete sidewalk or asphalt road, look for different terrain such as a dirt trail, gravel path, grassy meadow, or sandy beach.

Incorporating different terrain, even for just part of your runs, will help you become a stronger runner as different muscles will be forced to engage as you adapt to the differences underfoot.

Similarly, if your usual route is flat, seek out some hills.

Running uphill, often called “speed work in disguise,” is a great way to develop strength and speed with less impact than more traditional speed work.

Running downhill can also be beneficial, as doing so helps improve your running form and, over time, can strengthen your quadriceps and other leg muscles.

running 8 miles a day

#4: Train for a Race

Lacing up your running shoes every day and running 8 miles clearly takes commitment and a good level of aerobic fitness.

Consider using the training and discipline to train for a race.

Perhaps you want to work on your speed and run a 5k or 10k, or add one long run per week and try a half marathon.

#5: Change Your Pace + 3 Different Ways To Do It

You can keep your daily eight mile runs but still introduce some variety by playing around with pace and incorporating the following:

Easy Runs

Consider making at least two of your runs easy runs, going slower than your typical pace.

If you’re not sure what constitutes “easy pace,” just find a speed that allows you to carry on a conversation and feels as if you could maintain it for quite a while.

You may also use your heart rate to determine an appropriate easy pace, simply keeping it at no more than 60 to 70 percent of your maximum.

Like rest days, easy run days give your mind and body a break, yet they also help build endurance and aid in recovery, as they improve circulation to your legs which helps heal any damage your harder workouts have caused.

running 8 miles a day

Tempo Runs

For a tempo run, run the first two or three miles and the last two or three miles of your eight mile run at an easy pace, and run the middle two to four miles at “tempo pace.”

This is roughly the pace you could maintain for about an hour (which will likely correlate to somewhere between your 10K and half marathon paces).

Another way to judge this pace is to consider it should feel “comfortably hard” to the point you could not carry on a conversation, but would not be completely exhausted by the end of the run.

Tempo runs help increase your aerobic capacity and delay the onset of acidic buildup and are therefore an invaluable tool for improving as a runner.

Interval Workouts

You can also incorporate short intervals of faster running into an eight-mile run.

There are endless ways to incorporate faster intervals, but as long as you have a watch, an easy way to inject some speed into your runs is to simply pick up the pace for one-minute segments throughout the middle of your run.

So, for example, you can use the first two miles of your run to warm up, then alternate one minute of fast running with one minute of slow running and repeat 20 times, followed by easy running for the remainder of the run.

You can also do an interval ladder, running hard for one minute, two minutes, three minutes, two minutes, and one minute, each followed by one minute of easy jogging or walking.

If your watch measures distance or you can get to a track, you can also try running quarter-mile repeats, which involve running quarter miles (or 400 meters if you’re on a running track) alternatively hard and easy. Start with four of these and build up to 10 or 12.

Your fast running during these types of intervals will not be an all-out sprint, but should be much faster than your typical pace and faster than even your tempo pace.

Including this type of running in your weekly routine will help improve your speed, anaerobic endurance, and running economy.

running 8 miles a day

How Much Should I Run Per Day?

If you are currently running 8 miles every day, you are running 56 miles per week. You can still hit 56 miles a week with a more varied and complete plan such as the following:

  • Monday: 8 miles easy pace run
  • Tuesday: 10 miles with hills or some speed work
  • Wednesday: 7 miles easy pace run
  • Thursday: 10 mile tempo run
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: 15 mile long run
  • Sunday: 6 miles easy pace run
running 8 miles a day

Tips For a Varied Training Schedule

There are, of course, many ways to structure your mileage, with this sample running plan simply representing examples of how you can maintain your weekly mileage, but incorporating a variety of distances and types of runs — ideally, one long run, one or two speed workouts, and at least two easy runs — will help you progress as a runner.

Keep in mind that the easier days allow your body to recover and adapt from the harder efforts, which ultimately leads to improvement in speed and endurance.

If you have a specific goal, such as a desire to improve your pace, cover a certain distance, or train for a race, your running schedule should be designed with that goal in mind and will change as you improve.

If you are training for a marathon, for example, your weekly long run should gradually increase from your current eight miles to at least 20 miles.

On the other hand, if your focus is on improving your mile time, then your schedule should emphasize speed work rather than an ever-lengthening long run.

running 8 miles a day

The bottom line is that if running eight miles a day feels like just what you need, there is no need to change anything.

If you feel as if you’re in a bit of rut, however, and are looking for ways to add some variety and perhaps improve as a runner, consider making some changes.

You may be surprised to find that even minor adjustments result in noticeable gains.

Related: How Much Running is Too Much? 14 Signs You’re Running Too Much


  • 1
    Lee, D., Pate, R. R., Lavie, C. J., Sui, X., Church, T. S., & Blair, S. N. (2014). Leisure-Time Running Reduces All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality Risk. Journal of the American College of Cardiology64(5), 472–481. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jacc.2014.04.058
  • 2
    Markotić, V., Pokrajčić, V., Babić, M., Radančević, D., Grle, M., Miljko, M., Kosović, V., Jurić, I., & Karlović Vidaković, M. (2020). The Positive Effects of Running on Mental Health. Psychiatria Danubina32(Suppl 2), 233–235. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32970641/
Photo of author
A lifelong runner and USATF Level 1 coach of high school cross country and track, Sarah enjoys racing all distances, from the mile to ultras. She is a recent transplant from California to Seattle and spends her free time exploring her new neighborhoods by foot.

6 thoughts on “Running 8 Miles A Day: The Pros, Cons, Benefits, and Risks”

  1. I run 10-15 miles everyday, rarely take days off and that’s because of work if I do. I’ve had stretches of 100 mile weeks lasting over 3 months. Varied terrain, mostly hilly paved and forest service roads, usually gain 1-2 thousand ele’ every run. Fast days mile times low 6s avg pace is more like 8:30-900. Never really been hurt, I never stretch or do any recovery. And I’m 43! So I think a lot more is possible than just 8 a day, the right body types can handle more IMO


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