Many runners will be able to tolerate running 5K everyday, though if that amount of running is a goal you will have to work toward it slowly if you are not a daily runner. The ideal amount of running varies depending on a variety of factors.
The risk of injury increases with running frequency so it might be a better idea to run 5k every other day so your body has more time to recover. This article will run through the various factors as to why it’s a good idea and why it’s not a good idea to run 5k everyday.
Benefits of Running 5k Everyday
Improved Cardiovascular Fitness
The more cardio you do, the better your heart, blood, and lungs will be at taking in and processing oxygen. Good cardio fitness has been shown to reduce your risk of death from heart disease, and runners may live longer overall.
Cardio fitness is improved by doing any exercise that gets our heart rate up over a period of time. The more that exercise is repeated, the more quickly you will gain cardio fitness.
If you are not a daily runner, you will see the effects of daily running as you increase your frequency. Your heart will become more efficient the more you run, which may make you a faster runner.
If you are already running daily, running a 5K is a good way to maintain your level of cardio fitness.
Keeping your body moving for 3.1 miles means your body has to build the stamina to run for that long. You may notice some muscle growth, and additional muscle tone as your body gets used to the daily runs. Workouts such as running may be a good way to counteract the natural muscle loss we experience with age.
If you are new to running, you may have to walk part of your daily runs at first–but you will see improvements in endurance as you build muscle and work up to running the entire way.
If you want to continue building muscle even after you can easily run 5K everyday, you will need to add a new challenge–maybe hills, trails, or additional distance or speed–in order to increase endurance.
Better Joint Health
Running sometimes gets a bad rap for being hard on the knees, and it is definitely true that you need to take care of your knees if you are doing any type of high-impact exercise.
Joints are made up of multiple parts–tendons, ligaments, and other connective tissue–which can strengthen with correct usage (but is susceptible to injury).
Some studies show that running may actually improve the state of your knees, resulting to fewer knee injuries in runners compared to other adults.
Avoiding injury depends on knowing your limits and starting slow. If you are just starting out on your daily running program, take care of your knees. Don’t keep running through knee pain. Walk when you need to. You may want to consider some core or glute exercises to strengthen those muscles–which will help your knees work optimally.
If you are overweight, this can also put pressure on knees, so make sure you take care of any knee pain.
Better Mental Health
Many studies have shown that running improves mood and mental health, both during your run and afterward. This is most likely due to the neurochemicals that are released during exercise.
Plus, you will be doing something healthy for your body and noticing improved endurance and muscle tone, which might make you feel good even when you aren’t running.
Studies have shown that regular exercise may also improve your sleep and productivity, and maybe even your love life.
Disadvantages of Running 5k Everyday
Potential Overuse Injuries
Every body has an optimal amount of running, and you will have to figure this out for yourself. Just going blindly by a training plan is not the right call for most runners.
How much you should run depends on age, gender, body type, fitness level, and external circumstances such as stress.
Start slow if you are new to running. Rest is very important to exercise–it helps your body build muscle for the next workout. A good rule of thumb is to only increase distance or speed by 10 percent per week.
If you are just starting out as a runner, try running a couple of miles once per week until you are used to that, and then add a second day, then another day, until you have worked up to daily running.
It is ok to take rest day when your body needs it.
If you aren’t improving, or if your sleep is disrupted due to soreness, you are provably overtraining and you should step back a little. Don’t run through an injury.
Time Not Spent on Strength Training
If you are running everyday, you may not have time to do other workouts such as strength training, stretching, yoga, swimming, or HIIT workouts that may be beneficial to full-body health.
With any workout regimen, make sure you find something you like enough to stick to everyday. If that is running 5K, go for it! If not, it’s ok to tailor your workouts and add other challenges.
Will I lose weight if I run 5km everyday?
Probably, if you aren’t overeating. You will lose weight if you burn more calories than you consume. Running burns a huge number of calories–a 5K may burn close to 400 calories–so you will lose weight if you don’t overconsume.
Keep in mind you will need some fuel for your runs–if you are new to running you may need to eat more to cover the calories. Try to make healthy food choices to keep your engine running.
It’s not necessarily harmful to run 5k everyday, but there are some risks associated with running too frequently. Over time, continuous running can cause injuries, including shin splints, knee pain, and Achilles tendonitis. If you’re new to running, try gradually increasing your mileage so that you don’t experience any painful setbacks.