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Running 20 Miles a Week: Benefits and Schedule
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Running 20 Miles a Week: Benefits and Schedule

Isabel-Mayfield-health-reporter
Written by Isabel Mayfield | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on October 21, 2022
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6 min

Going on routine runs is one of the best exercise habits. However, is that all there is to running? How much running is standard for you? In this article, we will take an in-depth look at the benefits of running 20 miles weekly, how to create a sustainable program, and answers to some common questions.

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When it comes to being a favorable cardiovascular activity, jogging tops the entire list of popular physical activities.

No matter how many miles you run or where you fall on the runner’s pyramid, whether you are a beginner or an experienced runner, your running goals will dictate the route you should pursue.

But how much running should you be doing per week? Could 20 miles be the magical number to reach your goals?

Today we’ll help you decide what’s the best course to take by addressing whether running 20 miles a week is the option you’re looking for and how to actually incorporate it into your routine.

So, without further ado, let’s jump straight into it.

Is It Enough to Run 20 Miles a Week for Weight Loss?

When it comes to how much running is good for weight loss, 20 miles a week is a fair challenge to help you achieve your goal. For some, running 20 miles per week might be too much, while other runners might find it too little. For what it is worth, a weekly total of 20 miles puts you on the right track to burning sufficient calories, increasing your stamina and endurance level, and toning your body.

Generally speaking, a 20-mile run is one most runners can maintain consistency, and coupled with a proper meal plan, shedding a few pounds over the next few weeks will become easier. Nonetheless, your weekly run goal is not born off a whim. When it comes to running to drop down a couple of pounds, getting the right tools to help ease this process is certainly important.

Joggo is a workout app that caters to the needs of every runner, irrespective of their activity level. The app guarantees to help the user reach their running goals, whether it centers on peaking at a particular pace and/or distance, mental relief, or losing weight.

The Joggo app offers runners personalized training programs based on their age, BMI, and physique. In addition, it provides customized meal plans (except for foods that may pose health threats), nutritional tips and tricks, diverse workout modes, running tips, and timely informative tidbits. These features are to ensure that you reach your running objective in record time.

Furthermore, runners can keep track of their progress with the app while adjusting their training program to maximize their potential. Joggo offers runners insight on potential injuries and how to cater to existing injuries. It also allows users access to several fat-burning supplements and electrolytes.

Overall, the app encompasses everything you need as a runner to cut down weight and see you extending your distance by a few miles.

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What Are the Benefits of Running 20 Miles a Week?

There are many health benefits linked with running. The most common of them include weight loss, cardiovascular health, mental therapy, and musculoskeletal strength. Nonetheless, we shall be looking at a few positives of running 20 miles a week.

It will boost your energy levels

One great effect of running 20 miles per week is that it increases your energy levels. Yes, it sparks bodily changes on a cellular level, prompting your body to produce more mitochondria with your muscle cells. The more mitochondria you have, the more energy you produce, as they typically create fuel from your glucose supply.

It also increases oxygen circulation, allowing your body to perform better and use its energy pool efficiently. That would play a key role in helping you complete your first marathon.

Sleep quality will improve

There are a couple of reasons why running equates to better sleep. For starters, your body temperature increases as you push yourself forward. This sparks the release of melatonin, tiring you out eventually. Secondly, it sheds you off excess energy due to work done by the engaged muscle groups.

The combination makes you able to fall asleep faster and for more extended periods.

Improves mood

Multiple research proves routine runs are great for boosting mental health. As a side note, exercises require as much mental energy as physical. Running 20 miles a week can boost your mood significantly by reducing mental stress, depression, and anxiety while improving energy and creativity.

Reduces risks of cardiovascular diseases

According to research by the CDC, the leading cause of death in the US is untreated cardiovascular diseases, ultimately weighing down healthcare providers and the existing healthcare systems.

Nonetheless, irrespective of how many miles you run, routine runs are great ways to bypass heart disease. It increases the amount of oxygen pulled from your blood, reducing the time taken to pump blood around your body. It also helps in regulating blood pressure, allowing your blood vessels to function with as little resistance as possible.

Helps with weight loss

Running is one of the most popular exercises that cater to burning calories and weight loss. Running 20 miles per week is a great way to create and sustain an ideal calorie deficit.

Research done by the American Council on Exercise states that a person weighing 160 pounds running at an easy pace burns about 15.1 calories per minute. So, if you are keen on burning more calories during your weekly runs, your goal should be to run faster, even if that means moving at a half-marathon pace.

By combining speed work with your weekly mileage, you can push yourself to burn more calories even after completing your runs.

You can gradually increase your speed until you are able to run comfortably through the finish time in less time.

Running 20 Miles a Week: Running Schedule

Finding your running groove is something that will vary based on the amount of time spent running. Those into long-distance running like the half-marathon will undoubtedly partake in marathon training. On the other hand, 400-meter runners will incorporate sprint workouts into their training plans.

That being the case, in order to complete your 20-mile runs, your total mileage will depend heavily on your training plan. So, we have prepared a simple training schedule (running 5 days per week), filled with mileage and running types, for you to complete your total weekly mileage.

Day Exercise
MondayStart your week with a 4-mile run to get you up to speed. A base run would be perfect for seeing you through the end of the run.
Tuesday3-mile run, employing the fartlek workout method to bring the intensity to your training program.
Wednesday5-mile run, slow pace jogging.
ThursdayDedicate to cross-training. It can be swimming or cycling.
Friday2-mile tempo run. The distance can be reduced if 2 miles are too much.
Saturday6-mile interval run. Try a walk/run strategy. 
SundayRest day. Take the time to recover, access your weekly progress, and see if you need to make any changes to your routine.

FAQs

Here are some common questions that arise when discussing running 20 miles a week.

How many miles should I run a week to stay healthy?

Totaling 20 miles every week is the perfect workout routine to stay healthy. Nonetheless, you are free to cut down the mileage if your current fitness level does not permit you to go 20 miles. 

How many miles should I run a day to get in shape?

Running 5 miles every day is perfect for you to stay in shape. You get all the benefits associated with running and are able to increase your fitness without a great deal of injury. 

How many miles should a beginner run?

Beginner runners should start off by completing 2-mile daily runs at an even pace. The important thing, however, is maintaining a consistent routine. Once they feel comfortable, they can switch up their routine to the next level.

A Word From Our Coach

Running 20 miles every week can help you lose weight, build musculoskeletal strength, improve heart health, and improve cognitive performance.

There are certain rules you ought to follow to maximize these benefits. Our advice to all runners is to incorporate supplemental training such as cross-training or strength training into their existing training plans.

A day of cross-training is enough to improve your physique, allowing you to train other parts of your body. You must determine what works best for you, be it yoga, interval training, or sports.

Moreover, having rest days is also an important aspect of your training plan. It keeps you feeling refreshed to continue your weekly runs and prevents you from injury.

Conclusion

Running 20 miles per week might seem like something many runners simply dream of. Anybody can achieve this goal, as all it takes is dedication and consistency. It also fits perfectly into multiple running plans, such as the half-marathon and full-marathon races.

By consistently completing your 20-mile runs every week, you are bound to see significant improvements in your physique. Furthermore, it helps increase the chances of logging in future running goals. Yes, you can cut down on weight, stay fit during the off-season, and tone your body.

Try to complete a 20-mile run this week, and you will be surprised at the benefits you unlock from it.

Isabel-Mayfield-health-reporter
Written by
Isabel Mayfield is a certified yoga instructor with over 10 years of experience in the fitness industry. She is passionate about self-improvement and loves to help people improve their sense of self-worth through education and support in meeting their fitness goals.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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