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Running 4 Miles a Day: Tips You Have to Know
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Running 4 Miles a Day: Tips You Have to Know

Written by Isabel Mayfield | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Published on 2022 July 12
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10 min
running 4 miles a day

Running is a physical activity that transcends history. As time went by, its popularity as a standalone exercise grew tremendously. Research shows that over 64 million U.S. citizens have gone on a run within the past year. This is because running is fun, and more people are starting to run as their primary source of low-impact physical activity.

Running 4 miles a day is a huge deal for new runners. Novice runners tend to have no experience with long-distance runs, and running 4 miles a day would certainly be a huge challenge for them to conquer.

We will be looking to answer some of the most asked questions about long-distance runs. Is running 4 miles every day a good workout? What are the benefits as well as the challenges attached to this routine? What is the best way to increase your mileage? How many calories will you burn after running 4 miles a day?

Let us jump right in!

Why Is It Worth Running 4 Miles per Day?

Running 4 miles a day is worth the hassle, to keep it short and simple. The benefits are astronomical, and you do not need high-tech equipment to start. There are some cons associated with running, such as injuries, but the pros outweigh the cons.

Running 4 miles a day helps put your cardiovascular system in good condition, reduces the risk of cancer, leads to better brain function and glowing skin due to increased blood supply, helps with anti-aging, helps with losing weight, among many other benefits.

How Long Does It Take to Run 4 Miles?

It takes about 45 minutes on average to complete a 4-mile run. This average accounts for an 11-minutes-per-mile pace. The more experienced you are at running, the shorter it takes to run 4 miles a day. Nonetheless, the goal revolves around completing the run rather than how fast you can run 4 miles a day. There are several ways to achieve this goal.

For non-runners seeking to begin, you should run for about 5 minutes every day and then progressively increase your running time until you peak at the 45 minutes average. This will slowly build up your endurance to take on longer distances.

You should also introduce interval training to your training schedule. For example, once you can run at an even pace throughout the 4-mile stretch, break up your run into speedy, hard intervals with short jogs in between to catch your breath.

Fartleks, hill running, hill sprints, HIIT running workouts, and runs at regular intervals are good options for you to explore, as they will help make running 4 miles a day easier. Overall, this mix adds spice to your schedule and ultimately improves your running economy.

What Should I Eat Before Running 4 Miles a Day?

Your diet plays a crucial role in preparing you to complete your daily runs. It is one of the key foundations of an efficient running routine. As such, it is important to know what to eat daily to keep your body in tip-top shape.

Watch the bodyweight with whole foods

In terms of getting the right runner’s diet, the first piece of advice is to stick to whole food instead of processed food. The more calories contained in processed foods are generally detrimental to health. Instead, you want foods high in nutrients but low in calories. For example, go for wheat bread, brown rice, and oatmeal instead of white bread, white rice, and cereal.

Losing weight with carbs

It is important to know that there are no substitutes for carbs. Carbs are your body’s primary source of energy, and when converted to glucose, it gives your body added energy to fuel your run. Therefore, you should strictly monitor your carb consumption to retain your calorie intake benchmark.

Low-fat protein

You should also not compromise on your protein consumption. You should prioritize low-fat protein such as lean meat, low-fat dairy, and fish instead of high-fat protein. Proteins are indispensable as they help build and repair muscles and tissues.

Veggies for weight loss

Other high-priority foods to eat before and after running 4 miles a day are fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, a necessary nutrient for all runners. In addition, unlike processed fruits (fruit juice), they digest a lot slower, keeping blood sugar levels stable without affecting insulin levels.

Lose weight, drink water, repeat

Running long distances drains a lot of fluid from your body in the form of sweat. Refill on body fluids by drinking tons of water. Cut back on sugary beverages and go for coconut water instead. This will leave you feeling refreshed and cramp-free since it is a good source of electrolytes. It provides runners with much-needed magnesium, calcium, sodium, potassium, and phosphorus. 

For those seeking to take their meal preparation to the next level to maximize their daily runs, the Joggo app is your tool. Joggo offers a comprehensive program that cuts across meal preparation, training schedule, and nutrition tips tailored for outstanding results.

The app comes with different running plans for different tiers of runners. The basic plan helps novice runners achieve more than 3 miles daily within a couple of months by providing them with stretching, warm-up, and cool-down routines.

The app offers personalized guidance on running form, answers all of your running questions, and teaches you the basics before going pro. In addition, it recommends a balanced and healthy meal plan that fits perfectly with your running routine and your overall fitness levels.

The Joggo program allows runners to tone down on injury risk or recover from them successfully. You can also keep track of your progress, making it one of the most effective tools in any runner’s arsenal.

Benefits of Running 4 Miles a Day

It is no secret that running is a good way to promote and improve general wellness. Simply running every day will keep you healthy for a long time. However, running 4 miles a day has a ton of high-grade health benefits. Let’s take a quick look at some of them.

Helps you sleep better

A long run causes your body temperature to rise, thus, sparking the release of melatonin, which tires you out. Similarly, running burns off excess energy as it leaves the engaged muscles exhausted.

To get the most out of running, you should go on runs in the morning or early afternoon instead of running in the evening. This is because your heart rate increases after each run and an elevated heart rate will keep you up past your proposed bedtime.

Helps build muscle

To build a particular muscle, you have to engage that muscle for a given amount of time over a significant period. For example, when you run, you engage many muscles simultaneously. Therefore, running over long distances engages more muscles for longer, leading to significant muscle gains.

Nonetheless, it is important to pair this daily routine with a healthy diet. This will give you the energy needed to continue the exercise and the nutrients required for muscle growth.

As your muscles become stronger, you are able to power through your runs. This means that you will be able to run further for longer without feeling the burns you felt like a new runner. You will eventually see yourself running past 4 miles a day.

Helps you lose weight

Weight loss requires that you burn more calories than you consume. Running is one of the best exercises for weight loss as it increases metabolism. 

However, to lose weight by running 4 miles daily, you have to be particular about what you eat and when you eat. You should strictly monitor your caloric intake because consuming more calories can have the reverse effect on your weight loss journey.

It does take full discipline to not fall into the trap of overeating since running long distances tends to leave you hungrier. Many runners claim not to lose weight even with the calories they feel they have burned. This is because they end up over-snacking to combat the hunger they feel after running.

Helps improve cognitive performance

Running leads to improved blood flow to the brain, leading to improvement in the brain’s cognitive function. As such, your decision-making, higher thinking, learning, mood, and impulse control see a considerable boost.

Aside from helping you lose weight, running also helps moderate blood pressure.

How to Prepare for Running 4 Miles a Day

The first step to preparing for a 4-mile run is mental grounding. It would be best if you made the decision and were committed enough to stand by it. The next step would be to acquire the right running gear. This includes a bottle of water, a comfy running top, pants, and shoes.    

If this distance is too much to start, consider running 3 miles or even 1 mile a day.

Once you have got these covered, you can take the next step in your preparations for running 5 miles a day by doing any/all of the following.

Hydrate before and throughout the run

The rule of thumb behind any exercise is always to stay hydrated. Running long distances causes you to sweat a lot. Therefore, you will need to replenish lost fluids as you go.

Drink lots of water before, during, and after your run. Keep the caffeine consumption to the barest minimum. Caffeinated drinks can cause headaches and insomnia, and you will need to drink water afterward as well.

Another great option in place of water would be coconut water. Coconut water contains a healthy amount of potassium and sodium, which will help prevent muscle cramps as you run.

Start with a slow pace

Another common question a beginner runner would ask is, “how fast should I run to complete 4 miles?” “Should I go at a moderate pace or fast pace?”

Well, the goal is not about how fast you can complete the race but about running the entire distance. As such, you should start at a slow pace and gradually increase your pace until you’re running 4 miles a day under the average time.

Do not let time and pace alter your running style and routine. If you feel extremely fatigued after a run, and it lasts for more than 24 hours, you have pushed yourself too far. Instead, you need to ease off a bit and go at it at an easy or moderate pace.

Running efficiency matters

If you take in half a pound of fat every 7 days and burn fewer calories than you consume, you’re moving away from fitness. You need to slip on your best pair of running shoes and begin your routine runs. You can burn those extra calories by running the same distance before running begins if you don’t eat that much.

Weight loss can be simple math. For reference, a one-mile run a day will burn between 80 to 140 calories. A 30-minute run burns between 280 to 520 calories. 

How many calories do you burn while running 4 miles a day? How much weight loss do you negate when you snack? You do the math.

Choose comfortable clothes

Running in the proper clothes does make all the difference since they come in breathable, stretchy materials that allow runners to move without any restrictions even when running in cold weather.

Women can switch out the running top for a sports bra since this helps reduce pain while performing a high-to-moderate-intensity exercise.

We also recommend getting reflective gears instead of normal ones if your routine cuts across early morning or late night runs.

Take magnesium before the run

A lack of magnesium can cause muscle spasms, mostly after a moderate-to-high-intensity exercise. With most runners, a lack of magnesium in their system could boost excitability on their nerve endings, leading to severe cramps, muscle spasms, and twitch.

Taking magnesium before and after you complete your 4-miles-a-day run reduces the stress hormone cortisol, thereby improving muscle and nerve function.

The higher your body weight, the more calories you can burn. Even on rest days, people with more body weight can still burn calories and lose weight after they start running at regular intervals.

A Word From Our Coach

The secret behind a successful run is to start off where you are most comfortable. You cannot outrun your body’s physical prowess. Instead, opt for training your body to meet your distance goal. Aside from physical training, mental training is a key component of a successful long-distance run. Doing so will allow you to keep going when the going gets tough.

Another great tip is to have a well-constructed training regimen. Planning is everything, and as such, your plans should include proper workout and meal routines. You need the right fuel to power you through your runs. Seek help from a trusted trainer and dietitian to aid in your journey. This will make all the difference in your overall progress, as it will allow you to run longer efficiently.

Conclusion

Running 4 miles every day is a good way to improve your mental and physical well-being. From being a good addition to our weight management program to helping with mild to moderate depression and lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases, it is safe to say running does it all.

A 4-mile run is no mere feat, most especially if you are a beginner. Total preparedness is the key to success.

We all have our unique bodies and weight, and we should structure our running routine to match our body/weight, gradually increasing the intensity of our exercises as time goes by. It is important to take on endurance and strength training before going on any long-distance run. This will help propel us to reach our goals with as little difficulty as possible.

We must also listen to our bodies and focus on having and maintaining perfect form, strides, and stretches, and properly warming up and cooling down. This will help prevent many common injuries associated with running.

Get on that runner’s high along with your friends and attain your fitness goals today.

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 byRosmy Barrios, MD
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