How Many Miles a Week Should You Run?



Not as many as you might think, it turns out.

In fact, you may only need to run a handful of miles each week to maintain good health — as few as five to six miles a week, in fact — according to new research published last week by the National Institutes of Health.

The research was first reported by the New York Times’ Gretchen Reynolds, who spoke with the study’s lead author:

“It seems like the maximum benefits of running occur at quite low doses,” Dr. Carl J. Lavie, the medical director of cardiac rehabilitation and prevention at the Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, La., said in an interview with the Times.

In fact, as few as “one to two runs per week, or three to six miles per week, and well less than an hour per week” are sufficient, he added.

Dr. Lavie emphasized that the low mileage amounts the study noted were only for runners looking to maintain their health — runners in training who hope to complete long distance races, of course, still need to run more miles each week.

For most people, however, running anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes a couple of times a week can produce “would appear to be perfect,” he added.

Read the full story at the New York Times here, or read the study at the National Institutes of Health here.

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