As a running enthusiast, there’s not much that brings excitement like breaking personal records. One way to achieve that is by covering a specific distance under fixed timelines.
While not everyone can run for hours, it is possible for most runners to complete an hour run.
So, how many miles can you run in an hour?
While there’s no clear-cut answer to it, this guide provides insights that will help you understand how many miles you are able to run in an hour.
Typically, most runners cover between 6 and 8 miles in a single hour without taking any breaks. But some run faster and can complete longer runs within the same duration.
For example, Dutch long-distance runner Sifan Hassan covered a whopping 11.76 miles in an hour in 2020, breaking the world record set by fellow experienced runner Dire Tune in 2008.
The same year saw British Mo Farah make history by running an incredible 13.25 miles in one hour – he now holds the world record for the 1-hour run.
So, what exactly affects the distance you can cover in an hour? Find that out in this guide.
I’ll also dive into other interesting topics, such as the point of running an hour every day if it’s safe to pound the pavement for a longer duration and a few elements that might throw a spanner in the works and affect your running program.
Let’s get started!
Factors Affecting How Far You Run in An Hour
Several factors come into play when determining how many miles you can run in an hour, including the following.
What are you trying to achieve by running an hour? Cover around five miles during your daily running session if it’s weight loss – it’s enough to burn at least a pound of fat weekly. Of course, you might have to run more miles in a single hour if you endeavor to lose more calories.
On the contrary, if you’re training for something like a half-marathon, cover 6-8 miles or more daily. You’re up against some of the best runners in the world, so you need to run longer distances to achieve top speed and endurance.
Enthusiastic runners hitting the streets to relish the health benefits of the physical activity can stick to several miles an hour.
Another factor affecting the distance you run in an hour is your skill level. New runners can comfortably hit four miles, especially when jogging, walking, and resting along the way. Their speed should improve as they advance their running skills, increasing the distance they cover in one hour.
Unlike inexperienced runners, elite runners can clock up to 8 miles or more in an hour.
Fitness enthusiasts leading an active lifestyle can handle longer runs daily.
However, running 8 miles in an hour may prove difficult if you’re a couch potato. So, start with only several miles, and consider other physical activities to improve your fitness and build endurance.
Your speed will gradually increase, enabling you to clock up to 6 miles in a single hour.
Running becomes more strenuous as you age. Research indicates most runners experience a 0.5-1% decline in performance annually when they’re between 36 and 60.
Once you hit 60, your body cannot handle a lot of stress, and your muscles recover at a much slower rate after physical activity. Therefore, at that age, covering 6-8 miles in an hour becomes a struggle – consider reducing your daily or weekly mileage to prevent aches and pain.
Running Outside vs. Treadmill
Sometimes, the length of your running session comes down to whether you’re running outdoors or on your treadmill.
Running on a treadmill is easier and faster than running outside because you expend less energy, so don’t expect to cover the same distance in an hour.
A treadmill also allows you to maintain your speed, meaning you can run more miles in an hour than when you hit a trail. However, the device is not your best option if you hope to burn more calories; running outside is.
Your Workout Routine
If you indulge in other physical activities besides running, you might be unable to run 6-8 miles an hour, and it’s not even advisable.
Your body is already tired, and the last thing you need to do is overexert it.
However, if running is the only physical activity you engage in daily, you can run up to 8 miles in 1 hour without feeling too exhausted.
Why You Should Run an Hour Daily
Check out these convincing reasons to nudge you to run several miles in an hour every day:
It Strengthens Your Core
Running is a great core exercise. It toughens your limbs, enables you to build muscular strength, and improves your body posture. Though it might not be as efficient as exercises like Pilates and planks, it still works.
One of the greatest things about a strong core is it makes indulging in other exercises a piece of cake.
It’s Good for Your Mental Health
Running improves one’s mental health. If you’re trying to cope with stress, design a running program and stick to it. It’ll amplify your ability to deal with mental tension and help you stay motivated.
This exercise also works better than sleeping pills, making it the perfect solution to insomnia. With better sleep at night, you can become more productive during the day, improving your overall quality of life.
It Boosts Your Energy Levels
Running short or long distances can considerably increase your energy levels through various body mechanisms.
For starters, the physical activity triggers your muscle cells to generate more mitochondria, which create fuel from the food you consume to boost your body’s energy supply.
Also, running improves blood circulation in your body, which allows your muscles to access enough oxygen, aiding the mitochondria’s energy production process.
Therefore, step out for a run when you feel down or sluggish – you’ll notice a massive difference in your energy levels after logging some miles.
It Improves Your Physical Appearance
Running ranks among the top most effective ways to improve your looks. To begin with, it gets rid of the dirt that might clog your pores and lead to irritating breakouts.
In addition, working up a sweat produces dermcidin, a peptide known to eliminate bacteria on the human skin. This allows you to develop the natural glow you yearn for.
And that’s not all.
Running can promote weight loss, allowing you to look more attractive.
It Brings Fantastic Health Benefits
Are you hoping to keep various health complications at bay? Run for an hour straight every day; the exercise presents the following health benefits.
- It minimizes your risk of heart disease by increasing blood flow, lowering blood pressure, and strengthening your heart.
- It reduces your chances of getting type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, which also makes you susceptible to heart conditions and stroke.
- It improves your brain’s health by triggering the growth of new hippocampus neurons liable for memory and learning.
- It strengthens your bones by increasing your bone mineral density (BMD). Consequently, it decreases your risk of osteoporosis and other conditions associated with a weak bone structure.
- It enhances your sexual health by lowering your risk of erectile dysfunction (ED) (in men) and improving sexual arousal (in women). If you already have ED, running several miles an hour can enhance your sexual function and flexibility between the sheets.
How About Running for More Than an Hour?
Most runners often wonder if running more than an hour is safe – it all boils down to your skill level.
Running for over 60 minutes is a breeze for elite runners and marathoners. Some long-distance runners run for up to two hours at speeds an average person can’t even dream of.
However, running for more than an hour is not something new runners should do out of the blue. Start slow for the first few months if you’re in this lot. This enables you to build endurance and strength, which are handy in helping you pound the pavement for more than sixty minutes.
In addition, beginners should only run more than an hour once a week. Doing so multiple times weekly denies your muscles enough time to recover, increasing your risk of injury.
Prepping for Your Run: Top Tips to Use
The key to enjoying a 1-hour run lies in your preparation. Check out these helpful tips:
Invest In Quality Running Gear
Get high-quality running essentials before you start your running program. These include running shoes, jackets, tights, and sports bras.
Ensure each item you purchase fits you perfectly to guarantee maximum comfort during your run.
Also, get a first aid kit. Of course, you can’t carry it while running, but keep it at home or in your car if you’re a trail runner. It can be handy if you injure yourself.
Hydrate Before and During the Run
Drink about two cups of water two hours before running – it minimizes your risk of injury, boosts your energy levels, and improves your performance.
In addition, carry up to 600 ml of water during your run to prevent dehydration.
Observe Proper Running Nutrition
Always grab a light meal one and a half or two hours before your one-hour run to boost your performance. It should be high in digestible carbs but low in fiber, protein, and fat – examples include some porridge with a few drops of honey and a smoothie.
If you intend to run for more than an hour, eat enough carbs during the last 24 hours before the physical activity. This ensures your muscles have enough glycogen to provide the fuel you need to enjoy and benefit from your run.
You might also need to replace some of the energy you burn during your run for consistent performance. So, how about carrying a few candy bars and energy bars to consume before you hit the miles you want to?
About 30 minutes after your one-hour run, eat proteins and carbs in a 1-to-3 ratio to restore stored glucose.
It’s also advisable to warm up before your one-hour run. It enhances your muscle performance and prevents joint damage.
Besides, warming up before running for an hour loosens up your bones and gradually increases your heart rate to prepare your body for the strenuous physical activity.
If you’re out of fantastic warm-up ideas for your upcoming one-hour run, try walking jacks, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, leg swings, hip rotations, and shoulder rolls.
Prioritize Your Rest Days
Although running an hour has incredible benefits, take your rest days seriously, especially if you’ve incorporated other exercises into your workout.
Rest days give your muscles time to recover and prevent your body from plateauing. They also deter you from underperforming or getting injured during your next run due to fatigue and poor body coordination.
So, how many rest days do you need? One day is enough. And you’re free to engage in light activities such as stretching or yoga and walking if you feel restless.
However, rest for 3-7 days after participating in a marathon and had been training consistently before the running event. During this time, maintain a healthy diet and remember to start an active recovery program when you begin running an hour again.
When to Go for Your One-Hour Run
Now that you have some valuable strategies to prepare for your one-hour run, where should you squeeze it into your busy schedule?
There’s no fixed time when you should go running. Depending on your routine, you can do it in the morning, afternoon, or evening.
For example, running in the morning is best if you have a 9-5 job, as you might not find any other time to do so during the day.
Afternoon runs are ideal for runners with little to then, such as stay-at-home moms when the kids are napping.
Are There Any Pros and Cons?
As you decide when to go for your 1-hour run, remember that each time has its advantages and downsides.
For instance, running in the morning means you can clear your head as your day starts and check the physical activity off your to-do list. However, you’ll get less sleep, morning weather conditions can be pretty harsh, and it might be unsafe if you live in an insecure neighborhood.
Running in the afternoon is an excellent opportunity to soak up some much-needed Vitamin D and enjoy a nice break from work or taking care of your kids. It’s also safer than in the morning; everyone’s going about their daily activities, and the sun is out.
Even so, afternoon runs can be pretty short, especially if you’re busy. And they can make timing your meals tricky. Unless you’re comfortable with running on an empty stomach or enjoying a heavy lunch and trying to clock 8 miles shortly after.
Downsides Of Running an Hour Daily
Despite its many advantages, running an hour daily has a few drawbacks that could affect your ability to follow your running program consistently.
To begin with, fixing the exercise in your daily schedule can be problematic, especially with work or school. If time becomes a challenge for you, consider short distances like 3K and 5K, which you can cover in less than an hour.
Besides, running every day increases your chances of tripping or getting injured, mainly if you’re a beginner. Although this exercise makes you stronger, it also puts your body under considerable stress, making you prone to frequent falls.
If you’re an experienced runner, strive to run an hour daily to enjoy this exercise’s amazing perks. But you don’t necessarily need to log 6-8 miles like most average runners; even two miles are enough if that’s all your body can handle.
Again, remember that you don’t have to lace up every day. If you’ve just started running, take one or two rest days to enable your muscles to recover as you prepare for the next run.
It’s also advisable to avoid comparing yourself with other runners. People have different skill levels, running goals, fitness levels, and ages, which ultimately determine how many miles they can cover in 1 hour. Therefore, design a running program that works for you, not others.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I run 10 miles in an hour?
If you’re an average runner with a 9-minute pace, running 10 miles should take at least ninety minutes. However, elite runners are faster and can cover 10 miles in an hour or less.
Should I run for an hour for the first time?
Your first run should be about 30 minutes to ensure it is manageable. You can start running an hour every day without feeling too exhausted with more practice.
What basic skills do I need to run an hour every day?
You require jogging, sprinting, dodging, and chasing skills to go for an hour-long run daily.