When you first start a new workout routine or exercise program, there are a few important things you will need to nail down: the type of exercise you’re going to do and how much you’re going to do.
Running is certainly one of the most popular forms of exercise, as it is relatively low-cost and accessible, an efficient way to torch calories and improve your fitness, and an effective way to tone your entire body.
While some people who take up running for fitness choose to run for time— setting a goal of a certain number of minutes of running per workout—other runners prefer to run for distance, setting a goal of covering a certain number of miles per workout.
Many beginners set a goal of running 3 miles without stopping. But how long does it take to run 3 miles for the average runner?
In this guide, we will answer the question: how long does it take to run 3 miles for the average runner, as well as how long it takes to run 3 miles at different paces.
More specifically, we will cover:
- How Far Is 3 Miles?
- How Long Does It Take to Run 3 Miles?
- Average Time To Run 3 Miles
Let’s jump in!
How Far Is 3 Miles?
Running 3 miles a day is roughly the same as running 5k a day. A kilometer is a little more than six-tenths (0.6) of a mile, so 5k is approximately 3.1 miles.
If you decide to run 3 miles on a standard 400-meter running track, you will need to run just over 12 full laps.
Although the exact length of a city block varies based on the city and streets, most city blocks are approximately 1/20th of a mile, so if you want to run 3 miles along the city streets, you will need to run about 60 blocks.
How Long Does It Take to Run 3 Miles?
When you’re establishing a fitness routine that involves running 3 miles a day, one of the first questions you will want to answer is, “How long does it take to run 3 miles?”
Knowing what you’re in for in terms of your workout duration will help you set aside enough time for your 3-mile run so you can accurately schedule your day.
Of course, how long it takes to run 3 miles depends on the speed you are running or the pace you are maintaining.
There are quite a few factors that affect your running speed, including the following:
#1: Your Fitness Level
Runners with a higher VO2 max (aerobic capacity) and better endurance are able to run 3 miles faster than runners in poor shape.
#2: Your Experience Level
Distinct from your fitness level, your experience level as a runner can influence how well you pace yourself, which can influence how long it takes you to run 3 miles.
Beginner runners who are in good shape from other types of exercise might still struggle with pacing and training as a runner, whereas experienced runners who’ve taken time off and aren’t in great shape might be able to run 3 miles faster than a fitter beginner because of their familiarity with running the distance, and the body’s previous adaptation.
#3: Your Effort Level
How hard you’re pushing yourself when you run will affect your average 3-mile run time. Are you trying to push yourself to the max or run at a comfortable, conversational training pace?
#4: Your Age
Older runners tend to be slower due to a loss of muscle mass and aerobic capacity. However, this is not always the case.
#5: Your Sex
Men tend to be faster than women due to more lean body mass, lower body fat, and larger relative heart and lungs.
#6: Your Weight and Body Composition
It requires more work for the muscles and cardiovascular system to move a heavier body, so runners with higher body fat percentage and excess weight tend to run slower than runners with a higher relative lean body mass for their body size.
#7: The Terrain
The terrain you run on can affect your pace. Running on a treadmill, track, or flat road is easier than running on hilly roads (or the treadmill on an incline) or trails, soft grass, or sand.
#8: The Weather
The longer you run, the more affected you will be by the environmental conditions. Running in heat, cold, rain, snow, and wind can greatly affect your pace.
Average Time To Run 3 Miles
So, how long does it take to run 3 miles?
Given the multitude of factors that affect average running speed, it’s no surprise that there can be quite a range in the amount of time it takes to run 3 miles.
Most runners can run 3 miles in 18-35 minutes, though there’s plenty of variation on either side of that range.
Even as is, 18-35 minutes is quite a range, so how long does it take to run 3 miles for most runners? What is the average time to run 3 miles?
According to Strava, when it comes to training, the average pace for a logged run is 9:53 per mile. There are millions of Strava users, and this data comes from the average across both sexes over the entire year (2021), so this is a good approximation of a typical training pace.
Of course, some logged runs will be races, but the overall aggregate of data makes this a really good estimation for the average training pace of everyday runs.
Taking this information, we can easily figure out the average 3 mile run time:
3 x 9.89 minutes per mile = 29.67 minutes = 29 minutes and 40 seconds.
Therefore, the average runner runs 3 miles in a little less than 30 minutes.
Again, this is a good ballpark for how long it takes to run 3 miles for a regular training run.
When it comes to racing 3 miles, the times drop significantly.
According to Running Level, the average 5k time for men across all ages is 22:31. This works out to approximately 7 minutes and 15 seconds per mile or 4 minutes and 30 seconds per kilometer pace.
For women, the average 5k time is 26:07, which is an 8:24 mile pace or 5:13 per kilometer.
Because a 5k race is just over 3 miles, this date can provide a good indication of the average 3 mile time in a race.
Because the range of abilities of runners varies widely, we’ve put together a table that shows you how long it takes to run 3 miles at different running speeds and paces.
The first column is your running speed, which refers to how many miles per hour you’re running. You probably won’t know this number unless you’re running on a treadmill.
The second column is your pace or the time it takes you to run a mile.
The third column is how long it takes to run three miles at the given speed and pace.
|Speed (mph)||Pace (min/mile)||How Long Does It Take to Run 3 Miles?|
According to our chart, how long would it take you to run 3 miles?
If you are looking to speed up and learn more about how to run 3 miles faster, check out this article chock full of tips for running faster.