Walking 5 miles is a fantastic workout for most people, and doing so several days per week can help you meet the guidelines for physical activity for adults and reduce your risk of various lifestyle diseases.
But how long does it take to walk 5 miles? What is the average time to walk 5 miles by age and sex? How can you walk 5 miles faster?
In this article, we will look at how long it takes to walk 5 miles at different walking speeds and the average 5 mile walk time by age and sex.
We will cover:
- How Far Is 5 Miles?
- How Long Does It Take to Walk 5 Miles?
- How Long Does It Take to Walk 5 Miles At Different Walking Speeds?
- 3 Tips for How to Walk 5 Miles Faster
Let’s get started!
How Far Is 5 Miles?
It may sound like a silly question, but for those unfamiliar with the Imperial measuring system, a mile is the equivalent of 5,280 feet or 1,609 meters, so 5 miles is just a hair over 8 kilometers.
If you decide to walk 5 miles on a standard 400-meter running track, you will need to walk just over 20 full laps.
Alternatively, if you want to walk 5 miles in a city, it is roughly 100 blocks. Although the lengths a city block can vary from place to place and block to block somewhat, one mile is typically around 20 city blocks.
How Long Does It Take to Walk 5 Miles?
The time it will take you to walk five miles depends on the speed at which you are walking. With that said, most people can walk 5 miles in 75-100 minutes or so.
Walking speed is determined by factors like your age, sex, fitness level, effort level, as well as the terrain, incline, and weather conditions.
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average walking speed for adults is between 2.5-4 miles per hour.
Therefore, on the slow end of the spectrum at a speed of 2.5 miles per hour, it would take 2 hours (120 minutes) to walk 5 miles.
For most people, this is an easy, conversational walking pace.
On the fast end of the range, if you are walking at a brisk speed of 4.0 miles per hour, it will take just 1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) to walk 5 miles.
One study of 997 middle-aged walkers (aged 45 years old) found that the average walking speeds were 1.30 m/s for usual walking gait and 1.99 m/s for maximum gait.
If we convert these walking speeds into mile walking time values using the conversion of 1,609 meters per mile, the average “usual” walking speed works out to walking one mile in 20.6 minutes while walking a mile at the average maximum walking speed would take 13.48 minutes.
Then, extrapolating these paces out for five miles, this data suggests that the average middle-aged walker can walk 5 miles at the usual walking gait in 103 minutes (1 hour and 43 minutes) and potentially as fast as 67.5 minutes at a maximum speed.
These times assume that the walking pace would not slow down as the distance increases.
Another study took a closer look at the average walking speed based on age and sex.
According to the data, the researchers reported the following walking speeds:
|Age||Average Walking Speed for Women (mph)||Average Walking Speed for Men (mph)|
Based on these walking speeds, we can calculate how long it takes to walk 5 miles based on age and sex, as shown below:
|Age||How Long Does It Take to Walk 5 Miles for Women? (hours: minutes : seconds)||How Long Does It Take to Walk 5 Miles for Men? (minutes : seconds)|
|20-29||100 minutes (1 hour, 40 minutes)||88.3 minutes (1 hour, 28 minutes, 20 seconds)|
|30-39||100 minutes (1 hour, 40 minutes)||93.75 minutes (1 hour, 33 minutes, 45 seconds)|
|40-49||96.4 minutes (1 hour, 36 minutes, 22 seconds)||93.75 minutes (1 hour, 33 minutes, 45 seconds)|
|50-59||102.5 minutes (1 hour, 40 minutes, 30 seconds)||93.75 minutes (1 hour, 33 minutes, 45 seconds)|
|60-69||108.3 minutes (1 hour, 38 minutes, 20 seconds)||100 minutes (1 hour, 40 minutes)|
|70-79||118.6 minutes (1 hour, 58 minutes, 40 seconds)||107.5 minutes (1 hour, 47 minutes, 30 seconds)|
|80-89||142.5 minutes (2 hours, 22 minutes, 30 seconds)||138.3 minutes (1 hour, 18 minutes, 20 seconds)|
How Long Does It Take to Walk 5 Miles At Different Walking Speeds?
As mentioned, how long it takes you to walk 5 miles is entirely dependent on your walking speed or pace. The table below shows how long it takes to walk 5 miles at different walking paces.
The first column shows walking speed. This will likely not be helpful unless you are walking on a treadmill that shows your speed.
The second column displays your walking pace—how long it takes you to walk one mile at the speed you are walking.
The third column shows how long it takes to walk 5 miles if you maintain that walking pace.
|Walking Speed (mph)||Walking Pace (min/mile)||How Long Does It Take to Walk 5 Miles? (hour : min : sec)|
3 Tips for How to Walk 5 Miles Faster
Even if it currently takes you a lot longer to walk 5 miles than age- and sex-matched peers, it is definitely possible to train to increase your walking speed.
Training to walk 5 miles faster will help you be more efficient with your workouts, saving time. Plus, the faster you walk, the more calories you burn per minute.
Here are some tips that will help you walk 5 miles faster:
#1: Build Your Endurance
The single best way to walk 5 miles faster than you are currently walking is to walk more and improve your fitness.
Walking 5 miles is ultimately an endurance exercise, because even the fastest walkers are out there walking for over an hour.
Build up your endurance by gradually increasing the length of at least one walk per week so that it is longer than 5 miles.
Additionally, increasing the frequency of your walking workouts during the week will help you build the cardiovascular and muscular endurance necessary to walk 5 miles more easily.
#2: Work On Your Speed
In addition to doing steady-state aerobic distance walks, you can also do walking workouts to improve your speed.
Throwing in intervals of brisk walking or walking quickly uphill can build cardiovascular endurance, aerobic capacity, and leg strength.
#3: Use Good Walking Form
If you can improve your walking form, you might be able to cover ground more quickly and with more ease.
Make sure that you are walking with good upright posture. Your core should be tight and engaged, your chest should be up and proud, and your shoulders should be relaxed and down away from your ears.
Walk with purpose. Keep your gaze forward and vigorously pump your arms to help provide forward momentum to your walking gait.
Walking 5 miles is an excellent aerobic workout, and although it is a bit of an investment in time, a 5-mile walk is also a valuable investment in your physical and mental health. Enjoy your walk!
If you have been walking for a while now and would like to bump up the intensity, try training for your first 5k run! We have excellent Couch To 5k Training Plans to get your there.