How Long Does It Take to Walk 3 Miles by Age and Pace?

Covering three miles on foot provides an excellent cardiovascular workout along with full-body toning. But the time it takes to walk this distance depends on several factors. Age, gender, terrain, fitness level, and walking pace all influence how long a three-mile walk may take.

This comprehensive guide explores the diverse elements impacting the time required to complete a 3-mile walk. Whether you are a novice walker or a seasoned athlete, these insights can help estimate your walking time and plan fitness goals accordingly.

How Far is 3 Miles?

Before estimating walking times, let’s clarify the distance – three miles equals approximately 4.83 kilometers. For perspective, three miles provides enough distance to get your heart pumping and challenge your body sufficiently. Many running programs and fitness guidelines use three miles as a benchmark for cardiovascular health.

How Many Steps in 3 Miles?

The number of steps required to walk three miles varies based on an individual’s stride length. On average, most people take around 2,000 to 2,500 steps to cover one mile. 

Therefore, a three-mile walk may involve 6,000 to 7,500 total steps depending on your stride. Tracking steps using a fitness tracker can provide a more customized view of how many strides you need to walk three miles.

Chart: Converting 3 Miles Into Different Units

Kilometers4.83 km
Meters4,830 meters
Yards5,280 yards
Feet15,840 feet
Inches190,080 inches
Nautical Miles2.61 nautical miles

How Long to Walk 3 Miles by Age and Pace?

How Long to Walk 3 Miles by Age and Pace?

Your age can significantly impact the time required to walk three miles. Here is an estimated breakdown of how long it may take to complete a 3-mile walk based on age and pace:

Age GroupSlow Pace (2 mph)Moderate Pace (3 mph)Brisk Pace (4 mph)
20s1.5 hours1 hour45 minutes
30s1.75 hours50 minutes37.5 minutes
40s2 hours40 minutes30 minutes
50s2.25 hours35 minutes27.5 minutes
60s+2.5 hours33 minutes25 minutes

As shown, younger adults in their 20s and 30s can generally complete a three-mile walk faster than older adults at the same pace. However, physical fitness also plays an important role. With regular brisk walking, individuals can maintain quicker speeds regardless of age.

How Long to Walk 3 Miles in Different Terrain?

The walking terrain can considerably impact your pace and the time required to cover three miles. Here’s a breakdown of how long it may take to walk three miles based on the surface:

TerrainAverage Time
Flat surface45 – 60 mins
Hilly terrain50 – 65 mins
Uphill60 – 75 mins

Uneven and hilly terrain requires more effort and slows pace. Consequently, walking three miles uphill can take 15-30 minutes longer compared to a flat surface. Adjust your expectations when tackling inclined terrains.

Also Read: How long does it Take To Hike The Appalachian Trail?

How Long Does It Take to Walk 3 Miles on a Treadmill?

Treadmills regulate speed precisely. Here’s an estimate for covering three miles on a treadmill:

Treadmill SpeedAverage Time
2 mph1.5 hours
3 mph1 hour
4 mph45 minutes

At brisk paces of 3-4 mph, most individuals can complete a 3-mile treadmill walk within 45 to 60 minutes. Beginners may prefer slower paces of 2-2.5 mph requiring up to 1.5 hours.

Calories Burned While Walking 3 Miles

The number of calories burned during a 3-mile walk depends on variables like body weight, walking speed, terrain, and efficiency of movement. On average, a 155 lb individual can burn around 300-400 calories by walking three miles at a moderate 3 mph pace. Faster paces can burn even more calories in the same duration.

Factors Affecting the Time to Walk 3 Miles

Factors Affecting the Time to Walk 3 Miles

Many elements influence the time required to walk three miles. Let’s explore some key factors:

How Fitness Level Affects Walking Speed

Cardiovascular endurance directly impacts walking speed. Individuals who engage in regular physical activity can walk faster and cover three miles quicker than sedentary beginners. 

Fitness level also declines with age, affecting older adults’ pace. But you can boost cardiovascular capacity at any age with brisk walking. Start slowly and increase duration and speed progressively. Soon you’ll be covering three miles faster.

Effects Of Terrain On Walking Speed

Walking on different terrains can have varying effects on your walking speed.

Here are some examples:

1. Flat and even surfaces: Walking on flat and even surfaces, such as paved roads or sidewalks, generally allows for a faster walking speed. With fewer obstacles and a stable ground beneath your feet, you can maintain a consistent pace and cover greater distances in a shorter amount of time.

2. Uphill terrain: Walking uphill requires more effort as you are working against gravity. This can slow down your walking speed significantly. The steeper the incline, the more challenging it becomes to maintain a quick pace. Therefore, you should adjust your expectations and allow for extra time when walking uphill.

3. Downhill terrain: Conversely, walking downhill can increase your walking speed. As gravity assists your movement, you may find that you can cover a greater distance in a shorter period of time. However, it’s essential to exercise caution on downhill slopes to avoid losing control and risking injury.

4. Uneven or rugged terrain: Walking on uneven or rugged terrain, such as trails or rocky paths, can considerably slow down your walking speed. The need for careful footing and the presence of obstacles can require more time and effort to navigate.

It’s important to choose appropriate footwear and be mindful of your surroundings for a safe and enjoyable walk.

Calculating Walking Time Based On Fitness Level

A simple method to estimate walking time for three miles is by determining your regular walking pace. At an average pace of 3 mph, it takes around 60 minutes to cover three miles. Here’s a breakdown by fitness level:

Fitness LevelEstimated Walking Time (3 miles)
Poor1 hour 30 minutes
Fair1 hour 15 minutes
Good1 hour
Excellent45 minutes

Gradually build endurance to boost pace and cut walking time. And don’t forget to warm up and cool down before and after walks.

Is Walking 3 Miles a Day Good?

Yes, walking three miles daily provides tremendous health and fitness benefits. It satisfies the minimum recommended aerobic activity per day, boosts cardiovascular function, manages weight, elevates mood, and prevents disease. Just remember to progress gradually if you are new to exercise. Start with shorter distances before building endurance.

Also See: How to Get To Havasu Falls Without Hiking?

Can I Lose Weight by Walking 3 Miles a Day?

When combined with a balanced diet, walking three miles daily can promote weight loss. The calories burned during the walk create a daily calorie deficit required for losing weight. Increase calorie burn by picking up the pace once comfortable. But dietary changes matter just as much as exercise. Focus on nutritious whole foods over processed items.

Is Daily 3 Miles of Walking Enough for Exercise?

Is Daily 3 Miles of Walking Enough for Exercise?

For beginners, walking three miles daily serves as an excellent starting point and surpasses basic activity guidelines. However, more exercise may be required to meet certain fitness goals. Briskly walking three miles daily provides cardiovascular benefits. But adding strength training, flexibility exercises, and higher intensity intervals can provide greater overall fitness.

Health Benefits of Walking 3 Miles Daily

Here are some of the well-documented health benefits of walking three miles daily:

  • Improves cardiovascular health by strengthening the heart and lungs.
  • Assists with weight management and body composition when combined with proper nutrition.
  • Elevates mood, reduces stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression.
  • May reduce risk of chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, cancer, and osteoporosis.
  • Requires no equipment while being joint-friendly and accessible to most ages.
  • Boosts energy levels, self-esteem and promotes healthy aging.

Tips for Walking 3 Miles Daily

Walking 3 miles every day requires motivation and proper planning. Here are some tips to help you succeed:

  • Schedule it – Mark your walking time in your daily calendar and treat it as any other important appointment. Planning ahead helps stick to the routine.
  • Track your progress – Use a fitness app or pedometer to monitor your walking distance, time, pace, steps, and calories. Tracking progress provides motivation.
  • Prep your gear – Having comfortable shoes, moisture-wicking socks, lightweight clothes, phone armband, hydration pack ready eliminates excuses.
  • Add variety – Walk different routes, listen to music/podcasts, go outdoors, treadmill, or join a walking group to prevent boredom.
  • Multitask – Walk while you take phone calls for work or chat with a friend to make the time pass quickly.
  • Reward achievements – Celebrate fitness milestones like walking faster or losing inches to stay motivated.
  • After a period of consistent walking, a custom medal is a great item if you want to celebrate your achievement and encourage yourself to keep trying in the future. You can customize medals in GS-JJ with walking-related elements, which can be pictures, words, or time. If you participate in walking or marathon competitions, GS-JJ also has various styles of walking medals and Marathon Medals. These medals are high quality, durable and can make your fitness more meaningful.
  • Allow rest days – Take a break if you feel overly fatigued. Let your body recover and prevent overtraining.
medals (1)

Treadmill vs Outdoor Walking: Which is Better?

Both indoor treadmill walking and outdoor walking have pros and cons:

Treadmill Pros:

  • Convenience, especially with inclement weather
  • Ability to precisely control speed and incline
  • Entertaining screens and programs add variety
  • Provides safety and stability for beginners

Treadmill Cons:

  • Lack of change in scenery can be mundane
  • Constraint on stride length due to space limitations
  • Less fresh air and vitamin D from sunlight

Outdoor Walking Pros:

  • Opportunity to enjoy nature and outdoors
  • Experience varied terrains and elevation
  • Improved mood from sunlight exposure
  • Absence of space constraints to walk naturally

Outdoor Walking Cons:

  • Disruption from weather conditions
  • Lack of control over terrain and exact distance/pace
  • More effort navigating uneven surfaces
  • Additional sun protection required

Evaluate your goals, environment, and preferences to determine which option works better for you. Combining outdoor and treadmill walking also provides versatility.

Walking Warm Up and Cool Down Stretches

Properly warming up and cooling down helps maximize benefits and prevent injury during 3-mile walks.

Dynamic Warm Up Stretches:

  • Walking Lunges – 10 reps per side
  • Lateral Leg Swings – 10 reps per side
  • Backward Leg Swings – 10 reps per side
  • Walking High Knees – 20 reps
  • Walking Butt Kicks – 20 reps

Cool Down Stretches:

  • Calf Stretch – 30 seconds per leg
  • Quad Stretch – 30 seconds per leg
  • Hamstring Stretch – 30 seconds per leg
  • Hip Flexors Stretch – 30 seconds per side
  • Child’s Pose – Hold for 1 minute

Aim for 5-10 minutes of warm up and cool down. Listen to your body and hold stretches longer if needed. Proper stretching enhances range of motion for a safer, more effective walk.

Walking Form and Technique Tips

Proper walking form and technique improves efficiency, speed, balance, and prevents injury. Follow these tips:

  • Maintain upright posture. Avoid hunching or leaning forward.
  • Look ahead, not down, with your chin parallel to the ground.
  • Keep shoulders relaxed and open rather than tensed upward.
  • Bend arms at 90 degrees with minimal side-to-side movement.
  • Tighten core muscles and avoid arching lower back.
  • Take shorter, quicker steps for speed instead of overstriding.
  • Land on your heel first and smoothly roll through the foot.
  • Walk with a slight forward lean coming from the ankles, not waist.
  • Swing arms front to back instead of across the body.

Practice walking with these cues in mind. Ask a partner or record a video to assess and correct your form as needed. Good technique prevents wasted movement.

Using Incline on Treadmill for a Tougher Workout

Walking on an incline makes your workout more challenging by increasing the intensity. Here are some tips on using treadmill incline for 3-mile walks:

  • Start with a low incline around 3-5% and progress higher gradually as your fitness improves.
  • Aim to walk with an incline for short intervals of 5-10 minutes within your regular 3-mile workout.
  • Walking at a 5% incline can increase calorie burn by 15% compared to walking on flat ground.
  • Incline walking engages glutes and hamstrings more than standard walking to build strength.
  • Use varied incline levels during your 3-mile walk. Go between flat (0%), low (3-5%), and medium incline (6-10%).
  • Adjust your speed as needed when walking on inclines to keep your heart rate in the target zone.
  • Focus on proper walking form and posture as inclines can cause hunching shoulders.
  • Allow more recovery time between inclined interval walks to avoid overexertion.

Safety Tips for Walking Outdoors

Observing basic precautions when walking outdoors helps ensure your safety:

  • Carry ID, insurance card, and emergency contact information.
  • Bring a charged phone, flashlight, and whistle for emergencies.
  • Wear reflective gear or brightly colored clothing if walking when dark.
  • Apply sunscreen, even in winter, to protect from UV damage.
  • Stay hydrated and avoid excessive fatigue and overheating.
  • Be aware of surroundings. Avoid distraction from devices or headphones.
  • Walk facing oncoming traffic to quickly react to hazards.
  • Choose well-lit routes and avoid unpopulated isolated areas especially at night.
  • Use extra caution crossing streets. Make eye contact with drivers before crossing.

Staying alert, carrying safety gear, and selecting appropriate routes can help minimize risk from outdoor walking. Walk with a companion if possible for added safety.

Choosing Proper Walking Shoes

Choosing Proper Walking Shoes

Choosing athletic shoes designed for walking helps optimize comfort and prevent injury during 3-mile walks. Look for:

  • Flexible and breathable uppers to allow natural foot movement.
  • Cushioned insoles provide arch support and shock absorption.
  • Durable outsoles with grip and traction for varied terrains.
  • Proper fit allows a thumbnail’s width between the longest toe and shoe tip.
  • Adequate toe box width and height to avoid compression.
  • Rearfoot stability and pronation control if over/underpronator.
  • Lightweight construction to prevent foot fatigue over long distances.

Visit specialty running stores for a gait analysis to identify pronation issues and find proper fit. Replace walking shoes every 300-500 miles to maintain support and cushioning. Proper footwear enhances performance and comfort while minimizing injury risk.


Whether you are walking or running, good quality sneakers are very important. If you want to personalize your sneakers, you can decorate them with custom patches. You can customize it at Patches Co. with any elements you like. These Custom Patches come in unique and original patterns that will make your shoes look brand new!


In summary, the time required to walk 3 miles depends significantly on your age, fitness level, walking pace, and terrain. While people in their 20s may complete 3 miles in 45 minutes at a brisk 4mph pace, older adults likely require 60-75 minutes depending on fitness. 

Flat surfaces allow faster speeds around 45-60 minutes for 3 miles versus hilly trails taking 50-65 minutes. Regularly walking 3 miles provides excellent cardiovascular benefits and weight management when combined with a proper diet. Work on gradually increasing walking pace and fitness. 

With the right preparation and realistic timeline, a daily 3-mile walk serves as an accessible and effective exercise routine for most individuals. Proper walking shoes, safety precautions, warm-ups and periodic rest allow injury-free progress.


Can You Walk 3 Miles In An Hour?

You can walk at 3 miles per hour or up to 5 miles per hour with power walking/jogging. A good fitness pace aims for a mile in 15 minutes, starting slower at 15 to 20 minutes per mile is advisable.

What Is A Healthy Walking Speed?

At a moderate walking pace, one would cover approximately 9 minutes per kilometer or 15 minutes per mile, translating to 6.4 kilometers per hour or 4 miles per hour, respectively.

How Many Miles Is 10,000 Steps?

On average, 10,000 steps equate to approximately 5 miles, assuming a step length of 2 1/2 feet. However, individual variances in height and walking speed can affect this estimation.

How Fast Is Walking 3 Miles In 45 Minutes?

She walked 3 miles in 45 min. What was her average rate in min per miles? in miles per hour? Step 4. ANSWER: The average rate is 4 miles per hour.

Is Walking 2 Miles In 30 Minutes Fast?

Walking 2 miles in 30 minutes can be considered a good pace for many individuals, but it ultimately depends on individual fitness levels, goals, and circumstances.

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