Have you ever considered taking up the challenge of walking 10 miles in a day?
It can be a highly effective form of exercise that offers numerous benefits for both mental and physical health. If you plan to take up this challenge on a daily basis, you will need to find out how long does it take to walk 10 miles.
On average, walking 10 miles can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. Nevertheless, the actual time can vary significantly from one person to another.
Let’s take a deep dive into the science behind walking speeds and explore the impact of age, gender, walking pace, fitness level, and terrain on the time it takes to cover this distance.
I. How Long Does It Take to Walk 10 Miles?
Let’s go step by step to analyse this one and start with the steps, literally!
On average a 10-mile walk is made up of approximately 20,000 steps.
At the rate of an average of 10 minutes per 1000 steps you can complete a 10-mile walk in: 200 minutes or 3 hours and 20 minutes.
This is the average median time taken to walk 10 miles without factoring in other variables that may alter your pace.
Before we delve into the factors affecting walking pace, let’s get a general idea of how long it takes to walk 10 miles at different walking speeds. Here’s a quick glance table:
|Walking Speed||Time to Walk 10 Miles|
|Moderate walking pace(Approximately 2.5 – 2.9 mph)||3.5 – 4 hours|
|Brisk walking pace(Approximately 3.3 – 4.0 mph)||2.5 – 3 hours|
|Competitive walking pace (Approximately 4.0 – 5.0 mph)||2 – 2.5 hours|
Note: These times are approximate and can vary significantly based on individual factors and the terrain you encounter during your walk.
II. Walking Speed: Influencing Factors
Factors like age, gender, fitness level, and terrain can contribute to the variability in walking speed. Understanding these variables is crucial for estimating the time it takes to cover a specific distance, such as walking 10 miles, and for optimizing your walking for both fitness and enjoyment.
Let’s explore some key variables that significantly affect how quickly one can cover a distance of 10 miles.
Age and gender play pivotal roles in determining walking speeds. These factors affect stride length and metabolism.
Gender can affect your typical walking pace, stride length, and often your endurance levels as well. On average, men tend to have longer stride lengths and higher muscle mass than women, allowing them to cover the distance more quickly.
As we age, our stride length may naturally decrease, which can slow down our pace. Additionally, changes in metabolism, often associated with aging, can affect energy levels and overall endurance.
Here’s a quick glance at the speed at which men and women of different age groups can complete a 10-mile walk:
Average Time to Walk 10 Miles for Women (at 3-4 mph)
|Age Group||Average Walking Time|
|20 – 29||2 hours 30 minutes – 3 hours 20 minutes|
|30 – 39||2 hours 30 minutes – 3 hours 20 minutes|
|40 – 49||2 hours 27 minutes – 3 hours 20 minutes|
|50 – 59||2 hours 30 minutes – 3 hours 36 minutes|
|60 – 69||2 hours 42 minutes – 3 hours 57 minutes|
|70 – 79||2 hours 53 minutes – 4 hours 19 minutes|
Average Time to Walk 10 Miles for Men (at 3-4 mph)
|Age Group||Average Walking Time|
|20 – 29||2 hours 30 minutes – 3 hours 17 minutes|
|30 – 39||2 hours 27 minutes – 3 hours 20 minutes|
|40 – 49||2 hours 27 minutes – 3 hours 20 minutes|
|50 – 59||2 hours 27 minutes – 3 hours 20 minutes|
|60 – 69||2 hours 30 minutes – 3 hours 33 minutes|
|70 – 79||2 hours 44 minutes – 3 hours 46 minutes|
2. Fitness levels
Fitness level is a fundamental determinant of walking speed.
For instance, your cardiovascular fitness reflects the health of the heart and lungs. It directly impacts endurance and the ability to maintain a brisk pace over a long distance. Individuals with better cardiovascular fitness can sustain higher speeds.
Muscular strength and endurance also play a vital role. Strong leg muscles, in particular, contribute to maintaining a consistent stride and reducing fatigue. Stronger core and back muscles ensure better walking form, posture, and stability.
Regular exercise, combining aerobic activities like walking with strength training, can markedly improve walking speed.
The type of terrain you walk on can drastically affect your pace. For instance, walking on level ground allows for a more consistent and faster pace, making it easier to maintain an average speed.
Ascending hills and inclines can considerably slow you down as you expend more energy to overcome gravity. Descending inclines can be faster, but they may require careful footing.
Walking on rough or uneven terrain, such as trails or rocky paths, often results in slower speeds due to the need for caution and increased energy expenditure.
Walking through undisturbed, scenic, and pleasant routes can also reduce walking speed. As against this, imagine taking a long walk through a crowded thoroughfare in a city. You are unlikely to finish your 10-mile walk at the same speed you started.
III. Safety Considerations
Walking a distance as long as 10 miles can be a significant physical challenge, even for fit individuals. Therefore, it is important to keep safety in mind when planning and executing such an endeavor. Here are some safety considerations to keep in mind:
Planning ahead: Have a plan in place before you set off, including mapping out your route and accounting for any hills, inclines, or other obstacles.
Hydration: Optimum hydration is essential to ensure that you have the stamina and health to pull off 10-mile walks. Additionally, it is a good idea to carry some water with you to stay hydrated during your walk.
Nutrition: Ensure that your regular diet is balanced and provides the right nutrition for your 10-mile-long walks. It is also important to eat right both before and after your walks. Carry snacks or meals with you, particularly if you expect to be walking for more than a couple of hours.
Listening to your body: Pay attention to your body and stop walking if you experience any unusual pain, discomfort, or fatigue.
Avoid overexertion: If you’re not accustomed to walking long distances, do not push yourself to the point of exertion. Gradual progression is key to building endurance.
Footwear: This one is a no-brainer! Invest in a pair of comfortable and supportive walking shoes designed for this activity.
Clothing: Wear clothing comfortable for the weather and terrain you will encounter on your walk.
Adjusting for temperature, rain, and other factors: Adjust your pace and clothing for temperature, rain, wind, and other factors to ensure your safety and comfort.
IV. Personalized calculation of your walking speed
Now that we’ve explored the factors influencing walking speed, you may be wondering how to calculate your own walking pace. Fortunately, there are tools and methods available for personalized calculations.
Using a Walking Calculator: Online walking calculators and apps can help you estimate the time it will take to walk a specific distance based on your inputs, including your walking speed and the terrain.
Keeping a Walking Log: Maintaining a record of your walks, including the distance covered and the time taken, allows you to track your progress and calculate your own average pace.
Adjusting for Factors: Keep in mind that factors like age, fitness level, terrain, and walking aids can vary from day to day. Therefore, it’s essential to adjust your expectations and pace accordingly for each walk.
Explore More: How Many Miles Should I Run A Day?
V. Strategies to Improve Walking Speed
According to CDC CDC: Lifestyle Coach Facilitation Guide: Post-Core an average person should set a goal of 10,000 steps or roughly 4-5 miles each day. But if you want to challenge yourself and wish to walk 10 miles a day or simply wish to increase your walking pace, here are some strategies to consider:
- Break the walk into shorter distances. According to one study NCBI: The effect of 2 walking programs on aerobic fitness, body composition, and physical activity in sedentary office employees, intermittent walking in short intervals can also yield comparable physical benefits as continuous walking.
- Include a mix of aerobic and strength training exercises in your fitness routine. Aerobic exercises like walking help improve cardiovascular fitness, while strength training builds muscle strength and endurance.
Don’t forget flexibility exercises to maintain mobility and reduce the risk of injuries.
- Pay attention to your stride length and posture. Stride length should be comfortable and natural, and posture should be upright but relaxed.
Invest in proper footwear with good arch support and cushioning to enhance comfort and reduce the risk of foot-related issues.
- Begin with achievable goals and gradually increase your distance and speed over time. This incremental approach helps prevent overexertion and injuries.
- Keep a walking log to track your progress. Note improvements in walking speed, endurance, and overall fitness. Celebrate your milestones to stay motivated.
Fuel your body for walking with a balanced diet rich in carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. Staying properly nourished provides the energy needed for longer walks.
Stay hydrated by drinking water before, during, and after your walk. Dehydration can lead to fatigue and hinder your walking pace.
Understanding the factors that affect walking speeds and personalizing your walking calculations can help you plan enjoyable and safe walks.
You can make walking 10 miles a day or any distance a rewarding part of your physical and mental health routine. Remember, the experience of walking is as valuable as achieving the goal of completing 10 miles within an estimated time.
Take each step with purpose and enjoy the myriad health benefits it brings. So, whether you wish to lose weight or increase your overall physical fitness or mental well-being, walking 10 miles can be just the fitness challenge you need to reach your goals.