What is the average walking speed?

In this article, we’ll be discussing the average walking speed. If you’ve ever wondered if your walking pace is ‘normal’, why some people walk SO much faster than you or if you just want to improve your walking time – you’ve come to the right place!

How can I measure my walking time?

The time it takes you to walk a certain distance depends on your walking pace, the average person takes around 15-20 minutes to walk a mile. There are many factors that contribute to somebody’s walking pace – gender, height, age, and fitness level are just a few examples. In this day and age measuring most things has become a lot easier, especially when it comes to exercise. Many people use fitness watches or apps to track their daily activities, fitness watches can be quite expensive, so if you have access to a phone downloading an app is the way to go!

If you want more insight into how your fitness level is progressing, you can review the relationship between your average walking speed and your heart rate when walking. Generally speaking, you will be able to maintain the same pace at a lower heart rate as your body becomes better conditioned.

Another consideration to make before measuring your walking time and speed is your intention. It is unrealistic to expect to maintain a significantly higher pace if you are walking over rough terrain, on a route with significant elevation or over a long distance. Whilst walking at speed has a range of benefits, these can only be felt if you have a well-rounded exercise regime.

Average walking speed for beginners

A speed of 3 miles per hour (4.8kph) is typical for most people who don’t walk every single day, but as mentioned above, there are many factors that contribute to walking speed. Younger people will find walking a lot easier than older people, the same as those with longer legs will find it easier than those with shorter legs. If you want to know the average speed for your gender and age group, pop over to google to get a rough idea.

Average walking speed for intermediate walkers

As you start to make walking part of your daily routine, it will become easier and you will be able to walk faster- this is called brisk walking which is a moderate-intensity exercise. The average walking speed for those who walk regularly is around 4 miles per hour. If you want to improve, incorporating interval training into your walking routine will improve your speed!

You will also find that if you head out into the hills, doing a similar length walk on flat terrain will feel easier a few days later. Again, this is another way that your body can adapt to the training effort you put in.

Average walking speed for advanced walkers

Speed walking- the fastest walk of them all! Walker Bosworth completed the one-mile walk in 5 minutes and 31 seconds. I know what you’re thinking, how can someone walk that fast!? As with any other exercise, improving takes time and practice, incorporate interval training into your routine- you’ll be surprised how quickly your speed changes.

Start off small, don’t set a goal to beat the world record- that takes a lot of practice! A good pace for advanced walkers is between 4/5 miles per hour. Push yourself, but not too hard, remember exercise is supposed to be enjoyable!

Speed or power walking also requires your body to have a strong frame and to build a stronger body you should engage in some strength training, including exercises such as squats, lunges, step ups as well as core work. By training your body to be stronger as well as faster, you will significantly reduce your risk of injury.

According to the British Heart Foundation, a brisk walking pace is anything over 5mph or a 12 minute mile. 

Walking Speed and Age

Naturally, as your body ages, your walking speed starts to decline. Whilst you can resist this decline in speed with cardio and strength work to keep your body in top condition, some slow down is inevitable as you get older.

Healthline suggests that you are 1.2 minutes slower per kilometre at age 60, compared with when you are 20 years of age.

However, the act of walking can be used to slow down your physical decline, improving balance and co-ordination for regular walkers as well as providing mental stimulation for those who walk outdoors in the countryside. Heading out for a brisk walk at least once per week can help you maintain a good walking speed for years to come.

Does walking speed matter?

With all this talk of walking speed, you might be wondering whether it really matters.

Your average walking speed, in conjunction with your average heart rate, is a general indicator of cardiovascular fitness. Having good cardiovascular fitness reduces your risk of diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

Walking is a great way to reduce your blood pressure and, as your heart becomes stronger, the need for it to pump as quickly reduces. As a result, you will be able to speed up with less effort and you will be able to sustain that effort for longer.

However, if you are reading this article at the beginning of your walking journey, the main takeaway is that walking is a hugely beneficial exercise at whatever pace you are capable of. Over time, working on your speed will give your workouts another dimension but the main thing is to lace up those trainers and head outside – after all, a mile is a mile no matter how fast you walk it.

FAQ

What is a good walking pace?

The article linked earlier in our article, by Healthline, details average walking speeds by age and biological sex. At 20 years of age, the average male walks at an average speed of 3.04 miles per hour, with the average female walking at a speed of 3 miles per hour. In the context of a brisk walk, you would expect those paces to increase to around 4-5mph.

A good, or brisk, walking pace is determined by a number of factors including your fitness level. If you are out for a brisk walk, your heart rate should be elevated and you should be working out at an increased intensity that you can sustain for a short to medium distance walk.

Is walking a mile in 10 minutes fast?

A 10-minute mile is considered a very brisk walking pace that may be achieved by advanced power walkers. Whilst it is far from the mile record for speed walking which currently stands at 5:31 for the male record and 6:16 for the female record, you shouldn’t underestimate how much effort is required to walk at this pace.

Is it good to walk a mile in 30 minutes?

A 30-minute mile is aligned with the average walking speed for an 80-year old. With that said, unfavourable weather conditions, tough terrain or an incline can all impact your walking speed. For that reason, it is impossible to be definitive when it comes to what a ‘good’ mile pace looks like.

If you are keen to improve your walking pace and you can currently clock a 30-minute mile, train consistently and check out our other articles on walking to improve your walking speed.


Are you looking for further walking advice? Why not check out the rest of our walking advice blogs? Or sign up for our community newsletter to stay in the know! You can find links for both below. 

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