The amount of time it takes you to walk a mile depends on how fast you are walking. Your stride length, partially determined by the length of your legs, also plays a role. Tall walkers, and/or those with a long stride cover more distance per step than shorter walkers, and/or those with a shorter stride. Even if you have a pedometer personally set with your stride length or a GPS tracking device you cannot rely 100% on the accuracy as your pace and stride length may vary somewhat.
You can estimate your pace and, thus, the amount of time it takes you to walk one mile easily. Keeping in mind that the average steps used to cover one mile is 2,000, count the number of steps you take in one minute (at different times during your workout) to gauge your average pace. If you average 70 steps per minute, you are walking 2 miles per hour (mph), 105 steps per minute brings you up to an average pace of 3 mph. Increase your steps to 152 per minute and you are walking about 4 mph or covering one mile every 15 minutes (15 x 4 = 60 minutes or one hour). Walk very briskly, clocking 242 steps in one minute and you are walking at a speed of about 5 mph. Expert sources, such as the American College of Sports Medicine, recommend that men strive to maintain a step per minute count of 92-102 and women, 91-115 steps per minute. By doing so, you are likely working at a moderate-pace, necessary to reap aerobic benefits. Whether you are male or female, covering about 100 steps per minute fits the bill.
It makes sense that the faster you walk, the less time it takes to complete one mile. On average, if your pace is between 2 and 2.5 mph, you can expect to complete a mile in 24 to 30 minutes, if it is 3 mph, you can expect to cover a mile in about 20 minutes. If you pick up the pace to between 4 and 4.5 mph, you will likely finish your first mile in 13 to 15 minutes and at a very brisk pace, 5 mph, you can complete a mile in 12 minutes.
- Ainsworth BE, Haskell WL et al. Compendium of Physical Activities: An update of activity codes and MET intensities. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000; 32 (Suppl): S498-S516.
- Haskell WL, Lee IM, Pate RR, Powell KE, Blair SN, Franklin BA, et al. Physical activity and public health: updated recommendation for adults from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2007;116:1081—93.
- ACSM. American College of Sports Medicine Position Stand. The recommended quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardio respiratory and muscular fitness, and flexibility in healthy adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1998; 30: 975—91.