As with many things in our lives, the question "How Long Does It Take To Run 3 Miles?" doesn't have an ultimate answer. However, we'll dive deep into the topic to define a good rule of thumb, analyze the available data, and uncover interesting facts.

We will start by explaining how long it takes to run 3 miles for people without any background in the running, followed by an average time to run three miles for professional athletes, and end with the world record for a 3-mile run.

Key Takeaways:

  • It takes 28-32 minutes for an average person to run 3 miles.
  • The average 3-mile run time depends on your speed, physical fitness, running level, gender, age, body shape, terrain, weather, altitude, elevation gain, ground cover, previous endurance sports experience, and stress level.
  • Setting realistic goals and gradually increasing distance and intensity help improve your 3-mile time.
  • Aiming for a consistent pace rather than a fast one can also lead to better results in a 3-mile run.
  • Consistent training, proper nutrition, and adequate rest are key factors in improving running performance. Incorporating endurance and strength training and a balanced diet can help you achieve a personal record on a 3-mile run.
  • 3 miles equals roughly 4.8280 km. However, the most common race distances are 5K or 5000 meters, approximately 3.1 miles.

Average 3-Mile Run Times at Various Fitness Levels

The time it takes for a person to run a particular distance depends on two determinants:

  1. Actual speed or pace
  2. The physical capabilities of an athlete to maintain this pace

With current speed, it is straightforward—the faster your run, the less time needed to complete three miles. See the table below for how long it takes to run 3 miles depending on the pace/speed:

(min for 1 mile)
Time to run 3 miles
Treadmill speed
(miles per hour)
13 39 4.62
12 36 5.00
11 33 5.45
10 30 6.00
9 27 6.67
8 24 7.50
7 21 8.57
6 18 10.00

However, the current fitness level is more challenging to measure, as no objective scale exists.
We all have different health conditions and previous sports experiences. However, there is an intangible definition in every runner's mind that we struggle to express—what is a good result for an average runner and what isn't even close. Here is the table for how long it should take to run 3 miles depending on the runner's experience and fitness level:

Quicker than XX% finishers Pace (min per 1 mile) Time to run 3 miles (min)
Healthy Person 25% 11-12 33-36
Beginner 50% ~10 28-32
Intermediate 80% 8-9 24-27
Advanced 90% <7:40 <23
World Record 99% 4:03-4:30 12:35-14:00

Data Source: Seven of the biggest 5k/3-mile races in the USA that had over 5,000 participants each took place in Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston, Philadelphia, and New York.

A group of healthy middle-aged runners jogging in the park.

#1 How Long Should It Take to Run 3 Miles For a Healthy Person

To calculate the average 3-mile time for a regular healthy person without previous professional sports experience, let's admit that a good result is getting into the top 75% of all racers by the finishing time. For instance, if there are 1,000 participants in a race, an ordinary healthy person takes 750th place, overtaking 250 runners who have, well, a lower level of fitness.

It takes a regular healthy person to run 3 miles between 33-36 minutes. This corresponds to an 11-12 minutes per mile pace or 5.00-5.45 miles per hour on a treadmill. This is a good result for someone who does some regular physical activities and hasn't intentionally prepared for a run.

Read also: How Long Should It Take to Run a Mile?

A very young kid is jogging on the road.

#2 How Long Does It Take a Beginner Runner to Run 3 Miles

Let's assume that a decent time for beginners will be overtaking half of the participants and getting in the top 50% of fastest runners in an average-sized race. In our example of the 1,000 participants' race, our novice runner would get to the 500th place by overtaking 500 other slower runners.

A beginner runner's average time to run 3 miles is between 28 and 32 minutes. It equals an average pace of about 10 minutes per mile or 6 miles per hour. This is a good result for somebody who jogs occasionally at a steady pace or does other endurance sports activities.

Read also: How Long Does It Take to Run 10K?

A man without a t-shirt is jogging on the road under the warm sun.

#3 The Average Time to Run 3 Miles For an Intermediate Runner

Suppose those average experienced runners overtake 80% of their rivals and get into 20% of the quickest athletes in a race. For example, in a 1,000-participant race, an average intermediate runner will get the 200th place or higher and overtake 800+ other athletes.

Thus, it takes 24-27 minutes for an average runner to run 3 miles. This amounts to a running pace of 8-9 minutes per mile or roughly 7 mph on a treadmill. It is a good result for experienced runners who train 2-3 times a week and run 15-20 miles weekly.

Read also: How Long Should It Take to Run a Half-Marathon?

A group of professional runners in the middle of the race.

#4 How Long It Takes to Run 3 Miles For Advanced Runners

Since professional athletes get into the top 10% of the finishers in every race, they leave 90% of the slower runners behind. For instance, if there were 1,000 runners in a race, advanced runners would overtake 900 and take at least 100th place in the results.

This way, a professional runner takes 19 to 23 minutes to complete a 3-mile race. It is a decent result for those who follow a training program, have a running goal in mind, and regularly complete at least 40 miles a week.

Please don't confuse professional athletes with elite runners who set world records. The latter compete for podium results and prize money and could make up 1% to 5% of the fastest runners in significant events.

Read also: How Long Does It Take to Run a Marathon?

Elite woman athletes are racing on a track.

#5 Effective World Records for 3.1-Mile Runs

According to World Athletics (formerly IAAF), no official 3-mile race or respective record exists. The closest ones, however, are 5k and 5,000m runs, which equal roughly 3.1 miles. The difference between 5k vs. 5,000m isn't apparent—it's the same distance. However, 5,000-meter races occur on an oval indoor or outdoor stadium, unlike 5k (5 km), which only happens outside.

Race Male Female
Outdoor 5k/5,000m 12:35
Joshua Cheptegei, UGA
Gudaf Tsegay, ETH
Indoor 5,000m 12:49
Kenenisa Bekele, ETH
Genzebe Dibaba, ETH


According to the table above, it takes 13-15 minutes for the world's best elite runners to complete 3 miles with a pace of over 5 minutes per mile, or more than 12 miles per hour.

Soldiers training in the camp under the senior commander's lead.

Average Time to Run 3 Miles vs. Navy Running Standards

Marathon races and all other running events usually split results into categories, at least by gender and age. We'll research official Navy Physical Readiness Test (PRT) requirements to estimate good 3-mile times by age and sex.

Notice: there is no 3-mile run standard according to PRT, so we'll use 1.5-mile time standards to estimate 3-mile times.

Years of
Male Female
Satisfactory Excellent Maximum Satisfactory Excellent Maximum
17-19 25 20 17 30 25 19
20-24 27 21 17 31 27 20
25-29 28 22 18 32 27 21
30-34 29 23 19 33 27 22
35-39 30 23 19 33 28 22
40-44 31 24 19 34 28 22


Top 10 Factors Affecting Your 3-Mile Run Time

The average 3-mile running times can vary because numerous factors and conditions impact your running form and performance on a given day.

#1 Body weight

Excess weight prevents you from running your best. Moreover, seasoned runners tend to have a lean body composition that makes them faster and more energy-efficient.

#2 Age and gender

Regardless of experience level in running, age, and gender are beyond our control and always impact our peak performance. Men have an unfair natural advantage in all endurance sports. So, an average man completes the 3-mile run 3-5 min faster than an average woman.

As we get older, our maximum oxygen levels (VO2 max) decrease and the entire body becomes less adjusted to set personal records. An average mid- and long-distance runner peaks in performance around 30-35 years old. However, recreational runners with a proper fitness routine can run a faster 3 miles later in their lives.

#3 Previous experiences with endurance sports

Those who build up their cardiovascular endurance with other sports, like cycling, swimming, or skiing, have the upper hand in running. It also works in the opposite way; if you can't run because of weather or an injury, cross-training helps maintain and develop your running form.

#4 Fatigue and energy level

Whether you had a rest day or a demanding workout the day before the race will significantly impact your performance on a 3-mile distance. Muscle soreness and overall body fatigue will prevent you from running your best. A good rule of thumb for recreational runners is to refrain from training a day before the race and do only aerobic exercises on the week of the race.

#5 Stress level and mental health during a run

Running a faster 3 miles will be a struggle when your head and body aren't aligned. Elevated stress levels increase heart rate, which limits our top performance.

#6 Training consistency and injuries

Consistent training and regular exercise are critical factors for a faster 3-mile time. Also, if you didn't have injuries in the past six months, you're much more prepared for the race mentally and physically.

#7 Overall health conditions and medications in-take

In the mid-size distances, like 3 miles, the heart is in the race as much as our legs. Heart health is essential for novice runners who haven't built their cardiovascular endurance yet. To gradually improve your heart health and decrease the risk of heart disease, it is recommended to start training at a slower pace or even a pace of walking.

Also, any medications that affect your heart rate can hold you back. However, if you have a medical condition or consume medications regularly, consult a physician before running.

#8 Pacing strategy and effort allocation

For a better 3-mile time, pace yourself in the race. The world records for 3 miles were set by athletes who maintained an even pace or ran the first half slightly slower than the final one.

On the other hand, a common mistake of recreational runners is giving their best right from the start and completing the race with the effort that is left. Use online pace calculators to set an attainable personal goal and estimate your target pace on a race day.

#9 Weather conditions

When running in extremely warm or cold, our body spends energy cooling down and warming up our vital temperature-sensitive body parts.

Extremely high and low humidity makes breathing difficult and decreases our body's oxygen level. With insufficient oxygen in the system, every step feels like an unusually high effort, forcing you to slow down.

So, the optimal weather for an ideal 3-mile race is 50-60°F (10-15°С) and 50-60% humidity with no wind.

#10 Conditions of the trail

Running in high-altitude mountains with less oxygen in the air is an additional stress factor to our body. Also, the elevation gain during the race can slow down. Finally, unsteady terrain, like sand or gravel, affects the energy return from the ground, preventing you from running faster.

Our Methodology

We analyzed the public results of seven recent 3-mile races throughout the US that had over 5,000 participants each and took place in Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Atlanta, Boston, Philadelphia, and New York.

Based on the gathered data, we defined what paces and times it takes to run 3 miles correspond to the four levels of running experience by admitting the following:

  1. Those who outperform 25% of the race are regular healthy people
  2. Those who are better by 50% are beginner runners demonstrating first results
  3. Those who overtake 80% are amateur runners in good shape
  4. Those who exceed 90% are professional athletes.

This article is a part of our "Average Running Time" series. For more information about the average time it takes to run different distances, see the other articles from the series:

Is running 3 miles in 30 minutes good?

Yes, 3 miles in 30 min or 10 min pace for a mile is a decent result for a regular healthy person and a running beginner. Keep running regularly, gradually increase your weekly mileage, and give a heads-up for better results soon!

Is running 3 miles in 45 minutes good?

This result is below the average and represents less than 10% of the 3-mile runners. It's great that you make it to the end. However, with 2-3 months of regular exercise, you can improve your running level and 3-mile time.

Is running 3 miles hard?

Not really. Every healthy person can complete a 3-mile run. Moreover, 3 miles is a typical daily walk distance for many people. So, you can run the distance, although preparing upfront and starting slow is recommended for a better result.

How many calories do you burn running 3 miles?

On average, you burn around 450 calories while jogging 3 miles. The faster you run and the more effort you put into it, the more calories you burn. Your speed or pace is the significant determinant here. However, your result also depends on height, weight, age, gender, overall physical fitness, running surface, and weather conditions.

How fast should you run a 3-mile by age?

There are no standards for 3-mile times by age or gender. Given the US Navy's Satisfactory Running Standards for a 1.5-mile run, the estimated recommended 3-mile time by age and sex are the following:

  • 25-30 minutes for 17-19 year-olds
  • 27-31 min for 20-24 y.o.
  • 28-32 min for 25-29 y.o.
  • 29-33 min for 30-34 y.o.
  • 30-33 min for 35-39 y.o.
  • 31-34 min for 40-44 y.o.
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Alex Roven
Alex Roven

I completed my first 10K on a dare. In a year, I ran a half-marathon. Another year later, I finished a marathon race. Today I run 4 marathons a year and a half-marathon every week. I learned everything about running the hard way. So, I help runners achieve better results easier.