Exercise! - Walking speed question

View Full Version : Walking speed question

03-14-2008, 01:06 AM
Hey there, I have recently started walking for exercise, increasing distance slowly, I do 1 mile in just under 20 minutes,(18-19 mins usually) so by my best figure I am walking about 3mph (and pushing a stroller) my question is about the speed. is 3mph a decent speed to be walking? or average? or should I try and pick up the pace a bit? I don't know why I have become concerned with the speed, but I am so I figured I would post it up.

As Ever

03-14-2008, 01:51 AM
If a mile is what you can do, that's what you can do.

Calorie-wise, you're better off working to go farther at this speed than trying to go faster over the same mile.

03-14-2008, 07:44 AM
I think 3 mph is a great pace to start, but as you continue walking, yes, you can up your pace a bit, which usually happens naturally as you get in better and better shape. Gradually increase distance and speed - to maybe 4 mph (or even 4.5 which is quite brisk) and maybe up to one hour a day.

Keep truckin'!

03-14-2008, 07:54 AM
I don't think you should try to up your speed unless you really feel comfortable. After a year or more of walking I still feel the most comfortable with about 3 MPH. I find that when I try to go faster I end up doing less over all. So like if I go 3.3 I quit 2 minutes earlier. But if I go 3.0, I do the entire time or more. I also suspect that I am burning about the same. I think going slower might be less efficient (legs don't swing by each other with momentum from the speed) so it burns about the same as putting more effort in but being more efficient -- momentum of speed and legs and arms working in tandem.

03-14-2008, 08:25 AM
3 mph is a perfectly fine speed to be walking. Especially if you're just starting out. You may start walking faster as time goes on, but I'd suggest as a previous poster has that you walk for a longer period of time if you wanted to do more.

My experience is this, I walk about 3 mph on a treadmill. But, I've been increasing the incline slowly so that I'm working my body without having to move faster.

You could also try different terrain. Walking on a sidewalk is different from trail walking, etc. (But the stroller would present different problems there :lol:)

03-14-2008, 10:28 AM
I think 3 mph is a great pace to start, but as you continue walking, yes, you can up your pace a bit, which usually happens naturally as you get in better and better shape. Gradually increase distance and speed - to maybe 4 mph (or even 4.5 which is quite brisk) and maybe up to one hour a day.

Keep truckin'!

For me 4.5 is not quite brisk....it is jogging, LOL. It must be cause I have short legs so they have to move faster than most people, I don't know. I just have a much smaller stride.

Hat Trick
03-14-2008, 04:51 PM
SS81 -- I'm like you. 4.5 is my MAX for walking and yes, it's brisk. Anything over that is a jog till about 5.2, then it's a run. Us shorties walk like weiner dog's cause we're so close to the ground! I'm so short I once came out of a concert surrounded by the crowd and didn't even know it was snowing for a full 5 minutes. I was warm though. :D

03-15-2008, 12:46 PM
3mph while pushing a stroller is a very good pace! In my experience, most people get a little faster over time, as they get more fit, and it doesn't really pay to worry about it unless you're thinking about going into race-walking or something. :) Increasing your distance or time will do much more for your health.

03-15-2008, 03:16 PM
Hi, everyone. I am not a regular on this board but I was intrigued by the question. I just had a discussion about this on another board.

It has been my experience, like Mayness says, that as you lose weight and get more fit you will be able to go further and/or faster. It always depends on what your goal is. I use the cardio portion of a book called Fit For Life by Bill Phillips. My favorite quote from the book is: "Many "fitness experts" recommend that as soon as you can exercise for 30 minutes "comfortably," you should increase to 40 minutes, Then 60. Then 90...What's the objective, to eventually work out all day?" So he designed a program that lets you workout for 20 minutes at a time but with increasing intensity.

The book gives you a 20-minute interval cardio program. Meaning you walk/run for one minute at a moderate pace and every minute for four minutes you up your pace. The fourth minute you are kind of pushing yourself. But remember this is only for one minute. You do this for 20 minutes. As you continue to work out your old moderate pace will become slow to you. At this point you need to up your moderate pace. You will actually start to go further in those twenty minutes.

I started out walking 2.7-2.9-3.1-3.3 MPH on a treadmill 2 months ago. Now I am doing 3.6-3.9-4.3-4.6. The 4.3 is a slow jog and 4.6 a little faster but I'm doing it for two straight minutes. I usually adjust my pace after 2-3 weeks.

Remember you are working out at your pace and you will get faster as you lose weight and get more fit. Good luck.:hug:

03-15-2008, 05:15 PM
Actually the 4.5 for me is the MAX walk speed on treadmill... just shy of jogging. But also notice that Botzz is over 1 FOOT TALLER than all of us. So, I would say for a person at that height, easing the speed up to 4 or so. I agree 4.5 is a little fast! I walk with a girlfriend of mine who walks sooo fast that I have to jog every few minutes to keep up with her. We are the same height, but she is in much better shape than I am (does lots of running and other stuff that I don't do).

03-16-2008, 04:57 PM
Botzz, you're doing a great job for a beginner-walker, and I'm sure you'll improve a lot!

I've been heavy all my adult life (BMI 27-32) but I've also WALKED a lot my whole life (I'm European, and even after I came to the US - 2 years ago - I found I can make it without a car :). I simply can't walk slower than 3.5, and even that feels strange. My usual speed is 3.7, and on the treadmill I never go below 4. But it really feels like a workout - I sweat after 2-3 miles. I've also always lived in hilly places, and I think that has developed my endurance and strength.

I've also walked in HILLY neighborhoods pushing a heavy stroller and I still kept just below 4 mph, but I sweated more :) So it's really doable, you just have to keep going! You'll feel improvement week after week.

03-16-2008, 06:58 PM
You can also push your speed until you reach a certain near milestone (the next mailbox, a tree, a driveway) -as opposed to doing it for a whole minute - and then drop back to a comfortable speed. You will find that your comfortable speed gets faster.

03-16-2008, 11:24 PM
I walk at 4.5 on the treadmill, but that usually gets me to break a light sweat (which is my goal). If I want just a relaxed, non-cardio walk, I generally go for 4 or so.