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How Long Does it Take to Run 18 Miles? (Explained in Detail)

18 miles is a distance that is not specific to any sort of race. However, you will often find it in the training plans of advanced runners.

In this article, you will find out how long it takes to run 18 miles and you will find answers to the most common questions on this topic.

On average, it takes approximately 2 hours and 50 minutes to run 18 miles, which means that the average running pace is 9:27 minutes per mile. Numerous factors, such as age, sex, fitness level, experience, weather, and terrain will all affect the result.

Depending on the running pace, the table shows how long it takes to run 18 miles.

Minutes per mileMinutes per kilometer18 miles

You can use my running pace calculator to calculate the time it takes to run 18 miles running at a certain pace. You can also calculate how fast you will run if you run 18 miles in a certain amount of time.

how long does it take to run 18 miles

What is the average 18-mile time for beginners?

For beginners, the average 18-mile time is about 3 hours 30 minutes, which means that the average running pace is 11:40 minutes per mile.

Attempting to run 18 miles is generally not recommended for beginners.

Long-distance running, especially at such a high mileage, requires a strong cardiovascular system, well-conditioned muscles, and proper training to prevent injuries.

Beginners should focus on gradually increasing their mileage through a structured training plan, allowing their bodies to adapt to the physical demands of running.

Most beginner training programs, like Couch to 5K or similar plans, start with shorter distances and gradually increase the mileage over several weeks.

These programs are designed to help beginners build endurance and strength safely, reducing the risk of injuries.

Read more: Couch to 5K Training Plan (FREE PDF)

5K training plan for beginners

Jumping straight to 18 miles without the necessary training and experience can lead to overuse injuries, and exhaustion, and can be detrimental to both physical and mental well-being.

It’s crucial for beginners to set realistic goals, work on their running form, and gradually increase their mileage under the guidance of a proper training plan and, if possible, a coach or experienced runner.

If you are a beginner, you might not be able to run the whole 18 miles continuously without stopping. In that case, combine running and walking segments.

For example, your training session can consist of 8 alternations between 3 minutes of running and 2 minutes of walking.

Gradually reduce your walking segments and increase your run time.

You must listen to your body and be patient. In time, your fitness level will only get better and better.


If you are a beginner, walk breaks are a useful training method that will help you build your fitness. Over time, you will build enough endurance and you will no longer need walk breaks.

Read more: Is It Bad To Take Walk Breaks During A Run?

Why is it good to take walk breaks during training

What is the average 18-mile time for intermediate runners?

For intermediate runners, the average 18-mile time is about 2 hours 10 minutes, which means that the average running pace is 7:13 minutes per mile.

Intermediate runners usually run 18 miles as a long run workout.

What is a good average 18-mile time?

Most runners think that a good 18-mile time is everything under 2 hours (average running pace 6:40 minutes per mile.

Good 18-mile time depends on numerous factors, such as age, sex, fitness level, experience, time, and terrain on which you run.

It is difficult to give a precise answer because it varies from person to person.

For someone, a good 18-mile time will be 1 hour 50 minutes, while another runner will be unhappy with that result.

A good 18-mile time is the result you will be happy with.


Don’t compare yourself to others. Everyone is different. Follow your results and push your boundaries. Enjoy running and progress gradually to train without injury because that’s most important.

Is it good to run 18 miles every day?

Running 18 miles every day is not recommended due to the high risk of overuse injuries, muscle fatigue, mental burnout, and imbalanced training.

Adequate rest, recovery, and a well-rounded training plan are essential for overall fitness and injury prevention.

However, if you want to improve your running skills, it is not good to run 18 miles every day.

You must have complete rest at least one day a week to reduce the risk of injury and the occurrence of overtraining.

Likewise, if you want to progress, you have to put your body under different kinds of strain by doing different workouts.

Read more: Different Types of Runs + 12 Workout Examples

Different Types of Runs

How hard is it to run 18 miles?

Running 18 miles is very challenging, requiring significant endurance and training.

It’s demanding for both beginners and experienced runners and requires proper preparation, pacing, and mental strength.

Is 18 miles a lot to run?

Yes, running 18 miles is considered a significant distance for most people.

It’s a challenging long-distance run that requires substantial endurance and training.

Is it possible to run 18 miles without training?

Running 18 miles without training is not advisable for most people.

Without proper training, the risk of injury, exhaustion, and muscle strain significantly increases.

Training prepares your body for the physical demands of long-distance running, helping to build endurance and reduce the risk of overuse injuries.

 It’s important to follow a structured training plan before attempting such a distance.

How many calories do you burn by running 18 miles?

Running 18 miles will burn you on average of about 1800 calories.

The exact number of calories spent while running 18 miles depends on the weight and fitness of the runners, their pace, the terrain they run on, and the weather conditions.

The heavier you are, the more calories you will burn because you have to carry more weight and work harder to run the same distance at the same pace.


According to the calories burned running calculator, a runner who weighs 80 kg will spend approximately 2472 calories by running 18 miles at a pace of 10:00 minutes per mile, while a 60 kg runner will spend approximately 1854 calories.

Read more: How Heavy Is Too Heavy to Run? (17 Tips for Heavy Runners)

How to run 18 miles without stopping?

To run 18 miles continuously, without stopping, follow this advice:

  • Initially, combine running and walking segments
  • Gradually shorten your walking segments and run longer
  • Train at least 3 times a week
  • Take at least 1 day off between workouts
  • Don’t think about pace, listen to your body
  • Run at a conversational pace at which you can say a full sentence while running without exhausting yourself

How many steps is 18 miles?

It takes approximately 40500 steps to walk 18 miles, and approximately 31500 steps to run 18 miles.

To calculate an accurate figure, you need to consider several different factors, such as gender, height, weight, stride length, and pace of walking or running.

For example, a shorter person will have to take many more steps to cover the same distance, unlike a taller person.

You can use a calculator to determine exactly how many steps you have taken in 18 miles of walking or running.

The study calculated the average number of steps that need to be taken per mile while walking or running.

The table shows an overview of the steps required to cross 18 miles at a given speed.

MilesAverage walk
20:00 min/mi
12:26 min/km
Brisk walk
5:00 min/mi
9:19 min/km
10:00 min/mi
6:13 min/km
Fast run
8:00 min/mi
4:58 min/km
12252 steps per mile1935 steps per mile1672 steps per mile1400 steps per mile
1820268 steps per mile17415 steps per mile15048 steps per mile12600 steps per mile

How to train for 18 miles?

Training for an 18-mile run requires a structured and progressive approach.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you train effectively and safely:

1. Assess Your Fitness Level

Evaluate your current fitness level and running experience.

Be honest about your abilities and any past injuries.

2. Set a Training Schedule

Create a training plan that spans several weeks, gradually increasing mileage and intensity.

A typical training cycle for a beginner might be 12-16 weeks long.

3. Weekly Running Schedule

One workout a week should be a very easy run with strides at the end.

This way you will add speed to your workout, and you will be more prepared for the next more intense workout.

Then the second and third workouts of the week should be fartlek training, intervals, or tempo runs.

 If you train 3 times a week then one day a week you should do one of these 3 types of training.

The fourth workout of the week should be a long run.

The long run will improve your endurance and resistance to fatigue.

Take at least one day off between workouts.

It is also important to do strength training at least 2 times a week.

Aside from preventing injuries, strength training will also help you build muscles that are required for you to maintain proper running form, making you a more efficient runner.

Long run workout examples

4. Nutrition and Hydration

Pay attention to your nutrition, ensuring you’re getting enough carbohydrates for energy and protein for muscle repair.

Stay well-hydrated, especially during long runs.

5. Gradual Mileage Increase

Increase your mileage by no more than 10% each week to prevent overuse injuries.

Respect the taper period before your event, where you reduce mileage to allow your body to rest and recover.

6. Strength Training and Stretching

Incorporate strength training exercises focusing on your legs, core, and overall body.

This helps improve your overall fitness and prevents injuries.

Regularly stretch to improve flexibility and reduce muscle tightness.

7. Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to any signs of fatigue, pain, or overtraining.

Rest and recovery are as crucial as training.

8. Gear and Shoes

Invest in a good pair of running shoes that fit well and provide proper support.

Wear appropriate clothing for the weather conditions.

Consider moisture-wicking fabrics to keep you dry and comfortable.

9. Practice Nutrition During Long Runs

Train your body to take in fuel and hydration during long runs.

Experiment with energy gels, chews, or sports drinks to find what works best for you.

10. Mental Preparation

Mental strength is vital. Practice positive visualization and mental toughness strategies to stay focused during challenging moments.

11. Rest and Recovery

Don’t underestimate the power of rest and sleep.

Your body needs time to recover and rebuild after intense workouts.

12. Seek Support

Consider joining a running group or finding a training partner for motivation and accountability.

Remember, consistency is key. Stick to your training plan, stay patient, and don’t push yourself too hard too soon.

If you’re unsure about creating a training plan, consider consulting a running coach who can tailor a plan specifically for you.


Matea Matošević

Hi, I’m Matea! I’m an Olympic Marathon Runner, founder, and writer behind OLYRUN.com. On this site, I provide help in the form of my knowledge and experience to all who love running and active living. Read more…