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How Long Does it Take to Run 20 Miles? (Explained in Detail)

Running 20 miles is a challenging feat, demanding both physical endurance and mental strength.

Reaching the 20-mile mark signifies not just a distance covered, but a personal victory, showcasing your resilience and passion for running.

In this article, you will find out how long it takes to run 20 miles and you will find answers to the most common questions on this topic.

The average time to run 20 miles is around 3 hours 20 minutes, which means that the average running pace is 10:00 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 20 miles.

Minutes per mileMinutes per kilometer20 miles

You can use my running pace calculator to calculate the time it takes to run 20 miles running at a certain pace.

You can also calculate how fast you will run if you run 20 miles in a certain amount of time.

how long does it take to run 20 miles

What is the average 20-mile run time for beginners?

For beginners, the average 20-mile time is about 3 hours 50 minutes, which means that the average running pace is 11:30 minutes per mile.

Factors such as terrain, weather, elevation, and the runner’s overall health and fitness level play a significant role in determining the time it takes to complete the distance.

It’s important to note that beginners, especially those new to long-distance running, should focus on completing the distance rather than speed.

Beginners might not be able to run the whole time continuously without stopping. In that case, they should combine running and walking segments.

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 20-mile run time for intermediate runners?

For intermediate runners, the average 20-mile time is about 2 hours 18 minutes, which means that the average running pace is 6:54 minutes per mile.

Intermediate runners usually run 20 miles as a part of the long run.

What is a good time for a 20-mile run?

Most runners think that a good 20-mile time is everything under 2 hours 30 minutes (average running pace 7:30 minutes per mile). Good 20-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 20-mile time will be 2 hours 15 minutes, while another runner will be unhappy with that result.

A good 20-mile time is a 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 running 20 miles a day good?

Running 20 miles a day is not good for beginners or for those prone to injury. Also, if you want to improve your running skills then it is not recommended even for experienced runners.

It is necessary to 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.

Running 20 miles a day is extremely demanding and may lead to overuse injuries and mental fatigue.


Is running 20 miles a week enough?

Running 20 miles a week can be a sufficient and healthy level of exercise for many individuals.

It aligns with the general aerobic exercise guidelines recommended by health organizations.

However, the adequacy of this mileage depends on your fitness goals, overall physical activity, and individual health conditions.

For maintaining cardiovascular health and general fitness, 20 miles per week is a good target.

It provides substantial benefits, including improved endurance and overall well-being.

If your goal is weight loss, this amount of running, combined with a balanced diet, can contribute significantly to your efforts.

However, if you’re training for a marathon or another long-distance race, you might need to increase your mileage gradually to prepare adequately.

It’s essential to balance your training with proper rest, recovery, and other forms of exercise for a well-rounded fitness routine.

Is running 20 miles hard?

Running 20 miles can be challenging, even for experienced runners.

The difficulty varies based on factors like fitness level, terrain, weather, and mental preparedness.

For beginners, it’s a substantial distance that demands proper training, pacing, and mental resilience.

With adequate preparation and determination, many runners find it achievable, but it is unquestionably a challenging feat.

how to run without stopping

How can I run 20 miles without stopping?

To run 20 miles continuously, without stopping, follow these tips:

  • 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 calories does a 20-mile run burn?

Running 20 miles will burn you an average of about 2000 calories. The exact number of calories spent while running 20 miles depends on the runner’s weight and fitness level, 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 180 lbs will spend approximately 2800 calories by running 20 miles at a pace of 10:00 min/mi, while a 130 lbs runner will spend approximately 2022 calories.

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

How many steps is 20 miles?

It takes approximately 42000 steps to walk 20 miles, and approximately 30000 steps to run 20 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 it takes to walk or run 20 miles.

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 20 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
2045040 steps per mile38700 steps per mile33440 steps per mile28000 steps per mile
Different Types of Runs

How to train for 20 miles?

If you want to run 20 miles, you should combine different types of training.

You should train 3 to 4 times a week and make sure to recover adequately.

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.

What is fartlek training

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


Fartlek training is great for both beginners and advanced runners because of its adaptability. One of the main benefits of fartlek training is that you run on feeling, without thinking about pace. This way you will break the monotony in your workout and add speed without too much stress.

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.


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…