If you would like to train as efficiently as possible, without accumulating unnecessary miles, choose a Training Plan for Runners.

How Long Does it Take to Run 26 Miles? (Explained in Detail)

26 miles is a distance that is not specific to the race, but you can find it in the training plan of experienced runners.

In this article, you will find out how long it takes to run 26 miles and you will find answers to the most common questions on this topic.

The average time to run 26 miles is around 4 hours and 10 minutes, which means that the average running pace is 9:37 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 26 miles.

Minutes per mileMinutes per kilometer26 miles

You can use my running pace calculator to calculate the time it takes to run 26 miles at a certain pace.

You can also calculate how fast you will run if you run 26 miles in a certain amount of time.

how long does it take to run 26 miles

What is the average 26-mile run time for beginners?

For beginners, the average 26-mile time is about 4 hours 52 minutes, which means that the average running pace is 11:14 minutes per mile.

Attempting to run 26 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.

Couch to 5K training plan

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

Jumping straight to 26 miles without the necessary training and experience can lead to overuse injuries, exhaustion.

Also, it 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.

Beginners should follow a structured training plan and, if possible, consult with a coach.

If you are a beginner, you might not be able to run the whole 26 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 26-mile run time for advanced runners?

For advanced runners, the average 26-mile time is about 2 hours 56 minutes, which means that the average running pace is 6:46 minutes per mile.

What is a good time for a 26-mile run?

Most runners think that a good 26-mile time is everything under 3 hours 24 minutes (7:51 minutes per mile).

Good 26-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.

A good 26-mile time will be 3 hours for someone, while another runner will be unhappy with that result.

A good 26-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.

How hard is it to run 26 miles?

Running 26 miles is very challenging, requiring significant endurance and training.

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

Different Types of Runs

Is it good to run 26 miles every day?

Running 26 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 26 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

Is it possible to run 26 miles without training?

Running 26 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.

Is running 26 miles a day a lot?

Yes, running 26 miles is considered a significant distance for most people.

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

How many calories does running 26 miles burn?

Running 26 miles will burn you an average of about 2600 calories.

The exact number of calories spent while running 26 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 3640 calories by running 26 miles at a pace of 10:00 minutes per mile, while a 130 lbs runner will spend approximately 2630 calories.

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

How to run 26 miles without stopping?

To run 26 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 steps is 26 miles?

It takes approximately 56000 steps to walk 26 miles, and approximately 41000 steps to run 26 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 26 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 26 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
2658552 steps per mile50310 steps per mile43472 steps per mile36400 steps per mile

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…