Running is a great way to get cardio and improve your heart health.
Of course, one of the hardest things about committing to a running routine is fitting it into your schedule.
To fit a run into your schedule, you will need to know how much time it will take you to complete your run.
As you build up endurance, a solid goal is to run three miles a couple of days a week.
However, how long should you expect that to take?
How Long Does It Take To Run Three Miles?
It takes 30 to 45 minutes for the average person to run three miles.
If you’re a beginner, start where you are physically and build up gradually until you get to that point.
You will be amazed to see your progress after six months or a year if you remain consistent.
For comparison, the world record for four miles is 17:10, and the world record for five miles is 22:05.
Don’t feel bad if you aren’t finishing with times that indicate a running pace.
It’s extremely difficult to maintain a consistent pace for three miles.
As you get winded, you may find yourself losing momentum.
People may run the first mile in 10 minutes then slow down and run the second mile in 12 minutes and the third mile in 15 minutes, leading to a total of 37 minutes for the full three miles
Generally speaking, people consider two to three miles per hour a normal walking pace, four to five mph a speedwalking or jogging pace, and five or more mph a running pace.
Assuming a steady pace, we cover how long it takes to run three miles at different paces:
- 2 mph: 90 minutes
- 3 mph: 60 minutes
- 4 mph: 45 minutes
- 5 mph: 36 minutes
- 6 mph: 30 minutes
- 7 mph: 26 minutes
- 8 mph: 23 minutes
- 9 mph: 20 minutes
Increasing Your Three-Mile Speed
We all start somewhere.
The goal is not to be a speedster right off the bat.
The goal is to grow with time, improving your heart health and self-confidence in the process.
Start by setting yourself up for success by getting the right gear.
Get shoes that fit perfectly and provide significant resistance to prevent damage to your feet and knees.
You also want to get breathable clothes that allow you to move.
The clothing must also be appropriate for the weather and later when you start to sweat and get hot.
Finally, use music to inspire you on your run and a heart monitor to ensure that you don’t run to the point of putting yourself at risk.
Go on your first run by yourself, with another beginner, or with an understanding experienced runner who will stay with you at your pace.
Pick a location that tracks your progress, such as a gym with a track or an outdoor trail with mile markers.
Indoor facilities may be the best option in the winter, but outdoor conditions give you more privacy.
Plus, the scenery can help distract you and encourage you to keep going, especially if there’s a pretty waterfall or creek at the end of the trail.
Always stretch before you run.
Stretching will help ensure you don’t hurt yourself.
As running works out your leg muscles more than anything, most of your stretches should emphasize stretching your legs.
Stretch both your lower legs and upper legs.
Three miles is an ambitious goal, so run as far as you can during your first run.
Don’t be down on yourself if you don’t feel proud of your first results.
Write your results in an app or a small notebook specifically designed to record your running progress.
If you aren’t ready to share your results with other people, that’s okay.
Keep it to yourself at first until you are ready to share with others.
Give yourself one day to recover and then go for another run.
Continue to run every other day, recording the results.
After a couple of weeks, you should see progress in how far and how fast you run.
Eventually, you will feel more confident.
You will then be able to share your results with other people via running apps and talking with people at the gym, becoming part of the running community.
You may also be able to run every day instead of every other day once your body gets used to the stress.
Benefits Of Running
There are many benefits of running that may help you find motivation when you just don’t feel like it on a particular day.
1. Cardiovascular Health
Heart disease is the largest cause of death for adults in the entire world.
When the heart has to work hard to pump blood throughout your body, it suffers from unnecessary strain.
At a certain point, the heart will experience so much strain that it just stops in the form of a heart attack.
When you force your heart to work at a faster rate, your heart will learn to work that hard in the future, preventing attacks.
As a cardiovascular exercise, running strengthens the heart by putting it under good stress.
In fact, medical experts suggest that people who start running regularly reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 55%.
In order to have a positive impact, you need to exercise to the point that it puts your heart rate into your personal target zone.
You will not reach your target heart rate by walking.
You will need to pick up the pace if you notice yourself moving slowly during your first couple of attempts.
It’s okay to run in bursts as you adjust to running.
Run at a speed that puts you at your target heart rate for as long as you can.
Once you stop, walk to cool down and then pick up the pace again.
Continue to do this until you learn how to maintain a steady pace.
Start slow if you want to keep a steady pace.
If you start at a sprinting pace, you will lose momentum more quickly than if you start at a more slow and steady pace.
Of course, you don’t want to put your heart under too much stress.
You should not run to the point that you reach a dangerous heart rate.
Your maximum heart rate is the absolute fastest your heart should beat at any time.
You can calculate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220.
For someone 20 years old, they should not exceed a maximum heart rate of 200 beats per minute (bpm).
You don’t want to reach your maximum heart rate, though.
For a moderate workout, you want to remain between 50 and 70% of your maximum heart rate.
For a 20-year-old, this means a range of 100 to 140 bpm.
For a vigorous workout, you want to remain between 70 and 85% of your maximum heart rate.
For a 20-year-old, this means 140 to 170 bpm.
Running will get you moving.
Not only will you use your leg muscles and your glute muscles, but you’ll also strengthen your core and your arms.
Using these muscles regularly will make it easier to use them in everyday activities.
3. Weight Management
Running burns calories as long as you run fast enough.
The number of calories burned during a run also depends on your current weight.
For example, a person who is 120 pounds will burn an average of 114 calories when running a 10-minute mile.
A person who is 180 pounds will burn an average of 180 calories when running a 10-minute mile.
Be careful not to focus on the calories too much.
It’s much more valuable to focus on overall health.
Don’t hurt yourself to burn a certain amount of calories.
When you do start to lose weight, it will contribute to your heart health even more since less weight means less strain on the heart.
4. Self Confidence
Losing weight isn’t only good for the heart.
It’s good for the soul.
You will feel good about how you look when you start seeing the effects of your running on your body.
You will have more confidence when you talk to people professionally and personally, which can even open new doors for you.
Even if you aren’t worried about your weight, running allows you to accomplish something.
You will gain confidence as you watch yourself slowly progress and get better at running.
Risks While Running
Generally speaking, running is great cardio for healthy people.
However, like any physical activity, there are some risks involved.
One major risk runners experience involves bad knees and foot injuries.
You put your body through significant trauma when you run, causing the injuries.
To prevent the problem, use running shoes designed to absorb shock while your run and stretch before you run.
It can be easy to get distracted when running or push yourself to the point where you feel faint or lose your footing.
These situations can lead to injuries, such as a sprain or a broken leg.
Finally, running can lead to heart problems if you run to the point that it puts you into cardiac arrest.
Start slow and build up gradually to avoid injuries and health conditions from running.
Furthermore, you should learn how your body performs and stop when you feel yourself losing control as you run.
You should also be sure to feed your body appropriately and keep yourself hydrated to avoid injury.
Drink water and eat nutrients, especially protein, before you go for a run.
Continue to drink water during and after your run as your muscles require water to recover.
Proper nutrition will also give you the energy to run further and faster than if you run on an empty stomach.
While everyone deserves a treat from time to time, moderation is key.
Some people with certain medical conditions should not run without taking special precautions.
Talk to your doctor before starting a running regiment if you have heart disease, diabetes, or kidney disease.
Treadmill Vs. Traditional Running
There are two main ways to get your running cardio in: running on a stationary treadmill or running traditionally on a track or a trail.
Treadmills typically offer shock resistance to protect your knees and feet better than conventional running.
Treadmills also give you numerous features that allow you to control your runs, such as inclines and preloaded programs designed for different health goals.
However, when running on a treadmill, you are stuck looking at the other people in the gym and breathing the heavy air.
Running outdoors may not be as consistent as a treadmill, especially if you aren’t familiar with the particular trail.
It’s also harder on your body.
However, you also get the benefits of the fresh air and the beautiful scenery, which makes it all worth it.
Finding Motivation To Run
All of us have the best intentions when we plan to start running.
However, it can be difficult to find and maintain motivation to turn good intentions into a reality.
Follow these tips to get motivation for your running routine.
1. Start Today
Don’t say that you will start running tomorrow or after the holidays or after work isn’t so hectic.
Start your day off with a run or fit it in after school or work.
If it’s too late to run outside and you don’t have access to a gym, run in place at home and then go for a real run tomorrow.
Getting started is the hardest part.
Once you get used to running, it will require less effort to get started next time, but you need to get started.
2. Set Realistic Goals
You may discourage yourself if you set unrealistic goals too early.
Instead of focusing on a particular distance or time, focus on just running at first.
Make small goals, such as speedwalking for 30 minutes three times a week.
When you learn to fit exercise into your schedule, that’s an accomplishment in and of itself.
3. Reward Yourself
When you accomplish your goals, reward yourself.
Don’t reward yourself with high-calorie treats if your goals involve weight loss.
However, you can treat yourself to a bubble bath or a new workout outfit when you reach certain goals.
4. Make Running Fun
Some of us get bored while running.
Make the experience more entertaining by watching television or listening to high-energy music while exercising.
You can also make running more fun by running in gorgeous locations, such as different forest preserves and national parks.
Finally, sometimes, exercise is better when you include other people, such as your friends or your dog.
Fitting Running Into Your Schedule
Most people argue that running three miles doesn’t fit into their schedule.
It’s simply not true.
When you prioritize something, you can make it fit into your schedule.
Including time to stretch and shower, you will need about 45 – 60 minutes for your run.
Here are some tips on how to fit running into your schedule.
1. Wake Up Earlier
The easiest way to fit running into your schedule is to wake up earlier.
Instead of waking up at 7:00 a.m., wake up at 6:00 a.m. and complete a morning run.
Many people find that running gives them more energy for the rest of the day.
2. Incorporate Running Into Play Time
For the parents out there, run when you take the kids to the park.
If you don’t have access to a trail where you can keep an eye on the kids, run while playing and bonding with the kids, even if you have to be “it” during tag for a majority of the play date.
3. Run When Walking The Dog
You need to walk the dog anyway.
Go for a run with your dog, as long as your dog enjoys the activity and you both run at a safe pace for each other.
4. Fit Running Into Your Schedule On Your Least Busy Days
We all have days packed from morning to night with almost no wiggle room.
Plan accordingly by running on the days that offer you a little more flexibility.
Proper planning can make all the difference.