Average 3 Mile Time: A Quick Beginner’s Guide

Did you know that runners drank champagne to enhance their performance in the Victorian era?

Well, times have changed. But running remains one of the most advantageous cardio exercises to include in your fitness routine. Besides helping you lose weight fast, it boosts your mental health and builds endurance and stamina.

If you plan to kickstart your running journey soon, three miles is a good distance, to begin with.

Most runners have an average 3 mile time of 29 minutes. As a beginner, you might take up to 40 minutes to run 3 miles, but you can gradually increase your running speed with time and cover the same distance in half an hour.

This easy guide looks into everything you should know about running 3 miles as a novice runner. 

Read on to learn the difference between you and experienced runners, the factors influencing your running speed, and what you can do to enjoy running three miles non-stop.

Average 3 Mile Time: Beginner Vs. Elite Runners

Your experience level ultimately affects the average time you take to run 3 miles or a particular distance, whether you’re doing the exercise outdoors or on the treadmill.

The thing is, if you’re new to the game, you’re likely to struggle to pace yourself, despite being in good shape. This means you could cover your first mile effortlessly but burn out when running the remaining distance. Eventually, you’ll have to slow down and consume more time to finish your 3-mile run.

On the other hand, most experienced runners have mastered the art of pacing themselves. They can maintain the same running speed and save enough energy to hit three miles in 25-29 minutes.

That doesn’t mean you’re doomed as a beginner runner, though. Here are some practical tips for pacing yourself and minimizing your average 3-mile time.

Start Slow

Most new runners are eager to start out too fast when running 3 miles. If you’re in that lot, you’re making a big mistake that probably hinders you from pacing yourself properly. 

It’s advisable to start slow when running because it serves as a warm-up, increasing your endurance and capability to complete your run with minimal muscle fatigue.

A comfortable pace of roughly 10-15 minutes is ideal at the beginning of your 3-mile run. In addition to helping you pace yourself, a slow start enables you to avoid injury.

Use the Treadmill

Some runners dislike treadmill running because it’s less interesting than running outdoors. But it might be what you need to learn to maintain a particular running pace during your 3-mile run.

The treadmill allows you to set a specific pace and use it until you complete a 3-mile distance. With more practice, you’ll get better at pacing yourself, improving your average 3-mile time. 

Train Your Breathing

Focusing on your breath can also help you pace yourself and reduce your average 3-mile time in the long run. The key is to get in tune with your inhales and exhales to notice when your breathing changes, indicating an increase in speed. 

As a new runner, expect labored breathing at the beginning of your 3-mile run—you lack training, so your cardiovascular system is still trying to adjust.

But as your running journey progresses, try to take relaxed breaths every 3-4 minutes to cover a 3-mile distance in the least time possible running at the same pace.

If you notice an increase in your breathing rate, slow down or walk to reduce it. After a while, you should be able to maintain a particular pace throughout your run.

Improve Your Endurance and Stamina

One of the major differences between a beginner and a professional runner is that the latter has stamina and endurance. This gives them the physical and mental strength to effortlessly run three miles at the same pace without giving in to the stresses of the cardio exercise.

Here are some ways to increase endurance and stamina as a new runner to pace yourself and improve your average three-mile time.

  • Start slow, and take smaller steps instead of larger ones.
  • Strength training at least twice a week.
  • Eat more protein to repair torn muscles and maintain your muscle mass.
  • Be consistent.
  • Minimize running boredom by seeking company, running three miles in new areas, and listening to your favorite podcasts.

Other Factors Affecting Your Average 3-Mile Time

Your experience level is not the only aspect that impacts your average running speed to determine how long you take to run 3 miles.

These variables also impact the time an average person takes to run three miles:

Overall Physical Fitness

Beginner runners with a high fitness level can run 3 miles faster than unfit ones, thanks to their body’s better capability to deliver much-needed oxygen to their muscles. 

Thankfully, runners with a low fitness level can lose weight with more practice and improve their average 3-mile time.

Weather Conditions

The weather also determines how slow or fast you run 3 miles.

For example, running 3 miles in a humid or hot environment increases your average 3-mile time. This is because some blood flows to your skin to keep you cool instead of your muscles, slowing you down. 

In winter, or cold weather, you can run 3 miles at a faster running pace because your body doesn’t overheat, and your muscles receive enough oxygen.


Men are faster than women because they have more muscle mass, fuller testosterone stores, and are stronger. This means they can complete a 3-mile run faster and in fewer minutes than their female counterparts.

But sometimes, a female runner may boast a faster running pace than a man if they’re a fitter with a higher skill level.

How to Run 3 Miles Without Stopping

Running 3 miles non-stop is always tricky for most beginner runners because they lack adequate endurance, and their aerobic systems are not used to running such a distance.

Still, these hacks can enable you to run 3 miles without stopping.

Warm Up

Warming up can help complete a 3-mile run without stopping because it increases blood flow to your muscles, preparing them for the exercise.

Stretching for at least five minutes is a great warm-up before running 3 miles.

Other easy warm-up exercises include arm circles, mountain climbers, and leg swings.

Get Enough Sleep

Rest is essential because it gives your muscles enough time to recover and improves your endurance and running performance. Ultimately, this allows you to run 3 miles without any breaks.

Runners should sleep for 7-9 hours every night.

If you run 3 miles and strength train on the same day, up to ten hours of sleep are recommended.

Wear Comfy Running Shoes

A comfortable pair of running shoes enables you to run a longer distance non-stop. Besides, it minimizes your risk of injury and prevents blisters that could negatively affect your running journey.

The ideal running shoes have superior cushioning to maximize your comfort. In addition, they are flexible but stable, breathable, and provide good arch support to improve posture and balance.

Running 3 Miles Every Day

Most people with an average running pace of 9:20 minutes per mile can run 12 laps around the track in 28-29 minutes. This might be challenging as a beginner, but you can achieve it by running regularly and maintaining a healthy diet.

If you want to improve your average 3-mile time, run daily to boost your stamina, and increase your running speed. You can take one rest day per week to allow your damaged muscle tissues to recover as you prepare to run three miles again.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is three miles a long run?

Typically, long runs are between 5 and 25 miles. Still, a 3-mile distance might feel like a long run for inexperienced runners with a slower running speed and minimal endurance. 

How many calories can I burn running 3 miles daily?

Dr Daniel Vigil, an associate clinical professor of family medicine at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, says you can burn about 100 calories running a mile.
This means running 3 miles burns approximately 300 calories, although it’s not a guarantee for all runners.
The number of calories you burn after running three miles comes down to factors such as weight and running pace.

Will I build muscle if I run 3 miles?

A high-intensity 3-mile run could enable you to build leg muscles. However, covering a longer distance can lead to muscle damage and prevent an increase in muscle mass. 

Can running 3 miles cure insomnia?

According to Sleep Foundation, a vigorous aerobic like running 3 miles hasn’t proved effective in relieving insomnia. However, walking the same distance daily could help solve your sleep problems if you’re consistent for a few weeks.