How Long Does It Take to Walk 20 Miles? – Medixify

Whether for fitness, recreation, or a chosen mode of transportation, walking is an activity that fits seamlessly into our daily routine. But what if you’re faced with a more daunting walking distance, such as 20 miles? This brings up a common question: How long does it take to walk 20 miles?

In this article, we’ll Explore into the various factors that may affect your walking time and provide a general estimate to answer this question.

Average Time Estimates: How Long Does It Take to Walk 20 Miles?

On average, a healthy adult can walk at a pace of about 3 to 4 miles per hour. With this in mind, to walk 20 miles, it would roughly take 5 to 6.7 hours. This is a broad estimate and the actual time can vary significantly based on several factors.

These include the individual’s fitness level, the terrain, the weather conditions, and whether there are any breaks during the walk. For instance, a strong, fit walker moving at a brisk pace on a flat, easy trail might complete 20 miles in less than 5 hours.

Conversely, someone less fit or walking on rugged, hilly terrain might take 7 or more hours to cover the same distance.

Age and Gender Differences

Age and gender can significantly influence walking speed and, consequently, the time it takes to cover a distance of 20 miles. Generally, younger, more physically fit individuals are able to maintain a brisker pace, often averaging 3 to 4 miles per hour, translating to approximately 5 to 6.5 hours to complete 20 miles.

However, as age increases, stride length and walking speed often decrease due to various factors including reduced muscle strength and joint flexibility, potentially extending the time required.

Gender differences may also be noticeable, although the gap has narrowed over recent years due to increased physical conditioning opportunities for women. Traditionally, men typically have a slightly faster average pace, attributed to longer stride length and greater muscle mass.

However, endurance and stamina – crucial for long distance walking – are individual qualities that can outshine gender-based general list. It’s important to remember that these are broad observations and individual walking times can vary significantly based on personal fitness levels, endurance, and walking conditions.

Average Time to Walk 20 Miles for Men


AgeWeekWeekday DistanceWeekend (Longer) DistanceTime varies walking 20 miles by gender
20-2913 miles5 milesMale 3.04 Mph 6 hrs 35 min
30-3933 miles6 milesMale 3.2 Mph 6 hrs 15 min
40-4953.5 miles7 milesMale 3.2 Mph 6 hrs 15 min
50-5973.5 miles8 milesMale 3.2 Mph 6 hrs 15 min
60-6994 miles10 milesMale 3.0 Mph 6 hrs 40 min
70-79114 miles12 milesMale 2.82 Mph 7 hrs 06 min
80-89135 miles14 milesMale 2.17 Mph 9 hrs 13 min


Average Time to Walk 20 Miles for Women

AgeWeekWeekday DistanceWeekend (Longer) DistanceTime varies walking 20 miles by gender
20-2923 miles5.5 milesFemale 3.0 Mph 6 hrs 40 min
30-3943 miles6.5 milesFemale 3.0 Mph 6 hrs 40 min
40-4963.5 miles7.5 milesFemale 3.11 Mph 6 hrs 26 min
50-5983.5 miles9 milesFemale 2.93 Mph 6 hrs 50 min
60-69104 miles11 milesFemale 2.77 Mph 7 hrs 13 min
70-79124 miles13 milesFemale 2.53 Mph 7 hrs 54 min
80-89145 miles15 milesFemale 2.1 Mph 9 hrs 31 min

Is Walking 20 Miles Too Much?

Walking 20 miles can be seen as a significant challenge or an attainable goal, depending on a person’s fitness level and physical health. For some individuals, particularly those with a high level of fitness or endurance training, walking 20 miles may not seem challenging.

However, for others, especially those who lead a sedentary lifestyle or have medical conditions, walking this distance could be excessive and potentially harmful. It’s essential to listen to your body and not push beyond your limits.

Always consult with a medical professional before undertaking such an extended physical activity, particularly if you’ve been inactive or have health concerns.

Related Article: How Long Does it Take to Walk 10 Miles and Tips for the Journey?

Side Effects of Walking 20 Miles

Muscle Fatigue: Walking 20 miles is no small feat and can cause significant muscle fatigue. The legs, in particular, will bear the brunt of the effort and may feel weak or achy for a day or two afterward.

Blisters and Calluses: Extended periods of walking can cause blisters and calluses, especially if you’re not wearing suitable footwear. It’s crucial to ensure your shoes are comfortable, well-fitted, and worn-in to prevent these issues.

Dehydration: On your long-distance walking adventure, it’s easy to get dehydrated if you don’t drink enough water. Dehydration can lead to headaches, dizziness, and fatigue, impairing your ability to complete the walk.

Joint Pain: The repetitive impact of walking can put stress on the joints, particularly the knees and hips. This could result in pain or discomfort during or after the walk.

Hypoglycemia: Also known as low blood sugar, hypoglycemia can occur if you don’t sustain proper nutrition during the long walk. Symptoms can include light-headedness, confusion, and in extreme cases, unconsciousness.

Remember, everyone’s body is different, so you might experience other side effects. It’s necessary to listen to your body, take breaks, hydrate, and eat well.

Factors Affecting Walking Time

Several factors can affect the time it takes to walk 20 miles.

Place: An individual’s walking speed plays a crucial role in determining the time required to cover a particular distance. On average, a person walks at a speed of 3 to 4 miles per hour.

Terrain: Walking on a flat surface is faster and less strenuous than tackling steep inclines or uneven surfaces. Therefore, the geographical characteristics of the walking route significantly influence the duration.

Fitness Level: A well-conditioned body can maintain a faster pace for a longer time. Therefore, regular walkers or those with a higher fitness level might complete 20 miles in less time than those less accustomed to such distances.

Rest Periods: Continuous walking for 20 miles can be challenging. Breaks for rest and replenishment can extend the total time.

Weather Conditions: Weather can impact walking speed too. Hot, cold, or windy conditions may slow your pace, while comfortable weather can help maintain or even increase your speed.

Tips for Walking 20 Miles

Start Slow: Diving headfirst into walking 20 miles is not advisable, especially if you’re a beginner. Start with shorter distances and gradually increase your range as your stamina improves.

Wear Suitable Footwear: Investing in a good pair of walking shoes is crucial. They should be comfortable, fit well, and be designed for long distances to avoid blisters and discomfort.

Stay Hydrated: Carry enough water to last the distance. Staying hydrated will prevent fatigue and muscle cramps during your walk.

Take Breaks: Plan to take short, regular breaks during your walk. This will give your body time to recover and help maintain your energy levels.

Prepare for the Weather: Always check the weather forecast before setting off. Dress appropriately and consider carrying a lightweight raincoat or sun hat depending on the conditions.

Pace Yourself: It’s not a race. Maintain a steady pace to ensure you can complete the distance without overexerting yourself.

Eat Well: Have a high-protein, high-carbohydrate meal the night before the walk to ensure your body is well fulfilled. Carry a few energy bars or fruits for a quick bite during the walk.

Remember, the goal is not just to cover the distance, but do so safely and enjoyably. Stick to these tips, and you’ll be well-prepared for your 20-mile journey.

Essential Equipment for Walk 20 Miles

When embarking on a 20-mile walk, it’s crucial to have the right gear. Here are some essential items you should consider:

Comfortable Walking Shoes: Proper footwear is vital for long-distance walking to prevent blisters and maintain comfort. Look for shoes with good arch support, a cushioned sole, and breathable material to keep your feet dry.

Lightweight Backpack: A lightweight yet durable backpack is ideal to carry essentials like water, snacks, and other necessities. Make sure it has comfortable straps to reduce strain on your shoulders.

Water and Snacks: Staying hydrated and energized is key during a long walk. Carry enough water and nutritious snacks like trail mix or energy bars to fuel your journey.

Weather-Appropriate Clothing: Layer your clothing according to the weather. Consider moisture-wicking fabrics and remember to bring a hat or sunscreen for sun protection, or a jacket for colder temperatures.

Navigation Tools: Whether it’s a traditional map, compass, or a GPS device, having tools to help navigate your route is important to ensure you stay on track.

First Aid Kit: A small, basic first-aid kit can be a lifesaver for minor injuries. Include items like adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, and tweezers.

Mobile Phone: In case of emergencies, a mobile phone can be crucial. Also, consider having a portable charger to keep it powered.


In conclusion, walking 20 miles is no small feat, yet achievable with the right preparation and mindset. The time it takes can vary widely based on one’s fitness level, pace, terrain, and even weather conditions. Typically, it could take anywhere between 5 to 8 hours. Remember, it’s not a race; pacing yourself is essential to avoid exhaustion and injury.

Walking such long distances can be a fantastic way to challenge oneself, gain new perspectives, explore nature, or simply derive the health benefits of sustained, low-impact exercise. Let this guide serve as a starting point as you embark on your long-walk journey. Stay safe and happy walking!

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Hello, I'm Ankit, an engineering student and a blogger. I love to write about various topics that interest me and help others to learn new things I have a passion for blogging and sharing my knowledge and experiences with my readers

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