How Long Does It Take to Walk 13 Miles by Age and Gender?

Walking is a popular form of exercise and transportation that offers numerous health benefits.

Whether you’re planning a long hike or considering walking as part of your daily routine, understanding how long it takes to cover a significant distance like 13 miles can be valuable information.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the factors that influence walking speed and provide detailed insights into how long it takes to walk 13 miles based on age and gender.

Factors Influencing Walking Speed

Factors Influencing Walking Speed

Several key factors affect how quickly an individual can walk 13 miles:


Age plays a significant role in determining walking speed. Generally, younger individuals tend to walk faster than older adults due to differences in muscle strength, joint flexibility, and overall fitness.

However, it’s important to note that age alone doesn’t dictate walking speed, as other factors like fitness level and health conditions also play crucial roles.


While individual variations exist, studies have shown that gender can influence walking speed. On average, men tend to walk slightly faster than women, primarily due to differences in height, leg length, and muscle mass.

However, these differences are often minimal, and a well-trained female walker can easily outpace an untrained male.

Fitness Level

One of the most significant factors affecting walking speed is an individual’s fitness level. Regular exercise, particularly cardiovascular activities like brisk walking, jogging, cycling, or swimming, can greatly improve a person’s walking speed and endurance.

Those who engage in regular physical activity are likely to maintain a faster pace over long distances compared to sedentary individuals.


The type of terrain plays a crucial role in determining walking speed. Walking on flat, paved surfaces allows for a faster pace compared to uneven or hilly terrain.

Uphill sections can significantly slow down walking speed, while downhill portions may allow for a temporary increase in pace.

Weather Conditions

Environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, wind, and precipitation can affect walking speed. Extreme heat or cold can make walking more challenging, while strong headwinds can slow progress.

Conversely, a mild tailwind might provide a slight boost to walking speed.

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Average Walking Speeds by Age and Gender

Average Walking Speeds by Age and Gender

To better understand how long it takes to walk 13 miles, let’s examine average walking speeds for different age groups and genders:

Children and Adolescents

Young people generally have faster walking speeds due to their high energy levels and natural agility. Here’s a breakdown of average walking speeds for children and adolescents:

Age GroupAverage Walking Speed (mph)
5-8 years3.0 – 3.5
9-12 years3.5 – 4.0
13-16 years3.8 – 4.3

It’s worth noting that these are general averages, and individual speeds can vary based on factors like physical development and activity level.


For adults, walking speeds can vary widely based on fitness level and age. Here’s a general guide for average adult walking speeds:

Age GroupAverage Walking Speed (mph)
20-29 years3.0 – 3.5
30-39 years2.8 – 3.3
40-49 years2.7 – 3.2
50-59 years2.6 – 3.1

Elderly Individuals

As people age, walking speed tends to decrease due to factors like reduced muscle mass and joint flexibility.

However, regular exercise can help maintain walking speed well into later years:

Age GroupAverage Walking Speed (mph)
60-69 years2.5 – 3.0
70-79 years2.0 – 2.5
80+ years1.5 – 2.0

Estimating Time to Walk 13 Miles

Now that we’ve examined average walking speeds, let’s calculate how long it might take to walk 13 miles for different age groups and genders:

General Calculation Method

To estimate the time it takes to walk 13 miles, use this formula:

Time (hours) = Distance (miles) / Walking Speed (mph)

Time Estimates for Different Age Groups and Genders

Using the average walking speeds from our earlier tables, here are some estimates for how long it might take to walk 13 miles:

  1. Children and Adolescents (13-16 years):
    • At 4 mph: Approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes
  2. Adults (30-39 years):
    • At 3 mph: Approximately 4 hours and 20 minutes
  3. Elderly Individuals (70-79 years):
    • At 2.25 mph: Approximately 5 hours and 47 minutes

Remember, these are estimates based on average speeds. Actual times may vary significantly based on individual fitness levels, terrain, and other factors.

Tips for Increasing Walking Speed

If you’re looking to improve your walking speed and reduce the time it takes to cover 13 miles, consider incorporating these strategies:

  1. Regular Exercise: Engage in cardiovascular activities like brisk walking, jogging, or cycling to improve overall fitness.
  2. Strength Training: Incorporate exercises like squats, lunges, and calf raises to build lower body strength.
  3. Proper Walking Technique:
    • Maintain good posture with your head up and shoulders back
    • Take longer strides, but avoid overstriding
    • Swing your arms naturally to maintain momentum
  4. Interval Training: Alternate between periods of faster walking and recovery to build speed and endurance.
  5. Gradual Progression: Slowly increase your walking distance and speed over time to avoid injury and build sustainable fitness.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

This quote reminds us that improving walking speed and endurance is a gradual process. Consistency and patience are key to seeing improvements.

Health Benefits of Walking 13 Miles

Walking 13 miles offers numerous health benefits, including:

  • Improved Cardiovascular Health: Long-distance walking strengthens the heart and improves circulation.
  • Weight Management: Walking burns calories and can help maintain a healthy weight.
  • Enhanced Mental Well-being: Extended walks can reduce stress and improve mood.
  • Increased Bone Density: Weight-bearing exercise like walking helps maintain strong bones.
  • Better Sleep: Regular long walks can improve sleep quality and duration.

Safety Considerations for Long-Distance Walking

When attempting to walk 13 miles, keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Stay Hydrated: Drink water before, during, and after your walk.
  • Wear Appropriate Footwear: Choose supportive shoes to prevent blisters and foot pain.
  • Dress for the Weather: Wear layers and protect yourself from sun exposure.
  • Listen to Your Body: Take breaks when needed and don’t push beyond your limits.
  • Carry a Phone: Bring a mobile device for emergencies.


How long will it take you to walk 13 miles?

The time it takes to walk 13 miles varies based on individual factors, but for an average adult walking at 3 mph, it would take approximately 4 hours and 20 minutes.

How long should it take a 15-year-old girl to walk a mile?

A 15-year-old girl with average fitness should be able to walk a mile in about 15-20 minutes, depending on her individual pace and the terrain.

How fast does the average 12-year-old walk?

The average 12-year-old walks at a speed of about 3.5 to 4.0 mph on flat terrain.

How long does it take to walk 12 miles?

Using an average adult walking speed of 3 mph, it would take approximately 4 hours to walk 12 miles. However, this can vary based on individual factors and terrain.


Understanding how long it takes to walk 13 miles by age and gender involves considering various factors such as fitness level, terrain, and individual capabilities. While we’ve provided average speeds and estimates, it’s important to remember that everyone is unique. The key to improving your walking speed and endurance is consistent practice, gradual progression, and listening to your body.

Whether you’re walking for exercise, transportation, or leisure, the journey of 13 miles offers not only physical benefits but also an opportunity for mental refreshment and personal achievement.

So lace up your shoes, step outside, and embrace the journey one step at a time!

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