How Long Does it Take to Run 3 Miles

Are you wondering how long does it take to run 3 miles? If so, welcome to RunDreamAchieve. I hope that these running tips will help you set a new personal best over 5 kilometers. How fast you cover the 3 mile distance will come down to how well you have trained under your goal 3 mile run pace. The biggest problem for many runners is pace sustainment. Sure, many runners can run at goal race pace for the first mile. How well you can cover the remaining 2 miles is what counts most.

So, the goal is to improve your lactate tolerance. Easy running will not help you do this. Yes, easy running is still essential for running a fast 3 mile time. That being said, you have to stress the body’s energy systems adequately for adaptation to occur. The overall aim is to teach the body to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up.

The world’s top middle to long distance runners make it look easy for a reason. They have spent about 40 percent of the weekly training at or below their goal race pace. A common mistake I see too many runners making is running too easy too often. Also, moving toward doing speed workouts before building a strong foundation of easy mileage first.

Is Running 3 Miles a Day Good?

Yes, you can definitely build some legitimate fitness running 3 miles a day. Of course, the faster you are aiming to run over 3 miles the more specific training is going to play a role. I would focus on running 3 miles a day 2 to 3 days a week. You can work on adding in an additional day or 2 as you get in better aerobic and anaerobic shape. Are you a total beginner? Perhaps starting off with a combination of walking and running would be best.

Remember, it takes between 3 to 4 weeks for the body to adapt to the stresses you are placing on it. So, a longer build up is better. My top recommendation is to focus on a minimum of 12 and preferably 16 weeks for your next 3 mile or 5K race. The reason is you don’t want to be in a rush preparing. It can be very easy to get discouraged when you are not hitting the splits you want.

I would also recommend investing in a heart rate monitor. I use the Garmin 245 and it helps me to focus on staying in the right heart rate zone. Also, sprinkle in strides twice per week before, during or after your easy runs. Strides are short, 50 to 100 meter acceleration drills. Strides will help you focus on your form and are great warm-up drills before the start of your faster workouts. Remember, don’t sprint the entire length of the stride.

Is Running 3 Miles in 30 Minutes Good?

Yes, for most beginners running 3 miles in 30 minutes is a good effort. Again, to improve upon pace you need to fist focus on building your aerobic mileage. The reason for this is you want to strengthen the body’s ligaments, muscles and tendons. I focus on 4 specific phases of the RunDreamAchieve training plans available here for athletes focused on the 5k event.

  • Base-building phase (spent at arounds 130-150BPM)
  • 5k race specific training phase (focused on running at or close to goal 5k race pace) – 151-165BPM
  • Speed development training phase (focused on training well below goal 5k race pace) – 165-185+BPM)
  • Tape phase (focusing on a 10-day rather than 3-week taper)

Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I make new training and racing videos there each week to help beginner to elite level runners.

Is it Hard to Run 3 Miles?

Yes, if you are not in great shape. That being said, the body always adapts. The 5k is a great race distance to better prepare for running the 10K and 15K distances later on. 5k is 5,000 meters or 3.1 miles. It is a highly anaerobic event and one that requires more speed than endurance. Of course, you need them both to run 3 miles fast.

Easy running takes effort but fast running is an art form. The patient get the best results and those that work smart. I am sure you already know how to work hard. Do the hardest working athletes always get the results they seek? Not always. The smartest athletes using leverage usually do. So, ask yourself how can I get the best possible results in the 3 mile by doing less.

A good way to do this is to invest in yourself. I have training plans located here ranging from the mile to the 50k distance. It is much easier to know what you need to be doing on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Running 3 miles and especially racing the distance is much easier when you follow a legitimate plan.

How Can I Run 3 Miles without Stopping?

Be patient and consistent with your training. You won’t get overnight results in this sport. One of the biggest mistakes runners make is failing to have a belief in delayed gratification. So, continue to put in daily training. Yes, it is difficult to run 3 miles at first without stopping. That being said, as your heart becomes stronger it will not have to work as hard. In addition, heart rate will drop and pace will quicken as you get in better shape.

Yes, you may need to do a combination of walking and jogging first. You can then add in running and work your way to running further than 3 miles without stopping. Remember, a longer build up is better. It is much easier to get in superior shape over 16 weeks versus 8 or 12. 20 weeks is optimal to fully prepare for a 5k race. Of course, the timing of your build up will depend on what your goals are.

is your goal to run 5k’s for fun. If so, you don’t need to necessarily train for 16 to 20 weeks. Is it to run a sub 18 minute 5K? You may need a little more time in order to run a time that fast. Again, be patient as the body always adapts. You may have problems running 3 miles without stopping at first. The good news is several weeks and months from now you will be racing 3 miles instead.

Average Time to Run 3 Miles

What is the average time to run 3 miles? Average will mean something different for every athlete. The average time for 3 miles by age are listed below. A good 3 mile time is anywhere from 24 minutes or faster. National class times for running 3 miles is around 15 minutes and elite times are below 14 minutes.

How to Run 3 Miles

I would not try to make a move in your next 5k race until you hit the first mile. There are far too many runners who go out far too aggressively and pay for it. So, you don’t want to go into oxygen debt too soon in your race. Proper pacing is critical to run a fast 3 mile or 5k race. I have run 14:18 for the 5K and understand what it takes to run fast over the 3 mile or 3.1 mile distance.

No, I didn’t run that time overnight. In fact, my best 5K as a high school senior was 15:48 and the best I ran in college was 15:19. So, think long-term. Are you in your teens or 20s? Your best years of running are several years from now. The key to run a fast 3 mile or 5K race is consistent, unending work. As mentioned above, focus first on your aerobic base.

I would focus on doing 1, vo2 max workout per week. Vo2 max is your body’s maximum oxygen uptake. You are running between 95 to 100 percent of your maximum heart rate at this effort. The key here is to get 5k race pace to feel easier. Below are some examples of vo2 max workouts you may see in the 5k training plans here.

  • Hill repetitions i.e. 10x100m all out up (walk or jog down), 10x200m or 10x300m running at moderate effort up (jogging or walking down)
  • Track workouts i.e. 16x400m, 4-5x1mile, 2x3mile etc.
  • Road workouts i.e. 4x800m, 8x1K etc.
  • Fartlek workouts i.e. 10x1min hard followed with 1 min easy, 5×3 min moderate/1min easy etc.

Longer Tempo Runs

The longer you can spend at your anaerobic threshold the more efficient you are going to cover your next 3 mile race. We run at or around 85 to 88 percent of our maximum heart rate at this effort. Remember, you need to first adapt to running 2 to 3 miles at tempo effort before you can extend to longer durations. Tempo runs take a lot out of the athlete.

I would recommend giving yourself between 24 to 48 hours of recovery before doing another hard workout. Again, the benefits of your hard training are going to come from within your rest period. There is only so many times you can stress the body before diminished returns occur. No, you can’t run easy every day and expect to run a fast 3 mile time. You have to have a healthy dose of both hard as well as easy running for best results.

Faster Long Runs

Consider running faster during your long runs. No, I don’t mean you need to do your entire long run fast. That being said, it should be varied pace. In addition, never run fast every single weekend during your long runs either. Again, you have to adapt to the hard training you are doing. So, you have to be smart about how you set up your training.

What I see a lot of runners doing is running easy and long every single weekend. What is your goal? Is it just to run 5Ks for fun? If so, you can run easy every single weekend and build general fitness. You will be fine if you do this and there are certainly benefits to doing this. The biggest is you will burn fat and build endurance. Is your goal to run a sub 17 minute 5K? If so, you need to do more than just run long, slow and easy every single weekend.

Again, running fast regardless of distance takes improving the body’s lactate tolerance. Easy running simply won’t do this. You need to recruit more fast twitch muscle fibers by way of very fast running. The more of these you can recruit the more efficient you are going to run. I wrote a post about long runs you may want to check out.

Closing Thoughts

How long does it take to run 3 miles? I hope this post has been helpful in answering this question. How often do you pay attention to mental training? A lot of runners pay little to not attention to this. The world’s best do. Remember, running is more than just physical training. You also have to prepare the mind to follow through with what you want do in the sport.

The subconscious mind, cannot tell the difference between reality or imagination

Billy Mills, Olympic 10,000m gold medalist

I would recommend spending 10 minutes daily mentally rehearsing. So, see yourself getting across the finish line with your goal 3 mile run time on the clock. Also, see yourself passing people, performing well and running confident. Are you seeking a coach? If so, I do work one-on-one with athletes who are serious about taking their training and racing to the next level. Do you have goals of running a faster half marathon or marathon? I have created running courses available here to help speed up your improvement, if interested.

Feel free to visit the about page if you’d like to know more about my racing background. Also, check out the resources available here. Keep me posted on your progress. I am looking forward to hearing about your upcoming new personal bests over 3 miles.

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