How Long Does It Take to Walk 26 Miles?

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Completing a marathon is a huge accomplishment, whether you’re walking or running. Getting your body physically and mentally ready to walk that long of distance requires discipline and persistence. How long it will end up taking you to walk the 26-mile race depends on your pace and how often and long you stop for water or rest breaks.

Walking Pace

  • The time it’ll take you to walk 26 miles depends on how fast you’re moving. Most walkers move at a pace of 3 to 4 mph. If you were to walk 3 mph, it would take you a little over eight and a half hours to complete a 26 mile course. If you were to walk at 4 mph, you’d finish 26 miles in about six and a half hours. If you know your walking pace, estimate how long it’ll take you by dividing your pace in mph by 26.

Walking a Marathon

  • A complete marathon is actually 26.2 miles, so if that’s what you intend to walk, you'll be walking for a slightly longer duration. If your walking pace is 3 mph, it will take you about eight hours and forty-five minutes to complete the course. For those walking at about 4 mph, expect the marathon to take you about six hours and forty minutes to complete.

Time for Fluids

  • You won’t be able to walk 26 miles nonstop. Therefore, you also need to add the time it takes you to take in water or sport drinks while you’re on the course. Some walkers will carry their own water during long training walks and during the marathon. During an official race, water stations will be provided throughout the course. To keep hydrated during your long walk, stop at each of the stations and take in a little bit of fluid. Each time you stop at water stations, you'll use up about a minute of time to drink.

Additional Factors

  • In addition to stopping to take in water, because of the long hours you’ll be out walking to complete 26 miles, you’ll want to stop and take in carbohydrates. Foods like raisins, granola bars and sport gels are easy for your body to digest and provide quick fuel. You'll want to take in fuel two to three times during your 26 mile walk and each of these stops will take about three minutes. Therefore, stopping to eat will add about six minutes to your total walking time. In addition, you may need to stop to use the restroom during your walk, which will add three to five minutes to your walking session.

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