There is a vast range of factors that influence how fast you can run or walk a mile. Some of the key elements are the total distance you planned to run and the speed.
Also your current fitness level and your heart rate zones can make a big difference to your running or walking pace.
A 13 minute mile is often mentioned when runners are just starting out to train for a marathon but what is it? And can you really work with it when you are trying to survive a marathon?
In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about a 13 minute mile.
What’s A 13 Minute Mile?
A 13 minute mile is considered either a fast and intense walking pace, or a very slow and easy jogging pace.
A 13 minute mile translates to around 8:04 minutes for each kilometer that you walked or ran. This is an extremely slow conversational pace which can be well managed by new runners.
This pace allows running beginners to adjust to the impact of running on their body, and it also reduces the risks of injury.
What MPH Speed Is A 13 Minute Mile?
The speed of a pace of 13 minutes per mile while walking or running is around 4.6 miles per hour (7.4 km per hour).
This is the same pace everywhere you run, whether you run on a treadmill or outdoors.
You can either walk or run easily at this pace. If you choose to walk a 13 mile pace, then this is a brisk and fast walk.
On the other hand, if you want to run a 13 minute mile pace, then this is extremely slow, but you should be able to easily hold a conversation while both walking and running at this speed.
Can You Run A 13 Minute Miles As A Beginner?
For everyone who is running regularly, a 13 minute per mile pace is not much of a challenge but new runners may find this pace a little difficult at first.
As a rule of thumb, a runner can manage to complete one mile within 10 minutes at a conversational pace (RPE2-4).
As a comparison, a good marathon runner and athlete can complete a one mile run within a time of 4 to 5 minutes.
Fitness experts say that a beginner can achieve running a mile within a timeframe of 12 to 13 minutes after some time. However, he may need to take a few breaks.
It’s worthwhile mentioning here that if you are a new runner, it is perfectly fine when you take a little longer. Your body will need some time to build muscle strength.
A 13 minute mile is a great first goal as a beginning runner, and once you completed your first mile in 13 minutes, you will see that this pace makes for a relaxed and comfortable run.
It’s important to remember that it isn’t just about getting over the finish line but you also do not want to feel out of breath when you get there.
A 13 minute mile is a good pace that should allow you to finish a sentence without being out of breath.
What’s The Finish Time For A 13 Minute Mile When You Want To Run A 5K Race?
You can finish a 5K race within 40 minutes and 18 seconds when you stay at a steady 13 minute per mile pace.
You can finish a 10K race within 1 hour 20 minutes and 36 seconds when you stay at a steady 13 minute per mile pace.
You can finish a 15K race within 2 hours and 18 seconds when you stay at a steady 13 minute per mile pace.
You can finish a half marathon within 2 hours 50 minutes and 18 seconds when you stay at a steady 13 minute per mile pace.
You can finish a marathon within 5 hours 40 minutes and 36 seconds when you stay at a steady 13 minute per mile pace.
And finally, you can finish an ultra marathon within 6 hours 43 minutes and 53 seconds when you stay at a steady 13 minute per mile pace.
Can You Walk At A 13 Minute Mile Pace?
Yes, it is possible to walk at a pace of 13 minutes per mile but this is a fast walking pace.
In comparison, a quick walk pace is around 15 minutes per mile, and a comfortable, conversational pace is around 20 minutes per mile.
As you can see, a 13 minute per mile pace is a little bit faster than the quick walking pace, and it does count as an intensity exercise for new runners (You might also want to check out resitance band exercises here).
This means that you do breathe harder, and it may be difficult to talk when you are just starting out with a 13 minute mile pace, but some practicing, you should be able to hold a conversation with full sentences during the workout.
Factors That Affect Your Pace Ability
There are many different factors that affect your ability to run a 13 minute mile. One of the two biggest factors are your gender and age.
Both can make a difference to your running abilities but with enough exercising you can counteract them.
That’s why, the deciding factor for pace ability is usually the fitness level of a runner. You will need endurance and the motivation to push yourself to a reasonable limit.
Top Tips To Follow When You Run A 13 Minute Mile
Ideal for running starters, here are some of our top tips to help you get to a 13 minute per mile pace.
Increase The Distance Each Week
When you just started to pick up running, then it’s important that your body slowly builds up muscles to prevent any injuries.
This means that you should begin with a shorter mileage or distance. Try to consider what pace feels right for your fitness levels on your regular run.
Around every two weeks, you will be able to add a mile or two to your running schedule. You can then also aim to beat your earlier time.
Slowly increasing the distance and improving the time will help you build endurance.
Check In With Your Body
Just like with any sports, when you are running you need to make sure that you listen to your body and take proper rest for a few days.
Rest is essential because your body doesn’t actually build muscles when running but when resting.
Increase Speed Slowly
Just like when adding distance to your running routine, it’s also a good idea to gradually add speed to your workout.
If you are a new runner, then start out with a comfortable 20 minutes per mile page, and slowly up endurance.
You can then increase your speed slowly over time.
Improve Your Walking Abilities
Just as the saying goes, before you can run, you need to learn to walk. That’s why, it’s a good idea to increase your walking ability first, before you start running.
Start off with a 30 minutes walk three times a week and get used to the walking and the movement. This will help you build some stamina and it’ll increase your fitness level.
After a while, you will feel that you can walk much faster without any issues.
Benefits Of A 13 Minute Mile
While a 13 minute per mile running pace is not going to win you any marathons, it will definitely make it easier to a complete long distance race.
But there are also plenty of health benefits with this slow running pace.
A 13-minute mile pace strengthens your legs, torso muscles and arms. It also supports your respiratory system making it more efficient.
This pace also helps your bones, tendons, joints and ligaments to adapt to the impact of running.
This also adds to the greater effectiveness of mitochondria which help your body improve oxygen storage levels and glycogen stores.
A 13 minute mile per our pace is a very efficient way of running that leads to fewer injuries and less tired muscles.
Activities of almost any kind also have mental benefits, and so does a 13 minute mile.
Thanks to the required endurance for walking and running certain distances, you become mentally stronger.
An added bonus with this much slower running pace is that you have plenty of time to appreciate your surroundings, and you can enjoy just being.
As a runner, you need to be persistent but also patient with yourself. Your body does take time to adjust to the strain of running, so you will need to pay attention to what your body tells you.
This will allow you to understand yourself better, and you will also be able to handle any physical discomfort better, making you more resilient.
How To Hit Your 13 Minute Mile Running Goals
When you are new to running you may not have set up any targets yet but as you start running, you will also want to set some goals for yourself.
Here are our best tips on how to steadily improve your running and hit these goals.
Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
It can be sometimes tempting to compare yourself to other walkers or runners. After all, we are all a little competitive but you shouldn’t put too much pressure on yourself, especially not when you are new to running.
Focus on building up your distance and speed slowly over time improving your endurance and fitness levels.
Always remember that whatever others post on social media is just the highlights of their perfect runs but they do not show any of the hard work how they got there.
Make Use Of Walking/Running Intervals
Both running and walking are very beneficial at improving your body’s adaptability to the impact of running.
You can also get your mind used to a steady running state when you switch between walking and running intervals.
You can either opt for a run/walk interval that puts more minutes into running, or alternatively, you can also go for a walk/run interval which covers more time walking than running.
Who Is A Walk/Run Interval For?
Walk/run intervals are ideal for everyone who is new to walking or running, or for any walkers who want to slowly move over to running.
These interval exercises are very popular with aged exercisers, overweight people or anyone with physical disabilities who may not have the physical endurance to start running immediately.
How Does A Run/Walk Interval Work?
Intervals that are more focused on running than walking are ideal for runners who haven’t been running regularly or even runners who just want to slow down for a bit.
The running/walking method helps you build endurance over time without putting too much pressure and force on your body with continual running.
It’s a good idea to start out with setting some smaller targets, for example, run 3 minutes and then walk for 2 minutes as a recovery.
This allows you to keep your heart rate up and you will still be able to breathe fairly easily.
You can use run/walk intervals for a number of weeks until you feel comfortable and relaxed with the pace of 13 minutes per mile.
We always recommend that you make changes to your running routine every two weeks, so after two weeks, you can start reducing your walk time to one minute and increase your running time to five minutes.
Again, continue with this interval for a few weeks and see what it feels like. You should feel more comfortable as it ups your strength and endurance.
It will take some hard work and exercising to hit your goal of a 13 minutes per mile pace, but it can be done. You will just need to persist and slowly build up your endurance over time.
You Are Your Own Competition
In some sports, such as soccer or rugby, you simply compete as a team against another team, or even in tennis, individual players compete against each other.
But unless you are in a race, there is no competition that you need to look out for when running.
Running isn’t just a physical challenge but it can also be a mental battle against yourself. You need to continually motivate yourself and remind yourself that you will improve over time.
Try to beat your previous time and speed every week, and it’s also a good idea to keep a logbook to review your progress regularly.
Focus On Your Goal
As running is such an individual sport, you will need to set your own goals and aim to hit them.
Any goal, no matter how small, is a good goal as long as it is achievable for you and your fitness level.
Gradually Increase Your Workout Intensity
The best way to start running is with a low-intensity workout. New runners should still be able to speak while running.
If you choose to walk, then your brisk walk should be moderately intense. It’s a good idea to start walking slowly with smaller steps as longer steps may lead to shin irritation.
Generally, there isn’t a great difference between brisk walking and low-intensity running, and it’s up to your own personal preference what you choose to do.
Smile When You Are Running
At a 13 minute mile pace, you know that you would not be able to compete with it in a race. This means you can enjoy the run much more.
The advantage of this pace is that you do not usually need a lot of training to feel comfortable running at this speed.
And this is definitely a reason for happiness and joy, so why not smile? Smiling helps your body to release the happy hormone endorphin which helps to keep off the pain.
At a comfortable, conversational pace you can have fun and it feels healthy, so do not worry if you have a few bad runs occasionally. It’s worth enduring with it for all the positive benefits.
Any sports does require a patience and endurance. Our body needs time to adjust to the strong impact forces that sports, such as running, put onto our joints, tendons and muscles.
Running three miles a day seems almost impossible to achieve for a new runner, while it seems fairly easy for experienced runners.
Your body will have to go through an adaptation process physically and mentally to prepare you for running any distance.
You will need to condition your mind and body to all the challenges of running, and this simply does take quite a bit of time.
But if you persist, then you will quickly notice that you get into a running routine where you do not struggle with a 13 minute mile pace.
In fact, it will get much easier and you will find that you can even exceed this pace after a few weeks.