Help me feel better about my slow walking!
August 11, 2012 10:24 AM   Subscribe

Please help me feel better about walking at a pace of 15 min/mile! I usually walk my two dogs for an hour every evening at what I thought was a fairly fast pace. I recently downloaded an app to my iphone that tracks my walking and provides my pace which turns out to be a snail like 15 minutes per mile. Yikes - that seems so slow - I just need some encouragement that I'm not a big loser!
posted by Minos888 to Health & Fitness (37 answers total)
Average walking speed is about 20 minutes a mile. So good job!
posted by c'mon sea legs at 10:27 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

That's four miles per hour, which is squarely in line (a bit above average, even!) with typical human numbers. Wiki.
posted by teremala at 10:28 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

I agree that 15 minutes/ mile is fast for walking, especially with two dogs!
posted by insectosaurus at 10:28 AM on August 11, 2012

I walk a half that (about 2, maybe 2.5 miles an hour), so you're doing better than me. But as the recent saying goes, any speed is better than sitting on the couch.
posted by patheral at 10:29 AM on August 11, 2012

Yes, 4mph is quite a brisk walk. That's basically "late for my plane but I don't want to break into a run in the airport" pace.
posted by ftm at 10:29 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

You're walking. You're not jogging or running. This is about average for a healthy adult.
posted by valkyryn at 10:30 AM on August 11, 2012

That's about the speed I walk, and I've had plenty of people complain that I walk too fast. Don't beat up on yourself for something that isn't a problem.
posted by Forktine at 10:30 AM on August 11, 2012

I used to walk as a commute, so I was doing about an hour twice a day, and I was walking a bit less than that, and it was faster than any of my friends walk. So I think you're doing ok.
posted by kadia_a at 10:32 AM on August 11, 2012

Sounds right on to me, especially with two dogs who presumably stop to sniff and pee and poop and look at stuff for no reason.
posted by rtha at 10:36 AM on August 11, 2012 [3 favorites]

This is the speed I walk and I am in excellent physical condition. If you want to get in shape fast walking is a slow way to do it. Wind sprints are the fastest way. You can exhaust yourself in five minutes.

The dogs will have more fun sprinting as well although you probably need to let them unleashed.
posted by bukvich at 10:37 AM on August 11, 2012

Depend on how short your legs are, that's an awesome pace. (Reminding those of you with longer legs that it makes a difference.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 10:40 AM on August 11, 2012

I work as a dog walker, and if I could get my dogs to walk a 15 min mile, that would be awesome. My dogs stop to smell everything and with most of them, I'm lucky to make it 2 blocks in 15 min. You are doing awesome!
posted by katinka-katinka at 10:43 AM on August 11, 2012 [2 favorites]

As a short-ish person with short-ish legs, that is about as fast as I am physically capable of walking. On a treadmill, if I get close to a 4 mph pace, I am also very close to having to break into a ridiculously slow jog. So, I salute your blistering speed! Especially with the dogs. You must have very good dogs.
posted by not that girl at 10:43 AM on August 11, 2012

As someone with two dogs (and awesomely long legs -- and my dogs have long legs and athletic physiques, too), that's almost exactly the pace we can manage for our walks. You're doing just fine, even great. If it helps you feel better about your relative speed, keep in mind that walks include pee, poop and just sniffing about breaks for your dogs!
posted by vers at 10:46 AM on August 11, 2012

I am tall and have pretty long legs; 4mph on a treadmill is the point where "walk" (awkwardly) turns into "hustle". At 4.5 I'm starting to jog. I don't know how long your dogs' legs are, but that's a pretty good speed for a dog.

Also, you're walking for an hour, so you're walking 4 miles. That's fantastic!
posted by Lyn Never at 10:46 AM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

I am one of those fast city walkers with long legs, and my half-mile walk to work takes me 7 minutes. And that's without dogs stopping to sniff everything!
posted by heatherann at 10:46 AM on August 11, 2012

Yeah, that's pretty quick. A lot of people that start running do it at about 13 min/mile. You're pretty much there walking!
posted by neveroddoreven at 10:50 AM on August 11, 2012

That's about my mile "running" pace. I hope that makes you feel better.
posted by Sassyfras at 10:54 AM on August 11, 2012

Thanks so much - I am only 5 feet tall so I feel so much better about my pace after everyone's comments. My dogs are very athletic German Shepherds - honestly if I didn't have them I would weigh a lot more than I do!
posted by Minos888 at 11:01 AM on August 11, 2012

I walk a 20 minute mile. I run a 10 minute mile. I am a "penguin," but I am running and walking. That's good enough.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:05 AM on August 11, 2012

I am only 5 feet tall so I feel so much better about my pace after everyone's comments.

I'm 6'-5" and 4 mph is not the fastest I can go, but is decently brisk - sort of at the upper end of my "normal" walking pace (i.e. not specifically trying to walk fast), and I far outpace most people just walking normally. I'm lucky if I do a 25 minute mile with my dog.
posted by LionIndex at 11:11 AM on August 11, 2012

If it makes you feel any better, my RUNNING speed is a 15 minute mile. And I'm really tall. So.
posted by joan_holloway at 11:21 AM on August 11, 2012

Just a note....if you want to increase the speed (regardless of your baseline), the best and most enduring way is via music. Listen to something upbeat (if not outright manic) as you walk.
posted by Quisp Lover at 11:35 AM on August 11, 2012

Can I ask what the app is? I'm 5' tall, pretty fit, and have a super fast-walking dog, so I'll go out later and time myself and report back!
posted by HotToddy at 11:47 AM on August 11, 2012

I agree with above posters that you're walking pretty fast - last time I used a treadmill, I thought I was going at a brisk pace at a 20-min mile.
posted by radioamy at 12:10 PM on August 11, 2012

That's a fast walk. I am also 5 feet tall and this was my brisk walk speed. I was marathon training and long distance hike training at the time so I was in great shape.
posted by smalls at 12:56 PM on August 11, 2012

Wikipedia puts average pedestrian walking speeds from 4.5 km/hr to 5.43 km/hr. 5.43 km/hr is still well over 17:30 per mile and the slow end is ~ 21:25 per mile. I'm a runner and I know plenty of other runners who run 13-15 minute miles, so walking in 15 is quite brisk.
posted by Lame_username at 1:33 PM on August 11, 2012

Very fast walk. When I go for the evening walks I count as exercise, I average about 17 minutes. And I am a runner on the side.
posted by something something at 1:34 PM on August 11, 2012

That's about how fast I walk, and I feel like I walk faster than most of my fellow Manhattanites. I'm also almost a foot taller than you. If you went much faster you'd be jogging.
posted by John Cohen at 2:52 PM on August 11, 2012

Without my dog it takes me 15 minutes to walk a mile. With my dog it takes at least 30, and has been known to take an hour. (He's energetic and likes to walk fast, but he also has to stop and smell Every. Single. Vertical. Object. on the route.)
posted by trip and a half at 2:54 PM on August 11, 2012

The app is Nike+ Running.
posted by Minos888 at 3:37 PM on August 11, 2012

So, I polled my running group and everyone agrees that 4 mph is a fast walk. The group includes a bunch of marathoners and triathletes, so we're pretty fit.

5 mph is jogging for most people, and 6 mph is running. You're zipping along with a 4 mph walk.
posted by punchtothehead at 4:15 PM on August 11, 2012

I do the mile to my local tube station in 15 minutes and people tell me I'm a fairly brisk walker.
posted by Decani at 5:03 PM on August 11, 2012

FWIW, I'm currently doing CouchTo5k on a treadmill, which involves interval training that alternates walking and running for short periods. When I walk, I set the treadmill to 3.0mph (20 min/mile), and when I run I set it to 5.5mph. I set it to 4.0 and I found it to be an extremely brisk walk. Right on the border between running and walking. My body wanted to jog briefly at times just to keep up. Based on my own personal feelings, I'd say that a 15 minute mile is as fast as I could comfortably go and still call what I'm doing "walking".
posted by Vorteks at 6:02 PM on August 11, 2012

I walk about 3 mph and get grief allll the time from friends and co-workers about how "oh, Lexi just race-walks everywhere: to the printer, to lunch…"

Walking 4 mph is nothing to be ashamed of — quite the opposite!
posted by Lexica at 7:18 PM on August 11, 2012

Here's some encouragement: You walk a mile (wait.. FOUR MILES??) a day with your dogs? That's wonderful! I probably don't walk a mile a day (and I don't ever go out walking). That's not great. It's fantastic exercise for your dogs (and wonderful that you take the time to give them such a thorough daily walk). It's fantastic exercise for you. And.. well, isn't that what it's really about? Unless you're looking to break a particular record or race, I don't think you need to feel bad about your pace! Besides the fact that not everyone can do the same pace, so I THINK just not being on your ass and being as active as you are on a daily basis is really impressive. I wish I could do it! Anyway, do you enjoy your walk and the hour you spend with your dogs? If the answer is yes, you are absolutely not a loser. Ditch your app and spend your walk looking at whatever nice sights you hopefully see! It's sad (and dangerous.. and annoying when people walk into you constantly) that people have stopped looking around when they walk and spend their time squinting at phones, screens, etc. instead!
posted by Mael Oui at 7:41 PM on August 11, 2012

Okay, turns out my husband already had Nike+ Running. We just got back and it was 15.22 minutes/mile, including delays for crossing streets (and one dog freakout caused by a couple of douchebags on deafeningly loud motorcycles--seriously, why do we allow this?).
posted by HotToddy at 10:32 PM on August 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

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