Swimming Tricks

How Long Does It Take To Swim A Mile?

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How long does it take to swim a mile? On average it should take beginners anywhere from 40 to 50 minutes to swim a mile, while intermediate swimmers will be able to swim a mile in roughly 30 to 35 minutes and advanced swimmers in about 25 minutes or less.

We will go over the specifics with you in this post. Just keep reading.

How Long Does It Take To Swim A Mile?

Let’s first talk about how long swimming a mile should take you specifically before we look at some actual data and results. 

The length of time you have been training swimming, the activities you have engaged in during that time, the quality of your swimming technique and overall conditioning, as well as a few other variables like gender and age, will all play a significant role in how well you perform.

Beginners should typically take 40 to 50 minutes to swim a mile, whereas intermediate and advanced swimmers should be able to complete the distance in 25 minutes or less.

In general, it’s a good idea to start with the numbers above. At your next practice or competition, try swimming a mile while keeping track of the time to see how close you can come. If they work hard and persevere through the initial discomfort once their muscles begin to burn, many competitive swimmers will be able to swim under 20 minutes.

Less experienced swimmers could likely swim a mile in 35 to 40 minutes or slightly longer, while swimmers who have been training at the neighborhood lap pool for a while should aim for about 25 minutes or just above that.

A mile can take a complete beginner up to an hour to swim because they will likely need to stop frequently in order to continue. Remind yourself to be patient with yourself and your training; you will improve as your form and fitness level increase.

Quick tip– Want to complete a mile faster? Develop your long-distance swimming skills! By clicking here, you can read my swimming technique article and discover how to improve your long-distance swimming.

Average Time To Swim A Mile In A Pool

Unbelievably, most people find it simpler to swim a mile in a pool. There are no additional hazards that could hinder you when swimming in open water, so you don’t have to worry about those things. It’s also simpler to keep track of.

You can maintain focus and achieve your goal. While there may be some variation depending on the size of the pool, the average swimmer can complete a mile in 25–27 minutes and the majority of competitive swimmers complete it in around 20–25 minutes.

Now, if you are very new to the exercise, you need to be aware that it may take up to 40–50 minutes to begin in an indoor lap pool. Your technique and increased endurance will help this to get better. Just be aware that a mile may seem very intimidating at first if you’re just starting out, and that’s okay!

How Long Does It Take To Swim A Mile Across The Ocean?

The time needed to swim a mile in the ocean will be quickly discussed after that. 

The difficulty of swimming an ocean mile stems from the additional variables that can affect your times, such as waves, currents flowing in particular directions, differences in water temperature, and so on.

In order to calculate how long it should take the average swimmer to swim a mile in the ocean, I once more did some quick math using our original data numbers. I estimated the duration to be between 33 and 35 minutes, though this number undoubtedly depends on the day’s mood of the ocean.

In short- it should take the average swimmer about 35 minutes to complete a mile swim in the ocean. Depending on the size of the waves and whether or not there are currents in the water on the day of your swim, this time may be slightly higher or lower.

How Long Does It Take To Swim A Mile In The Open Water?

Swimming in open water is more difficult than swimming in an indoor pool. Swimming a mile in open water requires an average of 30-32 minutes due to the difficulties and hazards it presents.

Try swimming in the challenging and difficult open water conditions if you love adventure and want to improve your swimming skills. Swimming in open water can be enjoyable if you don’t have to contend with the water’s currents, tides, and waves, as well as poor visibility and severe weather.

You must get your body ready for the types of difficulties it will likely encounter before you dive into an open body of water. Because you risk disrupting the aquatic ecosystem, your body must not only develop incredible resistance but also awareness of your surroundings. 

You won’t be in a closed-off, secure area once you are out in the open water. There won’t be any walls for you to lean against and rest. To keep up with the varying water flow, you will need to alter your pace and strokes several times. In order to determine how safe it will be to swim in the open water in these conditions, you will also need to calculate the waves and tides.

While open water swimming is thrilling, it is not advised unless you have attained the highest level of proficiency in pool swimming.


How To Swim A Mile Faster?

How long does it take for a mile of swimming? That really depends on you! There are always ways and things you can do to get better, no matter where you are in your fitness journey. So, if you’re not happy with your original time for swimming a mile or you simply want a new goal to beat your previous record, here are some things that you can do to swim a mile faster…

Strengthen Muscles

By strengthening the muscle groups that you use while swimming, you can also increase your speed. Your muscles will work harder and longer without as many breaks if they are stronger.

Your ability to swim faster will improve with dry-land training that emphasizes your core, arms, and legs. There are many enjoyable and simple ways to incorporate strength training into your daily life, from incorporating various crunch types into your morning routine to taking on a 7-day squat challenge.

Build Endurance

What increases stamina, do you know? Is swimming in a pool a great form of cardio? Of course, but it shouldn’t be your only form of exercise! Your endurance can be greatly increased and your mile time can be sped up by cross training, which involves doing cardio exercises like running, hiking, biking, and more.

The definition of insanity, according to Albert Einstein, is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results.” Do you think I’m calling you crazy for training and working so hard? However, I believe you understand my point. Change things up, perform various cardio exercises to strengthen your lungs and endurance, and you will start to see results if you want to swim a mile more quickly.

Work On Breathing

Speaking of breathing, it’s one of the hardest skills to master when swimming farther distances. Running while out of breath can slow you down, but trying to swim while out of breath can end your workout abruptly!

Online breathing drills of every kind are available to help you get better at breathing and breathing technique while freestyle swimming. You will be shocked by how long it takes you to swim a mile once your endurance is where you want it, your swimming form is perfect, and your breathing technique is mastered.

Improve Your Form

It’s possible that despite your best efforts and compliance with the aforementioned recommendations, your timed mile feels to have reached a dead end. So, if that’s the case, consider enhancing your freestyle technique. You’d be surprised at how many little adjustments and modifications can make a big difference!

These small adjustments, which can range from how you position your head or elbows to when you breathe, can have a significant impact on how long it takes you to complete one mile.

Increase Swimming Distance Weekly

You could consider extending your weekly swimming distance while still engaging in a healthy amount of cross-training. For instance, if you visit the pool twice a week and swim 8 laps (roughly half a mile) each time, you are swimming about a mile each week.

The next step would be to add another lap, followed by another two, and keep increasing your distance.

However, make sure to increase your swimming distance at a pace that is sustainable. We do not suggest increasing your weekly distance from one mile to two miles if you are currently swimming one mile. There is a good chance that doing this would cause you to burn out or overexhaust yourself. Your swimming speed won’t increase as a result of either of those!


As a result, the question “How long does it take to swim a mile?” has no definitive answer.”

Athletes and swimmers, on the other hand, frequently have stories to tell about their illustrious journeys, from covering a mile in 45 minutes to doing so in 25. Simply put, it requires some effort and commitment.

You need to refine your strokes, get better at taking deep breaths, build up your stamina, and do more cardio exercises before you look at the stopwatch. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you can start working on your speed and keep pushing forward until you reach your objective!