How many steps do you take in a marathon?

How many steps do you take in a marathon?

A couple of guys where I work are into this '10,000 steps a day' walking exercise stuff.
They both have pedometers, so I borrowed them on my lunchtime trot just to see how many steps I took.

An 8.4 mile run worked out at 10,078 steps on one pedometer and 11,280 on the other. Strangely they were identical pedometers, so I'm surprised at such a difference. I'm going to repeat the exercise tomorrow to see if the same happens.

So take an average of say 10,600 and that works out at 1262 steps per mile, just over 4ft 2in (or 1.27 metres) per step
A marathon then would be about 33,000 steps.

OK this is for me - I'm about 5ft 9 - someone with longer or shorter legs would get a different answer, but maybe not desperately different.

I was looking up stuff on the web and the 'accepted wisdom' was 2000 step per mile walking, with some sites saying that there was very little difference in steps per mile walking or running.

Has anyone else got any numbers for this?


  • Just count as you do it. IThat'll take your mind off the 26.2 miles. Just remember, if you lose count you have to start again.......

    P.S. The pedometeres gave you different readings probably because they are adapted to your colleagues' stride length
  • I wonder how many times you would have to start counting again! LOL
  • WilkieWilkie ✭✭✭
    Don't know why different pedometers would say a different number of steps.

    The stride length the pedo is set for shouldn't change the number of steps taken, Jiggi, although they might show a different distance overall because they are set to different stride lengths.

    I used mine in a 10k once, and found that I had taken just over 10,000 steps, and run 10.26km, so they can be quite accurate.
  • I don't fancy going up any steps in the marathon ;o)
  • I've got 2 pedometers, and when I tried an experiment, wearing them both on a day's walking, they both gave different readings.

    I decided the probable reason for this was that they didn't "click" over at every step. They both suggest wearing them at the waist, but you need to have a snug fit for them to click each step. If you don't wiggle as much on one side as on the other, you can get differing reasons.

    One in particular seemed prone to missing steps if it was fastened at a slight angle/

    As for walking 10,000 steps a day, I never once got to 10,000, my usual was closer to 15,000 as I don't drive and at the time was walking to and from daughter's school a total of 6 times a day, among other things!
  • PhilPubPhilPub ✭✭✭

    Let's see if I can calculate an educated guess.

    I recently counted my step rate at marathon pace out of pure curiosity, around 168/min. Aiming for 3hr marathon (well, 2:59:53.47 give or take, but you get the idea), so 168 x 180 = 30,240. And I'm 5ft 10, so would expect similar stride length to you, so this all corresponds spookily closely to your assessment!
  • I think the position of the pedometers makes the difference. I had them in my back pocket and couldn't guarantee they both stayed upright. I'm going to try again tomorrow with something holding them in place.

    PP - the data seems to fit - I'll try counting my step rate for a few minutes tomorrow and see if that also fits in ....

    K39 - 15000 steps a day! You could run a marathon on that amount of training!! Did you do any extra running as well??
  • A friend who's a clubber reckons a good night out is the same as doing a marathon - he's worn a pedometer out clubbing and takes around 46,000 steps in the form of dancing! (he doesn't run marathons, 10k is his distance, "I save my longer workouts for in the club"!).

  • booktrunkbooktrunk ✭✭✭

    Around 160-190 steps per minute.

    say 170 for an random runner. so 10,200 per hour.

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