How Long Does It Take To Run a Mile? (Average Times And Helpful Tips)

Running a mile is not as easy as it seems. Many factors affect how long it takes to run a mile. Why is running a mile such a challenging task? And what factors affect your mile time?

It’s difficult, but not impossible, to pinpoint exactly how long it takes an average individual to run a mile.

According to Strava, a normal male racer in the United States takes 9 minutes and 3 seconds to complete a mile, while the average female runner takes 10 minutes and 21 seconds.

In this article, we’ll look at the average time it takes a person to run a mile, as well as precise running estimates for different ages and genders. 

We will also discuss the practical methods for measuring how long it takes you to run a mile.

The Main Factors That Influence Your Running Speed

Below are some factors discussed in detail that influences your running speed.

Age 

Running speed is influenced by age, with most people running their fastest between 18 and 30. 

According to data analysis of 10,000 participants who competed in a 5K marathon, the average minute per mile for racers of different ages was 11:47.

Male racers aged between 16 to 19 completed the race at an average speed of 9.34. Females in the same age group completed the race in 12:09.

As the age group grows older, the finishing times eventually increase.

Gender

Another element that affects how fast you run a mile is gender, with men sprinting faster than women. Again, this might be because of testosterone. 

According to research, by adulthood, some males have up to 20 times women’s testosterone. Also, having more quick-twitch muscles in the lower body improves your running speed.

At a greater distance, though, women might have the advantage. According to one significant study from a trusted source, professional male athletes were more likely than women to reduce their speed throughout a marathon. 

Researchers believe it is related to physiological and decision-making variations between men and women.

The data given below was compiled in 2010 in the United States and is based on the performances of 10,000 participants who took part in the marathon.

Average 5k Pace by Age Group And Sex

Age GroupMenWomen
0 – 1511:12:19.968712:14:56.6365
16 – 1909:34:42.500012:09:49.6240
20 – 2409:30:35.502911:44:47.4657
25 – 2910:03:21.608311:42:36.9426
30 – 3410:09:33.049112:29:28.8888
35 – 3910:53:45.048512:03:32.7631
40 – 4410:28:25.631012:24:47.4866
45 – 4910:43:18.515612:41:48.0427
50 – 5411:08:15.849013:20:51.6591
55 – 5912:07:58.333314:37:33.6986
60 – 6413:05:47.339414:47:48.0000
65 – 9913:52:02.926816:12:01.4516

Running Form

A proper running form decreases muscular fatigue and reduces tension throughout the body. Hold your head up high and your back straight without bending too far forward to develop an appropriate form. 

Keep your wrists relaxed, elbows bent at a 90-degree angle, and hands naturally cupped to unwind the rest of your body. 

As you run, swing your arms along your chest and waistline, pumping them harder to complete brief sprints, climb hills, or reach the finish line.

Pace

In the long run, the importance of pace cannot be overstated. The amount of time it takes to run one mile might affect how quickly you complete the race; this could help you save energy to finish strong in the final miles. 

Elite racers may choose a slower pace at the start of a marathon before picking up speed as the race progresses.

How To Measure a Mile Run?

You can wear a fitness band or a GPS watch from popular brands like Fitbit and Polar, which lets you track your speed. 

You can also download a tracking app on your smartphone to measure the pace, distance, and time it requires for you to cover them. 

Apps like Strava, Runkeeper, Mapmyrun, etc., are some of the handy tracking apps you can use.

Tips To Improve Your Mile Speed

As you can see from the average times, it is a stretch to run a mile in under 7-minutes, for example. But it is doable with hard work.

Below are some tips to help you improve your speed.

1. Interval Training

Interval training at a high intensity is a great approach to enhance your pace and endurance. Adding speed intervals into your training routine as a runner will help you increase your fitness and 1-mile pace.

2. Hill Training

Training on hills will increase your speed while making you stronger. In addition, these exercises can help you improve your mile time by raising your lactate threshold.

3. Improve Your Running Form

At the start of each run, spend a couple of minutes practicing the appropriate running form. Simple warm-up drills and exercises can be used to improve your posture; this will let you move more freely during the rest of your workout.

4. Stay Hydrated

Drink lots of water throughout the day, not just during your runs, to stay hydrated.

5. Wear the Correct Footwear

Ask the employees at your local sports store for technical help in selecting a pair that best fits your style and goals.

6. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

Consult your doctor or a nutritionist about a healthy food plan that can help you achieve your goals, whether they are to sprint faster, gain muscle, or lose weight.

The Bottom Line

A good mile time for a beginner depends on where you start. If you’re a regular racer, you should be pleased if you can complete a mile in under ten minutes.

Training can help people increase their average mile time. A person’s average mile time can be improved by including intense exercise, hilly workouts, and high-intensity interval training in their exercise routine.

According to studies, adding caffeine and nitrates to one’s diet can improve running performance. However, when it comes to the impact of these medications on your running performance, it’s essential to take them at the right moment.

Running a mile begins your journey for longer distances. Next, you can increase your mileage and try how long it takes to run 3 miles.

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