How Long Does It Take to Run a Mile? Averages by Age Group6 min read
Let’s look at some of these variables, along with the typical times for men, women, and kids. Plus, you’ll find some tips on how you can run your best mile!
How long does it take to run a mile? This is a question that many people ask, but there’s no one “right” answer! Age, fitness level, biomechanics, weather, and other factors can all affect how long it takes you to run a mile. Your level of fitness and genetics are two factors that affect how quickly you can run a mile.
In this article, we’ll examine the length of a mile and the typical mile times for runners of various abilities.
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Average Mile Run Time – Adults
The majority of seasoned runners, on average, can complete a mile in between 8 and 11 minutes. Newer runners, or those who simply have a slower pace, may fall in the range of 10 to 15 minutes.
I’m curious to know the actual statistics on this. Finding research on adult mile run times is actually surprisingly challenging.
There isn’t much information available from race results or exercise apps, but it will be skewed because, in general, fitter people use them or compete in races.
In addition, most of the data is for longer runs, so the data isn’t particularly accurate for just the mile run. Most people would have a quicker pace if only being challenged to run one mile (as compared to a 5K, for example).
Here are the averages by gender for adults:
- Male average pace per mile: 9:38 (calculated from an average distance of 4.1 miles and average duration of 0:39:30)
- Female average pace per mile: 11:08 (calculated from an average distance of 3.4 miles and average duration of 0:37:42)
Average Mile Run Time – Children
In fact, the information presented in 2013 at the Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association suggested that children between the ages of 9 and 17 ran the mile in about a minute and a half more slowly than they did thirty years earlier. If we extrapolate that data to the 1985 information, we could estimatethat current averages for Children in the US would be in the range of 12:17 to 8:57.
The most recent data I found came from a 2015 study that looked at mile run times among 24 urban public schools. For students in grades 4 through 12, the average mile time was 11:36.
Overall, it seems prudent to estimate that most children today would fall around a 9:00 to 12:30 mile.
Factors That Affect How Long It Takes to Run a Mile
There are several different factors that affect your running speed, or how long it takes you to run a mile, including the following:
Your Fitness Level
Running a mile takes less time for runners who have better endurance and a higher VO2 max.
Your Experience Level
We frequently mix up experience and fitness levels, but there are two different aspects that can influence how long it takes you to complete a mile. Experience with running will help you better pace yourself and know how to fully push yourself when you are trying to run as fast as possible.
When beginning a run, even one as short as a mile, inexperienced runners frequently struggle to hold back enough and eventually exhaust themselves. This can decrease your overall performance and will increase your average mile run time.
Your Effort Level
Your average mile run time will be influenced by how hard you push yourself. Are you moving at a relaxed, conversational training pace or are you attempting to complete a mile as quickly as you can?
In other words, are you looking to set a mile PR or trying to run a mile at a good training pace so that you can build up your endurance and run longer without stopping?
Average mile times tend to be faster for men than for women because men have a greater percentage of lean body mass relative to fat mass and a larger cardiovascular “engine” (heart and lungs).
Because their muscle mass and aerobic capacity are lessened as they age, older runners typically run slower.
Your Body Weight and Composition
Because moving a larger body requires more effort from the muscles and heart, runners with higher body fat percentages may run a mile slower than those with lean frames. This is because body fat does not increase strength.
Of course, there are tons of runners who live in “overweight” or “obese” bodies and are faster than leaner runners.
Your running pace can be impacted by the surface you are on. For instance, it is simpler to run a mile on a treadmill, track, or flat ground than it is to do so on an incline, soft ground, trails, or a hilly road (or on an inclined treadmill).
Precautions When Running
It’s crucial to increase mileage gradually when you first start running in order to prevent injuries. As you increase your speed and endurance, try to gradually increase your weekly mileage every two weeks.
Also, follow these precautions to stay safe and healthy as you run:
- When running on roads, avoid wearing headphones. You must be able to hear nearby traffic and keep yourself alert to your surroundings.
- Run against traffic.
- Follow all rules of the road. Before crossing a street, look both ways.
- Run in areas that are well-lit and secure. In the early morning or late at night, wear reflective clothing.
- So that you can stay hydrated while you train, either bring water with you when you run or choose a route that has access to water.
- When running, have identification with you. Share your plans with a friend, roommate, or relative.
- Run with a family member or dog, when possible.
- If you run outside, wear sunscreen.
- Run inappropriate running shoes and loose, comfortable clothing.
- Your running shoes should be replaced every 300 to 500 miles.
- Stretch after your run after warming up.
- To change up your workout and keep your muscles challenged, engage in cross-training once or twice per week.
Conclusion: How Long Does It Take to Run a Mile?
With any luck, this has helped you gain a better understanding of how to run a mile and how long it might take you initially. Don’t let the fact that you didn’t hit the averages perfectly discourage you; keep in mind that there are other variables that can impact your speed.
If you want to improve your average mile time:
- Every week, make an effort to vary your workouts. For example, include a long run in your workout schedule, followed by a speed or interval training session on a track or trail.
- If you want to strengthen your legs, add incline (hills).
- To avoid injury, gradually increase your speed and endurance.
- Stay hydrated when you run.
Before starting a new fitness routine, get approval from your doctor.
How Long Should a 1-Mile Run Take?
A non-competitive, relatively in-shape runner usually completes one mile in about 9 to 10 minutes, on average. If you are a beginner, you might complete a mile in closer to 12 to 15 minutes as your stamina increases. Elite marathon runners complete a mile in about 4 to 5 minutes on average.
Is under 7 Minute Mile Good?
Short answer, yes. 7 minutes is a relatively good time to run a mile in. It’s a great time to start running if you have never done it before. Taking a look at the average times for different genders and experience levels can help you determine if it’s good for you!