Average Mile Run Time: Records & How To Improve Your Mile Pace
What is the average mile run time?
The average runner will complete a mile in about 9 to 10 minutes. A new runner may take a bit more time, averaging 12 to 15 minutes per mile. Elite runners will average 4 to 5 minute mile times.
World Record Mile Time – Men: Hicham El Guerrouj – 3:43:13
World Record Mile Time – Women: Sifan Hassan – 4:12:33
Average Mile Time – Men (Strava) – 9:15
Average Mile Time – Women (Strava) – 10:40
Average 1 mile run time by age and ability (Male)
Average 1 mile run time by age and ability (Female)
Things That Impact Running Pace
Several factors contribute to an average mile time.
✓ Gender – Statistically speaking, if all else is equal, men tend to run faster than women. Sure, making this blanket statement will offend some people. However, the proof is in the pudding. Look at Boston Qualifier standards, military standards, world records. Like it or not, men are generally faster than women.
✓ Age Group – On the one hand, you may be thrilled to hear that you won’t necessarily get that much slower over time as you age. Most runners reach their fastest between age 18 and 30.
✓ Overall Fitness & Experience – Are you healthy? Do you work out more than the average person? Do you have some weight loss goals to attain before you reach your mile pace goals? Are you a beginner runner, or does your experience go back to high school track and field? There are many fitness and experience factors that you must weigh before improving mile times.
✓ Training Types – Finding the right mix of training variations that fit your running style, fitness level, and desired goal can be challenging. Most runners will include cross-training and interval training in their training plans. Below you’ll find additional training info.
✓ Health – It stands to reason that your health also factors into how fast you can run. If you have had few medical issues, you likely will take to running a little better than someone who has had health concerns.
✓ Injury – Injury can be a big one. If you have suffered an injury that sidelined you for any time, you will likely have to climb and claw your way back. Hamstrings, for example, can take six months or more of rehab. These types of injuries can impact speed.
✓ Body composition – You are hard-pressed to find an article discussing runners’ speed that does not discuss height and weight. There is genuine data that points to taller runners and that being an advantage as far as pace goes, as their stride is longer. In addition to that, it is also true that weight loss often helps runners to speed up.
If you put on running shoes and head out to pound the pavement, you are a runner. I have raced against people who weighed considerably more than I do, and they kicked my butt. Don’t put too much faith into this.
✓ Terrain – Your pace will change depending on the terrain on which you are running. Trails, for example, require careful attention to every step you take. This will usually slow you down. Soft tracks can be forgiving and a nice change of pace.
Grass, on the other hand, is soft but often slows you down some compared to asphalt. If you’re exploring mountains, that will probably slow you down, especially if you are not used to being at a high altitude.
✓ Weather – While some people are self-proclaimed rain runners, most inclement weather tends to slow people down. Extreme heat or cold, for example, can slow down your average time to run a mile. Trudging through deep snow can also slow you down. However, many runners have that perfect sweet spot where they run at their very best (mine is 40-50 degrees).
Based on data uploaded to Strava, the average time to run a mile is 9:48. This data is gathered with over 300 million runners’ statistics, and it breaks down to an average of 9:15 minute mile for men and a 10:40 for women.
For many people, seeing those statistics is disheartening. For others, it hopefully affirms that they’re doing a fantastic job! The thing to keep in mind is that your mile is precisely that. YOUR mile. Own it.
Fastest Mile Ever Run
The fastest mile ever clocked by a man unaided by a downhill is a 3:43, set by a Moroccan runner in 1999. Are you wondering about the women’s side of the record? The fastest mile by a female is a 4:12:33 set in 2019. But that’s “just one mile.” What about the long haul?
Let’s explore some world record holders in the marathon. First, marathoning great Eliud Kipchoge can run all 26.2 miles at a blazing pace averaging a 4:38 mile. Yes, you read that right. He holds that pace for 26.2 miles.
Kenyan Brigit Kosgei broke the women’s marathon record in 2019 by clocking a 2:14:4 for the 26.2. This was a 5:06 average across the distance.
How To Improve Your Mile Time
If you’re interested in clocking a faster mile time, here are some tips and running workouts to seed into training.
First, be sure you’re warming up enough for each run. Whether it’s training or your next attempt at your personal best, preparing your body is an important step.
Next, consider how many miles you are currently running. It may be in your best interest to add some mileage to your week. Also, you should be sure you are running consistently if you are looking to improve. A run here and there doesn’t add up to much change. However, consistently logging miles add up quickly!
Adding speed work to your workout regimen is an excellent way to get faster. This can be in the form of track work or pick-up intervals called fartleks. Hill work is another great thing to add to your workout. Hill work is speed work in disguise! Pounding up the hill for repeats builds strength and power.
Strength training is another great thing to do if you are hoping to get faster. In addition to strength, be sure you spend some time on focused core work.
Lastly, nutrition is an important thing. Too often hope to build abs in the weight room when most of the work is done in the kitchen!
For recreational runners, running a blazing fast mile is probably not a top priority. However, if you are hoping to get faster, these types of workouts are a fantastic place to start.
For more info, be sure to consult a running coach or join RunnerClick Pro for access to coaches, experts, training guides, and a global running community that will support you every step of the way.
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