Running is a great way for people to get started on their fitness journey. If you’re interested in seeing how your running is progressing, you should be keeping track of your mile times. So, what is a good time for running a mile? Read on as we break down everything runners should know.
Running a mile in 12 to 15 minutes is a good time for beginners. More experienced runners should be able to complete a mile in 10 minutes. These are average times that don’t apply to every runner. Some factors can affect your time, such as age, gender, and weight.
How Long Is A Mile Run and What Is A Good Mile Time?
Everybody is at a different point in their fitness journey. What is a good time for one runner might be completely different for the next. On average, a good time for beginners is 12 to 15 minutes. If you’re not at this time yet, that’s okay. With steady practice, you could bring your time up.
Runners with more experience are better at maintaining a pace. This is why they can usually get the mile done within 10 minutes.
What Are The Current Fastest Mile Times?
The human body can do some incredible things. This includes running at high speeds and finishing 1 mile in minutes. The fastest mile time currently recorded is less than 4 minutes. Hicham El Guerrouj holds the record for completing a mile in 3:43:13 in 1999. The female with the fastest recorded time to date is Sifan Hassan with a time of 4:12:33 in 2019.
What Are The Current Average Mile Times By Age & Sex?
The numbers we mentioned above are average times. Many factors go into determining how long a good mile time is. After all, a good time for an athletic 22-year-old male will be completely different from a 67-year-old woman who rarely works out.
Are you wondering “how fast should I run a mile?”. To give you a better idea of what your average mile run time should be, look at the following charts to find your age group.
Table with the Males Average 1 Mile Run Time By Age
|16 to 19||9:34|
|20 to 24||9:30|
|25 to 29||10:03|
|30 to 34||10:09|
|35 to 39||10:53|
|40 to 44||10:28|
|45 to 49||10:43|
|50 to 54||11:08|
|55 to 59||12:08|
|60 to 64||13:05|
|65 to 99||13:52|
Table with the Average Female Mile Time
|16 to 19||12:09|
|20 to 24||11:44|
|25 to 29||11:42|
|30 to 34||12:29|
|35 to 39||12:03|
|40 to 44||12:24|
|45 to 49||12:41|
|50 to 54||13:20|
|55 to 59||14:37|
|60 to 64||14:47|
|65 to 99||16:12|
What Factors Can Impact Your Mile Time?
Is your time different from the suggested good time for a mile run in your age group? Your age and gender aren’t the only things that impact how fast you can run. Let’s take a closer look at some other factors that can impact your mile run time.
1. Personal Fitness
One of the main factors that affect how long it takes a person to run a mile is their own personal fitness. Someone who is just starting out shouldn’t expect to have the same times as someone who has been running every week for the past 3 years.
If you’re starting out, don’t be discouraged by your time. At this stage, it’s more important to put focus on your form and technique than it is to worry about your pace. With steady practice and commitment, your mile run time can gradually improve.
2. Flat Terrain vs Incline
There will be a difference in time when you compare a mile run on flat terrain vs inclines. It takes more energy to run uphill than it does to run on a flat surface. Even experienced runners have a longer mile run time when they run on an incline. Your muscles will get tired sooner from running uphill.
If your main goal is to improve your time and keep up a pace, then we suggest practicing on a flat surface. However, when you’re happy with your mile run time and want more of a challenge, an incline run is a fun way to achieve this.
3. Weather Conditions
Climate can play a role in your run time as well. If you run indoors on a treadmill, then this section won’t apply to you. However, if you prefer to run outdoors, then you might want to know how the weather impacts your run time.
Both winter and summer weather conditions can affect your run. If you live in a cold climate, you might find it more challenging to run outdoors in the winter. The snowy and icy conditions can present hazards for slipping. Even if the area where you want to run has been cleared, the cold weather can make it difficult for your muscles to warm up.
The conditions for running are safer in the summer months. But, when a heatwave strikes, running outdoors could become very difficult. The hot weather and humidity will make you feel tired sooner. It can also cause runners to become dehydrated easier.
Another factor to consider about running outdoors in the summer is the lack of wind. When there are clear skies, there’s less of a breeze. This may not be something you think of beforehand, but a natural wind helps to cool people off as they’re running.
4. Your Body
When it comes to any kind of physical activity, experts recommend listening to your body. If your body is feeling nourished and energized, then it’s a good time for a run. However, if you’re feeling sore or have recently hurt a muscle, then you should give yourself a break. Forcing yourself to run when your body isn’t ready won’t improve your time. Always give your body time to recover when needed.
The size of your body also affects your time. You may have noticed that smaller people seem to have better running times. This is true because they have less body weight to carry. If you are tall or overweight, then your body will need to work harder than someone petite to keep up the speed.
How To Improve Your Mile Run Times
Now that you know that average mile run time by age, you’ll have a better idea of what you need to work towards. If you’re not at the average time yet, that’s okay. Running a mile isn’t a race. Let’s take a look at some expert tips on improving your run times.
1. Set Your Goals & Keep Track
The first step in your journey is to set your goal. Remember, goals don’t happen overnight. Aim to set a realistic goal that you can make a plan to work towards. It also helps if you make a plan on how you want to achieve this milestone.
Once you start running towards this goal, we suggest keeping track of your progress. You could keep a journal that includes your running times, distances, and how your experience went.
2. Maintain Proper Form & Breathing
Before you start concentrating on speed and distance, you should focus on proper form and breathing. Your form is essential for reducing the risk of injury. This is why it’s important to maintain good posture and avoid rotating your torso.
Breathing properly is also important for your health and safety. If you get to a point where you’re struggling to breathe, then you need to slow down your pace. You should be able to breathe naturally using your mouth and nose. Keep a pace in which you can still hold a conversation if needed.
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3. Wear Proper Footwear
Wearing the right footwear can make or break how your running experience goes. When you run, your foot has a hard impact on the ground. If your footwear doesn’t provide the right type of support, you could hurt your feet.
Make sure you run in the proper running shoes that you have tried on. Running shoes are durable and made to support your foot. The soles provide cushioned support, so your body doesn’t feel the impact of your run.
Good-quality running shoes are also better for reducing the risk of injury because they’re slip-proof. This means that you’re less likely to fall if the ground is wet.
4. Alternate Your Workouts
Running is an excellent workout with many great health benefits. But, if you want to improve your running, then you need to do other workouts as well. Strength workouts are just as important because they help to build and strengthen muscles.
When your muscles are stronger, you will be able to run faster for longer. Additionally, running can help you keep your muscles toned and defined.
5. Fuel & Hydration
Your body needs food to fuel itself for a run. Healthy eating habits can help provide your body with enough energy to run. A protein-rich snack after a run can also help your muscles recover after the workout.
Hydration is also important. Experts recommend drinking water before and after a run. It’s also recommended to drink water during a distance run if you’re running for 15 minutes or longer at a time. If you get dehydrated, your muscles could cramp up. This makes it more difficult to exercise.
6. Warm Up & Cool Down
Your muscles need to be prepared for a run. That is why it’s essential to warm up before running a mile. Perform a minimum of 5 minutes of stretching and light aerobic activity before your run. These movements can help prevent an overuse muscle injury. Once you have completed your run, you should also perform a cool down to improve your blood flow and prevent muscle injuries.
What is a good time for running up hill a mile?
When running uphill, you should add 1.74 seconds to your time for every 10 feet of elevation to get a good time for your age and gender.
Is a 7 minute mile quick?
A 7 minute mile is very quick. This is a goal that’s appropriate for advanced runners. If you’re a beginner, this mile time may be too intense for you right now.
Running 1 mile is a realistic goal for runners at any stage. What is a good running time for a mile? Beginners should aim to run a mile in 12 to 15 minutes. However, more experienced runners can aim to complete this run within 10 minutes.
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- Mile run world record progression // Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mile_run_world_record_progression
- How to Master Proper Running Form // Healthline: https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/proper-running-form#running-form
- How To Stretch Before a Run—Properly // Yale Medicine: https://www.yalemedicine.org/news/how-to-stretch-before-run
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