You may wonder how fast you run in contrast to other people. While running speed depends on many things there are averages to compare with.
One of the biggest factors in average running speed is the distance you have in mind. The running speeds for 100 meters vs a marathon will differ a lot.
Other factors that play a big role are age, gender, running surface, weather, and many more.
One 2015 report from Strava, a running and cycling tracking app, calculated running speed averages from over 14 million runs (1).
In their data men had an average pace of 9:03 per mile (5:37 per km) and an average running distance of 5.1 miles (8.2 kilometers). Women had an average pace of 10:21 per mile (6:25 per km) and an average running distance of 4.4 miles (7.1 kilometers).
This translates into an average running speed of 6.6 mph (10.6 km/h) for men and 5.7 mph (9.3 km/h) for women.
The averages of people who take the time of their day to record their runs on an app may not be the best representative for the average person. These are also runs of multiple miles, if your running distance is a lot different the average running speed will also vary a lot.
This article will go over the factors that influence running speed the most, average running speeds for different distances, ages, and gender, other interesting average running speeds, convenient ways to measure your personal running speed, and how long it takes to run certain distances at different speeds.
Biggest factors in running speed
A fact that may feel annoying is that average running speeds are hard to predict correctly. This fact can make things like predicting how you compare to other people feel like a guessing game.
Even so, good estimations can be a helpful starting point. By taking a few important factors into account you can make your estimations more accurate. Some of the biggest factors that influence how fast you will run include:
- Running distance: Arguably the most important factor in running speed is the distance you have in mind. The average speed for a 100-meter sprint will look a lot different than the average speed for a marathon. Even a few miles can make a big difference in what speeds you can keep up.
- Running surface: Your running surface can influence your running speed in a few different ways. First of all the slope of your running surface will matter a lot. Generally the steeper the slower you will run. There will also be a difference between running on a flat concrete surface vs running on a forest trail.
- Age: The next factor may be a consequence of other factors but generally from a certain point on the older the slower the average running speed.
- Weather: There will be a difference in how fast you can run in a clear sky without wind compared to running in the rain with a headwind all the way.
- How hard you try: Another important point is that most people do not go all out every time they run. So comparing the speed of your Sunday morning jog with the average running speed of people who are literally trying to be the fastest human alive ever is not fair to yourself.
While comparing to other people is tempting, it is generally better to compare yourself to your running performance of yesterday instead of the performances of other people today.
Average running speeds per gender and age
There is also a source that looks at 10.000’s of race results from people running in 5k, 10k, half-marathon, and marathon races (2, 3, 4, 5). You can find the average time per mile for the 5k and 10k per gender and per age below.
Again these are likely people who run at above-average speeds. This becomes especially clear when you notice that the average mile times for the 10k are shorter than the 5k. That being said this is still a great source to get a better idea of average running speeds.
Average running speeds per age for men
|Age||5K Time Per Mile||Running Speed Men 5K||10K Time Per Mile||Running Speed Men 10K|
|0 – 15||11:12:20||5.3 mph (8.6 kmh)||09:13:19||6.5 mph (10.4 kmh)|
|16 – 19||09:34:42||6.2 mph (10 kmh)||07:31:08||7.9 mph (12.8 kmh)|
|20 – 24||09:30:36||6.3 mph (10.1 kmh)||08:20:06||7.2 mph (11.5 kmh)|
|25 – 29||10:03:22||5.9 mph (9.6 kmh)||08:38:42||6.9 mph (11.1 kmh)|
|30 – 34||10:09:33||5.9 mph (9.4 kmh)||08:46:37||6.8 mph (10.9 kmh)|
|35 – 39||10:53:45||5.5 mph (8.8 kmh)||08:47:53||6.8 mph (10.9 kmh)|
|40 – 44||10:28:26||5.7 mph (9.2 kmh)||08:38:59||6.9 mph (11.1 kmh)|
|45 – 49||10:43:19||5.5 mph (9 kmh)||08:58:00||6.6 mph (10.7 kmh)|
|50 – 54||11:08:16||5.3 mph (8.6 kmh)||09:04:51||6.6 mph (10.6 kmh)|
|55 – 59||12:07:58||4.9 mph (7.9 kmh)||09:31:21||6.3 mph (10.1 kmh)|
|60 – 64||13:05:47||4.5 mph (7.3 kmh)||09:29:49||6.3 mph (10.1 kmh)|
|65 – 99||13:52:03||4.3 mph (6.9 kmh)||10:10:05||5.9 mph (9.4 kmh)|
Average running speeds per age for women
|Age||5K Time Per Mile||Running Speed Women 5K||10K Time Per Mile||Running Speed Women 10K|
|0 – 15||12:14:57||4.8 mph (7.8 kmh)||10:12:42||5.8 mph (9.4 kmh)|
|16 – 19||12:09:50||4.9 mph (7.9 kmh)||09:44:06||6.1 mph (9.9 kmh)|
|20 – 24||11:44:47||5.1 mph (8.2 kmh)||09:39:08||6.2 mph (10 kmh)|
|25 – 29||11:42:37||5.1 mph (8.2 kmh)||10:04:13||5.9 mph (9.5 kmh)|
|30 – 34||12:29:29||4.8 mph (7.7 kmh)||10:05:10||5.9 mph (9.5 kmh)|
|35 – 39||12:03:33||4.9 mph (8 kmh)||10:03:20||5.9 mph (9.6 kmh)|
|40 – 44||12:24:47||4.8 mph (7.7 kmh)||10:06:02||5.9 mph (9.5 kmh)|
|45 – 49||12:41:48||4.7 mph (7.6 kmh)||10:14:38||5.8 mph (9.4 kmh)|
|50 – 54||13:20:52||4.4 mph (7.2 kmh)||10:20:43||5.7 mph (9.3 kmh)|
|55 – 59||14:37:34||4.1 mph (6.5 kmh)||10:55:43||5.4 mph (8.8 kmh)|
|60 – 64||14:47:48||4 mph (6.5 kmh)||11:16:53||5.3 mph (8.5 kmh)|
|65 – 99||16:12:01||3.7 mph (5.9 kmh)||12:44:53||4.7 mph (7.5 kmh)|
Other interesting average running speeds
- 100 meters world record by Usain Bolt: 23.4 mph (37.6 km/h)
- 1-mile world record by Hicham El Guerrouj: 16.1 mph (25.9 km/h)
- 5000 meters world record by Joshua Cheptegei: 14.8 mph (23.9 km/h)
- The Boston Marathon qualifying time for males between 18-34 years: 8.7 mph (14 km/h)
- The Boston Marathon qualifying time for females between 18-34 years: 7.5 mph (12 km/h)
- Marathon world record by Eliud Kipchoge: 12.9 mph (20.8 km/h)
As expected these are very impressive running speeds.
How to measure your personal average running speed
Having good estimations on how fast you run can be useful. That being said in the end there are a lot of differences between individuals. The best way to get an accurate prediction is to measure out your time on a few occasions and use these times as your personal benchmarks.
To do this you need 2 things. Something to measure how much time has passed. For this, you can use basically anything that tells the time like a watch or a phone or something like a stopwatch.
Secondly, you need to know how long the distance is you will run. You can run on a path from which you know the distance. For example, most outdoor tracks are 400 meters, slightly less than a quarter-mile.
More convenient options for this second part are using a fitness tracker, app, treadmill, or website to tell you how many miles or kilometers your run was.
If you measure these 2 pieces of information a few times you can then calculate what your personal average running speed is. Of course, being able to run a short distance at a certain speed is no guarantee you can keep up the same pace for longer distances.
How long it takes to run distances by speed
Besides wanting to know the average running speeds, you may be interested in how long it takes to run certain distances at certain running speeds. The times in the table are minutes : seconds and rounded numbers.
|4 mph (6.4 kmh)||5 mph (8.1 kmh)||6 mph (9.1 kmh)||7 mph (11.3 kmh)|
|1 kilometer||9:19 minutes||7:28 minutes||6:13 minutes||5:20 minutes|
|1 mile||15 minutes||12 minutes||10 minutes||8:34 minutes|
|2 miles||30 minutes||24 minutes||20 minutes||17:08 minutes|
|3 miles||45 minutes||36 minutes||30 minutes||25:43 minutes|
|5 kilometer||46:37 minutes||37:17 minutes||31:05 minutes||26:38 minutes|
|4 miles||60 minutes||48 minutes||40 minutes||34:17 minutes|
|5 miles||75 minutes||60 minutes||50 minutes||42:52 minutes|
|10 kilometer||93:14 minutes||74:35 minutes||62:09 minutes||53:16 minutes|
|10 miles||150 minutes||120 minutes||100 minutes||85:43 minutes|