Running can offer a wide variety of health benefits but time is also an important factor. How long does it take to run a mile?
Your running speed will vary because of details like age, running surface, where you run, physical fitness, weather, and much more. The averages vary a lot more compared to walking a mile. That being said there are some general estimations.
A non-professional athlete who is relatively in shape can generally run a mile in about 8 to 10 minutes. If you are more of a running beginner, running a mile will take closer to 12 to 15 minutes and potentially longer.
At the time of writing the world record time for running one mile is 3:43.13 by Hicham El Guerrouj set in 1999 (1).
This article will go over how long it takes to run a mile and other distances at different speeds, more specific running estimations for different ages and genders, and convenient ways to measure how long it takes for you personally to run a mile.
How long it takes to run by speed
Besides wanting to know how long it takes to run a mile at the average running pace, you may be interested in how long it takes when you speed up or down and how long it takes to run other distances. 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|
Biggest factors in running speed
A fact that may feel annoying is that how fast you run is hard to predict correctly. This fact can make things like predicting how long a run will take feel like a guessing game. In turn, this makes it harder to know how much time you have to free up in your schedule for what duration for your running sessions.
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:
- Physical fitness: The first factor that influences how fast you run one mile is your current physical fitness level. If you are used to running at high speeds you will likely also run a mile faster than someone who has not worked out for the last few months. This is due to factors like cardiovascular endurance.
- 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 you get the slower you run.
- Weather: There will be a difference in the time it takes to run a mile in a clear sky without wind compared to running in the rain with a headwind all the way.
Estimations for running speeds by age and gender
A 2015 report from Strava, a running and cycling tracking app, calculated running speed averages from over 14 million runs (2).
In their data men had an average pace of 9:03 per mile and an average running distance of 5.1 miles.
Women had an average pace of 10:21 per mile and an average running distance of 4.4 miles.
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 you only run a single mile you are likely to run faster.
These two aspects of the registered runs may balance each other out a certain amount. Statistics aside, this does give a slightly better idea of how long the average person takes to run a mile.
Another source that looked at the race results of over 10000 5k race results found slightly slower averages, especially for people at higher ages (3).
Again this is the average speed from a longer distance but at the same time likely people who run at above-average speeds anyway. The below table will show you the average time per mile of these 5k runners per age and gender and how fast this is in miles per hour. Keep in mind that these are rounded numbers.
|Age||Men||Running Speed |
|Women||Running Speed |
|0 – 15||11:12:20||5.3 mph (8.6 kmh)||12:14:57||4.8 mph (7.8 kmh)|
|16 – 19||09:34:42||6.2 mph (10 kmh)||12:09:50||4.9 mph (7.9 kmh)|
|20 – 24||09:30:36||6.3 mph (10.1 kmh)||11:44:47||5.1 mph (8.2 kmh)|
|25 – 29||10:03:22||5.9 mph (9.6 kmh)||11:42:37||5.1 mph (8.2 kmh)|
|30 – 34||10:09:33||5.9 mph (9.4 kmh)||12:29:29||4.8 mph (7.7 kmh)|
|35 – 39||10:53:45||5.5 mph (8.8 kmh)||12:03:33||4.9 mph (8 kmh)|
|40 – 44||10:28:26||5.7 mph (9.2 kmh)||12:24:47||4.8 mph (7.7 kmh)|
|45 – 49||10:43:19||5.5 mph (9 kmh)||12:41:48||4.7 mph (7.6 kmh)|
|50 – 54||11:08:16||5.3 mph (8.6 kmh)||13:20:52||4.4 mph (7.2 kmh)|
|55 – 59||12:07:58||4.9 mph (7.9 kmh)||14:37:34||4.1 mph (6.5 kmh)|
|60 – 64||13:05:47||4.5 mph (7.3 kmh)||14:47:48||4 mph (6.5 kmh)|
|65 – 99||13:52:03||4.3 mph (6.9 kmh)||16:12:01||3.7 mph (5.9 kmh)|
How to measure your personal time per mile running
Having good estimations on how fast you run and in turn how long it takes to run a mile 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 watches 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 your run was.
If you measure these 2 pieces of information a few times you can then calculate how long it takes on average for you personally to run a mile or any other distance. 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.
Is running faster healthier?
The first thing to think about is the limits of your body. Your heart and other muscles can get injured by overdoing it. A big part of a good workout schedule is being consistent and an injury can reduce the amount of exercise you can do.
Especially with running which is generally a high injury risk workout you want to be aware of where your personal limits currently are.
With that in mind, if your body is able to deal with it, running and most exercises will generally be more beneficial at higher intensities than the same duration lower intensity exercise.
Again, this is up to a certain point. You can definitely overtrain which can lead to negative consequences. If you run at higher intensities you likelty also want to give your body more rest to recover.
While it is fun to push your personal limits and improve your mile time it may be smart to take it easy for many reasons including health reasons. A small amount of running, even if it is not at record speeds, can offer you important health benefits over doing nothing (4).