Medically reviewed by Daniel Bubnis, M.S., NASM-CPT, NASE Level II-CSS, Fitness — written by Jessica Caporuscio, Pharm.D. ~ above September 5, 2019

Many factors influence the mean time that it takes for civilization to operation a mile. Age, organic sex, fitness level, and nutrition all play a role, but there are other reasons why the time varies amongst individuals.

You are watching: How long does it take to run a mile

For example, some studies have displayed that the form of to run shoe the a human being wears deserve to improve their typical mile time. Various other researchers have investigated the effects of consuming coffee before a run.

In this article, we explore the factors that affect average mile times and also investigate just how to operation a faster mile.

Share top top PinterestHigh strongness interval training deserve to improve mean mile times.
The military Study guide website lists the standards for how quickly males and also females in various period groups should have the ability to run a 2-mile race.

The following table shows just how fast, in minutes and also seconds, male and also female runners need to run 1 mile to it is in in the height 1% and also top 50% the their age groups.

Males run faster, ~ above average, than females in the same period group.

17–21 years22–26 years27–31 years32–36 years37–41 years42–46 years47–51 years52–56 years56–61 years
Top 1% males6:306:306:396:396:487:037:127:217:39
Top 50% males8:188:458:579:249:459:54No dataNo dataNo data
Top 1% females7:487:487:547:578:308:428:489:309:51
Top 50% females9:5110:1810:5111:3312:03No dataNo dataNo dataNo data

The qualifying times because that the Boston and brand-new York City marathons reflect the difference between males and females, as perform the people record times for the more quickly mile.

The following table shows the civilization record results for the fastest mile the a man and also woman have actually run.

Men outdoorMen indoorWomen outdoorWomen indoor

People that wish to mitigate their typical mile time can try several approaches to improve their running economy. Running economic situation is the quantity of energy that a human being requires to operation at a certain pace.

Researchers have determined various interventions the may assist people run faster.


People who include endurance, interval, resistance, and plyometric cultivate in their workout schedules may boost their median mile times.

Researchers believe that endurance training causes physiological responses that aid people adapt to running an ext quickly.

Coaches frequently prescribe high soot interval training and also hill workouts as added methods of boosting average mile times.

Many upstream athletes additionally choose to train in cities at high altitudes, such together Boulder, CO. High altitude training boosts oxygen distribution to the muscles and helps them use oxygen more efficiently.


Both elite and also amateur runners use caffeine to aid improve your performance. Coffee consists of caffeine, yet this stimulant is additionally in sports drinks, gels, jelly beans, and other carbohydrate-rich assets that are quick for the human body to absorb.

A research in the International journal of sporting activities Physiology and Performance evaluated the results of drink coffee before a 1-mile race.

The team of researcher separated 13 male athletes right into three treatment groups. One team received 3 milligrams (mg) of caffeinated coffee every kilogram (kg) of human body weight, when the 2nd group got an tantamount amount that decaffeinated coffee, and the last team drank a placebo solution.

The researchers detailed that the runners who drank caffeinated coffee 60 minutes prior to the race ran 1.3% quicker than the participants in the decaffeinated coffee group and 1.9% much faster than those who got the placebo.

However, these results are not consistent across studies. Another group of researchers asked part participants to drink 5.5 mg the coffee every kg of body weight and others come drink an equivalent amount that decaffeinated coffee. Every participants then completed an 800-meter race, i m sorry is nearly equivalent to half a mile.

The researchers found that caffeinated coffee did not boost the participants’ race performance, contrasted with decaffeinated coffee.

It is essential to note that in both of these studies, the participants were trained runners, so that is unclear whether caffeine may influence the speed of untrained runners.

Learn more about the feasible benefits of drinking coffee here.


Share top top PinterestA human being may improve their exercise performance by eat spinach.

Dietary nitrates, which take place naturally in lettuce, spinach, arugula, cress, celery, and also beetroot, might play a role in exercise performance and also tolerance.

When human being eat nitrates, the human body converts them into nitrites. The additional conversion of this substances right into nitric oxide takes location in problems of short oxygen, i beg your pardon can take place when exercise causes the muscle to become oxygen-deprived.

Nitric oxide has plenty of positive impacts on the body the may improve exercise performance and also tolerance.

As the writer of a review post note, numerous studies have presented that dietary nitrates have the right to improve exercise tolerance and also lower the amount of oxygen the the body needs during exercise.

Other research has tested the concept that nitrates can improve practice performance.

Researchers uncovered that fit adults performed much better on a 5-kilometer treadmill run when they ate 200 grams (g) of small beetroot, compared with those who ate a placebo. The runners ate the beetroot, which provides much more than 500 mg the nitrates, 75 minutes before the run.

Most of the study to date has offered beetroot juice. However, researchers are unable to determine the specific amount that human being need to consume to do better.

Researchers agree the athletes can quickly include 5–9 millimoles that nitrates in their daily diet, although over there is currently a absence of evidence to imply that this will an outcome in far better exercise performance.

Other factors

Researchers have been working with elite athletes to break the 2-hour marathon time. They have studied other determinants that may boost running economy, together as:

consistent tailwinddownhill coursespecific running shoe designs

Researchers indicate that wearing running shoes that are 100 g lighter, alternate between leading and also drafting behind various other runners, and also racing ~ above a course through a 42-meter elevation drop could make it feasible to operation a marathon in under 2 hours.

Another examine tested the theory that civilization run quicker while listening come music, which deserve to influence both activity tempo and motivation.

In the study, the researcher asked recreational runners to operation to fatigue on a treadmill under 3 sets that conditions:

a regulate condition, with no hear stimulationa metronome condition, with beeps matching the runner’s cadencea music condition, v the beat of motivational music equivalent the runner’s cadence

The researchers thought that motivational music with a tempo equivalent to a quicker running cadence would have superior effects, contrasted with simply a metronome beat.

However, the findings did not assistance this belief, through time to exhaustion being consistent across the metronome and also music conditions. Runners ran for more time under both of these conditions than under the control condition.

The results also indicate just a slight palliation in the runners’ perceived initiative when castle ran come motivational music. However, by boosting mood and also arousal levels, motivational music may assist people feel less pain and also fatigue once running, enabling them to critical longer before they reach exhaustion.

The study authors note that ahead findings display that the motivational nature that the music is less essential than the tempo corresponding the runner’s cadence.

People can shot listening to music throughout their maintain to aid motivate lock to run faster. By picking motivational music v a beat that matches their wanted cadence, the human may run an ext efficiently.

People who desire to boost their median mile time deserve to do therefore by training. Consisting of endurance training, hilly workouts, and high intensity interval training in an exercise schedule can help a human improve their mean mile time.

Some research suggests that including caffeine and also nitrates in the diet may assist with running performance. A human should be mindful to take these substances in ~ the ideal time because that their results to influence running performance.

See more: Positive Words That Start With Z "Zen Words", 27 Adjectives That Start With Z

Besides training and supplementing the diet, other determinants may likewise help, such together running through a tailwind and also on a downhill course. Civilization may additionally wish to invest in a lighter pair the shoes, which deserve to improve to run economy.