Running is a great way to stay fit and improve your health. In addition to being fun, running also helps burn calories and build muscle.
But it is not only a favorite among fitness fanatics for all of its health benefits – running can also be a really competitive sport, with people training for races of all sizes and durations – from quick 100 m sprints to 100 km long ultra marathons.
If you have recently gotten into running, and probably have a competitive streak about you. You may also want to know how fast the average person runs a mile so that you can compare it to your own times, and learn how to get faster.
Read on to find out more about average mile running times, and how factors such as age will affect your mile time.
How Fast Does The Average Person Run?
You may be surprised by how fast an average human can run. There’s no hard and fast rule for this question; however, we can use several statistics to make an informed guess.
There’s limited data available that isn’t self-reported or theoretical concepts from computer simulations, meaning that our information isn’t completely objective, so take these numbers for what they’re worth.
According to a study done by Run Repeat, using 35 million sets of data obtained from race records, some average running speeds for common length races are:
That means if you run a 5k in 30 minutes, you’re doing pretty well.
A 10k takes about an hour and two minutes.
A Half Marathon takes about 2 hours and 14 minutes.
A Full Marathon takes 4 hours and 26 minutes.
Using some of this data (based on 10,000 race times), the average mile time during the 5K run is 11.4 minutes per mile. That means that at 3.1 miles, the average runner should take 36 minutes and 37 seconds to complete a 5K.
But, you have to remember that this is data collected from running races – the people competing in these events already have an interest in running, and have probably trained for these races – increasing their fitness level and running speed above that of an average person.
So, this estimate is probably a little above what a typical person could run a mile in, and is more like what an average runner could run a mile in.
An additional factor to consider when looking at these stats is that this number has been produced by looking at data gathered from competitors who were running a 5K long race.
This means that their mile time was averaged out across the total 3.1 miles. If they were to run just one mile in isolation, their speed would likely be a bit faster, meaning this estimate is probably a little off.
The final factor to take into account is that this data is collected from race results. Just because someone runs a race doesn’t necessarily mean they’re racing or running as fast they can.
Many people run because they enjoy running or want to be able to run faster than they currently can, or are pacing their run, or even helping a friend cross the finish line.
This time does not correspond to the maximum human running speed.
What Is The Fastest A Human Can Run?
Most estimates of human running speeds are based on speculation rather than hard evidence.
Because Usain Bolt has held the title as the fastest human for years, it’s safe to say that his top speed of approximately 28 miles per hour is the fastest humans can run currently – until this record is broken. So, currently, the record is 28 miles an hour.
Despite this being the current record, many scientists believe that humans can run faster than Usain Bolt’s record – and have estimated that we could run at a pace of 40 miles an hour.
This number was obtained using a computer program, which showed that the fastest runners in the world could be running faster by exerting more force per pound of muscles, without damaging the muscle.
This is only theoretical, though, so don’t get too excited! For our calculations now, we will just assume that the fastest a human can run is 28 miles per hour.
Some Factors That Affect Running Speed
Running speed depends on many factors including your effort, shoes, whether you have an external load, the terrain you’re running on, the weather conditions, your hydration status, your level of sleep, your training volume, the type of training you do, and more.
Genetics, physical factors, such as height and weight, also impact running speed. Even your mood and the songs you listen to can affect your running performance on any given day.
How To Run Faster
Running is a sport that requires a lot of energy, so eat plenty of easily metabolized carbs, such as potatoes, before you run. You’ll need to invest in proper running gear if you want to be a faster runner – good shoes can do you a world of good, helping to support your arches and ankles, as well as alleviate any of your pain.
But, when it boils down to it, there is no quick fix or easy solution to run faster – your body needs to be trained properly before you engage in any type of run training. Different kinds of run training can help you improve your performance:
- Tempo runs help you develop your aerobic or lactate threshold. Your body gets used to running faster and faster over time. Start with an easy pace for 5 to 10 minutes, and then run about 10 seconds slower than your race pace for 15 to 25 minutes, and then finish off with another 5 to 10 minutes of easy paces running.
- Interval runs allow you to run fast and longer. This involves running fast or even flat out for segments, and then running slowly or walking, hence developing your stamina and speed at the same time.
- Fartlek is a Swedish word meaning ‘speed play.’ It involves playing around with different types of exercise without having a specific goal in mind, and can help you to become more athletically skilled all round. Just run based on feel, and what your body is telling you to do.
- Running up and down hills makes you stronger and helps you maintain speed over longer distances. This works well to strengthen both your legs and your lungs.
- Running on varied terrain improves your endurance, making it easier to run fast on smooth roads.
- Sprinting is a great way to increase strength, and you can add these to your training sessions once or twice a week for the best results and improved strength.
- Easy runs help you recover after hard workouts, and can do you, your body and your running speed a lot of good.
- Distance runs will help you to increase your stamina and endurance, so you can go faster in both long and short races.
Overall, if you are trying to become a faster runner, you should try to run every day.
In conclusion, the average human time to run a mile is around the 9 to 11 minute mark. If you want to get faster, you need to train yourself to run faster.
The most important aspect of becoming a better runner is to have a solid base of fitness. So start slow, build up gradually, and remember not to push too hard too soon, instead concentrating on consistency rather than over exertion.