How Long Does It Take To Run A Mile?

Thinking about running for exercise? Whether it’s to lose weight or get fitter, running a mile (1.6 kilometers) is often one of the first running milestones to achieve.

How Long Does It Take to Run a Mile?

Hey, you might have already started running and are simply wondering how long it takes to run a mile!

The simple answer, however, is that it depends. Of course, everyone has their own current fitness level, which will determine how long it takes to run a mile.

But that doesn’t mean the time it takes is fixed. It’s more than possible to improve your one-mile running time by setting goals and managing a running routine.

And for all the information you need for how to do this, plus the average time it takes to run a mile, make sure to keep reading!

The Average Time It Takes To Run A Mile

So, in general, it takes the average non-competitive runner—someone who’s relatively in shape—around 9 to 10 minutes to run one mile.

Whether that’s discouraging or not, knowing this is in fact a great way to create a new goal for yourself!

Others who are complete beginners, or casual runners, may take up to 15 minutes to run one mile.

On the other end, elite runners, such as those who run competitively, can run one mile in 4 to 5 minutes.

The Factors Involved In Running One Mile

General fitness aside, there are other factors that determine how quickly it takes a runner of any ability to run one mile. These factors can include:

  • Elevations
  • Terrain
  • Running shoes
  • Weather conditions
  • Mental discipline
  • Energy levels
  • Hydration
  • Pacing

So, it’s not just about fitness and stamina, but all the above factors, which need to be taken into account whenever you time how long it takes you to run a mile.

Needless to say, unsuitable running shoes, improper nutrition and hydration, adverse weather conditions, as well as hills and rough terrain will all slow you down if you’re looking to achieve your best one-mile running time.

Even running on a treadmill, as opposed to running outdoors, can improve your one-mile running time, since the momentum of the running belt offers a degree of assistance!

How To Improve Your One Mile Running Time

How Long Does It Take to Run a Mile

Now that you know the average times it takes to run one mile, as well as the factors that can affect the time it takes, how can you improve your one-mile running time?

It goes without saying that simply putting on your running shoes and going for a run as often as you can will naturally help you to improve your running time gradually.

On the whole, it all comes down to pace – the consistent speed at which you can run a specific distance without fatiguing yourself (having to stop).

For new runners, average running pace will be slow at the beginning. And whatever your one-mile time is currently, it’s possible to calculate your average pace using online calculators.

But aside from simply running and timing yourself, you can improve your one-mile running time by choosing flat running routes, wearing suitable running shoes, keeping yourself hydrated, getting enough sleep, and fueling up on carbohydrates (at least a few hours) before heading out to run!

What Are The Benefits Of Running One Mile?

Sure, you might consider yourself competitive when it comes to your running times – and there’s nothing wrong with that.

But looking at the benefits of running one mile is just as—if not more—important than looking at your stopwatch!

If you’re completely new to running, the benefits are also worth knowing since these can be the driving force that helps you maintain your running routine and goals.

Running one mile, or any distance for that matter, contributes to improved cardiovascular (lungs and heart) health, tendon and ligament strength, weight loss, and even several mental benefits, including improved mood and cognitive functions.

And if you have heard of “runner’s high”, it’s a real thing!

By running for a set distance or time, chemical reactions naturally occur in the brain that boost serotonin and dopamine levels, resulting in a temporary feeling of bliss or ecstasy.

How Long Does It Take to Run 3 Miles?

After hitting the one-mile milestone, running 3 miles is often the next goal most runners set out to achieve.

Three miles equates to 5 kilometers, and 5k runs are popular running events that can be entered around the world.

So, taking the average one-mile running time into account—9 to 10 minutes—it will take the average, in-shape runner around 30 minutes to run 3 miles.

This is a great time, in fact, since most runners consider a sub 30-minute 5k an accomplishment. The same applies to a sub one-hour 10k!

But, again, don’t feel discouraged if your best 3-mile time isn’t quite there yet. For beginners or casual runners, the average time it can take to run 3 miles can be anything up to 45 minutes.

Even still, completing 3 miles/a 5k run should be considered a huge achievement regardless of the time it takes!

Final Word

To conclude, it generally takes 9 to 10 minutes to run one mile. That’s for the average, in-shape runner, however – for beginners, running one mile can take up to 15 minutes in total.

As for elite runners who run competitively, expect most to clock one mile in 4 to 5 minutes!

Whatever your current time is, though, don’t feel discouraged by any means. It’s more than possible to improve your time naturally by simply getting outdoors and running.

And even if you can’t run one mile yet, track your progress to gradually work towards reaching that one-mile milestone.

Don’t forget that there are factors to take into account whenever running for time, including weather conditions, running shoes, elevations and terrain, energy levels, hydration, and pacing.

And, last but not least, always remember that the benefits of running are far more important than the time it takes to run a set distance!

Richard Harris