Data collated by the Sports and Fitness Association in 2020 indicates that roughly 50 million Americans run or jog. A chunk of these passionate runners often hit two miles or longer distances based on their targeted weekly mileages and fitness goals.
Consequently, it’s common to find both experienced and beginner runners asking about the average 2-mile time to determine if they’re on the right track. Well, if you’re among them, here’s your answer:
Most runners take 18-22 minutes to run two miles. Some elite runners with better running performance are incredibly fast and can complete that same distance in only nine minutes.
The key to understanding your average 2-mile time is knowing what influences your running speed, which we’ll discuss in this guide.
Read through it to also learn about other critical topics, such as minimizing your average mile time, combining running and lifting, and getting back in the saddle after taking a break from your 2-mile running routine.
What Impacts Your Mile Time?
How fast you run a mile to complete a two-mile distance rides on many factors.
One of them is altitude—running at high altitude reduces your mile pace since your muscles access a limited amount of oxygen. Therefore, you tire quickly and consume more time to run two miles.
Another variable that influences your average 2-mile time is age group.
Typically, young runners between 18 and 30 are faster than older adults between 40 and 60 due to a higher fitness level and aerobic activity. This is why you might find yourself hitting two miles in 18 minutes in your prime, but the run becomes an uphill task as soon as you clock 70.
In addition, your gender determines the average time you need to ace a two-mile run.
If you’re a man, you boast an elevated testosterone level and more muscle bulk, which strengthens your muscles and bones. That allows you to run two miles within an average time of 18-22 minutes.
However, women lack the privilege of more muscle mass and a high level of testosterone. So, unlike male runners, they might need more minutes to run two miles.
Other factors affecting your average 2-mile time include:
- Terrain. Running two miles on rough terrain requires more energy and is more exhausting, increasing your 2-mile time.
- Fitness level. Elite runners who’ve been running for years are fitter and have more endurance. This means they have a faster running speed, and covering a 2-mile distance is a piece of cake for them. Most beginner runners are unfit and require more time to run a mile or two.
- Nutrition. Running two miles might take longer than necessary without a proper runner’s diet. For instance, heading out for your two-mile run outdoors on an empty stomach can wear you out after only a few minutes due to low energy levels. This forces you to reach your run’s endpoint in more minutes.
- Objectives. Why are you running two miles? Your goals can affect how soon you finish a 2-mile run. For example, if you hope to trigger weight loss, you’ll be compelled to run faster to achieve that and lose more pounds.
Tips to Lower Your Average 2-Mile Time
Improving your average mile time to cover two miles in fewer than 18-22 minutes is always advisable. It helps you stick to your running routine and even enables you to run a longer distance.
Besides, when you run faster, you burn more calories per mile and achieve weight loss eventually.
So, what should you do to reduce your mile time to run eight laps in the least time possible? Check out these six proven tricks that could change the game for you:
Run More Often
Maximize your training volume to improve your running speed and average mile time. The thing is, frequent 2-mile runs boost your stamina. They also strengthen your muscles, heart, lungs, and connective tissues, which are handy for increasing your pace.
In addition, maintaining a running routine alleviates stress, which may discourage you from indulging in the cardio activity. After all, you’re more motivated to run faster when you’re in a good mental state.
And that’s not everything.
Running daily facilitates muscle recovery—your running performance is better when your muscles aren’t sore, improving your average mile time.
Prioritize Speed Workouts
Speed training is another excellent way to reduce your average 2-mile time because it increases your running pace.
Training exercises, such as tempo running and interval training, help runners reach their full explosive bodily potential by boosting their acceleration and agility.
Still, a considerable increase in your running speed isn’t the only advantage you’ll enjoy once you embark on your speed training journey.
Other benefits include a surge in calories burned, a better running economy, minimal risk of injury, enhanced aerobic endurance, and easier, stronger strides.
Leverage Good Running Form
If you want to run your fastest mile, proper running form is necessary, especially if you’re a new runner.
Good running form allows you to run two miles in the most efficient way possible without overexerting your muscles and joints. This means your footstrike, arm swing, and posture work in tandem to create the best running technique.
On top of that, it fosters better moving patterns to enable you to run more efficiently without growing tired quickly, ultimately enhancing your average mile time.
Bump Up Your Cadence
As you set out to run two miles at full speed, try to increase your cadence, as it could help you attain that goal.
A boost in cadence allows you to run more steps per minute, meaning you can cover a two-mile distance in the average time of fewer than twenty minutes.
Even more convenient, a faster cadence reduces your chances of getting injured during your 2-mile run. And for a runner, nothing’s more assuring than safety.
Unfortunately, most beginner runners confuse cadence with stride length and cannot take advantage of this tip to lower their average mile time. So beware, these two aren’t the same thing.
While cadence refers to the steps you take in a minute, stride length is the distance you cover in a single stride.
Someone might ask, “Does stride length come into play when reducing your average mile pace?”
The answer to that popular question is a resounding YES. You might finish a 2-mile run in fewer minutes if you increase your stride length, but your chances of becoming injured are extremely high.
Make Resistant Training a Habit
Strength training is incredibly beneficial when you want to reduce the time you take to run two miles.
First, it strengthens your lower body muscles, bones, and connective tissues to make your strides more powerful.
Strength training workouts also take your overall running performance to the next level, nurture proper running form, and enhance your running economy.
Furthermore, up to three strength training workouts weekly can help your body withstand the musculoskeletal demands of running two miles daily.
Eventually, you should increase your running speed and improve your average mile time.
Embrace Rest Days
Rest days are an essential part of your training as a runner, and they’re handy when you want to run your fastest mile.
Here’s what happens when you take regular breaks from your 2-mile running routine.
Your worn-out muscles heal and recover, kicking your running performance up a notch and making you less susceptible to injury and burnout. This translates into more energy when you lace up for your next two-mile run and a faster running speed.
Most runners rest for at least one day weekly. You can enjoy a few more rest days if you’re new to running as your skills improve.
But then, how do you know it’s time to take a rest day? Check out for these telltale signs:
- You’re discouraged from running two miles even after a warm-up
- Your knees are on fire
- Your running speed is extremely slow
- You feel exhausted and dehydrated
- You’re apprehensive about running two miles or a longer distance
- You’ve hit a running plateau and can’t seem to bust out of it
- You have trouble sleeping
Running 2 Miles Again After a Break
It’s easy to take a few rest days and eventually miss weeks or months of running. This could be due to an injury, demotivation, or overwhelming work and family responsibilities.
If you’re in such a situation, aim to get back in the game as soon as possible.
At first, strive to cover two miles at an easy running pace to familiarize your body with the physical activity as you prepare to increase your speed.
Cross-training can also restore your psyche and encourage you to run again after a hiatus. Therefore, give activities such as interval training, yoga, walking, and lifting a chance.
In addition, a slow start is recommended for an average person who hasn’t run in a while. Begin by running only a mile to build your agility and endurance; it’ll pay off in the long run.
Running Two Miles or Weight Lifting: Which Should Come First?
Most runners have incorporated both running and strength training into their workout routines. But they often become confused when it’s time to indulge in these activities because they don’t know what to start with.
The truth is, whether you run 2 miles first and lift weights later comes down to your fitness goals and what you’re most comfortable with.
Running enthusiasts who want to lose weight and enhance their fitness levels should first run 2 miles and do strength training exercises later.
On the flip side, lift weights before you run two miles if you’re trying to boost your muscular strength and still become more fit.
Notably, a vast majority of two-mile runners are not on the same page about this topic. Some argue that running two miles after strength training is best because doing the reverse means you’ll deplete your energy before indulging in the more strenuous workout.
Either way, strength training offers 2-mile runners many desirable perks, including the following.
Optimal Running Efficiency
Do you often feel too knackered in the middle of your 2-mile run and want to increase your running efficiency? Strength training could be the perfect solution to your problem.
It boosts your running economy and form, allowing you to run a faster mile and cover more distance in a single session.
Lifting is an effective endurance training workout for runners who hit two miles daily. It enhances your muscles’ power, allowing them to perform better even when you run more distance.
What’s more, strength training enables you to maintain good running form despite limited running experience.
A better running economy and proper running form assure you of safety every time you hit the road. You don’t have to worry about knee injuries, lower back pain, and other complications associated with running.
This motivates you to follow your 2-mile routine.
The Best Gear for 2-Mile Runners
Two miles is an achievable distance for an average person, even if they don’t run regularly. But as most runners can attest, hitting it can prove difficult without the right gear.
As a runner planning to kill it during your two-mile run, check out these essentials you should invest in:
- Cushioned and stable running shoes. Miles times are typically affected by the shoes you wear. Therefore, get a comfortable pair to enable you to run 2 miles faster. And be sure to replace it with another as soon as you hit the 500 or 600-mile limit.
- Compression clothes. Clothing such as compression socks and shorts increases your running performance, making it a must-have whenever you run 2 miles.
- Headphones. A quality pair of headphones is worth it, especially when building a two-mile running habit. Utilize it to listen to your favorite workout music mix because it can boost your running pace.
- Sports watch. A running watch enables you to time your 2-mile runs and track your progress. It’s not a must-have, though. A smartphone with a running app is an excellent replacement.
Transform Your Life with Regular 2-Mile Runs
Running eight laps in the average 2-mile time of fewer than twenty minutes is a game changer for anyone looking to lead a better life, no matter their age group.
The exercise considerably reduces your risk of premature death. It also allows you to savor wonderful benefits such as weight loss, an invincible immune system, and a lower risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
As expected, enjoying the advantages of running two miles calls for ultimate devotion. For instance, enhancing your physical health or fitness will remain a dream if you skip your 2-mile run five days a week.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is running two miles daily a good workout?
Covering a 2-mile distance every day is a great workout that boosts your fitness level and allows you to enjoy other benefits of running. These include good heart health, better mental health, and improved sleep.
Can running two miles reduce love handles?
Running two miles on the reg can target the excess weight around your waist and belly, eventually getting rid of love handles. Most runners run between 30 and 60 minutes four or five days a week to observe such transformation.
What is the two-mile world record?
The 2-mile world records for men and women are 7:58.61 (set by Kenyan long-distance runner Daniel Kipngetich Komen on July 19, 1997) and 8:58.58 (set by Ethiopian Meseret Defar on September 14, 2007), respectively.
Komen ran two miles at a four-mile pace and is the only athlete to ever cover the distance in less than eight minutes.
Is running two miles in 16 minutes good?
Hitting two miles in sixteen minutes is commendable for beginner runners. However, if you’re on the list of elite runners, endevour to cover such a distance in at most 12 minutes or fewer.
Why does my tummy look bigger after I run two miles?
Your stomach may appear larger following a 2-mile run due to bloating, commonly caused by the physical exertion of the exercise, overhydrating, and consuming too little water.