How Many Minutes Does It Take to Run a Mile?

Trying to kick your fitness level up a notch through running?

Start by covering a mile, or four laps around an outdoor track, daily. It’ll help you attain that feat and so much more.

For instance, running a mile several days a week boosts your mental health, memory, and focus. It enables you to sleep better at night and look more dashing if you’re consistent.

The easiest way to run a mile daily is to create a running schedule to help you plan your days and make time for the cardio exercise. But first, ask yourself, “how many minutes does it take to run a mile?”

The average mile time for most runners is 9-12 minutes, but it’s not fixed. Runners run at a different pace every day. So, you could cover a mile in ten minutes today and take more or less time to run the same distance tomorrow.

This guide aims to help you get a firm grasp on what it takes to run a mile. Keep reading to find out the factors affecting runners’ average mile times and how you can cover one mile without necessarily stepping out.

Average Mile Run Time: The Ultimate Determinants

Here are the top elements that determine how fast or slow you run one mile:

Age Group

Age is one of the many factors influencing your mile pace. Your running speed will be fastest during your younger years, usually between 16 and 35.

However, your mile time will likely increase gradually once you hit 40 due to less muscle activation in your legs. Older runners are also typically slower because they have shorter strides and age-related imbalances.

This means that runners in their 20s or 30s are faster and can cover one mile in fewer minutes than those past 40.


You’ve probably heard people say it doesn’t matter where you’re born, but sometimes it does. Genetics may affect your running speed and determine the time you take to run one mile.

Some families have been known to produce gifted runners who are typically faster than others, no matter their experience and training.

For instance, the Dibaba sisters, Genzebe, Tirunesh, and Ejegayehu, from Ethiopia, have secured their place in the annals of history as the only siblings who’ve held concurrent world records. Vogue Magazine even described theirs as the “fastest family on the planet.”

Nevertheless, lacking Olympian bloodlines doesn’t mean you can’t join the list of the world’s fastest runners. You could, with more practice and devotion to improving your running skills.   

Fitness Level

The fitter you are, the more effortless it will be to run four laps in ten or fewer minutes. A high fitness level makes you more mobile and endurant, boosting your running speed.

This is why more experienced runners boast a faster running pace than newbies.

As a beginner runner with a low fitness level, you might take up to fifteen minutes to hit your first mile. Fortunately, you can improve your running speed if you stick to your program and even cover a longer distance as soon as your fitness level improves.


At times, how soon you complete a mile depends on the weather. Most runners have a slower running speed during the winter than in the summer months.

So, here’s the correlation between your average mile pace and the weather.

Your muscles generate less power in a cold environment, and your fatigue threshold is also limited. This negatively impacts your average mile pace, forcing you to take more time to finish your one-mile run.

On the other hand, the summer heat warms up your working muscles to boost your exercise performance. This allows you to have a faster mile pace and complete your run in only a few minutes.

Still, it’s worth noting that other factors may affect your average mile time, regardless of whether it’s hot or cold.

For example, running a mile is challenging when it’s extremely windy in the summer. You’ll consume more minutes than usual because the wind doubles your energy costs, wearing you out quickly.

A Runner’s Skill Level

Skill Level also belongs to this list of factors that affect running speed and runners’ average mile times.

Beginner runners can easily take ten minutes to run a mile. If you consistently run six to five times weekly or are at the intermediate level, you could cover the distance in roughly seven minutes.

An elite runner can run a mile in 5-6 minutes, while a highly experienced one with a world record needs 3-4 minutes.


A runner’s gender is another aspect that comes into play when looking into the question of “how many minutes does it take to run a mile?” Typically, men are faster than women, so they’re likely to finish a one-mile run in less time.

Several factors explain why male runners boast a faster running speed than women.

First, men’s legs comprise about 80% muscle, unlike women, whose lower limbs have only 60% muscle—the extra muscle mass in male runners contributes to their fast average pace.

In addition, men come with larger lungs than women due to their broad bodies. So, their maximal oxygen consumption is high, leading to a faster running speed. 

For women, that is quite the reverse; they have smaller bodies and lungs, which lowers their maximal oxygen consumption. Therefore, they must exert themselves to breathe when running to ensure all their muscles receive the oxygen they need, slowing them down.

Running a Mile Indoors

If you’re not down to running a mile outdoors, consider doing it indoors. It’s just as easy and efficient, so rest assured that you’ll enjoy it and reap all the advantages of the cardio exercise. But of course, you must do it right.

Itching to know how you can do that?

Check out these tried and tested strategies to run a mile indoors:

Leverage Your Treadmill

Running one mile on your treadmill is the same as running the same distance outside. Make sure to start with a warm-up, such as a 5-minute jog or walk, to increase your heart rate and deliver much-needed oxygen to your muscles.

Also, master your treadmill’s different functions to get the most out of your one-mile run indoors. This helps you know what to do when you want to increase your running speed, ace interval runs, calculate the calories burnt and measure your workout’s intensity.

Run in Place

Another fantastic way to cover one mile indoors is running in place. Conveniently, you don’t need much space to do it—just ensure you can comfortably take one or two steps in all directions.

You can run in place in your uncluttered living room, bedroom, home office, workshop, or garage. As you do so, maintain a proper running form as it adds to your comfort, minimizes fatigue, and makes your one-mile run more efficient.

Use the Stairs

Supposing you don’t have a treadmill and aren’t particularly enthusiastic about running in place, hit the stairs.

Stair running builds your stamina and endurance. It is also highly efficient in burning fat, making it worthwhile if you want to tone your lower body, abs, and butt and eliminate excess weight.

Even so, running a mile on the stairs is a tad more challenging, especially during ascending, so brace yourself by warming up. In addition, it makes you prone to sprains and falls, begging the need to be careful to avoid falling victim to them.

Valuable Tips for Indoor Runners 

Yes, you have a couple of methods to consider when running a mile indoors. 

But knowing them is barely enough. You must grasp how to get the most out of the simple workout, lest you be discouraged from doing it again. 

So, if you’re a regular indoor runner, create a schedule, and stick to it. Between doing household chores, working, and relaxing, it’s easy to let up or forget about your running routine. You can even set the alarm to remind you to run. 

Again, running indoors is more effective when you lead a positive lifestyle. Eliminate distractions that could prevent you from running often. For instance, turn your TV off when the time you plan to run approaches; it can be difficult to get off the couch when watching your favorite show. 

Average Mile Time for Most Runners

You don’t have to ask the “how many minutes does it take to run a mile?” question anymore—you already have your answer. With it, it should be easier to embark on your running journey by covering a mile daily.

Your running performance will undoubtedly improve with more practice. Consequently, you might increase your running pace and complete your one mile-run in fewer than the typical mile time of 9-12 minutes. 

If you strive to hit longer distances, set a weekly mileage to track your progress. Also, remember to get comfortable gear, such as the right running shoes, to maximize your comfort and help you achieve your goal more effortlessly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I lose weight by running one mile every day?

If you run a mile daily and maintain healthy eating habits, you might notice a decrease in your body weight.
Most runners who run a mile daily lose about one pound monthly. But you could lose more or less, depending on several factors, such as your diet, metabolism, and whether you cross-train or not.

Why do I often run out of breath when running a mile?

More often than not, novice runners with a fast mile pace breathe harder because their bodies demand more oxygen to eliminate the carbon dioxide that accumulates while they run. 

What happens to me if I run a mile daily?

Running a mile daily allows you to enjoy excellent cardiovascular health. In addition, you’ll be in better shape, and your mental health will improve.