These days, you can track your pace with GPS watches and smartphone apps.
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No conclusive evidence exists on вЂњaverageвЂќ 1-mile run times, because there is no scientifically agreed-upon average runner. Opinion varies widely, but most anecdotal evidence places the average between seven and 10 minutes per mile for a non-competitive, in-shape runner. The answer for each person differs based on a number of factors, including the runner's age, gender and fitness level, as well as what distance and pace she is trying to accomplish.
The most important factor determining run speed over a long distance is the runner's fitness level. An elite athlete may complete a mile in less than five minutes, and the world record at the time of publication is three minutes and 43 seconds, held by Hicham El Guerrouj. Someone new to running, using a run-walk system to build her endurance, may need between 12 and 15 minutes. Most runners are close to the median of these two extremes and should be comfortable completing a mile in seven to nine minutes.
Age and Gender
Runners usually reach their peak speed in early adulthood and should generally run their fastest miles between the ages of 18 and 30. Even the most elite runners slow with age. Gender also affects run speed, and -- given equal levels of fitness -- a female runner will usually have a longer average time. To promote fair competition, race categories are almost always separated by gender as well as age.
Pacing for Distance
The speed at which a runner covers a mile is often a matter of choice. If he is an average person in good shape and runs only a mile, he may finish in seven minutes. But if he is running a marathon, that speed would often be decreased to nine minutes per mile or more, because the runner must conserve energy to complete the 26-mile race. When trying to build distance and endurance, runners will train at a variety of speeds depending on their goals, environment and level of fitness.
While learning about the minutes per mile that others achieve, every runner should note that pace is affected greatly by morphology. The length of a runner's stride, the structure of her hips and the manner of her foot-strike are important variables that will determine average running speed. Running too quickly or slowly can augment a runner's stride, which can cause extra impact on joints and may lead to injury. Runners can certainly augment their speeds with training but should always be careful to improve at a steady pace of no more than 10 percent of their speed or distance per week.