How Fast Can Child Run A Mile? What Is the Record for 10-Year-Old?

How Fast Can An Average Child Run A Mile?

Could a child outrun me? As a prospective parent, this could be a daunting thought, and you need answers, now. 

Maybe you have just been for a run and you beat your most recent personal best!

Now you are having a shower, where all intrusive thoughts enter our minds, and you ponder how your own times would compare to a child.

Whether you have a child yourself and are curious how they compare to other children, or you just have a curious mind, we are here today to investigate how fast your average child could run a mile. 

Keep reading to learn our findings.

Track and Field for Children

Everyone loves running, both children and adults (or maybe not, but they should!). Many parents will adopt running as a way to get some space from their family and some alone time with their own thoughts – it’s only natural.

However, it’s likely this might end up trickling down to your kids and they may want to start running too. 

Running track is a COMMON sport for most kids. The national youth track and field competitions start with children as young as 8.

There isn’t necessarily any limit on how young you can be to run track, beyond knowing the basic rules and principles of running track

What Is The Average Mile Time For A Boy?

So when we say ‘average’ here, we’re mainly talking about kids around the age of 10-13, assuming anything older than this could be a teenager.

This is important because the running time is hugely affected by age, gender, and experience – so we will also divide this answer between girls and boys respectively.

How Fast Can An Average Child Run A Mile?
  • For a boy between 8 – 12, anything below 8 minutes would probably place him in the 50th percentile. That means it would be an average or above-average time for a boy.
  • Anything below 6 minutes would make him in the elite or competitive running category for their age group.

In 2014, for example, a Dutch boy aged 10 ran a world record time for a mile at 5:01.

This goes to show that some children could run faster than most men five times their age.

What Is The Average Mile Time For A Girl?

As we mentioned, females will generally run slowlier than males.

  • For a girl between 9 – 13, you could expect a mile time of around 10 – 11 minutes to place her in the 50th percentile. 
  • Anything within the range of around 7-9 minutes would place her in the 70th percentile, meaning the time is good.

However, the gap between boys and girls at the elite level is small.

For example, a girl aged 11 ran a mile time 5 minutes 7 seconds which was the world record at the time in 2011. It shows that at this elite level there isn’t much between times for the genders.

Forgetting about gender, elite child runners can get pretty close to the adult world record and can run much quicker than some adult men and women.

Average Mile Time For Adults?

How long does it take for an average adult to run a mile? Generally, males will run faster than women, within the same skill bracket but there are accurate generalizations for both.

  • In general, an average runner is likely someone who just runs for fitness. Then anywhere between 7 to 8 minutes per mile can be seen as a respectable time.
  • For a serious runner who runs for sport and competition, and is competing in track events, you generally want to be getting anywhere from 4:50 to 6:50 to be considered worthy of running in a competition.
  • A female who can run a mile in under 5 minutes would be considered in that upper echelon of runners (the world record is around 4 minutes for women).
  • An elite male runner would want to be hitting at least 4:20 (the world record is below 4 minutes).

Around 900 men have an official mile time of under 4 minutes while the closest set by a woman has been 4:12.

Safety For Children When Running

Of course, children at the ages we described are still very much growing. Many boys at this age may be in their growing stages, while it may be delayed a little for girls of the same age.

With this in mind, children should not be pushed when running as this can negatively affect the well-being of their joints and knees.

The Bottom Line

So as you can see, the average mile time for a child can be a little longer than most average adults. 

Most adults who are casual runners should expect anywhere from 8 to 9 minutes to be considered an average time, with a mild increase for women.

For children, they generally average out at around 10 – 12 minutes with girls being a little slower at this age. 

It’s clear that your average child will, more often than not, be much slower than an adult runner with a good minute or two.

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