Is a 7 Minute Mile Good? Running the Magical 7!
When you start running, it may seem like an impossible task to run a mile in under 7-minutes. Is a sub-7-minute mile good or not?
First of all, as a beginner, you’re not going to be able to SPRINT the mile as it’s a relatively far distance.
Second, you should consider your level of athleticism. This will come down to how much sport you’ve played since your childhood, your genetics, and what level of training you’re at now.
Obviously, times are going to vary and be dependent on things like ages, sex, and experience level.
Is 7 Minutes A Good Time for a Mile?
Short answer, yes. 7 minutes is a relatively good time to run a mile in. If you are new to running then it’s an excellent time.
Taking a look at the average times for different genders and experience levels can help you determine if it’s good for you!
The Fastest Times
Let’s start with the mile run world record times for reference to see how close it is and how far off you may be running a mile:
- The fastest mile ever run by a man is 3 minutes and 44 seconds.
- The fastest mile that’s been run by a woman is 4 minutes and 12 seconds.
As you can see, the fastest times are well under 7 minutes!
Let’s compare average times to a 7-minute mile run time:
Men’s times at the age of 10 – 19:
- 10 and a half minutes for a beginner.
- 7 to 8 minutes if you’re intermediate.
- the advanced to elite level then reach around 5 to 7 minutes.
Men’s times at the age of 20 to 35:
- For beginners, the average time is about 9 minutes and 30 seconds.
- With intermediate being just over 6 and a half minutes.
- The advanced level runs around 5 minutes 30 seconds.
- The elite roughly 5 minutes.
Men’s times at the age of 40 to 50:
- about 10 to 11 minutes per mile.
- Intermediate level around 9 to 7 minutes.
- The advanced levels are hitting around the 6 minutes to a 6-and-a-half-minute mile.
- The elites are still running incredible times hitting 5 and a half minute miles.
When looking at women’s times from the age of 10 up until around the age of 19 the times range from around 12 minutes for a beginner, around 8 or 9 minutes if your intermediate and the advanced to elite level then reach to around 7 minutes or 6 minutes 30 seconds for those on the higher end of the scale.
Then for ages 20 to 35, we see much more improvement. For beginners, the average time is about 10 minutes and 30 seconds.
With intermediate being 7 and a half minutes to 9, and then the advanced level running around 6 minutes 30 seconds and the elite running a very fast time of 6 minutes.
Ages 40 to 50 are running slightly slower times and hitting about 10 to 11 minutes per mile. Intermediate levels are hitting around 8 to 10 minutes which is still very good.
The advanced levels are hitting around the 7 minutes to a 7-and-a-half-minute mile. The elites are still running incredible times of 6 minutes 30 seconds.
Factors That Affect Running Times
Let’s look at what FACTORS come into play when talking about different mile times.
First of all, let’s compare genders, typically in sports where it is to do with speed or power male athletes typically do better.
Most men have higher muscle mass, and this allows for better endurance and speed.
So, this will mean the average times for men should be better than for women.
Then age is the next thing to be considered.
As you start participating your times are going to be a fair bit lower. You haven’t built much of your muscle yet, and your body is underdeveloped.
The older you are the slower your time is going to be. The human body typically starts to deteriorate after a certain age.
This means there is a peak area of ages where you’re going to be at your most optimally developed to run the fastest time possible.
This peak age typically ranges between 20 and 35 years old.
3. Experience Level
Last of all, experience level needs to be considered.
Beginner runners: If you are just starting out, even a 10-minute mile is a pretty good time. To get below that, you need to have some experience, maybe running a few times a week for a while.
Intermediate runners: Intermediates will be slightly more frequent than a beginner, getting in 3-4 runs a week and possibly recording their time and trying to improve.
At this level, you should also be considerably quicker over a mile than beginners.
Advanced runners: Looking at advanced runners, this group will probably be running 5 or 6 times a week. They will be smashing their times, running with progression, and definitely recording themselves to try and improve.
This level of running guarantees a good fitness level and maybe even going to a competition.
Elite runners: Lastly, elite, these will most likely be professional athletes or someone who wasn’t able to make it pro but can run at their time.
These people will have their lifestyle based on running. Their times will be much better than everyone else and able to run, what seems like impossible times.
For a normal person, these times can mostly be ignored as it probably wouldn’t be accurate to compare with and possibly damage self-esteem for your own times.
The Botton Line
If you want to run a mile in under seven minutes, give it a shot.
It takes practice and dedication to get to that if you are a new runner. Start slow and build up gradually until you can run a full mile faster, and eventually in under seven minutes.
Once you’ve reached that goal, you’ll never look back!