How To Run An 11 Minute Mile + 10 Tips For Faster Running

So, you want to run an 11 minute mile? That is an admirable goal! Being able to run a mile at an 11-minute mile pace sets you on your way to being able to run farther and faster. And, we want to help you with your goal!

The 11 minute mile pace marks the line between run/walking a mile and running a mile. Many beginner runners start with run/walk intervals in which they complete a mile between 12 to 14 minutes. 

Related: How Long Does it Take to Run a Mile?

By setting the goal of running a mile in eleven minutes, you are essentially crossing the line from a run/walker to a runner. 

Some people can start off by running an eleven-minute mile or faster, while others need to work up to an 11 minute mile pace. 

In this article, we are going to provide guidance to help beginner runners train to run a mile in eleven minutes. Specifically, we will cover:

  • Background on running a mile
  • How to train to run an eleven-minute mile
  • Tips to run faster, and 
  • A sample schedule to train to run an eleven-minute mile

So, let’s get going to get you on your 11 minute mile pace goal!

Related: What’s a Good Mile Time? 

A track with 1 mile painted on it.

How long is a mile?

First off, it’s important to know the distance you are training for. A mile is 1.6 kilometers, 1609 meters, or 4 laps around an Olympic-sized track of 400 meters plus an additional 9 meters at the end.

It is also 1,760 yards or 5,280 feet.

What are the fastest mile times?

The fastest mile time ever run by a man is 3:43.13, set by Moroccan Hicham El Guerrouj on July 7, 1999. 

For women, the fastest mile time is 4:12.33 set by Sifan Hassan, an Ethiopian-born Dutch athlete, on July 12, 2019.

Related: Who is Sifan Hassan?

What is an average mile time?

Obviously, those mile times are insanely fast. So what are the average mile times for average runners? 

According to Running Level, which calculates running times based on age and ability, a good mile time for an intermediate level male runner is 6:37, and a good mile time for an intermediate level female is 7:44. 

Intermediate level is defined as someone faster than half of all runners, according to the site. An intermediate runner has run regularly for at least two years.

People running on a track.

What factors impact how fast you can run a mile?

There are many factors that affect how fast you can run a mile including age, gender, weight, fitness ability, and running background. 

Related: How to Run a Ten Minute Mile

Is an 11 minute mile okay?

An 11 minute mile is more than okay!

An 11 minute mile pace is a pace that is common for beginner runners or runners that are re-entering the sport. A relatively fit, noncompetitive runner typically runs about a 9-minute mile pace or 10-minute mile pace. 

If you’re new to running or a run/walker, then your pace will typically fall between 12 minutes a mile and 15 minutes a mile. 

How fast do I have to run on a treadmill for an 11 minute mile?

If you are running on a treadmill, then to run an 11 minute mile, you would need to run at a 5.5 mile per hour speed. 

A person running an 11 minute mile.

An 11 minute mile pace will set you up to finish the following race distances in the following times:

Is walking an 11 minute mile good?

If you are able to walk an 11 minute mile, then you are walking very fast! For most people, being able to walk a 15-minute mile requires a focused effort. A relaxed pace for walking a mile is usually around 20 minutes per mile on average. 

How long does it take to improve a mile time?

It can take up to a month to start seeing fitness gains from running. Therefore, it takes several weeks of consistent running to improve your mile time. 

Running is a sport built on consistency and patience. Every time we run, we spur physiological adaptations that make us better runners. These changes in our bodies include:

  • Stronger bones, tendons, muscles, and ligaments
  • More mitochondria (energy factories) 
  • More capillaries and
A person running on the coast.
  • Improved neuromuscular strength

The more we run, the more efficient we become at running so that it requires less energy. This process doesn’t happen if you just run every once and a while. 

Can I improve my running in 2 weeks?

You may see moderate improvements in your running after two weeks. You may begin to feel fitter and stronger. Running may feel less tiring and difficult as your body adapts to the stress of running. However, your speed may not improve much (yet!) in just two weeks of running. 

How do I make myself run faster?

There are plenty of steps you can take to run faster. If you run the same distance and speed every day, you will only improve to a point. To become faster at running, you need to work different systems in your body with different paces and distances of running. 

Below are 10 tips to help you run a faster mile time.

#1: Do A Long Run

Every week, a runner should do one long run that is about 30 percent of their weekly mileage. This builds your aerobic capacity. While a mile is a short distance compared to a marathon, it still requires endurance. Endurance is built by doing long runs (ideally longer than an hour). 

A person running on the road.

#2: Run More

The more you run, the fitter you will become. Aim to gradually increase your weekly mileage by no more than ten percent week to week. When you have maxed out your running sessions (usually reaching about an hour per session), add another session (for instance, going from three to four runs per week).

This session should be short, about twenty to thirty minutes. Gradually increase this session’s duration week to week. 

#3: Do Strides

Short bursts of speed have been shown in numerous studies to improve time trial performance and aerobic capacity. Aim to do 4 by 100 strides after two easy runs per week.

Strides are not sprints. With a stride, you gradually increase your pace over the course of 100 meters so that your top speed is in the middle and held for only a few seconds before decelerating. 

#4: Strength Train

Lifting weights can give you more power in your stride, improve muscular endurance, and ward off injuries. Aim to lift weights (close to your max weight) at least two times a week for a total of 30 minutes per session. Standard strength moves like Russian deadlifts, squats, step-ups, and lunges do the trick! 

A person doing a squat.

#5: Use Proper Running Form

Be sure to run with your head over your hips and hips over your feet with short quick strides. Arms should swing by your sides in a relaxed manner. Keep your back straight and shoulders from slouching! Strides will help with your form!

#6: Eat Well

Be sure to give your body the fuel it needs to perform. Eat a small carbohydrate-rich snack before running and refuel with carbs and protein within an hour after your workouts. This will give your body what it needs to rebuild your muscles and tissues. 

#7: Get Proper Gear

DO NOT run in old running shoes! If you are picking up running for the first time or for the first time in a long time, go to a running store and get fitted for your proper shoe. Running in old running shoes is an almost guaranteed way to get injured and hurt performance. 

Two people running and laughing.

#8: Do Speed Workouts

Once you’ve done easy running for a month or two, your body is likely ready for some more challenging workouts. Varying speed and distances will help your body become more efficient at running. 

#9: Sleep Enough

Adults need at least 7 to 8 hours a night for overall health. If you are running, your sleep needs increase. During sleep is when your body recovers and builds back stronger. Ensure you are practicing good sleep habits and get the rest your body needs. 

#10: Cross-Train

Cross-training activities that work your cardiovascular system such as swimming, biking, rowing, and the elliptical will strengthen your heart and lungs without overly taxing your body. This allows you to gain fitness without the risk of injury. 

How to Run an 11 Minute Mile

This 11 minute mile training plan is for runners who have been consistently running (or run/walking) for at least one month. 

A person running on the road.

Begin by doing a 1-mile time trial on a track or flat, straight surface: 

  • Jog for 10-15 minutes to warm-up. 
  • Then begin your time trial. Start at a comfortably hard pace in which you can speak in short sentences. Progress your pace in the second quarter. The third quarter is the hardest, try to maintain your pace or go faster. Run as fast as you can for the last quarter. 

Now you have your starting point! If you can run a 12-minute mile, you are within striking distance of an 11 minute mile with our plan. 

Here is your 6-week training plan to run an 11 minute mile:

Weekly Schedule:

Monday: Run for 30-60 minutes at an easy pace. Do 4X100 strides.

Tuesday: XT for 30-60 minutes. Strength train for 30 minutes. 

Wednesday: Speedwork day (see below for the schedule). Do 4X100 strides.

Thursday: XT for 30-60 minutes. Strength train for 30 minutes.

Friday: Rest or yoga. 

Saturday: Long run day starting with an hour and adding 10 minutes each week. 

A person running on the road.

Speed Workouts

Week 1 speed workout: Warm-up for 20 minutes. Then run 10 by 1 minute hard, 1 minute easy. Cool-down for 20 minutes. 

Week 2 speed workout: Warm-up for 20 minutes. Then run 2 by 10 minutes at a comfortable hard pace. Rest for 90 seconds in between. Cool-down for 20 minutes. 

Week 3 speed workout: Warm-up for 20 minutes. Then 20 minutes on a hilly route running the hills hard and the downhill easy. Cool-down for 20 minutes. 

Week 4 speed workout: Warm-up for 20 minutes. Then run 4 by half-mile (800 meters) at a hard effort. Rest for 90 seconds in between intervals. Cool-down for 20 minutes. 

Week 5 speed workout: Warm-up for 20 minutes. Then run 12 by 1 minute hard, 1 minute easy. Cool-down for 20 minutes.

Week 6 speed workout: Time trial! Warm-up for 15 minutes. Then run your mile as you did your test mile. Cool-down for 15 minutes. 

If you reached your goal, congratulations! If you did not, repeat this 6-week schedule and progress as needed!

Check out our training resources for more training guidance to help with your goals.

People running on the road.
Photo of author
Whitney Heins is the founder of The Mother Runners and a VDOT-O2 certified running coach. She lives in Knoxville, TN with her two crazy, beautiful kids, pups, and husband. She is currently training to qualify for the US Olympic Trials marathon.

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