How Long Does It Take to Run 2 Miles? + 8 Tips To Improve Your Time

Written by
Amber Sayer, MS, CPT, CNC
Certified Personal Trainer + Running Coach, Masters in Exercise Science

Last Updated:

Many beginner runners set a goal of running 2 miles a day.

Although it can take a couple of weeks to build up to running 2 miles a day, this is a relatively approachable distance for most beginner runners and doesn’t take all that long to complete.

But how long does it take to run 2 miles?

In this article, we will look at how long it takes to run 2 miles and will share tips for running 2 miles even faster.

More specifically, we will cover:

• How Far Is 2 Miles?
• How Long Does It Take to Run 2 Miles? Average 2 Mile Run Time
• 8 Tips To Improve Your 2-Mile Time

Let’s jump in!

How Far Is 2 Miles?

For walkers who are more familiar with kilometers, 2 miles is approximately the same as 3.2 kilometers.

If you decide to run two miles on a standard 400-meter running track, you will need to run just over 8 full laps to run 2 miles.

Although the exact length of a city block varies based on the city and streets, most city blocks are approximately 1/20th of a mile, so if you want to run 2 miles along the city streets, you will need to run about 40 blocks.

How Long Does It Take to Run 2 Miles? Average 2 Mile Run Time

Once you establish that your workout goal is to run 2 miles a day, the next question becomes, “How long does it take to run 2 miles?”

In order to properly budget your time to exercise, you need to know how long it will take you to run 2 miles.

Of course, the amount of time it takes to run 2 miles depends entirely on the speed at which you are running or the pace that you are maintaining over the duration of the run.

Depending on your pace, running 2 miles can take anywhere from under 10 minutes to over 30 minutes, although most people will cover the distance somewhere in between those two amounts of time.

But 10-30 minutes is quite a range, so how long does it take to run 2 miles for most runners? What is the average time to run 2 miles?

According to Strava, when it comes to training, the average pace for a logged run is 9:53 per mile. There are millions of Strava users, and this data comes from the average across both sexes over the entire year (2021), so this is a good approximation of a typical training pace.

Of course, some logged runs will be races, but the overall aggregate of data makes this a really good estimation for the average training pace of everyday runs.

Taking this information, we can easily figure out how long it takes the average runner to run 2 miles:

First, let’s convert 9:53 into a decimal by dividing the seconds by 60.

9:53 = 9.88 minutes

2 x 9.89 minutes per mile = 19.78 minutes = 19 minutes and 46 seconds.

Therefore, the average 2 mile time is just under 20 minutes.

Since the range of abilities varies widely, we’ve put together a table that shows you how long it takes to run 2 miles at different common running speeds and paces.

The first column is your running speed, which refers to how many miles per hour you’re running.

You probably won’t know this number unless you’re running on a treadmill.

The second column is your pace or the time it takes you to run a mile.

The third column is how long it takes to run two miles at the given speed and pace.

8 Tips To Improve Your 2-Mile Time

Whether you are well ahead of the average time to run 2 miles or so much slower that running 2 miles in anywhere near 20 minutes seems like a pipe dream; every runner can take steps to improve their 2-mile run time.

If you run 2 miles a day every day, gradually increase the length of one run per week to have a long run.

This long run will serve to improve your cardiovascular and muscular endurance so that you can run longer without stopping.

As your endurance improves, running two miles will feel easier, enabling you to focus on running faster rather than just trying to complete the distance without stopping.

Increasing your training volume, or the number of miles you run per week is a great way to build your running stamina, strength, and speed.

If you’re only running 2 miles a day a couple of days per week, gradually add additional runs per week until you’re running 5 days per week.

You should have at least one rest day per week.

Consider doing some form of low-impact cross-training exercise once or twice a week in lieu of running, as doing so will reduce your risk of injuries while still improving your fitness.

Speed workouts, such as running intervals on the track or adding bursts of fast running during your distance runs outside or on the treadmill (called fartlek workouts), are one of the most effective ways to run faster.

Interval workouts improve your leg speed and condition your heart, lungs, and muscles to handle faster paces without feeling exhausted.

#4: Run Hill Sprints

Hill sprints improve your running form, turnover, leg strength, and speed.

Choose a hill that takes 30-60 seconds to sprint up, and focus on driving forward and upward with your arms and legs.

Using proper running form can improve your running economy, enabling you to run with less effort.

To run faster, you can increase your cadence or stride length, but studies show that increasing your cadence is a safer way to run faster.

This is because increasing your cadence reduces the risk of injuries, whereas increasing your stride length can increase the risk of injuries.

The higher your cadence, the more steps you will take per minute and the faster you can run.

One way to run faster is to improve your pacing.

Beginner runners often struggle with their sense of pacing, meaning that they might begin their run by running way too fast, which leads them to peter out because they have run out of steam.

Trying to run at a more steady pace throughout the entire 2 miles will help you run a faster time.

#8: Start Strength Training

Strength training builds muscle, helping reduce the relative workload on your legs when you run and enabling you to have a more powerful stride.

Strength training also helps prevent injuries by strengthening muscles, connective tissues, and bones.

Try to perform 2-3 total-body strength training workouts per week, focusing on compound exercises like squats, lunges, step-ups, deadlifts, push-ups, pull-ups, rows, and core exercises.

With consistent training and a varied workout routine, you should be able to run faster and further, improving your 2 mile run time.

We can help you get started with some strength training sessions today with our bodyweight workout for runners! If you happen to have resistance bands lying around as well, we have a great resistance band workout for runners as well.

Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, as well as a NASM-Certified Nutrition Coach and UESCA-certified running, endurance nutrition, and triathlon coach. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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