Is A 10 Minute Mile Good? + Good Mile Times By Age And Sex

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One of the first distance milestones that new runners achieve is running a mile without stopping

When you first start running, it can be hard to fathom being able to run a full mile without needing to walk, but after just a couple of weeks at most, you will probably be able to not only run a mile without stopping but will also be interested in running that mile faster.

Once you start paying attention to your mile run time, you might begin to ask, “Is a 10 minute mile good overall? Is a 10 minute mile good for a woman? Is a 10 minute mile good for a man? 

In this article, we will discuss whether a 10 minute mile is good, what actually constitutes a “good mile time,” and factors that can affect your mile time.

We will look at: 

  • Is a 10 Minute Mile Good?
  • Factors that Determine a Good Mile Time
  • Good Mile Times By Age and Sex

Let’s jump in!

A runner looking at their watch and smiling.

Is a 10 Minute Mile Good?

So, let’s say you have run a 10 minute mile. The logical question becomes, “ is a 10 minute mile good?“ or, if you are a woman, you might wonder, “is a 10 minute mile good for a woman?“

The most important thing to establish right off the bat is that, as a runner, your journey is uniquely yours. 

Although we do have the tendency to want to compare ourselves to others and see how our running times stack up with other runners, running is an individual sport, and you should focus on your own personal progress as a runner.

While running a 10 minute mile might not be good for some runners, if it is the fastest you have ever run a mile or the fastest you have run a mile in years, then running a 10 minute mile is good (if not fantastic!).

Any time you set a personal best or personal record for any distance, it is absolutely a good performance. Therefore, when asking yourself, “Is a 10 minute mile good?“your primary focus should be on your own personal mile times and whether a 10 minute mile is good for you.

But, after you have evaluated your mile run time based on your own performance as a runner, it’s only natural to wonder if a 10 minute mile is good in the larger context compared to other runners.

Unfortunately, it’s not all that straightforward or easy to answer the question, “Is running a 10 minute mile good?“ Let’s take a look at some factors that can determine a good mile time.

A person with a towel wrapped around their neck, running outside.

Factors that Determine a Good Mile Time

There are various factors to consider when evaluating how good your mile time is relative to other people. Examples include your sex, age, and experience level as a runner.

Depending on where you fall within each of these different factors, running a 10 minute mile may or may not be good relative to others.

Let’s examine each of these factors individually and discuss how they affect whether running a 10 minute mile is good or not.

#1: Sex

Biological males and biological females inherently have differences in body composition and hormones, which, in turn, affect aspects of athletic performance, such as running speed.

When you adjust for confounding variables such as age and experience level such that you are comparing a man and woman who are the same age and have been running for the same length of time, running a 10 minute mile for females (biological female in this case) is better than running a 10 minute mile for males.

A person running through leaves.

#2: Age

The entire reason that road races have age groups is to allow runners to compete against others in their same age bracket so as to eliminate the disparity in performance that is expected between a senior runner and a young runner in his or her prime.

Runners tend to reach their peak performance years for the mile somewhere between the ages of 20 and 30 years old. 

After this age, we begin to slow down as different physical manifestations of the aging process, such as a decrease in lean body mass (sarcopenia), loss of strength, a decline in aerobic capacity and endurance, etc., take effect.

Therefore, when you are evaluating if a 10 minute mile is good, you need to consider your age.

Running a 10 minute mile as a 70-year-old runner is good, whereas running a 10 minute mile as a 25-year-old is not as impressive, with all other things being equal.

People running on a track.

#3: Experience Level

Your experience level, as well as how much training you have been doing, also plays a pivotal role in qualifying your 10 minute mile run performance.

Therefore, again, if we compare two runners who are otherwise equal in all other regards, running a 10 minute mile is more impressive if you are a beginner with less training and experience than it is for an experienced runner who has been doing a lot of dedicated and consistent training.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that another factor to consider is your effort level that went into running a 10 minute mile. 

Was this an all-out timed mile on a track or a treadmill where you were doing your best? Were you running a longer run and just took your average pace to be a 10 minute mile pace?

Of course, running a 10 minute mile pace is even more impressive when it was either run at an easy effort or in the midst of a longer run where you were averaging a 10 minute mile pace than when you are doing a mile time trial or mile race at an all-out effort.

A man jogging.

Good Mile Times By Age and Sex

Running Level cites that a good mile time is 7:04 across all genders, and a good mile time for a male is 6:37, and a good mile time for a female is 7:44. These times are based on an intermediate-level runner.

However, the following tables show a more detailed analysis of mile times for men and women of different ages and ability levels, according to data from Running Level.

Mile Times for Men

AgeBeginnerNoviceIntermediateAdvancedElite
1011:169:207:556:546:09
159:458:056:515:585:19
209:257:486:375:465:08
259:257:486:375:465:08
309:267:496:385:465:09
359:357:566:445:525:14
409:558:136:586:045:25
4510:178:317:146:185:37
5010:418:517:316:335:50
5511:089:137:496:486:04
6011:369:368:097:066:20
6512:0710:028:317:256:37
7012:4310:328:577:476:56
7513:4011:199:378:227:27
8015:0812:3210:389:158:15
8517:2514:2612:1510:399:30
9021:1317:3514:5512:5911:35
Two people jogging on a path.

Mile Times for Women

AgeBeginnerNoviceIntermediateAdvancedElite
1012:2910:329:037:577:08
1511:129:278:087:086:24
2010:409:007:446:486:05
2510:409:007:446:486:05
3010:409:007:446:486:05
3510:449:047:476:506:08
4010:579:157:576:596:15
4511:219:358:147:146:29
5011:5610:048:407:366:49
5512:3710:399:098:027:12
6013:2311:189:438:327:39
6514:1612:0210:219:058:09
7015:1512:5211:049:438:42
7516:2313:5011:5310:269:21
8017:4414:5812:5211:1810:08
8519:5816:5114:2912:4311:24
9024:0420:1917:2815:2013:45

Overall, as can be seen from the data above, a 10 minute mile can be a great starting place for all runners, and your mile time can serve as a good benchmark to assess your progress as a runner.

Once you’ve run a timed mile in 10 minutes, start training to run a 9 minute mile. You can do it!

A man running down a path.
Photo of author
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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