Is A 7 Minute Mile Good? 4 Factors That Affect A Good Mile Time


Most runners want to know whether the pace that they are running is a “good” pace. Runners tend to be competitive by nature, and particularly if you are just starting out, you may not really know what constitutes a good mile time.

Is a 7 minute mile good for a woman? Is a 7 minute mile good for a man?

In this article, we will discuss whether a 7 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 7 Minute Mile Good?
  • Factors that Affect a Good Mile Time
  • What Is a Good Mile Time?

Let’s jump in!

A person running on the road.

Is a 7 Minute Mile Good?

Before you start worrying if a 7 minute mile is good for a woman or good for a man in general, you should first consider whether running a 7 minute mile is a good mile time for you.

Running Level, which reports average running times based on age and ability, reports 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.

Therefore, running a 7 minute mile is good for a woman and pretty good for a man, but let’s look more specifically at how to determine if a 7 minute mile is a good mile time for you.

Factors that Affect a Good Mile Time

There are several factors that influence whether a 7 minute mile is good or not.

The primary considerations when trying to evaluate whether your mile time is good include the following: 

A person running on an autumn day.

#1: Sex

In general, biological males are faster runners than biological females due to a higher percentage of lean body mass and a lower percentage of body fat as well as a slightly larger heart size relative to the body size.

Therefore, a female who can keep pace and run a 7 minute mile is relatively faster or a “better runner“ for her sex than a biological male.

#2: Age

Your age also plays a significant effect on whether running a 7 minute mile is good or not.

For the mile race, runners tend to be at their peak between the ages of 20 and 30 years or so. Prior to and after this age range, mile times are most often slower.

Therefore, running a 7 minute mile when you are somewhere around 20 to 30 years old is not as impressive or “good“ as running a seven minute mile as a youth or senior in his or her 50s, 60s, 70s, or beyond. 

The older you get, the more remarkable running a 7 minute mile becomes.

In other words, while a 7 minute mile is a decent time for a young man who is 25 years old, it is an excellent mile time for a man who is 65 years old.

A person running on the beach.

#3: Experience Level

As can be expected, your experience level and training level will play a significant role in how good a 7 minute mile is for you.

Therefore, when you are asking the question, “Is a 7 minute mile good?“ you need to consider your experience and training level.

How long have you been training? Are you a beginner, or have you been running for many years? 

#4: Effort Level

This last factor that comes into play when you are considering whether a 7 minute mile time is good is you effort level while running that mile.

Is a 7 minute mile your all-out effort for running a single mile on a track or treadmill, or is a 7 minute mile your average pace during a longer run (for example, within a 5k or 10k race, or just during a 5-mile training run)?

In other words, is a 7 minute mile your maximum effort pace when you are giving it your all, or have you run a 7 minute mile at a relatively easy effort that you could sustain for a longer run?

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What Is a Good Mile Time?

The following tables show mile times for men and women of different ages and ability levels, as per data from Running Level.

According to the experience level categories delineated by Running Level, a “beginner“ has just started running and has been running for about a month

A “novice“ runner has been running regularly for at least six months. An “intermediate” runner has been running for at least two years. “Advanced” and “elite” runners have been running for over five years.

There is also another way to look at these categories. Aside from years of experience, Running Level suggests that the categories also refer to how “good“ you are relative to your age- and sex-matched peers.

Here, if your mile time for your age and sex falls within the “beginner“ column, you are better than 5% of runners. 

A person running on asphalt.

If your time falls within the novice column for your age group, you are faster than 20% of runners of your same age and sex. 

Intermediate runners are said to be right in the middle, so faster than about 50% of runners in your age group. Advanced runners are faster than 80% of runners in your age group, and elite runners are faster than 95% of age- and sex-matched runners.

So, we can use this information to determine whether a 7 minute mile is good for women and men of different ages and experience levels.

Mile Times for Men

A woman running on a track.

Mile Times for Women

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From the data above, we can see that almost across the board, including all age groups and sexes, a 7 minute mile time is great for beginner runners who have been running for less than six months.

Therefore, if you can already run a 7 minute mile shortly after becoming a runner, you are likely going to be able to run much faster, and a 7 minute mile is a very impressive start.

Then, depending on your age and sex, a 7 minute mile may still be good for experienced runners, although it becomes “less good” or less impressive.

Finally, just because you are only able to currently run a 7 minute mile does not mean that you cannot run a faster mile.

Even if you have been training for a long time, it is almost always possible to improve your mile time.

Consider incorporating speed workouts into your training to improve your mile time. You can do it!

A person running on a dirt 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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