Is An 8 Minute Mile Good? + Good Mile Times By Age And Sex

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You’ve just pushed yourself as hard as possible for a full four laps of the track. You hit your watch to stop your stopwatch and look down and see that you have run an 8 minute mile. You feel relieved that your mile time trial is over and proud that you pushed yourself and did your best.

As you start to slowly jog to catch your breath around the next curve of the track before heading off on your cool down, you are probably wondering, “Is an 8 minute mile good?“ or, if you are a woman, you might wonder more specifically, “Is an 8 minute mile good for a woman?“

In this article, we will discuss whether an 8 minute mile is good and what actually constitutes a “good mile time.”

We will look at: 

  • Is An 8 Minute Mile Good?
  • Good Mile Times By Age and Sex

Let’s jump in!

A woman standing with her hands on her hips under an overpass.

Is an 8 Minute Mile Good?

Although it is always important to focus most on your own personal journey and your own personal improvements and progress as a runner, we can’t help but wonder how our running times compare with those of other runners.

So, if you have run an 8 minute mile, and this is your best mile time yet, the first step is to be proud of yourself and congratulate yourself on a great time for you.

In this scenario, running an 8 minute mile is good—or even amazing—because it is your own personal best (PB) or personal record (PR), which inherently means that it is a good performance for you.

Then, as almost all runners are inclined (we are a competitive bunch by nature!), you might wonder, “Is an 8 minute mile good for a man or is an 8 minute mile good for a woman?”

Here, the question becomes a little trickier to answer. Now, we are asking if running a 8 minute mile is good compared to other runners.

A person getting ready to run on the road.

Comparing your mile time to others is really not a straightforward process. 

Firstly, there isn’t a ton of data about average mile times, and secondly, there are many factors that play into whether or not an 8 minute mile is good. 

Is an 8 minute mile good for a beginner? Is an 8 minute mile good for a 65-year-old?

With all that said, Running Level 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 an 8 minute mile is approaching a good time for the average runner, but let’s look more specifically at how good an 8 minute mile is based on your age, sex, and experience level as a runner.

Good Mile Times By Age and Sex

There’s not actually much official data about what constitutes a good mile time.

Running Level has data about mile times for men and women of different ages and experience levels.

A person running on a track.

According to Running Level, the experience level categories laid out are often used to describe your experience level, yet they also can provide insight into your relative percentile ranking compared to other runners.

In terms of experience level, the category “beginner“ refers to runners who have just started running and have been running for about a month. 

A “novice“ runner has been running regularly for at least six months and is faster than 20% of runners.

An “intermediate” runner has been running for at least two years and is faster than 50% of runners. 

“Advanced” and “elite” runners have been running for over five years and are faster than 80% and 95% of runners, respectively.

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

As can be seen, an 8 minute mile is a good time for novice and intermediate men, depending on your age.

A woman running alongside the freeway.

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

For women, an 8 minute mile time is a good time for an intermediate or advanced runner, depending on age.

A person running at sunset.

Again, we can also use those categories to give a general percentile ranking for your mile performance as well.

Mile times in the “intermediate” column are better than 50% of age- and sex-matched peers, whereas “advanced” times surpass 85% of runners.

One final thing to note is that although most people who are wondering if an 8 minute mile is good are referring to running an 8 minute mile as a standalone time mile at maximal effort. It is possible that you might instead be wondering, “Is an 8 minute mile good as a training pace or as a race pace in a 5k or longer race?”

Although running an 8 minute mile is good in many cases, even as a standalone timed mile on the track when you are trying your hardest or even racing other people, running an 8 minute mile in the middle of a longer run or running an 8 minute mile pace for a longer race is even more impressive.

For example, another source for determining “good mile times” is the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT), which outlines standards for 2-mile run times for biological males and females of different age groups. 

Here, we see that maintaining an 8 minute mile pace for two miles is quite good for women and slightly above the 50th percentile for men.

Two people running a road race.
 Top 1% of menTop 50% of menTop 1% of womenTop 50% of women
17–21 years6:308:187:489:51
22–26 years6:308:457:4810:18
27–31 years6:398:577:5410:51
32–36 years6:399:247:5711:33
37–41 years6:489:458:3012:03
42–46 years7:039:548:42No data provided
47–51 years7:12No data provided8:48No data provided
52–56 years7:21No data provided9:30No data provided
56–61 years7:39No data provided9:51No data provided

Overall, an 8 minute mile is a great time for many newer runners, as well as older runners. 

No matter what your age or experience level is, you should be able to improve your mile time with some dedicated speed work.

Good luck!

A person running on sand.
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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