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How Long Does It Take To Run 2 Miles? + 9 Run Faster Tips

Running 2 miles is a big step towards running your first 5K race. It’s an achievable distance for beginners, helps you lose weight, and if you’re running 2 miles a day it can make a real difference to your health and fitness. But how long does it take to run 2 miles?

We’re not suggesting you launch straight into a 2-mile run. Most people who start running take a couple of weeks to build up to running this distance continuously and it helps to use the run-walk method alternating running with walking breaks when you’re a new runner.

But you can run 2 miles, most runners want to know if they’ve run a good time – and how can they run 2 miles faster!

how long does it take to run 2 miles

How Far Is 2 Miles?

For metric lovers, 2 miles is approximately 3.2 km. It’s a historic running distance and still contested occasionally at athletic meets.

If you’re running on the track it’s about 8 laps of a standard 400 m track or to be exact – 8 laps plus 19 meters.

How Long Does It Take To Run Two Miles?

If you’re planning on running two miles a day to improve your fitness, you need to know how long it’s going to take.

Most people are busy! So the good news is, running 2 miles doesn’t take very long. It’s much easier to fit into your schedule than a 5-mile run.

If you’re a complete beginner, it can take 25 to 30 minutes to run 2 miles. Maybe a little longer if you’re taking walking breaks, starting running at fifty-plus, or carrying a lot of excess weight.

If you run regularly, your running times will quickly improve:

Expect to be able to run 2 miles in 16 to 22 minutes.

Running times are affected by age, gender, fitness level, and running experience plus running conditions such as terrain, elevation, altitude, and the weather. If you’re running into a headwind, don’t expect a fast time!

run 2 miles

What’s A Good 2-Mile Time For A Male Runner?

Male runners naturally have a faster running pace than female runners. This makes their average pace and running speed for two miles faster.

A good two-mile time for an average male runner across all ages and abilities ranges from 12 to 19 minutes for men.

What’s A Good 2-Mile Time For A Female Runner?

For women, average running times are a little slower.

A good mile time for an average female runner across all ages and abilities ranges from 14 to 24 minutes for women.

Average 2-Mile Times

These good mile times are based on research by Running Level. For comparison, the widely used training tool Strava has logged the average run time for one mile as 9:53/mile.

This average time for Strava is across all distances, ages, genders, and abilities. Most of the information comes from logged training runs but the data does include some race times.

A pace of 9:53/mile equates to just under 20 minutes for two miles.

This related post for average mile times by age group and sex includes average times for female runners and male runners based on their experience levels.

How Can I Run 2 Miles Without Stopping?

A two-mile run can seem a long way when you’re a beginner. If you’re training for the US 2-Mile Army Run, there’s the added pressure of hitting a time target and being able to run continuously. You can’t stop and take a walking break on the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT).

So how can you run without stopping?

Even when you’re aim is to run continuously, it’s still best to start running using the walk run method used in Couch to 5K.

  • Start with running for 1 min and walking for 2 minutes. Alternate running and walking until you’ve covered 2 miles.
  • Progress gradually by increasing the length of your running intervals and reducing your walking time.
  • Run regularly – at least 3 to 4 times a week or even aim for a daily running habit. On days when you’re not running, try a brisk walk instead.
  • Keep pushing making those walk breaks shorter and run intervals longer.
  • Run slowly at first. The aim is to run continuously. You can increase your running pace when you can run non-stop for 2 miles.

If you’re relatively young and a normal weight, you should be able to run two miles non-stop by the end of the second week. If not, you’re running too fast. Slow down and try again!

2 mile time

Can You Run 2 Miles In 15 Minutes?

Running two miles in 15 minutes is achievable for both male and female runners but it helps to be young, have a healthy weight, and run regularly.

Most people will need to train specifically for short fast runs to run 2 miles in 15 minutes.

Unless you’re an elite athlete, this will be hard running at a 5K race pace or Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) of 8 where it’s hard to say more than a few words as you run.

You shouldn’t try and run at your top race speed every day – that’s just asking for injury. Instead, try running 2 miles fast once a week and run the rest of your 2-mile runs at a moderate running pace.

9 Tips For A Faster 2 Mile Time

Whether you’re a slow runner or already running a good 2-mile time, it’s always possible to improve. Here are some tips to run faster:

#1 Run Regularly

Running once in a blue moon isn’t going to make you a speedy runner. Make sure you’re running regularly. You don’t need to run every day but it’s important to run 3 to 4 times a week.

#2 Aim To Be A Normal Weight

The heavier you are, the harder it is to run faster. For the best running performance aim for a normal weight. Running 2 miles regularly can help you lose weight if you combine exercise with a balanced diet.

Running 2 miles burns approximately 200 calories but check how many calories burned with our running calorie calculator.

Being underweight can also affect your running performance and carries long-term risks for your health. If you think you’re at risk seek help. Make a doctor’s appointment or call a helpline. UK helplineUS helpline.

Related post: How Much Should I Run To Lose Weight?

#3 Run Further

If a two-mile run is your maximum running distance, add one longer run a week. Running longer distances at a slower pace will improve your running endurance.

Knowing you can run further than 2 miles will make your two-mile runs easier – you’ll be able to focus on running faster.

#4 Improve Your Pacing

New runners are terrible at pacing! They set off as fast as they can and hang on getting slower and slower until they grind to a halt.

You will run much faster if you aim to run at a constant pace.

Using a GPS watch will help you keep track of your running speed. Work out your target average pace before you start running and try to keep to this pace as you run.

For example: if your target 2-mile time is 20 minutes, you’re mile pace will be 20/2 = 10 minutes per mile, or in kilometers 20/3.2 = 6:15 minutes per kilometer.

#5 Strength Training

To run faster you need to work on the strength of your core and leg muscles. You don’t need to lift weights at the gym but strength exercises such as glute bridges, split squats, and lunges can help you become a stronger runner. Try these bodyweight exercises for runners and add 2 to 3 10-15 minute sessions to your training per week.

plank - bodyweight exercises for runners

#6 Speed Sessions

If you want to run faster you need speed sessions. Running fast takes practice. You need to improve your aerobic capacity by running at a fast pace over short distances.

This how to run a mile faster in 4 weeks training plan will work just as well for a two-mile run. Or just add some of the suggested interval training sessions or fartlek into your regular 2-mile runs.

Don’t overdo speed training. If you’re a new runner, just add one fartlek session to your runs per week. For more experienced runners, add one stride session and one interval training workout.

#7 Increase Cadence

An easy win can be improving your leg turnover speed or cadence. You can also try and increase your stride length but this is harder to do and carries a high injury risk.

Strides and running drills are the best way to increase your cadence. Strides are short bursts of relaxed faster running. Add them at the end of an easy run or as part of your warm-up.

#8 Improve Running Form

I’m a great believer that if it ain’t bust don’t try and fix it when it comes to running form. But if you’re a beginner runner it’s a good idea to work on some of the obvious issues.

A lot of new runners fail to use their arms properly and examples of poor running form such as over-striding will both slow you down and lead to injury.

#9 Seek Out Competition

It’s almost impossible to run faster without some healthy competition. Entering some short races will make the biggest difference. You’ll be surprised what you can achieve with adrenaline coursing through your body!

Aside from racing, training with faster runners once a week is incredibly beneficial for making you work harder and increasing your speed.

how long does it take to run 2 miles
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Thoughts From Love Life Be Fit

Sometimes running two miles faster is just a matter of running regularly for a few weeks to increase your fitness level. These running tips for beginners will help you get in shape.

If you’re already a reasonable runner, speed sessions and competition are essential to take your running times to the next level.

Enjoy your runs and be proud of yourself! Running two miles or running for 20 minutes several times a week or even every day is a big commitment and a great way to improve your overall health and fitness.

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