Average 2 Mile Run Time | How to Make Gains

Are you seeking to make your average 2 mile run time great? If so, you have come to the right place. Welcome to RunDreamAchieve. I have run 9:27 for the 2 mile and later in my career ran 2:19:35 for the marathon. No, it wasn’t an easy path and I, too, had many setbacks along the way. So, I get where runners are coming from as I have experienced both success and failure. My aim with this post is to share some brief strategies and tactics to make major gains in your 2 mile effort.

Remember, the end goal with this event is improving your body’s lactate tolerance. You won’t be able to do this by running easy. Of course, easy running is still essential. That being said, you have to train sufficiently at or below 2 mile run goal race pace.

The reason is you want to teach the body to clear lactic acid more efficiently. So, it takes time and patience on your part. The physiological adaptation to your training takes a minimum of 21 days and most of the time around 4 weeks. The process of gaining fitness takes focus, drive and determination on the part of the athlete.

How to Run a Faster 2 Mile Time

I recommend focusing first on a 4 weeks of easy, aerobic mileage. Remember, you have to crawl before you can walk. You don’t skip steps. A major mistake I saw serving over years in the Army as Soldiers doing sprints and faster runs when they had no aerobic base built. Our Army ACFT 2-mile run requires a lot of stamina. There are multiple events to that test with the last being the 2-mile run.

So, you have to focus first on building your aerobic mileage. The reason being is this will strengthen your ligaments, tendons and joints. I have created 2-mile training plans here at RunDreamAchieve built for civilians as well as military members. The goal is to focus on that 2 mile run goal race pace you have in mind. How can we get that race pace to feel more like 10k race pace instead?

Again, it all comes back to how you set up your training. You don’t jump into doing anaerobic (without oxygen) training without first build a strong, aerobic base first. I do recommend introducing strides into your routine. Strides are short, 50-100m sprints, that will help you build on your form running at sub-maximal efforts. You can two these once or twice per week during your aerobic base-building phase.

How Can I Improve My 2 Mile Run Time in a Week?

The likelihood of improving your 2 mile run time in 7 days is very slim. Remember, it takes between 3 to 4 weeks for your body to adapt to any stress you are placing on it. So, the longer you can train and prepare for your goal 2 mile race, the better.

20 week marathon training plan pdf
MAJ(ret.)Pennington finishing as the top American and in 4th place at the 2007 California International Marathon with a USA Track and Field Olympic Trials “A” standard time of 2:19:35

The training plans that I have created here range in length from 8 to 20 weeks. Of course, the 20 week plans are currently built for athletes focused on the half-marathon and marathon.

I would recommend a build up of a minimum of 12 weeks and preferably 16 weeks to get ready to run your best 2 mile. Again, you don’t want to be in a rush. It takes time to get into great, anaerobic shape.

Is a 12 Minute 2 Mile Good?

Yes, a 12-minute 2 mile is a very good run time. You need to run at 5:59 mile pace or 3:43 per kilometer pace in order to run a 2-mile in 11:59. So, the athlete has to be in both great aerobic as well as anaerobic shape. Proper pacing is also critical to improving over the 8 lap distance. Again, you don’t want to go into oxygen debt too soon in this event.

The 2 mile is a highly anaerobic event. It isn’t like the 10K, half-marathon or marathon distances. You can make errors in your pacing in these events and adjust course. You cannot do that in the 2-mile event.

So, you want to avoid going out too fast in the 2-mile event. In addition, be patient in the first mile and attack especially in those last 3 laps of the race. The end goal is to be maintaining or speeding up pace while your competition is slowing down.

How Fast Do You Have to Run the 2 Mile in the Army?

Below is a list of the time standards we have in the military. Yes, we have many Soldiers and military members who are seeking to take their average 2 mile run time to greatness. One of the common issues I saw with many military members is they simply weren’t running enough.

acft 2 mile run standards

Of course, we do a lot of other exercises like rope climbs, flipping tires, push ups and site ups. That being said, is the goal to run an average 2 mile run time or to drop significant time off of your current personal best? Average doesn’t require a lot of work but greatness does. So, military members as well as civilians have to be willing to put in more, consistent running.

You are not going to run a great 2 mile run time by running once or twice per week. Our military members do quite a bit of physical fitness during the week. That being said, the military leadership have to stress military members with various exercises and not just running.

So, I saw a lot of physical fit Soldiers during my time in the Army. The only issue is I saw far too many Soldiers doing what was required of them and not enough after hours, running. Greatness means running during lunch or after work, not just relying on morning PT. The Troops running faster 2 mile run times were doing that extra work in order to be great. So, you must follow suit whether you are military or civilian. It is up to you how fast you become in this event.

What is the World’s Fastest 2 Mile Time?

The world’s best 2 mile time for men was set by Daniel Komen of Kenya who ran 7:58.61. He is the only human to have ever broken the 8 minute 2-mile barrier.

The world record for women was set by  Ethiopian Meseret Defar in 2007 with a time of 8:58.58. She is the only female to have ever broken the 9 minute 2-mile barrier.

Remember, these are the fastest 2-mile times ever run. So, don’t compare yourself to these two athletes. They are outliers. That being said, they had to train for many years to get to a point where they could run this fast.

How Do I Make Myself Run Faster?

Run Longer

What has been the longest you have run in the past? 4 miles? 5? How many days a week are you running? Once? Twice? One of the best ways to run faster over 2 miles or longer is to simply run for a longer period of time each week. You need to build endurance and this can only come from consistent work. The best 2-milers I ever competed against were running a minimum of 4 days a week. The professional runners I trained and lived with were running 7 days a week.

The runners who beat me had to be running 7 days a week. I can tell very quickly whether a runner wants to be average, good or great. Again, to run an average 2 mile run time doesn’t take a great deal of effort. Let’s face it, average is, well….average.

You wouldn’t have read this far into this post if you had a desire to be average. So, focus on building your mileage each week. Yes, you may need to start at running once or twice per week. That being said, gradually increase you mileage about 10 percent each week. Also, focus on adding in those strides I mentioned earlier in this post.

Invest in Your Self-Development

I have created running courses and training plans for athletes seeking greatness. One of the best things you can do to run faster is to invest in your personal development.

I spent thousands of dollars over the years with coaching and training plans seeking to make it to the next level in my own running. So, make sure to check out the resources available to you here at RunDreamAchieve.

Longer Tempo Runs

You want to spend a longer period of time training at your anaerobic threshold. Your anaerobic threshold is the point where lactic acid starts to build up in your body. You will be running slightly faster than your AT pace at your 2-mile race pace. So, the longer your tempo runs, the better. Yes, it will take time to gradually extend the amount of time you are spending at this effort.

Again, patience is key. As mentioned above, it takes between 3 to 4 weeks to adapt to the stresses you are placing on the body. So, this will take time. You may want to start of running 2 to 3 miles at your tempo effort. As the body adapts, work your way more toward 4 to 5 miles in length. Imagine how easy your 2-mile race is going to feel knowing you have done 4 to 5 mile tempo runs.

Subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube Channel

I created the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel in 2019 to help runners like you get to the next level. Make sure to subscribe so you will get the latest videos I make. Again, learning about what the best middle to long distance runners do will help speed up your learning curve.

In addition, you will be able to duplicate what these athletes are doing. Remember, an average 2 mile run time doesn’t take a great deal of work. The majority of runners running average times can do far more than they think. In addition, can make some small changes and make significant improvements if they do. Longer tempo runs, as mentioned above, is one of many ways to do this.

Faster Long Runs

An additional way to take your average 2 mile run time and make it great is varied paced, long runs. I used this tactic to run 14:18 for the 5K and 2:19:35 for the marathon (5:19 mile pace for 26.2 miles). How far has the longest run you have done in the past? 5 miles? 6? How easy would that 2 mile race be if you lengthen your long run to around 10 miles?

In addition, if you start spending some time during your long runs running at faster speeds? Below are some examples of long runs I would recommend for runners seeking to run under 11 minutes for the 2 mile. Remember, always alternate a faster, varied paced long run one weekend with an easy, relaxed long run the following week. Recovery is critical if you want to succeed over 2 miles. The benefits of your hard work come from the rest period, not from the workout itself. Google “Supercompensation”. Thank me later.

  • 1 mile jog warmup, 2 miles@6:15 mile pace, 1 mile jog, 1 mile in 5:15, 2 mile cool-down (7 miles)
  • 1 mile jog warm-up, 3 miles@5:55 mile pace, 1 mile easy, 1 mile in 5:15, 3 mile cool-down (9 miles)
  • 2 mile jog, 1 mile in 5:00, 1 mile jog, 3 miles@6:00 mile pace, 2 miles@7:00 mile pace, 1 mile cool-down (10 miles)

Closing Thoughts

I hope this post about how to take your average 2 mile run time to the next level has been helpful. Make sure to check out our running courses which will soon include a 2-mile course. It will be focused on military members but will have essential tips and strategies for civilians as well.

Again, the end goal is to improve your body’s ability to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up. The better you can deal with lactic acid the better you are going to run. Remember, don’t try to win your 2-mile event in the first mile. There are far too many runners going out too aggressively in this event and paying for it in the last 4 laps.

You don’t win the 2 mile being the first across the first mile unless you have trained properly. Pace sustainment is an art form. Just about anyone can run easy for a number of miles or kilometers. It is something else to run under goal 2 mile race pace for 8 laps. You are more than welcome to visit the about page if you would like to know more about my military and civilian racing career.

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