Are you seeking what is the average human running speed? Great question and I am glad you have made it here to rundreamachieve.com. We all have different physiological capabilities. There are some of us who are better suited for long distances where others are a better fit for sprinting. Runnersworld.com recently did a study looking at over 300 million runs from athletes on strava. They found that the average page per mile for athletes is 9:48 per mile pace. Of course, this is just an average. There are runners who can run a marathon under 12 miles per hour or 5 minute mile pace.
There are far more who can run a marathon at 10 miles per hour or 6 minute mile pace. So, the average human running speed is going to vary from athlete to athlete. What people deem as “average” is also vastly different as well. There are runners who look at the world's top marathoners and consider a 3 hour marathon as a slow time. We know, of course, that a sub 3 hour marathon is a very competitive time. It requires the athlete to sustain 6:52 per mile or 4:16 per kilometer for the entire duration of the race.
How Fast Can A Human Run?
Usain bolt, the world record holder for the 100m (9.58) and 200m (19.19) has been clocked as high as 28 miles per hour. Of course, these are sprint speeds and can only be maintained for short periods of time. The average individual can sprint for a few seconds at around 15 miles per hour. Bolt is an incredibly talented athlete but it is the process (i.e. the hard work no one ever saw) that made him a success. There are far too many of us who focus on the event and forget the process that went into this type of performance. I made a video regarding this above that I hope will be helpful and motivating to you.
The good news is that we can always develop our speed. You can do 3-6x100m strides during or after your easy runs. They are too short to build up any significant lactic acid. That being said, will help you to focus on form and acceleration. In addition, this is on top of doing your track workouts, intervals and long runs. Bolt's body is probably comprised of 99% fast twitch and 1% slow twitch muscle fibers. The man has spent decades of training to get to the point where he is far faster than the average human running speed.
Is 22 MPH Fast for a Human?
Yes. It is very fast. In fact. The world record for women in the 100m is 10.49 by Florence Griffith Joyner. She was running at 22 miles per hour when she dropped that world-record time. The average human running speed can be enhanced by a combination of training at, near and far below goal race pace. The only way to get race pace to feel more manageable is consistent, sustained and focused training. The key is improving the body's lactate tolerance. Yes, running slow is still important for building endurance. That being said, the lactic acid built up running slow is too minimal to create any anaerobic benefit.
So, you need to focus on training at your Vo2max. Vo2max is you body's maximal oxygen uptake. The point where you are producing such high levels of lactic acid you simply can't clear it to continue running. Thus, we need to take breaks between our intervals, hill repetitions or tempo runs. Yes, you can run at Vo2max effort but only for a few seconds to minutes. So, the only way to improve upon the average human running speed is to train anaerobically (without oxygen).
How Fast Can the Average Human Run a Mile?
The average athlete can run a mile anywhere from 9 to 11 minutes. Again, “average” differs from individual to individual. There are athletes who are new to the sport who should aim more toward 12 to 15 minute mile pace. There are others who can a mile under 7 minutes in their first try. The world record for men is 3:43 and 4:12 for women, respectfully. These are the fastest times ever run by a male or female in world history. Yes, incredible. The key is to focus on improving your average human running speed and meet your objectives.
I created rundreamachieve.com in 2011 to help athletes do exactly that. There are training plans and running courses here devoted to helping athletes such as yourself to exceed your expectations. The key is not to run more mileage. If you run too many miles or kilometers too slow you will become an outstanding long, slow runner. The focus for many athletes is to run their chosen even under a specific time. How do you perform at the highest levels? Focus on recovery. Rest and your nutrition play a major factor in how successful you are going to become at the sport of middle to long distance running.
What Makes a Person Fast?
The athletes who have a higher percentage of fast twitch muscle fibers versus slow twitch are genetically more suited for running faster. That being said, we can always develop speed regardless how we are built. No, you are not going to be able to sustain sprint paces for very long. Fast twitch fibers rely heavily on glucose or glycogen. So, they tire easily as opposed to slow twitch fibers which rely more on fat storage. Muscle contractions can operate optimally for long periods of time when slow twitch fibers are being used.
You can also increase your strength and stamina by spending longer period of time at your anaerobic threshold. We do tempo runs at this effort. Your anaerobic threshold is the point where lactic acid starts to build up. You are running at or near 90 to 92 percent of your maximum heart rate at these efforts. So, the longer you can spend training at this effort the better. You will improve your lactate tolerance considerably training at this intensity. Remember, be patient. No one can just jump into doing 5 mile tempo runs without first spending weeks training aerobically (with oxygen).
So, the average human running speed can be enhanced. The body always adapts to whatever stress you are placing upon it. It takes about 3 to 4 weeks training at a specific intensity to adapt to that stress. So, the results of the workouts you do today will be seen weeks from now. Your pace will increase per mile or per kilometer. In addition, your heart rate will remain the same at even faster paces. This is one of many physiological adaptations that will eventually occur from your hard work.
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