How Long Does it Take to Run 2 Miles

Are you wondering how long does it take to run 2 miles? If so, welcome to RunDreamAchieve. It will depend on the level of cardiovascular fitness of the athlete. In addition, their desire to succeed and overall commitment. Remember, the faster you are aiming to cover 2 miles the more speed is going to play a role. Yes, easy running is still important. There is only so many times you can stress the body before there is a diminished return on your investment.

So, you have to be smart about how you set up your training. I do have 2-mile training plans here at RunDreamAchieve, if interested. Training for a 2 mile run takes a quality over quantity mindset. Higher mileage isn’t always the answer. What if 10% of your weekly volume is spent at your goal race pace and the other 90% well below it? Will you be able to sustain your goal race pace effectively? I don’t think so.

Remember, we are focusing here on teaching the body to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up. Easy running won’t do this for us as athletes. So, you have to train at and far below goal 2 mile run race pace more often. Pacing is also critical. You don’t want to try to win a 2-mile race in the first mile. Of course, if you are in great anaerobic shape and have the confidence then do so.

What is the Average Time to Run 2 Mile?

The average time to run a 2 mile is anywhere from 16 to 30 minutes. Of course, there are many athletes who can run much faster and others, much slower. Again, it all depends on the overall fitness level of the runner. Again, these are the fastest two mile run times ever produced.

I would focus on between a 12 to 16 week build up when training for your goal 2 mile race. The longer you prepare the less of a rush you are going to be in. It takes between 3 to 4 weeks just for your body to adapt to the stresses you place on it. So, you don’t want to be in a rush. My recommendation is to focus on a 4 to 8 week base-building phase. I usually sprinkle in strides with my training plans twice per week.

The entire stride should not be all out. You want to gradually increase the intensity as you move through it. Strides can be anywhere from 50 to 100 meters in length. They are great for warming up loose muscles, focusing on your form and for acceleration drills.

Running 2 Miles at Goal Pace

The only way to get this pace to feel easier on you is training at the vo2 max. Your vo2 max is your body’s maximum oxygen uptake. You are running between 95 to 100 percent of your maximum heart rate running at this intensity. So, we can only handle running at this pace for a few seconds to a few minutes. I advise my athletes to focus on doing 1, vo2 max workout per week.

Elite athletes may do 2 per week. Again, it all comes down to the maturity of the athlete. There are some athletes who will do better running 30 miles a week than someone else running 100 miles a week. The types of vo2 max workouts I relied on heavily are listed below just to give you an idea…

  • 16x400m@67-74 seconds with 90 seconds rest (60 when very fit)
  • 6x1mile@4:46-47 with 2 minutes rest between reps
  • 3x2mile@9:50-10:00 with 5 minutes rest between reps
  • 12x200m@28-34 seconds with 60 seconds rest

I hold a personal best of 9:27.23 for 2-miles (3218 meters). So, do understand that this is not a pleasant race distance. It is a highly anaerobic race. We all only have so much natural leg speed. My best mile (1609 meters) is 4.22.10. I have always worked on training at the vo2 max effort for all of my races. My speciality is the marathon but I always placed heavy emphasis on speed development.

What is the Fastest 2 Mile Run?

The world record for males was set by Kenya’s Daniel Komen who ran a time of 7:58.63. Yes, two sub-4 minute miles back-to-back.

Komen is the only man in history to have ever broken the 8 minute 2-mile barrier. The second fastest 2-mile time ever run by a man is Ethiopia’s Haile Gebresalassie who ran a time of 8:01.08. The word record for women was set by Ethiopia’s Meseret Defar who ran a time of 8:58.58. The second fastest time ever run by a female is 8:59 Burundi’s Francine Niyonsaba who ran 8:59.08, respectfully.

You run faster over this distance by consistent mileage and heavy focus on speed development. I would also work toward getting your tempo runs lengthened out toward 5 miles in length. We run between 85 to 88 percent of our maxim heart rate at this effort. A common mistake I see with a lot of runners is they are running too easy too often.

Anyone can run slow but it is an art form to race fast. Again, you want to maintain 2 mile run race pace longer and slow down less than your competition. How long does it take to run 2 miles? If you are out of shape and just getting started it make take a few weeks to run 2 miles without stopping. I, too have had to start like this during my early training build ups. Great fitness takes time.

How Do I Train to Run 2 Miles?

Focus on 4-8 weeks of easy relaxed mileage first. Runners get too hyped up and sometimes can move too quickly. You want to first build your aerobic fitness before you can start doing faster, anaerobic workouts. I saw this mistake made all the time in the military prior to retiring with Soldiers training for their ACFT 2MR. You are not going to drop considerable amounts of time in this event by running once or twice per week.

Remember, the faster you are aiming on running the more you have to focus on specific pace. The 4 key phases of training I focus on with my running courses and training plans are the following…

  • Base training phase (running at relaxed paces to strengthen the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the body). Heart rate should be anywhere from 130 to 150 beats per minute.
  • Specific 2-mile training phase (focusing on running at or close to 2-mile goal race effort). Heart rate should be anywhere from 151 to 165 beats per minute
  • Speed development (training at paces significantly faster than goal 2 mile run race pace). Heart rate should be anywhere from 165 to 185 beats per minute (or higher for some younger athletes)

Focus on Running Longer

A lot of runners can drop time off of their two mile run time simply by putting in consistent mileage. Again, every athlete is different. Some work better with mileage while others need to focus more heavily on speed work. The best athletes usually fall in the middle between the two. Remember, you need to have a healthy dose of both hard as well as easy running.

forget status
Coach Pennington finishing as the top American and in 4th place at the 2007 California International Marathon in 2:19:35

So, running longer will help build confidence, burn fat and build endurance. Endurance that you will need in the 2-mile event. How much stronger will you be if you lengthen that long run out toward 10 miles (16 kilometers)? You don’t want to run long and slow every single weekend though. A major mistake I see many runners make is spending too much time running easy.

Faster Long Runs

Faster long runs helped me PR fro every distance from the 2 mile to the marathon distance. I dropped 21 minutes off of my marathon going from 2:43:36 to 2:19:35 using this tactic. So, what I want you to keep in mind is spend some time running easy, moderate and very hard during these faster long runs. Remember, run hard one weekend followed the next with an easy, aerobic long run.

Again, always focus on recovery. The majority benefits from your hard work that you do today will be seen several weeks and months from now. Yes, it isn’t always easy. Also, you will have some days and weeks where you are really questioning yourself. Stay focused. Take it one day a time and remain consistent with yourself.

The training plans and running courses that I teach have some very demanding workouts included in them. So, you have to make sure you are taking your recovery days easy. Google the word “Supercompensation”. You will find out more details as to why running easy is essential to improve your 2-mile goal time.

Hill Work

I am a big believer in hill work. Hill work, much like track and road speed workouts will help you recruit more fast twitch muscle fibers. The more of these you can recruit the more efficiently you are going to be able to handle race pace. Easy running will not produce this physiological effect. Hill work will force you to lift your knees and your heart rate to quickly rise. How long does it take to run 2 miles? It will take far less time if you sprinkle hill training into your routine. I can promise you that.

You will need to focus heavily on relaxation, pumping your arms and your form just like in a race. Again, you have to stress the body adequately and enough times during the week. Also, run easy enough on your recovery days to ensure you are adapting to these hard efforts. I would focus on finding a hill 200 to 300 meters in length and running up it moderately when not as fit. You can walk down for recovery.

As you get in better shape focus on sprinting all out on the way up these hills and jogging easy on the way down. Remember, no rest racing. So, you want to really focus on training at this type of intensity. Hill workouts, much like speed training and fartlek workouts, are spent training at the vo2 max.

Closing Thoughts

I hope this brief post has been helpful to you and that some of these running tips helps you in your next 2 mile. Remember, focus on making your move with 3 laps to go. The majority of your competitors are going to go out far too fast that first mile. You don’t want to go out too fast and go into oxygen debt. I know from experience and it is not fun.

Of course, I haven’t run an all-out 2-mile since college but have enough experience to tell the tale. The key tactic is proper pacing and training sufficiently at or close to your goal 2 mile race pace. Yes, you still need to run easy for a few days out of the week as well. Proper training is not just about doing fast workouts. It is what you are doing the other hours of your day after the track or road workouts are complete that counts most.

Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I create new training and racing videos there each week to help professionals such as yourself make that next big leap. My overall goal is to help runners to train using leverage. I already know you know how to work hard. Do the hardest working athletes always get the results? Not always. The athletes training the smartest and using leverage most often times do.

So, how long does it take to run 2 miles? It really comes down to how well you have planned. Are you guessing what workouts to do each day or do you have a plan?

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