How Fast Can an Average Man Run?
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February 19, 2015
By L. Carr, Contributing Columnist

Check out the 100-meter sprint in the Olympic Games every four years
and you’ll witness the performance of the fastest men in the world.
Away from the international events, speed is a big preoccupation for
men pounding the sidewalks and training in gyms across the country.
You may not be quite up there with world record holder Usain Bolt but
how do you compare to the guy two treadmills down? How fast can the
average guy run, and what speed should you be achieving in

Run Long or Run Fast

Your body has two types of muscle fibers---"fast twitch" and "slow
twitch".  Sprinting fast requires fast twitch muscles.  People who run
faster than others have a higher proportion of fast twitch muscle fibers.

Measuring the Average Man’s Speed

Owing to the fact that every man is different, there is no overall
consensus  on the “average” speed a man can run.

The most important factor that determines how fast an average man
can run is his physical fitness (the speed of far-from-average men like
Bolt depends on other factors that are not applicable to regular guys).

Training, aptitude and enthusiasm for running, competitiveness, and
weather conditions all affect how fast a man can run on any given day.
However, there are standards you can measure yourself against to see
how you compare.

How Fast Can the Average Man Run Two Miles?

The two-mile running test is part of the Army Physical Fitness Test (or
APFT), which is mandatory for people in the United States Army and
must be passed at least twice a year. The rules are simple – the faster
you run, the better your score. You must reach a certain score to pass.
The score depends on your age (and your gender).

A man between the ages of 17 and 24 should be running at a minimum
pace of 7.73 mph and a maximum pace of 9.24 mph, men aged 22 to
26 should be running at a minimum of 7.34 mph and a maximum of
9.24 mph, while men aged 27 to 31 should be at a minimum of 7.1 mph
and maximum of 9.15 mph. How do you score against these Army

Surprisingly, the Army speed averages are slower than the average
reported by the National Council on Strength and Fitness. According to
this Council, an average man can run 15 mph for short distances.

How Fast Can You Run a Mile?

The world record in the mile run is held by Hicham El Guerrouj is the
current men's record holder with a time of 3:43.13. Elite runners can
complete a mile in under five minutes.

An average man can run a mile in around seven to nine minutes. To
become a member of the Royal Marines in the British Armed Forces you
need to be able to run two 1.5 mile stretches on a treadmill. You must
complete the first  in 12 minutes 30 seconds (which equals 8 minutes
33 seconds per mile). Then, the test gets harder. You must complete  
the second  1.5 stretch, just 10 minutes later, within 10 minutes (which
equals 6 minutes 39 seconds per mile.

How Fast Does the Average Man Run 100m?

The shorter the running distance, the faster the pace you can set. The
average man jogs at a speed of 8.3 mph, covering 100m in 27 seconds.
A faster-than-average man can sprint 100m in 13 seconds, but that is
far from the Olympic qualifying time for the 100-meter event, which
was 10.18 seconds for men in 2012.

Superfast Athletes

All of these “average” men have some way to go before they catch up
with superstar athletes like Usain Bolt. Bolt ran nearly 23 mph in the
100-meter sprint, setting the World Record of 9.58 seconds and
earning himself the title of the Fastest Man on Earth.

Bolt is a more powerful sprinter than any other man, and according to
a 2013 study from the National University of Mexico, he has perfected a
way of running that reduces his aerodynamic drag.

Scientists believe that with a few minor tweaks to his running form, he
could run even faster in the future – down to 9.46 seconds for the 100
meters. According to the researchers, the main issue with Bolt – and
any sprinter – is the energy spent in fighting air resistance. For world
class sprinters and average men alike, the weather conditions, for
example the direction of the wind, have a powerful bearing on the
speed reached.

The Future for the Average Man: How Fast Will He Run?

Men seem to be getting faster and faster. We didn’t think a man could
run a mile in less than 4 minutes, until Roger Bannister beat this target
in 1954 with a time of 3:59.4. In the 1936 Olympic Games the winner
of the 100-meter sprint clocked an impressive (for then) 10.3 seconds
but today, that’s how fast junior level athletes run. With better training,
better nutrition, and faster tracks, men could reach new speed records
anytime soon.

And in the future? Humans could run 40mph say scientists – in theory.
A 2010 study from Southern Methodist University suggests the average
man could run at 40mph but it all depends on how quickly the muscles
in the body can move. Previous studies reported that running speed
was dependent on the amount of force the limbs could take striking the
ground but the muscle reaction time is also important, say scientists.

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