How fast you can or should sprint can't be squeezed into a number that fits all. Your running speed and potential doesn't only depend on your age. It also takes into account your overall fitness level and even your genes.
What's interesting to note is that your age or sex are relatively secondary when figuring out your optimal sprinting speed. You can't go around putting speed tags on people by solely considering their sex and how old they are.
The level of fitness and endurance you possess is what counts the most!
If you talk about a runner who is relatively fit, they will be able to sprint a mile in just 9 to minutes. But, if you consider an amateur runner, they will take 12 or 15 minutes to cover the same distance.
How much time do you take covering a mile?
Sprinting Speed and Age
It's a known fact that as the body grows older, so does the body's running potential. An average 16 to 19-year-old person will take around 9 to 12 minutes to cover a mile. On the other hand, an average 55 to 59-year-old person can take a good 12 to 14 minutes to cover the same distance.
Sprinting Speed and Sex
Your running pace also relies on your sex. A man can generally run at a faster pace than a woman of the same fitness level. Have you ever wondered why?
The answer is straight forward. Men tend to have greater muscle mass than women do. With a greater number of fast-twitch muscles working for men, they outrun women.
But there is an interesting fact you don't want to miss!
Women take the lead where longer distances come into play. Research has concluded that during marathons, average men are more likely to lag in pace throughout the race while average women can maintain said pace.
Master your pace
Distance runs are crucial. They require you to act smart to get the job done. Having a singular goal of running as fast as the body allows will not get you anywhere. Managing your pace determines the time it will take you to cover a particular distance.
Let us see some examples of how you can manage that.
Cover your first few miles at a slower pace rather than bulleting through like a rocket. This may seem insane at first, but when you try it out, you will see how well it works.
Starting off slow helps your body store energy for the miles ahead; the ones in which you will have to exert yourself. Professional runners stick to this trick to cover greater distances in less time.
Some Safety Rules
Are you new to running?
As crucial as remaining healthy and fit is, keeping safe from injuries is also imperative, especially when you're older. Build up your strength and endurance, escalating slowly. Gradually add miles to your running routine to remain healthy and safe at the same time.
Below are some tricks to keep you on track (literally!).
- If you sprint on roads and sidewalks, avoid wearing headphones. Be aware of the traffic around you.
- Develop a running route that is against the flow of traffic.
- Consciously follow road rules. Be mindful when passing through a crossing.
- Keep your route fixed to safer, not-so-secluded and dark areas. Reflective gear goes a long way to protect you, especially during dusk and dawn.
- Always carry a water bottle with you. Dehydration is dangerous. You do not want to collapse in the middle of a running session.
- Slide your ID in a pocket and inform someone of your whereabouts before you leave the house for longer runs.
- Warm-up before your sprint. Always stretch after you are done.
- Do cross-training at least once a week to activate the body and challenge the muscles with a different training routine.
Running is one of the most refreshing and effective ways of keeping your body in shape. Do not compare your sprinting speed with your friend who is the same age as you. Human bodies function differently from each other. Regardless of your age, you should do what your body's most comfortable with and build from there.