The mile has always been a highly regarded distance in running, as a benchmark of fitness or as a stand-alone discipline, running a mile as quickly as you can is a great test for any runner. Strava seem to agree and ahead of their own campaign in June to encourage runners to run their fastest mile, they have released data from over 5.6 million runners showing the average best mile efforts from 25 countries.
And so to the stats - UK runners ranked 16th with an average mile best effort pace of 8:23 min/mile, just ahead of the USA in 18th with an 8:31 min/mile. Germany ranked 9th with a pace of 8:16 min/mile, whilst it was Sweden who proved to be the speediest nation with a 7:45 min/mile average.
The fastest four nations of Sweden, France, Switzerland and Norway were significantly faster than the rest of the nations, a whole 8% quicker than the global average.
Of the UK’s cities, Edinburgh (8:01) and London (8:02) rank 9th and 10th internationally, with the list topped by French cities - Lyon (7:25) followed by Paris (7:39) and Marseille (7:44). Munich placed 8th with a time of 8:01 min/mile. The only US cities to rank in the top 10 were Boston in 4th (7:54 - home of the fastest Strava marathoners) and Portland, ME in 6th (8:00).
A mile can be a hard distance to relate to - since Bannister’s landmark achievement, more people have climbed Everest than have broken the magical four-minute barrier. Strava hope that The Strava Mile will be a chance for everyone to understand why his effort in 1954 was voted the greatest ever athletic achievement (according to Forbes), but also to experience for themselves how the mile is is one of the most accessible sporting challenges.
Brand new to the mile? Why not follow our First Mile programme, designed to get you from no running to finishing your first mile. You can find all the training advice and plans here.
To add an incentive, any runner who uploads a run of at least one mile in distance and tags #MyMile in their activity title has the chance to win running shoes from Wiggle for themselves and up to ten of their Strava followers.
Strava will also be bringing the campaign to life at a series of global events throughout June. They’ll be taking place in; London, Paris, Berlin, Chicago, New York and LA.
The initiative will run until 30 June, to find out more visit: https://blog.strava.com/strava-mile/
For more information on Strava, please visit: www.strava.com