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Average Sprinting Speed for Adults and Kids

The average sprinting speed for humans is about 14.2 mph or 24 kph. Athletes will have a much higher average sprinting speed of about 18.23 mph or 29.33 kmph.

While it’s easy to time how long it takes you to sprint 100m, working out what speed you were clocking on average can be a bit challenging. Don’t worry, we’ve done the calculations for you and compiled a few tables of the average sprinting speed by age for women, men, and teens. 

We’ve taken the average 100m sprint times of athletes of all ages and converted them into average miles per hour and kilometers per hour. Use them as a guide to work out how fast you might be sprinting in a 100m dash. We’ve also included a few tips on how to improve your average sprint time. 

average sprinting speed

Contents

What is average sprinting speed?

Sprinting is a high-intensity exercise that involves running at a very fast pace over a short distance. It’s typically performed at 80-95% of the maximum heart rate so it requires a lot of energy and effort. Sprinting is used in sports such as track and field events, football, and baseball where athletes need to cover short distances as quickly as possible. 

It’s important to keep in mind that sprinting is a short-term activity and an individual can only sustain maximum speed for a short period. As such, average sprinting speed is usually measured over 100m as this gives a good indication of an individual’s sprinting ability. If you’re wanting to know the average running speed, head over to Average Running Speed by Age and Ability.

How fast can an average person sprint?

The average human can sprint at about 14.2 mph or 24 km/h. This speed will vary due to factors, such as age, body composition, and fitness level. These factors will also influence your average time to run 3 miles and other distances as well. 

However, the average sprinting speed is much higher for athletes, typically around 18.23 mph or 29.33 km/h. Their specialized training improves their power, strength, and speed, allowing them to perform at a higher level than average.

Average human sprinting speed in miles per hour: 14.2mph

Average human sprint speed in km/h: 24km/h

Average sprinting speed by age for women - 100m sprint

The overall average sprinting speed for women is about 17.12 mph (27.55 km/h) which is a 100m sprint time of 13.06 seconds. 

Age

100m 

sprint time 

mph 

km/h

14 – 17

11.39 s

19.63

31.06

18+ 

10.94 s

20.44

32.90

20 – 34 

10.60 s

21.10

33.96

40 – 49   

12.77 s

17.52

28.19

50 – 59  

13.44 s

16.64

26.78

60 – 69 

14.0 s

15.97

25.71

70 – 79 

17.61 s

12.70

20.44

Average sprinting speed by age for men - 100m sprint

The average sprinting speed for men of all ages is 19.52 mph (31.4 km/h) which is a 100m sprint time of 11.45 seconds.

Age

100m 

sprint time 

mph 

km/h

14 – 17

10.21 s

21.90

35.25

18+ 

9.96 s

22.45

36.14

20 – 34 

9.688 s

23.08

37.15

40 – 49 

11.26 s

19.86

31.97

50 – 59 

11.88 s

18.82

30.30

60 – 69 

12.76 s

17.53

28.21

70 – 79 

14.34 s

15.59

25.10

Average sprinting speed by age for girls - under 18 years

The average sprinting speed for girls under 18 will vary depending on their fitness levels and training. On average, a teenage girl will sprint at about 18.01 mph (28.98 km/h), this is a 100m sprint time of about 12.4 seconds.

The table below are average times for girls that have received athletics training.

Age

100m 

sprint time 

mph 

km/h

13

13.2

16.95

27.27

15

11.6

19.20

31.03

17

12.5

17.89

28.8

Average sprinting speed by age for boys - under 18 years

The average sprinting speed for boys under 18 years is 19.02 mph (30.6 km/h) which is a 100m sprint time of about 11.76 seconds.

Age

100m

sprint time 

mph 

km/h

13

12.28

18.21

29.31

15

11.65

19.20

30.90

17

11.37

19.67

31.66

Average 100m sprint times in mph and km/h

Use the chart below to see the approximate sprinting speeds for 100m sprint times.

Average 100m 

sprint time

Miles per hour

km/h

10

22.36

36

11

20.33

32.72

12

18.64

30

13

17.20

27.69

14

15.97

25.7

15

14.91

24

16

13.98

22.5

17

13.16

21.17

18

12.42

20

19

11.77

18.94

20

11.18

18

What age do you sprint the fastest?

In general, you will sprint the fastest in your late teens and early twenties. Usain Bolt was 23 when he broke the world record and became the fastest man alive.

In the late teen and early twenties, the body is at its physical peak with maximum muscle development and strength. However, it’s important to remember that this depends on the individual’s health and fitness level during this age. Many people have started training later on in their lives and become fitter and stronger than they were in their 20s. For more on running for different ages, read average 5k time by age

What is the fastest human sprinting speed?

The world record for the fastest human sprinting speed is held by Usain Bolt. During his 9.58 seconds sprint, he reached an average speed of 27.8 mph (44.7 km/h). 

But, fun fact, in 2016, Justin Gatlin ran the 100m in 9.45 seconds thanks to the assistance of 4 giant fans with wind assistance of 32km/h. This feat was achieved on a Japanese TV game show: Kasupe!

 

Factors that influence average sprinting speed

There are a number of factors that can influence the average sprinting speed. Some of these factors can’t be changed, however, with effective training, they can be improved considerably. 

Age and gender

Age and gender are two of the main factors that can significantly affect average sprinting speed. In general, younger individuals will have faster sprint time due to great muscle mass and overall cardiovascular capacity. 

In terms of gender, men have higher levels of testosterone and more muscle mass and strength than women which results in faster average sprinting times. 

However, both of these factors can be greatly influenced by overall fitness, strength and proper training. 

 

Genetics and body size

Traditionally, sprinters tend to be shorter which helps them to be faster off the block. However, this doesn’t mean that taller people can’t sprint – Usain Bolt is 6.5ft.

However, genetics and body size do play a role in average sprinting speed. For example, people who have a higher percentage of fast-twitch muscle fibers will be better at sprinting than those who have a higher percentage of slow-twitch muscle fibers.

Fitness

Fitness is crucial for a fast sprinting speed. Individuals that are in excellent cardiovascular shape, who are strong and have endurance will typically sprint much faster than the average individual. 

Specific sprint training will also significantly improve power, speed, and overall performance. 

Strength and endurance

Explosive power and endurance are key to a fast sprinting speed. Strength training exercises such as squats, lunges, and plyometric drills will help build explosive power. Other cardiovascular exercises such as cycling or running will help build endurance. 

Running gear

Choose running gear that is lightweight and breathable. Opt for well-fitted shoes with good traction to improve grip and speed. Running spikes can also be a good option to improve grip, especially on smooth surfaces. 

Terrain and weather conditions

Sprinting on a flat smooth surface with good traction will allow you to hit higher speeds than on uneven terrains.

Weather conditions can also affect your sprint speed. For example, hot humid weather makes it difficult to maintain high levels of performance. Running into the wind as opposed to having the wind behind your back will also affect speed as can be seen in the video above. 

Distance covered in the sprint

Training specifically for certain sprinting distances can help you to improve your speed and performance. For example, training for 100m will be slightly different from longer sprints such as 200 or 400m. 

How to increase your average sprinting speed

With consistent training and practice, it’s possible to improve your average sprint speed. If you are looking to compete, we recommend working with a coach and following a properly implemented training program. 

Build strength

The primary muscles that needed to be strengthened are the leg muscles — quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Strength in these muscles is crucial to generate the power needed for sprinting. 

It’s also important to improve your core strength. A strong core provides stability and balance, which are essential for sprinting. Exercises like planks, Russian twists, and crunches can help build core strength.

Building strength takes time and consistency, so it’s crucial to be patient and consistent with your strength training routine.

Perfect your technique and form

Proper technique and form can help you generate more power, increase your overall efficiency with sprinting and reduce the risk of injury. Key components of proper sprinting technique include arm swing, foot placement, and body alignment.

Arm swing: It’s important to keep your arms relaxed and swing them back and forth in a straight line, avoiding any excessive movement.

 

Foot placement: Land on the balls of your feet and push off the ground with your toes, rather than your heels.

Body alignment: Keep your body aligned and maintain a slight forward lean. This can help you generate more power while sprinting.

Consider working with a coach or trainer who can provide feedback and guidance on how to perfect your technique and form. Practice drills like high knees, butt kicks, and A-skips to improve your sprint technique.

Watch your weight

Excess weight can slow down your speed and make sprinting challenging. Follow a healthy diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains to help give your body the building blocks it needs to build muscle while burning off the excess fat. 

Build in stretching and mobility

Improve your flexibility stretching and doing mobility exercises. This will also help improve your range of motion and can prevent injuries. Other recovery exercises such as foam rolling, massage, and ice baths are also beneficial for reducing muscle soreness and helping recovery time. 

Practice your breathing

The more oxygen you breathe in, the more it can fuel your muscles. Proper breathing technique is essential for sprint speed. Breathing exercises like diaphragmatic breathing or breath control drills can help improve your breathing technique and increase your endurance while sprinting.

Keep hydrated

Staying hydrated is vital to improving your sprinting speed. When you’re dehydrated, your muscles have a higher risk of cramping, and you’re more likely to experience fatigue.

Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your sprinting sessions.  Be aware of the signs of dehydration, such as dark urine or dry mouth, and drink more water if necessary. Additionally, drink sports drinks that contain electrolytes to help maintain hydration levels during intense workouts.

FAQs

The average person sprints at about 14.2mph or 24km/h. This can vary depending on factors such as age, fitness level, and body composition. 

Yes, 12mph is a fast sprinting speed for a human. This is the same as running a 5-minute mile which is a pace that many hope to achieve. 

Yes, 15 mph is a fast sprinting speed and is about 24.14 km/h. This is a 4-minute mile. 

A 17-year-old with athletic training should sprint at an average speed of around 18mph (28.9km/h). This is a 100m time of approximately 12 seconds. 

No, it’s never too late to start sprinting at age 21. While it can be challenging to achieve elite-level sprinting speeds, it’s still possible to improve your speed with consistent training and practice. 

Summary

  • The average sprinting speed for humans is 14.2 mph (24km/h)
  • The average sprint speed for athletes is much higher, around 18.23mph (29.33 km/h)
  • Consistent training and proper form and technique can help improve your average sprinting speed. 
average 5k time

Average 5K Time

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Average Half Marathon Time

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Half Marathon Pace Chart

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