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# How long should it take an average swimmer to complete one mile?

Wiki User

2012-08-09 23:31:15

In my experience, in a 25 yard pool average mile times for a female are anywhere from 16:30 (minutes:seconds) to 19:00, and for males anywhere from 15:00 to 17:00. It's a bit different in an olympic pool because it's 50 meters and instead of the 1650 yards in the 25 yard pool, it's 1500 meters in the olympic pool.

My 50 free time is 22.4

Realistically speaking, the above is far too optimistic. Taking a typical high school male kid who is in-shape and a member of the schools' swimming team, a 1500m or 1650 yard swim will typically take about 19 minutes. Very Fast times for male high school swimmers would be a bit under 17 minutes, in competition. For comparison, the U.S. Olympic Trials qualifying times for the 1500m freestyle is 15:11.

For an "average" swimmer (one who is quite competent at the freestyle stroke, and knows how to do a good flipturn) who is not training competitively, but is otherwise fit, 30 minutes is more realistic for a 1-mile swim in a pool. Outdoor swimming (particularly in rougher water) adds considerably to this, so a 1-mile swim in a lake under calm conditions should take at least 40 minutes, while it could take an hour or more in rough water (2-3ft swells). Swimming in the open ocean is even more difficult, due to the much greater wave height; frankly, for the average swimmer, swimming long distances in the open ocean in anything more than calm waters is practically impossible, as they will tire out long before they get very far.

Remember that distance swimming is far more difficult to do quickly than short distances, as swimming is an extremely heavy cardio-vascular workout; most "average" swimmers can swim short distances at only slightly slower speeds than "very good" swimmers. The difference between the two is in endurance levels - while very good or better swimmers can generally sustain a speed of at least 80% of their flat-out sprint speed, average swimmers are lucky to maintain 50% of their maximum sprint speed.

For comparison purposes, back in high school for me (late 1980s), my best competition time for the 1650 (25 yard short course pool) was 16:51, which was good enough to put me in the top 500 high school swimmers NATIONWIDE (U.S.A.). That means there were likely no more than 2,000 or so people in the entire country who were faster, of ANY age. Thus, a time of 16:51 was in the top 0.0001% (1 in 100,000) for the entire population. Swimming times have gotten better in the past 30 years, but (even with the new high-tech suits), only about 5% faster. And an "average" swimmer is radically slower than a top-end one. Remember, a 19-minute 1650 is still better than 1:10 per 100 yards, which most people have difficulty sustaining even for short distances. A 30-minute mile is about 1:50 per 100 yards. A 16:51 for 1650 yards is just over 1:01 per 100 yards.

In the 1500m freestyle: 1991 Men's World Record was 14:50, while the 2011 record is 14:34, a drop of about 2%.

Wiki User

2012-08-09 23:31:15
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