Written by, Sandeep Kumar
Updated March, 14, 2023
Fitness has gained immense popularity in the past two decades. Check out these interesting running statistics and facts to know the trends.
Although fitness and wellbeing have always had some degree of popularity and influence, the past two decades have brought them to the forefront. By 2020, at least 70% of American adults admitted to being cautious about their health and monitoring their health indicators.
The body positivity movement has also led people to reduce their focus on weight reduction and use physical activity to remain healthy. The overall shift in the belief system has driven people to take up several activities like running, yoga, aerobics, etc.
Out of all the activities taken up, running has been one of the most popular. More and more people are opting to go for a run in the early hours of the morning or go to the gym and run on the treadmill. Participation in marathons has also increased, showing the growing interest of people in the activity.
To fully understand the activity’s popularity and benefits, let’s explore some running statistics and facts.
These statistics give an overall picture of the trends around running and the popularity of the activity over the years. In general, the net running has had a net increase of about 57% in the past decade, with participation growing from 5 million annually to 7.9 million in 2018.
To understand the specific running behaviors, attitudes, segmentation, and trends, let’s explore some more running statistics and facts.
This section will focus on several interesting running facts and statistics. To add a little fun, it will also have a minor section for running facts for animals.
The best way to understand the interest group of any activity is to look at how many people are involved in it and who they are. Following are some of the main demographics of people who like to run.
(Source: Running USA, Running Magazine, Eyewitness News ABC, Runners World)
There has been an increase in female runners in the past few years.
These running statistics and facts show steady progress. Women are becoming more confident about taking up such outdoor activities and actively choosing them for their wellbeing. However, there is still a need for improving the safety measures to maintain this number.
Harassment is a key factor that keeps women from actively opting for outdoor activities on their own.
Running is the most popular activity of choice globally after walking and attracts people of all ages.
This shows that the younger generation is becoming more involved in fitness, and the trend is likely to persist. This also provides behavioral insights into the interests and lifestyles of these future adults.
(Source: Statista, Fitness Review)
People track their running and fitness in a number of ways, but some apps are more common than others.
Consumers use fitness apps to track their progress and monitor their health indicators. The popular choices not only offer them accuracy in measurements but also give connectivity and synchronization.
(Sources: 5K Events, Statista)
Running helps people keep their bodies toned and builds muscle.
The above information is important because the behavioral running statistics and facts show that both men and women use running to improve their physical health and mental health. Since the motivations are more intrinsic, they are less likely to give them up.
The running statistics show that more people, young and old, show interest in competitive or non-competitive running. This can help predict the population’s overall health statistics and present a picture of the trends that will emerge as a result.
(Sources: Runners World)
According to Strava’s 2018 data, the average speed for runners globally was 9 minutes and 48 seconds, while it was 9 minutes 44 seconds for runners in the US.
The difference between the global and US numbers is low but significant. The difference is difficult to tell but should be looked into to know the factors that lead to it.
In addition to the running statistics and facts about humans, below are some fun facts and statistics about animals and running.
(Source: Britannica, One Kind Planet, Washington Post)
Cheetahs are famous for their lithe bodies and incredible speeds that make them some of the deadliest predators on land. However, several other animals are quite fast as well.
These are the three fastest animals on land. The most interesting part is that the fastest animals are a combination of predator and prey. Aside from land animals, sea dwellers and birds have incredible speeds as well.
Nature is diverse and impressive. The incredible speed of animals on land, in skies, and seas, really put things into perspective.
While several people run only for personal health reasons, many others choose to be more competitive and regularly register for marathons. They closely follow marathon events and train all year round to be able to compete in them.
Running statistics and facts about marathon participation have also helped us observe the changes over the years.
(Source: Run Repeat)
The recent focus on fitness and awareness has led to a drastic improvement in marathon participation globally.
The numbers prove that marathon running has become a popular sport over the years and a lucrative market for sponsors.
(Source: Runner Click, Run Repeat)
40-49 years old is the fastest age range for men, with an overall finish time of 4:11:19.
Women in the 20-29 age group are the fastest, with an overall finish time of 4:42:10.
The USA, UK, and Germany were the countries with the most marathon participants in 2018. USA led with 456,700 participants, followed by the UK with 97,254 participants and Germany with 86,032.
The respective growths in those countries have been 10.98%, 90.35%, and -10.91%, respectively.
Following are some key statistics about marathon distances.
(Source: Meteor Run, CBS News)
This is the longest official distance of a marathon. However, some marathon events are shorter.
The average marathon is 26 miles long.
This shows how much the events can vary, making marathon runners a group with diverse abilities.
(Source: Marathon Trainings Schedule)
The French marathon runner ran around 25 countries in the EU for a complete year to achieve this impressive distance.
Running has been a popular activity since before the Olympics and has evolved several times over in the past millennia.
In addition to the above statistics, there are a few well-known facts about the benefits of running.
Sources: The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Science Direct, Harvard Health
This shows that running is essential for remaining fit, but it also helps a person remain healthy in the long run. It helps improve both physical and mental health and reduces the likelihood of some of the most common bone and cardiovascular diseases in later years of life.
To sum up, running statistics and facts show that this activity has grown over the past decade. Given the lifestyle trends prevalent nowadays, it is likely to remain popular for many years to come.
The activity has become more than just a way to exercise, and its mental and physical health benefits can become a lucrative business opportunity for sports brands.