A 10 minute mile pace might sound pretty slow or incredibly fast, depending on your own running abilities. For some, it is a lofty goal set when they are just getting started. For others, it’s a milestone set for long distance races.
What is a 10 minute mile pace?
The 10 minute mile pace is exactly what is sounds: running a full mile in exactly 10 minutes. A 10 minute mile is equivalent to 6.0 mph on the treadmill.
Is a 10 minute mile slow?
Running a 10 minute mile is far from slow. Most beginner runners start out with an average pace between 12 – 14 minutes per mile. In long distance races, a majority of finishers complete races with a pace that is greater than 10 minutes per mile.
A 10 minute mile pace certainly won’t have you winning any races, but it will almost always keep you far from finishing last.
Is a 10 minute mile pace a good goal?
The 10 minute mile pace is a popular goal for many runners – whether it be to simply complete a single mile in 10 minutes or less, or to finish their half or full marathons with an average pace of 10 minutes per mile.
This goal is reasonable for those runners who are already running in the 11 – 12 minute pace range. Base fitness, gender, overall health and injuries all play a role in whether or not running a 10 minute mile is a good goal.
For many recreational runners, a 10 minute mile pace allows them to stay healthy, improve or maintain their fitness, and do so without overtraining. Whether you’re hoping to run a 10 minute mile for the first time or wanting to maintain the pace for a long distance run, here are a few tips for success.
How to Run a 10 Minute Mile
For most who set the goal, deciding to run a 10 minute mile will take some dedicated effort. Training to run a 10 minute mile pace involves the same types of workouts as those found on any other training plan with a speed goal; however, understanding the correct easy and interval paces will help set you up for success.
Test Your Current Fitness
Before working towards any goal, it’s important to evaluate your starting point. Determining your beginning level of fitness is very important if you want to run a 10 minute mile.
If you can currently run a mile in 10 minutes and 30 seconds, the time frame and training involved will be much less extensive than if you are starting out at a 13 minute mile.
Try running a test mile before mapping out any sort of training. If possible, run on the track or another even surface to set yourself up for maximum success. Complete a 5 to 10 minute warm up before beginning the timed mile, and then run as fast and evenly as possible for a full mile.
Incorporate Easy Running
Even once you begin training to run a 10 minute mile pace, you’ll still want to incorporate some slower, easy runs. Many runners mistakenly assume that in order to meet their pace goal, they’ll need to run all of their training runs at or above that pace.
However, it’s important to include multiple runs per week that are completed at an easy pace – significantly slower than your goal. When it comes to running a 10 minute mile, easy and long runs should be completed around an 11 to 11:30 minute mile pace.
Weekly Interval and Tempo Runs
The key to success when training to run a 10 minute mile pace is to include weekly speed workouts. These workouts should vary each week, and include different intervals (400s, 800s, mile repeats), strides, tempo runs, and hill workouts.
When training for a ten minute mile, short intervals should be completed at a pace that is faster than 10 minutes per mile. Here are some recommendations:
- 400s: 8:30 – 9:10 minutes per mile
- 800s: 9:00 – 9:30 minutes per mile
- Strides: 8:20 – 8:50 minutes per mile
- Tempo runs: 10:15 – 10:45 minutes per mile (when longer than one mile in length)
Aim to Hold the Pace for Longer
Even if you are training to simply run one mile in 10 minutes, you’ll still want to focus on building endurance and preparing your body to maintain the pace for longer than a mile.
Attempting to run a 10 minute mile after only training to run exactly a mile will leave you with little wiggle room for error, a slow start, curves in the course, or unpredictable terrain.
Evaluate Your Form
Something that is often overlooked in training, but has the potential to really slow you down, is improper form. When even the smallest part of your form is slightly off, it can lead to a cascade of other issues down the road.
If you’re serious about training to maintain a 10 minute mile pace, you’ll want to make sure your form is in check before beginning. Take the time to perform a self-evaluation, or have someone else evaluate, your stride, foot strike, cadence and overall form. If anything needs tweaking, prioritizing fixing it before training begins.
Include Strength and Core Exercises
Another way to set yourself up for success with this running goal is to incorporate regular strength training and core exercises throughout your training plan. In order to run faster, you’ll need to get stronger.
In addition, many runners fall prey to new injuries when they increase the intensity of their training or add in speed workouts. To avoid this common pitfall, it’s important to increase strength simultaneously.
Running a 10 minute mile is a great goal for many runners. Whether you hope to run your fastest mile yet in 10 minutes or want to maintain the pace during a long distance run, preparation – both physically and mentally – is essential. If you don’t succeed on your first attempt, don’t give up! It’s often the hardest fought battles that result in the greatest rewards.