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How to Run a 10 Minute Mile | Is a 10 Minute Mile Pace Good?

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.

Most seasoned runners find themselves completing some runs around this pace during their training – whether they be easy runs, recovery runs or a typical long run pace.

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.

Achieving a 10 minute mile pace is a common goal for runners. Here is exactly how to structure training to successfully run a 10 minute mile.

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.

Achieving a 10 minute mile pace is a common goal for runners. Here is exactly how to structure training to successfully run a 10 minute mile.

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.

Achieving a 10 minute mile pace is a common goal for runners. Here is exactly how to structure training to successfully run a 10 minute mile.

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.

Achieving a 10 minute mile pace is a common goal for runners. Here is exactly how to structure training to successfully run a 10 minute mile.

Workouts to Run a 10 Minute Mile

Training to run a 10 minute mile consistently takes a good deal of effort for most new runners. The best way to help improve your fitness and get closer to a 10 minute mile pace is to include tempo runs, hill workouts and intervals in your training. Here are some of the best workouts for running a 10 minute mile.

400s

Adding 400 meter intervals to your training is an excellent way to improve your turnover, VO2 max, and power on the run. 400 meters is equivalent to 1/4 mile, or 1 lap around the track. Here is a great workout to try.

  • 1 mile warm up
  • 400 meters fast (2:11 or 8:44 min/mile pace)
  • 400 meter recovery
  • Repeat x 6
  • 1 mile cool down

800s

Similar to 400s, incorporating 800 meter intervals in your training will help improve your overall fitness, running power and VO2 max. 800 meters is equivalent to two laps around the track or 1/2 mile. Try this workout to help achieve a 10 minute mile pace overall.

  • 1 mile warm up
  • 800 meters fast (4:30 or 9:00 min/mile pace)
  • 400 meter recovery
  • Repeat x 4
  • 1 mile cool down

Hill Sprints

Incorporating hill workouts and sprints in your training is a great way to increase running speed, strength and prevent muscle imbalances. Runners of all ability levels will benefit from adding hills to their training on a regular basis.

Look for a hill with a significant grade to complete your sprints. The hill doesn’t have to be long, just enough for a 10-30 second sprint upward. Here is a simple hill workout to get you started!

  • 1 mile warm up
  • 10 second hill sprint
  • Recover down hill
  • 20 second hill sprint
  • Recover down hill
  • 30 second hill sprint
  • Recover down hill
  • Repeat all sprints x 3
  • 1 mile cool down

Fartlek Runs

Many runners avoid fartlek runs due to their lack of structure, but this is actually what makes them one of the easiest, most convenient ways to increase your speed. If you’re training to run a 10 minute mile, fartlek runs are a great way to improve your speed. A “fartlek” simply refers to an unspecified amount of time during which you sprint or run at a faster pace than normal. Try this workout for running a 10 minute mile pace!

  • 1 mile warm up
  • 30 second fartlek
  • 30 second recovery
  • 1 minute fartlek
  • 1 minute recovery
  • 30 second fartlek
  • 30 second recovery
  • 2 minute fartlek
  • 1 minute recovery
  • 30 second fartlek
  • 30 second recovery
  • 3 minute fartlek
  • 1 minute recovery
  • 30 second fartlek
  • 1 mile cool down

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.

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