Run a 10-Minute Mile: What to Do to Achieve Your Goal

Whether you’re a seasoned avid runner or a beginner, having the ability to run a 10-minute mile is an admirable accomplishment.

Ten minutes may not sound like much compared to elite runners who can complete a mile in under 4 minutes (!!!), but it’s still considered a good pace and is a reason to celebrate.

As an average speed marathoner, my mile time hovers around 10 minutes per mile, depending on the running event.

But what if you’re not there yet? If you hope this is the year you’ll hit that 10-minute mile, you’ve come to the right place. So let’s talk about how to accomplish this goal.

How to Run a 10-Minute Mile

If you want to run a 10-minute mile, you’ll need to take the appropriate steps. The most crucial first step is to set a goal.

I like to use S.M.A.R.T. goals with my running, just as with my non-running-related goals. What are S.M.A.R.T. goals?

👉🏼 Specific

👉🏼 Measurable

👉🏼 Achievable

👉🏼 Realistic

👉🏼 Timely

This means your goal to run a 10-minute mile pace might look something like this:

“I will run a 10-minute mile at the end of my 10-week training period.”

This is a S.M.A.R.T. goal because we are specific about the distance and speed we want to run and the timeline in which we want to achieve it. So we’ve provided enough time that it’s realistic, and you should know yourself well enough to know if this is achievable.

A girl is standing on a running track with a smile. Attempting to run a 10-minute mile at an outdoor track is the perfect location for the exact measurement.

Identify Your Current Pace

Once we’ve set the goal, we must identify our current standard.

Head to a track or place to run until you hit an exact one-mile mark. This is where you’ll test your current pace to see where you’re at and how much time you’ll need to shave off.

A single lap will equal a quarter mile if you run at a standard outdoor track in the US. You’ll need to run four laps total to complete your one mile.

Complete a light warm-up to warm your muscles and prepare your legs to run. Complete the mile at your maximum speed and record your time in a place you can look back to as you continue to train.

Likewise, if you’re currently within your marathon training, you might consider using once of your speed work days as a way to test your mile pace.

Train to Run a 10-Minute Mile

Running a 10-minute mile isn’t always easy, but it’s an achievable goal for most people if you’re willing to do the work.

To reach this milestone, you should focus on the four significant aspects of any good running plan: endurance, speed, strength, and recovery.

Incorporate each one into your training routine by doing the following:

✅ Endurance

Begin by focusing on building your endurance.

Increase the duration of your runs and focus on running for extended periods without taking breaks. Include easy running mixed in with more challenging runs.

Gradually increase the distance and pace of your runs to build endurance.

Take a look at different middle-distance training plans that can keep you motivated. You may benefit from following along with a 5k training plan or even a 10k training plan to build that distance in.

✅ Speed

Once your endurance has increased, start incorporating speed into your routine.

Add in intervals that gradually increase in intensity as your training progresses. These intervals are invaluable to get your legs moving faster.

There are many options to choose from when it comes to intervals. For example, you might find your body responds best to 800-meter repeats. Alternatively, your body may respond best to mixing up intervals each week.

✅ Strength

Cross-training is essential for all runners.

Improving your overall fitness level is always beneficial for accomplishing a running goal. Focus on the muscles used to run, such as the quads, glutes, and hamstrings. Include bodyweight exercises like squats and lunges.

The “core” has often been misdescribed to mean the abdominals. Although abs play into the core, the general stabilizing muscles, including the upper legs and back, help stabilize the body when running.

These muscles help you keep proper running form even when you begin to fatigue.

✅ Recovery

It’s imperative that you don’t skimp on recovery.

This is the most critical part of training for any runner. Ensure you’re taking rest days and providing enough fuel to your body as it works hard to reach your 10-minute milestone.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be ready to hit the track and hit that 10-minute mile goal within a few weeks.

Attempt Your 10-Minute Mile

Once you’ve completed your specific training plan, it’s time to attempt your 10-minute mile. Ensure you have quality running gear to start on the right foot.

👉🏼 Complete a proper warm-up and curate a positive mindset before attempting this goal.

Visualize yourself achieving the 10-minute mile and take deep breaths, focusing on each step as you approach the finish line.

👉🏼 Begin your run with a rapid pace that feels manageable. Remember to engage those core muscles to keep a proper form.

To maximize your oxygen intake and allow your muscles to have more fuel to keep you going, utilize rhythmic breathing. Inhale for two steps and exhale for one step. This style of breathing also helps those core muscles engage correctly.

👉🏼 As you near the end of the run, try to push the pace as much as possible. By the time you’re in the final quarter of a mile, you’ll want to max your speed. Give it all you got as you cross your finish line.

🚶🏽‍♀️ Rather than abruptly stopping and sitting down after you finish your mile, walk it out as your breath returns to normal. Placing your hands on your head can help provide chest expansion for your lungs, allowing you to take deeper breaths to calm down.

Track your 10-minute mile and celebrate your accomplishment! You’ve worked hard to improve your pace and should be proud of yourself. Although 10 minutes is an average mile time for some, it’s worth celebrating when you achieve it.

If you weren’t able to hit this goal, keep trying. Consistency is essential for athletic progress.

Elite runners can achieve a mile in under 4 minutes. Let that be the inspiration that keeps you focused on working towards your 10-minute goal and challenge yourself as you progress.

A woman and a man are on a track in a kneeled position preparing to sprint.


Is Running 10 Minutes Per Mile Good for a Beginner?

Yes, 10 minutes per mile is a good time for a beginner. It’s an achievable goal that will help build strength and endurance over time. Most beginner runners will run a mile in 12 minutes or more.

Is a 10-Minute Mile Slow?

No, 10-minutes-per-mile is not slow. Although elite runners achieve a mile in under 4 minutes, the effort of a 10-minute mile is not to be overshadowed. It’s an achievable time for many who set their sights on it, and it should be celebrated when you reach this goal.

How Fast is a 10-Minute Mile?

A 10-minute mile equals 6 miles per hour or approximately 9.6 kilometers per hour. It’s considered a good pace. While some elites can run a mile in under 4 minutes, an average runner will likely find the 10-minute mile an exciting challenge.

Is Walking a Mile in 10 Minutes Good?

You’re a speed walker if you can walk a mile in 10 minutes! The average time to walk a mile is between 15 and 22 minutes. So as runners set a goal to run a 10-minute mile, walking this distance at the same pace would be incredible.

What is a 10-Minute Mile in Kilometers (km)?

One mile is equal to 1.61 kilometers. If you can run 1.61 kilometers in 10 minutes, you are running a 10-minute mile. Another way to view it is that a 10-minute mile equals running a speed of 9.66 kilometers per hour.

Final Thoughts: Running a 10-Minute Mile

A 10-minute mile is an achievable and exciting goal.

You can reach this milestone in a few weeks with the proper strategy, dedication, and focus. Speed up your runs gradually, add interval and strength training, and give your body adequate rest and fuel to ensure you stay on track with your goal.

With your eye on the prize, you’ll hit this goal in no time!

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