If you’re planning on running 10 miles a day, you’ve hit an exciting point in your running journey. By this point, you’ve hit several milestones: you’ve probably run a 5K, 10K, and maybe a half marathon or marathon.
Now you’re ready to try something new and experiment with a unique challenge. Many runners who set the 10 miles a day goal for themselves are embarking on a quest or personal journey.
Some people run 10 miles a day for 10 days, some for a month, and some for even longer.
Running 10 miles every single day is gonna make you a pretty bad-ass runner; as long as you can avoid injuries, fatigue, and burnout (more on that later) those daily 10 miles (or 16.1 kilometers) are gonna hone your running ability so you’ll be able to take on all kinds of running challenges – like ultramarathons.
In this post, we’re going to look at:
- The prerequisites to adopting a 10 miles a day habit
- The benefits of running 10 miles every day
- The drawwbacks of 10 miles daily (is running 10 miles a day bad for you?)
- How long it typically takes to run 10 miles
- How to cultivate the daily habit
- How to plan and prepare for your 10 mile runs
- Tips to follow during your runs.
Let’s jump in!
Who Should Run 10 Miles a Day?
If you haven’t hit any of the early milestone markers (like a 5K or 10K), you may not be ready for this attempt.
Check out the other resources we offer for running slightly shorter distances, while still doing it every day.
Benefits of running 10 Miles a Day
Since you’ve already been running for a while, you already know and experience many of the benefits of running.
You’ve probably already enjoyed the runner’s high, you’ve experienced higher levels of positive moods, you feel and appreciate the power of getting stronger, and maybe you’ve lost weight (if that was your goal).
But running 10 miles a day has some additional benefits, on top of the ones you’re already enjoying.
Related: How Much Running is Too Much? 14 Signs You’re Running Too Much
You Build up a Base for Marathons and Ultra Running
Andrew Raab, owner of fitness and health website Hate Running Less, points out one very valuable advantage of this unique training plan.
“One major benefit of running 10 miles a day is that runners are consistently keeping their cardiovascular system in shape for fairly long runs. In turn, these runners are able to prepare for long-distance races such as half marathons, and marathons much easier.”
For many people, the go-to training plan for running ultras is running marathon after marathon. But the weekly schedule in training for a marathon is much different than running 10 miles a day.
On average, a runner training for a marathon will build up to about 50 miles per week. When running 10 miles a day, you can conquer 100 miles in just 10 days.
So the level of endurance training that goes into this amount is uniquely helpful for long-distance runs.
You Get Additional Benefits to Your Mental Health
It’s widely known that exercising every day will boost your mental health. But running 10 miles a day has an extreme influence on your willpower, stamina, and even confidence.
I’ll tell you right now: there will be days when you feel like you can’t get out and run. You’ll feel tired (even exhausted), your muscles will be sore (make sure you stretch every day), and you’ll long for a break.
When you push through that, you break into new levels of self-discipline.
You’ll be amazed at how strong you are…so much stronger than you originally thought.
You’ll Work Hard…but Not Too Hard
Running 10 miles is not like running a marathon. Doing it daily is a challenge – there’s no doubt about that – but it will not physically wipe you out the way a marathon does.
As long as you pay special attention to not over-exerting yourself each workout, you won’t need that 3-7 day recovery time the way you would for a marathon.
Stick to a relatively low rate of perceived exertion (run at 3 or 4 out of 10 for effort) so you don’t overextend yourself.
If you feel you’ve gone too hard one day, then go easy the following day – treat it like a recovery run.
Your Worries Will Seem Smaller
This running quest you’re entering into will take a huge chunk of time, planning, and emotional effort. You’ll also have plenty of time during your runs to think and let your worries cycle through your mind.
Doing this every day for a specified amount of time can put the things that stress or worry you into a different perspective.
Maybe that conflict at work doesn’t seem so unsolvable after all.
Maybe that argument you had with your partner can be mended.
Maybe that big decision you’re making for the future seems a lot simpler than before.
You’ll Gain Comeraderie
This kind of running plan can be a lot of fun to do with others. Consider finding a running group who is tackling the same goal and join in.
Drawbacks of Running 10 Miles a Day
Is 10 miles a day bad for you, or too much?
While 10 miles a day is a huge accomplishment there are some pitfalls of choosing it over a more balanced running schedule.
There are No Recovery Days
While Raab points out that this schedule is good for long distance running, he also warns of the dangers of overtraining.
“Constantly running 10 miles each day doesn’t allow your body time to rest ( I know resting can be difficult for avid runners). Furthermore, running 10 miles that there is a lot of impact on the lower body, and unless you have conditioned your body properly (mainly your bones), you increase the chance of injury.
The biggest way I have seen it affect my old teammates in the past is that when they focus so much energy on building their cardiovascular base, they sometimes aren’t as fast or lose quickness/speed.
You should switch it up by having some shorter runs that are at a faster pace. For instance, on Tuesday and Thursday, you run 5 miles at a 7-minute mile pace, and the rest of the week you run 8 minute mile pace for 10 miles. (Maybe a short and slower run to allow for recovery).”
You (Probably) Won’t Lose Weight
If your end goal is weight loss, running 10 miles a day is definitely not the best way to get there. Anytime you run long distances consistently, you have to increase your calorie count.
Running that amount requires lots of carbohydrates and proteins to fuel up. Besides that, you’ll just be plain hungry. Running long distance every will mean eating to make up for what you lose while running.
How Long Does it Take to Run 10 Miles?
There are two factors to take into account when calculating how long it will take you to run 10 miles.
1. Every runner has a different pace. This depends on your fitness level, your running form, and even your physical size.
2. This time will change for you as you go. Your cadence will get faster the further along you get in your running challenge.
As far as factor #1 goes, let’s look at the paces of the fastest 10-mile speed and the average 10-mile speed . . .
The Fastest 10 Mile speed: This record belongs to Haile Gebrselassie, who ran the fastest ever ten miles during the Tilburg Ten Mile race. He finished at 44:24.
Keep in mind this is the fastest 10 miles speed. Let’s take a look at the average runner’s pace for running just one mile.
Average 10 Miles speed: Based on the average runner’s mile speed, we can calculate that the average 10 miles speed is 1 hour and 45 minutes. Most people cannot maintain their one-mile pace when running 10 miles, so we cushion the average speed with 10:29 per mile.
So the average runner will run 10 miles in 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour and 50 minutes.
Not only will you need to set aside time for running, but you’ll need to factor in warm-ups and cool-downs, as well as route planning and prep. You’ll most likely need an additional 2 hours per day for the extras.
How to Have Your Best 10 Mile Run Ever
The workout is only half of the full process. The other half involves preparation and planning. So we’ll cover each of these aspects to make sure you get the most out of your 10 miles a day challenge.
Preparation and Planning
- Consider raising money for charity: This is a unique endeavor and an admirable challenge. Some people like to involve social media and friends and family to raise money for a charitable cause while they run.
- Plan your route ahead of time: Don’t just run all over the place. At least map out a halfway point and a route back. Choosing a trail or course ahead of time can make the run so much more fun.
- Make sure you have the right gear: For runs like these, you need to be sure you have moisture-wicking clothes, spandex to prevent chafing, a hands-free way to carry your phone, and good quality running shoes.
- Prepare your post-run meal beforehand: You’ll be ready to scarf down that meal when you finish, so you will not want to spend an hour cooking after the run. See What To Eat After Your Run.
- Get your music/entertainment sorted before you leave: There is nothing worse than getting stuck adjusting your playlist mid-run.
During the Run
- Start slow: Don’t run too fast in the beginning or you’ll run out of steam before the end.
- Maintain a consistent pace: This will help your overall speed and endurance in the long run,
- Set milestones throughout the run: Rather than thinking, “9 miles left to go…7 miles left to go,” set exciting checkpoints for yourself along the way. It will boost your morale.
- Fuel up: This doesn’t need to be anything extensive, but you should always have water and some light snacks for a boost of energy and hydration along the way.
- Fine-tune your form: This is an excellent opportunity to experiment and practice perfecting it.
- Concentrate on enjoying the run: Form is important, but don’t forget to take time to enjoy the scenery along the way!
Once you’ve finished your 10 miles a day challenge, consider your next goal! If an ultramarathon is calling your name, download one of our free training plans, pick the destination, and enjoy the ride!