Running 6 miles a day – or running 10k a day – is a unique and ambitious endeavor. It takes a high level of emotional dedication as well as a hefty time commitment.
It also requires a base level of fitness to make sure you’re up for the task.
There are some envy-worthy benefits of running 6 miles a day.
- It greatly increases your heart and muscular fitness.
- Your mental health will skyrocket – you may discover unmatched clarity and happiness levels.
- You’ll grow more cells in your blood vessels, keeping your circulation running smoothly.
- You’ll see more of your city than ever before…unless you stick to the same track every time, which I don’t recommend.
- You’ll memorize all your favorite songs and become an extreme podcast consumer – unless you run in silence and listen to nature’s chirping.
6 miles is 9.66 kilometers – so a few hundred meters short of a 10k, but for the purposes of this article we’ll discuss them interchangeably.
In this post, we’re going to look at:
- How long it takes to run 6 miles
- The benefits of running 6 miles a day
- Whether or not running 6 miles daily is actually good for you
- Tips for building a sustainable daily running habit and make the most of your 6 milers!
Let’s jump in!
When we talk about running a 10k a day, that does not necessarily mean you have to run 6 miles every day for eternity. This could easily be a 5-day regimen. You may have set a challenge for yourself of 6 miles a day for 30 days.
We always recommend rest and recovery days to make sure your body gets the chance to recuperate and rebuild.
How Long Does It Take to Run 6 Miles?
If you’re reading this article, you probably have a new level of fitness to be considering running 6 miles every day.
You’ll notice that running 6 miles now is much faster than the first time you ran a 10K. You’ll also know that running speeds vary from person to person.
But we’ll include some benchmarks for you to use for your reference as you set your pace goals.
The Fastest 10K speed: This record belongs to Rhonex Kipruto, who ran the fastest ever six miles during the 10k Valencia Ibercaja. He finished at 26:24 to win the World Athletics Gold Label road race.
Keep in mind this is the fastest 6 miles speed. Let’s take a look at the average runner’s pace for running just one mile.
Average Mile Speed: Medical News Today offers a chart mapping out the average mile times of the top 1% and the top 50% of runners. The top 50% finished between 8 and12 minutes. That makes the average mile speed 10 minutes per mile.
Average 10K speed: Run Repeat analyzed finishing times of runners around the world in June 2020. The average finishing time for a 10K (males and females included) is one hour.
If you’re asking, “How long does it take to run a 10k?” and you want to budget your time tailored to your personal running pace, you can calculate the estimated time by punching in your one-mile running speed here.
Is a 10k a Day Bad for You?
As you’ve progressed from beginner runner into intermediate level, you have heard that running too much can be bad for you. Most training plans will always incorporate rest days rather than requiring you to run 7 days a week.
So now that you are considering a 6 miles a day goal, you want to make sure you’re not setting yourself up for injury or burnout.
Stephen Lane, USA Track and Field Level 2 certified coach and meet director for Adrian Martinez Classic, answers this question.
“In thinking about the benefits of a 10K a day, it is important to think about the goal: why are you doing it?
If I’m training competitive athletes, that’s just not something we would do. The body needs variety, and so does the mind. Physiologically speaking, the same thing over and over again doesn’t promote the types of adaptations a body needs to perform at its best.
We need to train speed, we need to train over-distance, we need to train at race pace. We need easy days and hard days; long days and short days. And mentally, the same thing every day gets stale for most people.
That said, the best type of training is the type you will do. So, I can imagine a person just setting a goal of running a 10K a day for a year as a way to commit to the training – and if it helps that person, great.
Even then, I’d mix it up: hilly courses and flat courses, soft surfaces and hard surfaces. I’d seek out scenic runs. I’d recruit a ton of friends to join me. I’d so some as Fartleks (or speedplay) – run hard for a minute, easy for five.
Or, if you’re into the ‘play’ part, turn into a little kid again: run hard to the next tree, then go easy, or try to race a bus down the street as long as you can.”
Josh Muskin – functional fitness, endurance, and high school/college coach of 10+ years – emphasizes that the benefits of running a 10K a day depend on your pre-existing level of fitness.
“Regarding 10k/day, there are a lot of benefits, especially in Marathon training – IF you have the base fitness to run ~42 miles per week.
If you’re not already running 30-35 miles per week, the disclaimer is to slowly work up to that volume.”
So while running 6 miles is not inherently bad for you, you need to take into consideration your training goals and your fitness level to decide if it’s the right course for you.
Also note that if you are not committed to fueling your body with a healthy diet and getting plenty of sleep, your body will be at a higher risk for a weakened immune system and could cause lasting health problems.
How to Make the Most of Running a 10K a Day
Once you’ve decided that running 6 miles a day is the right plan for you, you have to optimize your training to make sure you get the most out of it.
Since the body does need variation in order to build the most strength and endurance, we don’t recommend running the same pace every day.
Here are some tips to break up your 10K runs so they are more beneficial and don’t get monotonous:
- Run at different paces.
- Run different terrains – do hill runs, trail running, paved ground, sandy ground, and explore new areas!
- Use the 10-Percent Rule: this rule states that you should never increase your pace or mileage count more than 10-percent each week. In your case, your mileage will stay the same, so let that rule apply to your pace increase.
- Pay attention to your physiological limit of running: Your performance is directly related to your aerobic capacity (breathing), fuel utilization (healthy diet), and fatigue resistance (carrying on when you’re tired. Focus on maximizing your breathing, eating a healthy diet, and knowing when it’s time to stop and when it’s time to push yourself.
Spoiler: You Don’t Need To Run 6 Miles Every Single Day
In fact, most runners and coaches would tell you it’s better not to run every day.
Rest days are important to give your body an opportunity to recover and consolidate the gains made over the preceding days.
And remember that our speed, muscles, and endurance all improve when put under stress – if you consistently run the same distance and pace every day, your performance will plateau and you may develop imbalances and weaknesses that can lead to injuries.
That’s why good training plans include cross training days – you should use strength training and gym work to compensate for some of the imbalances caused by your running.
After all, the goal is to develop a sustainable, long-term running habit.
So perhaps you want to run 6 miles 4 times per week, add in a couple of rest days and a cross-training day.
Find a schedule that suits your energy levels and other commitments and stick to it!
Choosing the Best 10K a Day Running Plan for You
The key takeaway here is to consider your goals. If you’re training for a marathon, you’ll get much greater benefit by breaking up your training plan into short runs, long runs, and cross-training day.
If that’s you, download one of our free marathon training plans, where we’ve lined out the best daily schedule for your whole training journey.
If you’re running 6 miles a day as a personal challenge or personal quest, be sure to start with that base level of fitness to make sure you’re ready and safe from injury.
If you’ve chosen running a 10K a day because you simply love running, then download a great playlist or podcast and have fun!
If you get comfortable with 6 miles a day, why not push things even further and step up to running 10 miles a day ?