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How Fast Do You Have to Run to Do a Mile in 10 Minutes?

author image Lynne Sheldon
Lynne Sheldon has over 12 years of dance experience, both in studios and performance groups. She is an avid runner and has studied several types of yoga. Sheldon now works as a freelance writer, editor and book reviewer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and art history from Boston University and recently completed her Master of Fine Arts in writing from Pacific University.
How Fast Do You Have to Run to Do a Mile in 10 Minutes?
runners on the Brooklyn bridge Photo Credit: Maridav/iStock/Getty Images

To run one mile in 10 minutes, you need to run at a speed of 6 miles per hour. Running is a great way to burn calories and tone muscles, as well as get a cardiovascular workout that benefits your heart and overall health. If you are new to exercise, you may need to start with walking before you can run at this speed. Gradually work your way up to 6 mph to avoid an overuse injury.

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Before You Run

Before starting a regular running regimen, you should speak with your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough for this activity. Running can be stressful on your joints, and you may not be able to do it if you are very overweight. If you do decide to take up running, purchase good shoes that fit your feet well, and always take time to warm up for five to 10 minutes first. Jumping right into running at 6 mph may leave you too fatigued to complete that mile.

Judge By Intensity, Not Speed

You might find running at 6 mph to be a challenge, while a partner or friend may be able to do this with ease. While running a mile in 10 minutes is a good goal, it is best to use indicators other than speed to measure both the intensity of your workout and your fitness progress. Running is typically considered to be a vigorous activity, and signs that you are working out at this intensity include deep and rapid breathing, sweating within a few minutes and not being able to speak more than a word or two without pausing.

Work Your Way Into Running

If you try to run too fast too soon, you risk developing an overuse injury. Not only will this cause you pain, it will also delay your progress, since you will have to take time off from running to heal the injury. Instead of running at 6 mph immediately, start by walking at a pace of 3 to 4 mph for two weeks, the American Council on Exercise recommends. Once this is comfortable, add 30-second to one-minute jogging bursts to your walk, gradually making your jogging time longer and faster until you can run at a continuous speed of 6 mph.

Continue to Progress

Just because you can now run a mile in 10 minutes does not mean you should stop making progress. Try continuing to run at faster speeds or add more miles to your route. Do not, however, increase the pace or mileage of your run by more than 10 percent each week. You might also add some hills or hit the trails to bring more of a challenge to that 10-minute mile.

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