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How to Run a 10-Minute Mile

By Mallory Ferland

A 10-minute mile is the average time for most distance runners. It is neither a jog nor a sprint but a good stepping block to pace your runs. If you run a 10-minute mile in a marathon, you would complete the race in a little less than 4 1/2 hours. Running a 10-minute mile is not as difficult as it sounds. If you are already a runner, picking up your speed is as easy as forced timed treadmill workouts. If you are not a runner, building up to a mile will take a little time but is doable with dedication.

Step 1

Begin running. If you are already a runner, skip to Step 5. If you have never run more than a minute at a time in your life, it is time to get off your butt. Begin by getting a proper pair of running shoes, nothing fancy, but you need to have athletic shoes to keep you from getting an injury, even from running one mile. Running in improper shoes can cause shin splints, twisted ankles and knee pain. Lace up and then hit the track.

Step 2

Stretch your body out before running. Because you are not used to the movement, your body will be sore before and after your runs for the beginning weeks. Soreness will go away with time, but at the same time it is a good indicator that you are working your body enough. Stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, calf muscles and hip flexors before every run. Once you're stretched, you can begin running.

Step 3

Start slowly and build up. You will not be able to run 10 minutes on the first day. Your body and lungs need time to get used to the idea, but they will if you are persistent. Begin either on a track, a trail or a safe road on which you are comfortable. Run or jog at an acceptable pace for your body for 2 minutes, followed by 5 minutes of walking. Repeat this 4 times. The workout will end being 8 minutes of jogging cut by 20 minutes of walking. Do this exercise 3 to 5 times a week, depending on your time goal. Do not run more than 5 days in a row without a rest day. You can time in your head, but using a stopwatch, wristwatch, MP3 player or cell phone would be most ideal.

Step 4

Increase your time. After one week of 2-minute runs followed by 5 minutes of walking, increase the run time to 3 minutes followed by 4 minutes of walking. Repeat daily and increase to 4-3, 6-2, and 8-1, and then finally 10-0 as you feel able. Do not give more than one week on each, you need to push yourself to increase at least once, twice or even three times a week. At the end you will be able to run 10 minutes regardless of if it is one mile or not. Once you can run 10 minutes, you will begin training to quicken your pace and gradually extend your distance ability.

Step 5

Quicken your pace. If you can run, but slightly slower than 10 minutes a mile, you can use training methods to increase your speed. First is to time yourself if you are running against a clock or a stopwatch, you will automatically feel the pressure to increase your speed. Treadmills are great training tools as you can set yourself to run a 10-minute mile and then transfer that pace to the open road. Other ways to increase speed are to incorporate sprints into your running workout. Three-meter sprints will increase lung capacity and will allow your body to adjust to speed increases. Sprints are much faster than 10-minute miles, so if you can get through sprints, you can get through a 10-minute mile.

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