Whether it’s for a competition, marathon, or hobby, running is an activity enjoyed by people of different ages and athleticism. When transitioning from amateur to competitive running, one key factor to consider is the time you take to run. For example, running a 10-mile competition is challenging yet fulfilling because of the physical and mental stamina it requires.
Ten miles may seem like a long distance for people who want to start running, but it is relatively easy. Running can be for beginners, athletes, and professionals. Regardless if you are running for fun or competition, finishing it with a competitive time gives you an accomplishing feeling.
In this article, you will know how long it takes to run 10 miles. In doing so, you will also get to know the different considerations in running, such as speed, time, and experience. This article will hopefully equip you to have a better finishing time in your next 10-mile run.
How Long are Ten Miles?
Ten miles is considered a long-distance run for runners since beginners usually start between one to three miles. In marathons, runners who join the 10-mile competitions usually already have experience in long-distance running. Running long distances requires lots of energy, so you won’t get to finish the race if you don’t pace yourself.
When converted to kilometers, 10 miles is equivalent to 16.1 kilometers. This distance is equal to running back and forth an Olympic swimming pool at least 321 times. It is also equivalent to running around a track field 40 times.
When you compare 10 miles to these lengths, you can see that it is not easy. Most runners train weeks or months beforehand to build stamina and strength to finish a marathon. Especially for athletes, running is a competitive sport that needs a lot of preparation.
How Fast Can You Finish Ten Miles?
Running for ten miles requires a lot of fitness and strength. However, it is already common knowledge for runners that it is easier to step down than step up your running distance. That is why running 10 miles in a competitive time is an accomplishment itself.
When running transitions from 3 miles to 10-mile marathons, it usually takes them weeks or months to prepare. For short-distance marathons, body strength and agility are the keys to win. However, for long-distance marathons, conditioning and stamina are the keys to finishing the race.
Experienced runners usually finish ten miles between 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours. Professional runners who compete to have a record often end with 45 minutes to 55 minutes.
Although not Olympic-wise, the average time to finish 1 mile is 10 minutes and 30 seconds. This time, of course, differs on experience and athleticism. Some runners finish a mile below 9 minutes, some more than 11 minutes but still finish with a competitive time. It still boils down to your overall time and pacing.
As of August 2020, the fastest 10-mile runner for males is Haile Gebrselassie, who finished at 44 minutes and 24 seconds. For females, Paula Radcliffe finished 10 miles in 50 minutes and 1 second. Only differences in seconds and milliseconds affect the ranking for these records.
Average Speed For Ten Miles
Unlike short-distance marathons, maintaining constant speed in a 10-mile race is a difficult task to do. Since it’s a long-distance, experienced runners reserve their energy in the beginning then run fastest on the latter stage. So if a runner exhausts his energy immediately, it would be difficult for him to sustain that energy until the end.
In competitive long-distance racing competitions like in the Olympics, you could see runners pacing themselves to control their energy. These professional runners already know their bodies so well that they know when to push their bodies to their limits. Since they compete at a very competitive and high-standard level, giving their best until the end is necessary to win.
Average Time By Age
Although age is just a number, younger runners tend to have more energy than adults. However, experienced adults also tend to control their pace better than younger runners. Below is the list of average times to finish 10 miles by age:
- 10 to 15 years old – 2 hours to 2 hours and 20 minutes
- 16 to 24 years old – 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes
- 25 to 30 years old – 1 hour and 20 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes
- 31 to 40 years old – 1 hour and 40 minutes to 2 hours
Despite these average times, these are only rough estimates by age group. Due to the improvement in athleticism among children, teens, and adults, these records are easily breakable. Long-distance marathon results have become quite challenging to predict since many runners have leveled up their game.
How To Estimate Your Running Pace
One way to estimate how fast you can run 10 miles is to compute how fast you can run in one mile. According to Jeff Galloway, once you convert your time for one mile to seconds, multiply it by 1.3 to see your predicted marathon pace.
For example, if you can finish one mile in 9 minutes and thirty seconds, convert it to seconds to become 570 seconds. Then, multiply 570 by 1.3 to get 731 seconds. Then, flip it back to minutes, and that would be 13 minutes and 35 seconds. Now, you would know that your average pace in one mile would be 12 minutes and 35 seconds.
If you would also like to know your estimated time of finishing the race in 10 miles, multiply this by then. So, 12 minutes and 35 seconds multiplied by ten would give more or less 2 hours.
How to Have A Competitive Time
If you would like to start running at a more competitive level, you should consider several factors to improve your performance. This section will know some factors you can include when running for 10 miles to go beyond the average time.
Build Your Stamina
Running for 10 miles is not feasible if you do not prepare your body for a long-distance run. So one of the first things professional runners will advise amateurs is to slowly but surely increase the distance they travel. Building stamina to run long distances can be tiring yet beneficial in the future.
One way to build stamina is by adding an extra half a mile or a whole mile to your running routine every time you run. In this way, your body slowly adjusts to your travel distance until it reaches 10 miles. In addition, a well-built body will prevent you from over-exhausting your body on race day.
It will also prevent your body from unwanted injuries since your body has already grown accustomed to the distance traveled. For example, a common injury beginners experience is muscle strain, in which they over-work and overstretch their bodies.
Experienced runners stretch their whole body before the marathon and do quick jobs not to shock their muscles when the race starts.
One of the most common mistakes beginner runners commit is giving their 100 percent energy at the beginning of the race. Although it gives you a good lead from the others, remember that you are running for more or less an hour and a half. Your body might collapse if you force it to run without stopping continuously.
If you are running in a 10-mile marathon, it would be best to start at an average pace initially. Then, when you feel tired, you can slowly pace down for a couple of minutes just until you regain some energy back. It’s not embarrassing to walk; it’s more important to know when to stop and when to push your body’s limits.
Experienced runners know that running 10 miles is more of a conditioning challenge than speed. In the latter parts of the marathon, a runner’s physical preparation kicks in as his muscles start to tire out. He would know that understanding when to push and slow down is critical to finishing the race.
Prepare Your Pre and Post-run Meals
What you prepare to eat before and after a race is both equally important. Often, people think that eating a heavy meal before a long-distance race is an effective strategy. However, these options can slow down your energy once you start running.
The ideal meal to eat is a proportional amount of protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables in your feed. Proteins and carbohydrates will help you have energy during the race, and eating vegetables or fruits will help your body feel light and healthy.
Suppose you eat a heavy, carbohydrate-packed meal before the race that is not suitable for your body’s digestion. Eating an unhealthy meal will also make you feel bloated and tired quickly. Your post-race meal is your recovery meal, which means it needs to have a substantial amount of protein and carbohydrates.
Remember that running for 10 miles burns a lot of calories and energy. If you do not gain back those calories, you might lose more weight than expected. You can eat a heavy post-race meal without including too much oil and fats, such as pizza and fries. Reward yourself for a good race, but do not wait until you feel bloated right after eating.
Sprint at the End
As mentioned earlier, your running pace is crucial in long-distance marathons. However, the most vital stage in a 10-mile run is the ending. Since you have already reserved some energy for the final run, you need to give your last run towards the finish line.
Learn to structure your energy throughout the run to have still some point left for the end. Most long-distance runners tend to pace up their run from the middle to the lot until they reach their peak speed towards the last few meters. Some even conserve most of their energy and sprint all out towards the end.
One of the most important things to bring during race day is your bottle of water. Since most races start early in the morning and end before noon, the heat adds to your body exhaustion. Drinking water will help your body maintain a slow and steady pace throughout the race.
It is advisable to drink at least every twenty minutes in the race to keep your body hydrated. However, since 10 miles is long-distance, you might run out of water midway during the race. When you see your water running low, remember that there are water refilling booths, so don’t limit your water intake.
In addition, one way to monitor how much your body is feeling exhausted is by checking your level of hydration. If you think that your lips are already too dry or your throat is becoming dehydrated, slow down your pace and drink water.
Know Your Marathon Location
Most long-distance marathons take place in open field areas where roads are the main running tracks. However, there are instances where the marathon location venues in humid and sunny areas where sheds are only a few.
If this is the case, it could be more difficult to find water and medical stations if you feel too exhausted—one of the tips to better prepare yourself before race day is to go to the location beforehand.
Look for potential racing hazards to avoid those on the day of competition. In that way, you have a better mental map of your marathon location to better prepare yourself.
Known Your Marathon Demographics
Some experienced runners like to ask for the attendee demographics to get a rough estimate of their potential competition. If the demographics are predominantly young, chances are the average finishing time would be shorter than the average.
On the other hand, if the demographics compose males, it could also lead to a more competitive time. Although this is not a compulsory action, doing this can better mentally prepare you for the marathon. You might even get to meet some friends along the way if your age group is the same as theirs.
A marathon is a competition, but it is not solely for competing. Some people meet new runners that turn into friends because of marathons. Remember that when competing, especially during races, your biggest competition is yourself more than others.
Running 10 miles is both fun and a challenging experience. Having a competitive time is an accomplishment, but finishing the race itself is already too. Remember that during this type of race, you are your biggest competition.
The time it takes to run 10 miles isn’t the only determinant of how well you did in the race. Your mental strength is just as important as your physical stamina. So if you do not reach the average time to finish the race, nothing is wrong with that.
The mere preparations and sacrifices you made to join the race already make you a champion.