RW's 10-Mile Schedules

A repeatable 2-week build-up to a 10-mile race, and a classic 8-week schedule

Posted: 7 May 2002

Ten is a nice round figure. Even the most numerically-challenged can work out that to run 10 miles in 60 minutes, you have to average six-minute miles.

Knowing your 10-mile time is useful, because your average speed over the distance gives a very good approximation of your aerobic/anaerobic threshold – the speed at which you are going as fast as you can without building up an oxygen debt. It is therefore an excellent guide to your general aerobic fitness, and to the times you can expect to run for other distances.

As an event, the 10 miles falls into the same bracket as the 10K and the half-marathon, in that success depends partly on fitness and partly on endurance. If you’re a novice runner, you simply need the ability to keep running for a longer distance, but the more experienced will be looking for speed endurance. This means that you should train very much as for a 10K race, but with longer aerobic runs and more repetition runs. This differs from half-marathon training in that the latter is often done as a prelude to the full marathon, and therefore involves more long, slow running.

We have prepared training programmes to cover three main bands, depending on your target time: sub-60 minutes, sub-70 and sub-80. We’re assuming that those who are aiming at 55 minutes or better will already have enough experience or enough coaching to work out their own training plans, but of course you can adjust the schedule to your desired target by altering the speed of the fast runs.

For runners who are likely to be running outside 80 minutes, the same general principles apply. Building endurance is the key, so train for endurance first. That said, you shouldn’t ignore speed, and you will gain the most benefit from fartlek runs, with 30-second bursts of speed mixed in with steady running. For some, just getting around may be the problem, and you may initially have to mix some walking into your training. On the positive side, you can at least approach your initial target in the knowledge that there is plenty of room for improvement. Once past the first stage, sub-80 minutes is a very attainable goal.

The Schedules

We have two sets of 10-mile schedules in this section. The first set has a preparation phase and a main training phase.

Set 1

Set 2

The second set are classic 8-week schedules. You can click directly on to them, or go to their own introduction page.

Previous article
RW's Classic 10-mile Schedules
Next article
How To Run A Better 10-mile Race

10-Mile Schedule

Discuss this article

I can currently run 10 miles in between 75-78 minutes. But I would love to be able to do it in less than 60. So i've been looking at the 8 week 10 mile programs on this website and was wondering if I would be ready to have ago at the sub 60 minute program. Or should I go for the sub 70 minute program first.
I'm not a member of a club or anything, I'm just doing my own thing, running around 25 miles aweek. Some weeks more, some weeks less.
Any help would be appreciated.

Posted: 18/04/2004 at 19:53

I know we`re all different, but to knock 15-18 mins off a 10 miler, going from 7.30 to sub 6 min miles will take some doing. I`m 42 and hoping to knock about 3 mins off my half marathon this year and I`ve increased my weeky mileage from 25 to 35. If you set goals that you cant obtain you`ll lose motivation and start going backwards.
Posted: 18/04/2004 at 20:11

Have some intermediate goals, perhaps 70 minutes.
not an expert but
What is your longest run in training?
Do you race other distances?

I'm sure others will be in at some point. Once they have recovered from today's endeavours
Posted: 18/04/2004 at 20:15

Aaaah, thought so. I'm trying to run before I can walk again.
So would the sub 70 minute program be a more realistic target.
And at 5ft 8inches and weighting 13.5 stone I would guess I'm around 2.5 stone overweight. Just what kind of differance would loosing 2.5 stone make to my time of 10 miles in 75 minutes.
Thanks Paul
Posted: 18/04/2004 at 20:30


I think we've had a couple of threads asking your last question.

Off the top of my head i think its 1-2 seconds per pound per mile
So 2½stone = 35lb
35lb = 35-70seconds per mile

But if you are overweight and want to lose it take it gradually because the quicker you lose it (faddy diets) the quicker you'll put it back on (with interest)
Posted: 18/04/2004 at 20:36

If this is the case then I could get to sub 70 minute just by cutting down on the pies.

Posted: 18/04/2004 at 20:45

hehe.. it might not be as easy as that, but you should be able to knock down to sub-70 with training and if you get the diet right your weight will drop as you get fitter / stronger. I'd make sure you do some speed sessions as well as normal runs, to get your general speed up. Good luck :-)
Posted: 19/04/2004 at 11:17

Dan D.
You quoted:you should be able to knock down to sub-70 with training.
Would the Runners world 8 week 10 mile program for sub 70 minutes be sufficent for me now to get to sub 70 minutes, with my current time of around 75 minutes.

Posted: 19/04/2004 at 12:31

Paul - How is the training going and have you managed to crack mins ?
Posted: 26/07/2004 at 12:48

70 mins
Posted: 26/07/2004 at 12:49

Cheers Gary for showing an interest.

I hav'nt timed myself over 10 miles for ages. Infact I try not to time myself at all it makes me nervious for some reason.
But I do sometimes time myself over 3 and 6 miles. Ladt time I did 3 miles in 20:20 and 6 miles at around 43 mins. Im still the same weight though. It just wont go.

Cheers Paul
Posted: 26/07/2004 at 19:34

Hi I have just entered the Great South Run which gives me 23 days to train. I am pretty fit and run approx 20miles per week up until the last two weeks where I have only been out once for a 6mile run.
I have never raced 10 miles before, plenty of 10k races, just wondered if anyone had any tips or training ideas for the next 23 days.
Posted: 16/09/2005 at 22:37

just increased your runs by a mile at a time,you will be ok,B1
Posted: 16/09/2005 at 22:46


I would say don't push it too hard and over do it. I find that when you have established a pace that you are comfortable with then run at that pace for 75% of your training runs. If you are not out of breath at the end of your run then then the only thing that may affect you is muscle stamina. Try to do the race distance for one run per week, or further if you can, that way you should be comfortable when you come to the big day. Good luck...!
Posted: 27/11/2005 at 09:22

Penny I'm at the same stage as you but managed the 10 miles this week. Its a great moral boost but I plan to now carry on as I am doing 20ish miles a week as I don't want to push it and end up hurting myself. I walk the dog most days for about an hour as well so am confident I can get round. Time is not important. Have a great time on the day - just watched the GNR and hoping it will be as good. (did the 10 mile in about 85mins so that's not too bad)
Posted: 01/10/2006 at 15:56

hi i'm just about to go out and do my sunday run which would normally be 10-12 miles off road and hilly usually takes about 1hr 25 mins.As i am running the grt south 10mile race next weekend not sure how to taper? Its a lovely day and was weirdly looking forward to my grueling sunday mud run through ploughed feilds and muddy hill climbs eec!!
also while ia m here not sure either what time to aim for in the race. I have ran it in 1hr 5 mins and a dissapointing 1hr 7mins 2 yrs ago. I am 45 1/2 running 27-30 miles per wk (compared to 45-50 miles when i did 65mins 3years ago. not raceed for over a year when could just about 40mins for 10k. Anybody got any encouraging ideas to help keep me motivated please.
Posted: 15/10/2006 at 15:27

I am an unnafiliated female runner who loves to run
Posted: 15/10/2006 at 15:32

I'm slower than that but am doing 5,4,3 this week and plan to run it by staying comfrotable incase the wind is up along the seafront and I need all my reserves. Enjoy the race though and good luck!
Posted: 17/10/2006 at 09:22

thanks beatty for your reply. That sounds good but at what level will you be doing your runs at? Thats where i have a problem, not knowing whether to do shorter runs fast or all of my runs easy. I am a creature of habit and tend to do 1 long run (did 10-11 on sunday) speed session, and a medium (7miles)threshold run.
good luck in the race too what time are you hoping for.
does anyone have an idea of time i should aim for so i can pace myself. like beatty have found that last mile along seafront touph.
Posted: 17/10/2006 at 14:46

I'm about 1.30 - 1.35 for 10 miles depending on the hills but I've only been doing those distances for a short time (only running for 6 months and 50 next year!). I tried doing faster runs but didn't get on that well and was told that as I was only doing 20-24 miles a week, the mileage wasn't really enough to introduce it yet. I'm going to increase the mileage with one much longer as what I had been doing was stepping up each run and staying within a easy pace. I'm going to aim for 9.5 minute miles and adjust as and when. I've not run the seafront but used to live down in Gosport so know the solent winds very well! Good luck - let me know how you do.
Posted: 17/10/2006 at 15:04

To go from 73 minutes to 60 is a challenge. I would suggest you will not do it on 25 miles a week. I have run sub 58, when recovering from injury (4 months out) I still manage 65 minutes - jogging.

You should look at increasing training (over time) to at least 5 sessions per week. You will need to include a long run of 15 miles and be working on 10k speed.

If you find a group to run with it would help a lot. Fast 15 milers hurt unless you are with others.
Posted: 20/10/2006 at 22:27

Paul, I think you'd be pushing it a bit, I've knocked nearly six minutes of my first Great South run time but it took three years and a lot of effort, join a club and get some support and coaching, it makes a difference.
Posted: 26/07/2007 at 22:10

A few years back, RW published Bruce Tulloh's 100 steps to fitness, with step 100 being "run 10m in 60 mins". I can't remember the other 99, but there were lots of intermediate goals. The idea was that in order to run 10 in 60, you have to run 4 in 24 first. Then train to run 5 in 30. Then 10k in 37. And so on.
In other words, you have to put in the speedwork to get quick, plus some regular longer runs to get the stamina up.
Once you can knock out 5 in 30 without trying, then 10 in 60 is realistic. Otherwise you may wish to have a different target.
Posted: 02/08/2007 at 17:51

Big C - Do you have a link to that article?

Would fit in well with an ongoing discussion over on Sub 3 thread.
Posted: 02/08/2007 at 17:56

Sub 60 10 miler sounds like a tall order. It could take you a couple of years.

I can run 70 min 10 miles on no training at all but would take 12 months of solid training to get below the hour.
Posted: 02/08/2007 at 19:42

Just to stir things up..
I've run 58 mins 10 miler off just 20 mpw with no runs in training longer than 7 miles.
Posted: 02/08/2007 at 19:44

am quite new to running just started training for my first marathon in june 2nd ive always run pretty quick 5 k times in training but have never raced jet last night i ran 10 mile for the first time in a time of 1 hour 3 mins is this a good time the course i ran was quite hilly only bad patch i hit was about mile 7 but it was on the biggest hill of the route the last 2 mie i felt super strong and quick is this a good time for 10 mile and how can i improve thanks 
Posted: 09/02/2013 at 13:47

We'd love you to add a comment! Please login or take half a minute to register as a free member

Smart Coach
Free, fully-personalized training plans, designed to suit your racing goals and your lifestyle.