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 youre 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. Were 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 shouldnt 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.