It’s a challenge. You’re not running 10 miles a day for a month, or even longer for any other reason. 300 miles in 30 days is a huge commitment and a massive test of your body.
To get to this point in your running journey, you’ve probably run half marathons, marathons, and ultra runs. But unlike ultra running, where you get to put your feet up after a race, you will be running every day even when you’re tired.
Running 10 miles a day isn’t about weight loss. You’ll need to increase your calorie intake just to get to the end of the challenge without imploding. If you want to lose weight, pick a shorter distance to run every day.
The 10 miles a day challenge may increase your muscle mass and turn you into a stronger runner – you’ll be ready for anything if you survive this challenge!
Read on to find out how to avoid burnout and injury, what to expect, and the benefits of running 10 miles a day.
Who Is Running 10 Miles A Day For?
This isn’t a challenge for beginner runners. It isn’t even a challenge for weight loss. It will take experienced runners to manage 10 miles every day.
If you’ve just trained for a marathon or you’re already an ultra runner, you have more chance of successfully making it through the month.
If you’re completely new to running start with our Running A Mile A Day 30 Day Challenge.
When you get to running 7 miles a day or 8 miles a day, it’s no longer about losing weight. These are purely running challenges and there are better ways to structure your training to improve as a runner.
Running 10 miles a day is for someone who wants to challenge their body. It’s for runners who want to test how far and how hard they can run.
Compared with a local runner Gary McKee who ran a marathon a day for a whole year, 10 miles a day is almost a sensible distance!
Many elite athletes, even those targeting shorter distances such as 5K, will run over 100 miles per week. That doesn’t make this running 10 miles a day challenge easy, but it is feasible if you have the right running background.
The Benefits Of Running 10 Miles A Day
Many runners contemplating this challenge will already be aware of the many health benefits of running from weight loss to better cardiovascular health. If not you can find out more in our post: Is Running Good For You?
This guide looks at the specific advantages of running 10 miles a day. What are the benefits?
#1 Improved Endurance
Running 10 miles a day won’t turn you into a world-class runner but it will improve your endurance for ultra-running.
I have first-hand experience of this. Every time I’ve set myself a challenge to clock up a high level of mileage day after day, it’s helped my ultra running.
10 miles a day for a week has frequently been my go-to fix to get myself back on the straight and narrow when I’ve let my training slide. And it works.
The struggle and commitment will pay out in better fitness for long-distance runs. It’s a good starting point for marathon and ultra-marathon training plans.
If you have a base of running 10 miles a day, you’re pretty much ready for anything. Training for a marathon is straightforward off the back of this type of running.
#2 Mental Health Benefits
You need some caution here. Regular running every day can help you cope with stress, anxiety, and mild depression.
But it’s also addictive. You don’t need to run 10 miles every day to help with your mental health. Try between 3 and 5 miles a day.
If you’re running 10 miles a day month after month for mental health reasons, your running is excessive. It’s time to seek the help of a medical professional.
#3 Mental Strength
Completing a challenge such as running 10 miles a day for a month and pushing through all the days when it just feels too far and too hard, can be immensely rewarding.
After this challenge, you’re going to feel that you can take on anything. That confidence will help in your professional life and your personal life.
#4 You’ll Build Self Discipline
Running every day isn’t just about physical benefits – it can be good for building self-discipline.
There are very few worthwhile things in life where you get immediate gratification. Professional runners don’t just have running ability – they work for it.
The discipline of running every day can help you build better habits in other areas of your life. You’ll stack one good habit on top of another.
Let’s face it. Most people enjoy positive feedback and admiration from friends and family.
Run 10 miles a day for a month and you’ve got some major bragging rights on social media!
#6 It’s A Distraction
Sometimes we worry too much about the little things. Running 10 miles a day for a month puts you into survival mode.
All your normal worries will seem less important. Instead, your priorities will be eating, rest, and recovery.
Our view is everyone should experience this type of challenge at least once in their life. It helps you identify the things that matter and the things that don’t.
You become more objective about the day-to-day stuff.
What Can Go Wrong Running 10 Miles Every Day?
There are some big drawbacks to running such a high mileage.
Is Running 10 Miles A Day Bad For You?
There is a high injury risk of running 10 miles a day. That doesn’t mean you will get injured but by most people’s standards it’s excessive exercise and the injury risk is high.
If you want to avoid injuries, take a sensible approach. This long-distance running challenge should be slow-paced easy running. Run at a low rate of perceived exertion RPE 3 to 4.
Lack Of Rest Days
Without rest days, your body doesn’t get much time to recover. If you’re an experienced runner and you opt to run your ten miles at an easy pace every day, your body should cope.
However, everyone is different: this isn’t a good challenge for older runners and more injury-prone runners.
If you get persistent niggles – take a rest day. No challenge is worth the risk of a long-term injury.
You Won’t Lose Weight And You Might Even Gain Weight
Running 10 miles a day is the wrong challenge for weight loss. Your body will be under a lot of stress to survive the challenge.
Refueling to get through the next run will be your biggest priority. You’ll be focused on consuming enough calories with good nutrition – with adequate carbohydrates and protein.
Fill up on whole grains, lean protein, vegetables, some fruit, and healthy fats but don’t view this challenge as a way to lose weight. You may even gain weight. Most of the time it will be increased muscle mass as your runner’s body gets stronger, but sometimes your body will store extra fat when it’s put under a lot of stress.
How Long Does It Take To Run 10 Miles?
The time it takes to run 10 miles depends on your average mile time. There are many factors dictating how fast you run from fitness level to age, gender, natural ability, body weight, and the terrain you’re running on.
The average speed is around 10 to 12 minutes per mile but may be slower for beginner runners and considerably faster for elite runners.
For the average runner at a speed of 10 to 12 minutes per mile, it takes 1 hour 40 to 2 hours to run 10 miles.
Of course, many experienced runners will run at a faster pace. Using data from Running Level, A good 10-mile time for experienced men is around 78 minutes and about 90 minutes for women.
How To Run 10 Miles A Day
Before starting the challenge it’s important to set clear guidelines. It’s your challenge so you get to set the rules.
#1 How Long Is The Challenge?
Will you run 10 miles for a week, for 10 days, for 30 days, for a month, or longer? 30 days is 300 miles and it makes a good target. But it’s really up to you.
It’s important to commit to a target number of days before you start. It will keep you going when the challenge starts to get tough.
#2 Running 10 Miles In One Session or More
The normal approach is running 10 miles a day in one session but there’s nothing to stop you from breaking down the distance into 2 or 3 runs. You’ll still be running the 10-mile distance.
It all depends on what fits your schedule and what you want to get out of the challenge.
For building up an ultra-running base, a slow 10-mile run every day is probably best.
If the aim is increasing your mileage but still maintaining your speed, you may benefit from a 5-mile run in the morning with 2 or 3 miles at a faster pace and a second 5-mile run in the evening at a very gentle pace.
#3 Pre-plan Your Running Route
When you’re training at your limit, you want your running routes dialed down. No deciding where to run as you head out the door.
Pre-plan your routes and make sure they’re the 10-mile distance you want to run. An out-and-back route where you turn around at the halfway point can be a good idea.
#4 Pick Your Running Pace
Our advice is that you run to effort level and keep your runs at an easy pace (RPE 3 to 4). The aim is to complete the challenge and there’s no need to chase down target paces.
However, more advanced runners may decide to keep their running below a certain pace, such as 10-minute miles or even 8-minute miles. Just make sure the pace won’t destroy you.
10-minute miles may sound possible when you’re pre-planning your challenge but after 15 days when your legs are tired, it could be a very different story.
#5 Will You Run Continuously?
For some, the challenge will only count if you run continuously, others will decide it’s okay to walk at times. The decision is yours and should depend on your current fitness level and running ability.
Push too hard and you won’t complete the challenge. On the other hand, if you end up walking every day, you may feel you haven’t hit your expectations.
Running 10 Miles A Day Challenge
These tips will help you get through 30 days of running ten miles every day:
Preparation And Self-Care
- Fuel your body properly. Plan how many calories you need to eat every day for the duration of the challenge. Most people will burn an extra 1000 calories a day with a 10-mile-a-day run. Get a more accurate figure with our calories burned running calculator.
- Eat a balanced diet. Your body needs good nutrition. Meal prepping will help make sure you get all the nutrients you need to recover properly between runs. Instead of grabbing unhealthy food post-run, always have a healthy meal in the fridge that just needs heating up.
- Replace and break in running shoes. Don’t start your challenge in worn-out shoes. Make sure the shoes you have will support you through the challenge. If possible have 2 pairs you can wear on alternate days.
- Plan some trail running routes. Ten miles every day on the roads will be hard on your legs. It can be best to alternate road days and trail days. The trail runs take longer but give your legs a chance to recover by running on softer ground.
- Wear comfortable running gear. This isn’t a time for looking good or trying out new outfits. Pick your running clothes based on their comfort level. Moisture-wicking clothes are best.
- Prioritize rest and quality sleep. You may be running every day but you can make sure that when you’re not running you’re resting. Elevate your feet as much as possible, don’t do any unnecessary exercise, and make sure you get lots of quality sleep.
Running 10 Miles
- Pace Yourself. Start slow and keep your running easy. You may be all fired up the first week but it’s going to get harder.
- Aim for a consistent pace. Running at a pace you can maintain for the full 10 miles will make the running easier.
- Focus on your running form. The high volume, easy miles of this challenge can be a good time to work on your running form.
- Refuel and rehydrate. Possibly you normally run 10 miles without drinking or eating, but this isn’t your normal 10-mile run. Make sure you take fluids and your preferred running fuel with you. Even better, get someone to support you en route!
- Run with a buddy. It can help to run this challenge with a friend – you can support each other when times get tough.
- Mark off the days. Stick a big calendar up somewhere where you’ll see it every day and mark off those runs!
- Celebrate! When you get through your first week, to 10 days, 20 days, and of course 30 days. Give yourself treats to look forward to. It could be getting a massage, a new running top, or a meal at your favorite restaurant.
Thoughts From Love Life Be Fit
A big takeaway will be discovering how your body pushes through when you feel tired. This knowledge can be a major benefit in ultra races where your mental strength is always the key to success.
It’s not a challenge for new runners. Try training for a half marathon or marathon first and returning to the 10 miles a day challenge when you’re a better runner with more experience.