Nathan Pennington Running in The Distance

Army Ten Miler Tips to Run Faster NOW

Are you considering or have you ever run the army ten miler? If so, I hope this post will be of assistance to you. The 10 mile distance is my favorite race event and you can definitely run fast if you do it right. I have run in numerous army 10 miler races. My first was the 2002 edition of the race where I ran 53:21. I was able to improve to 51:53 at the 2004 Army ten miler and later in 2010 ran 51:58. I was a part of the International team division championship team and finished as the team's 4th man with that time.

Two-time Olympian, LTC Dan Browne, finished as the teams' top finisher with a 48:35. How you run the 10 mile distance is going to dictate how fast you finish. Remember, you are never going to run a 10 mile race being the first across the 5 mile point. Of course, if you are confident and can slow down less than your competition you will set yourself up for success. Pace sustainment is everything. You improve your lactate tolerance by focusing on speed development.

Ten Miler Training Plan

I created 10 mile training plans here on rundreamachieve.com that helped me to eventually run 50:54 for the distance. My focus for the athletes I train online is to work smarter rather than harder. How many miles or kilometers per week are you training at, near or far below your goal 10 mile race pace? What percentage of your weekly volume are you training at these paces? I know many athletes who are running too fast on easy days and too slow on planned anaerobic workout days.

So, you have to get beyond volume and start focusing on quality training. Remember, the key is teaching the body to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up when you race. The runners you see in your local area who are running faster than you make it look easy for a reason. They have spent sufficient time training at paces that are much more aggressive than their goal 10 mile race pace. Thus, race pace to them has become more automatic. Of course, it is going to hurt to no matter how fit you are in the latter stages of your race. That being said, if you can slow down less than your competition that should be the aim.

How Long Does it Take to Train for a 10 Miler?

I believe that training for 16 weeks is optimal time for preparing properly over 10 miles. It takes about 3 weeks or 21 days for the body to adapt to any stress load you are placing on it. So, you need to have a belief in delayed gratification in order to succeed. Remember, it isn't about the volume you are doing as it is the quality of the work you are putting in that matters most. The Army ten miler is the nation's largest 10-mile road race in the united States of America. My best recommendation is to always arrive to the race early so that you are not rushing in the early hours of the race.

The race will always have balloons over the road for time groups. So, if you want to break 70 minutes there is a group for that. Are you seeking a sub 60 minute time? There is an area for that as well. Seeking a sub 55 minute time? You may want to focus on starting at the front with the elite runners who are aiming for sub 50 minutes. The great thing about the army ten miler is that there is always someone to run with in the race no matter how fit you are.

How Do You Train for the Army 10 Miler?

Focus first on base building as you simply cannot begin harder, anaerobic training without first having laid the foundation. My focus on the 10 miler training programs is train at, near and far below goal 10 mile race pace. Periodization is where you focus on a specific intensity before moving onto the next intensity. Again, adapting to the stress load you are placing on the body is key. Also, make sure to focus on your nutrition as well.

You don't want to stress out if you cannot hit your paces in the early stages of your fitness. So, you have to have a belief in delayed gratification. There are far too many runners who start to doubt themselves when they cannot hit paces. The problem isn't they are not capable it is simply they need more time to train and prepare anaerobically. I believe 4 months is sufficient time to properly prepare for the army ten miler.

What is a Decent 10 Mile Run Time?

A descent time for 10 miles is going to differ from athlete to athlete. The average time for 10 miles is around 1 hour 24 minutes. Of course, times are going to vary and what you feel is a descent time is going to be individual to you. The world record for 10 miles for men is 44:24 and for women, 49:21. So, these are the elite of the elite times over 10 miles. Also, the fastest 10-mile times in the history of the event. Again, the key to running fast over 10 miles is improving your lactate tolerance.

I also feel that extending the duration of your tempo runs. The longer you are training at your anaerobic threshold the better. Remember, a 2 mile tempo run is going to be difficult when you are not very anaerobically fit. That being said, if you are patient, 4 to 7 miles at tempo effort will be much easier as you adapt, physiologically.

Can Civilians Run the Army 10 Miler?

Yes, civilians can run the Army ten miler as well as service members of all branches. The race is usually held in the first week of October. In addition, the temperatures at the start of the race usually are in the 50s to 60s. So, you have a great environment for success. The race support is outstanding and Soldiers from the Washington DC area help volunteer and hand out fluid and post race medals.

It is also a very fast and flat course. So, if you want to run a new personal best over the 10 mile distance this is your race. I also highly recommend running the Cherry Blossom 10 miler held in April. I was able to run a 51:29 there in 2007 finishing in 24th place. So, as you can see, it is highly competitive. Furthermore, check out the Broad Street 10 miler held in Philadelphia. I would have to say that that race is the fastest of them all.

Closing Thoughts

I hope this brief overview of the army ten miler race has been helpful as was the video attached within this post. I know you have a choice of what races you focus on. The key is to get into these races tapered correctly. I believe in a 10-day rather than a 3-week taper. I feel there are far too many athletes dropping their volume and intensity too soon. The result is it leaves them feeling tired and lethargic rather than energized and motivated.

My focus with rundreamachieve 10 miler training plans is to stress the athlete sufficiently. That being also, taper down 10 days out. It will continue to remind the athlete of we are aiming for them to do and that is to run fast. Also, 10 days of rest is plenty of time to fully recover from the hard, anaerobic as well as aerobic build-up leading into the army ten miler. Lastly, the focus is always on smarter rather than training harder. The hardest working athletes don't always get the result they are searching for. So, it always wise to focus on using leverage when you train.

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