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There is a lot to be said about the 10 mile run or 10 miler. I did one today. It was a default run squeezed in the week to create an easy day. The Australian Marathon Textbook (there is no such thing) promotes the 10 mile run for Monday and often Friday as well. Saturday is a strong 10 mile run with some hills slotted in there to boot and is done at a quicker pace.

Today’s 10 miler was a lot of fun. Particularly running around Sydney Olympic Park and surrounds in the bright sunshine after a few very ordinary days. I got to thinking about why it is such a popular distance amongst runners. Here are a few of my observations…

Because “Deek” and “Monna” did it? 

This is good enough reason for many. But I wonder why they did it?

Because it’s a round number from our empirical days? 

Sound logic here. I like round numbers and to make double digits would be a major goal, be it training or racing. I guess that is why 10km is such a popular distance for road races, track running and now international cross country. That said, many of the trained runners I know would never replace their 10 miler with a 10k.

Because a reasonable amount of ground can be covered?

Interestingly 10 miles or 16km appears to be the threshold where a ’run’ can become a ’long run’. Most marathoners would refer to it as the former while middle distance or the recreational runner would view it as the longest run of the week. From my experience my best loops are often 10 mile loops because I can take in a few major sights and still have the distance left in the run to get me home.

Because the conversation doesn’t get stale? 

For most trained runners a 10 miler takes between 70 and 80 minutes. This is just enough time to introduce a topic, explore some examples, discuss solutions then finish the run while still in full discussion. My runs with Newcastle’s Running Pastor, Andrew Dodd (Doddy) typically follow this pattern. As the conversation becomes more invigorating the pace generally quickens.

Because it can be easily created from lesser parts? 

The 16km or 10mile distance is so easy to create given some basic distances. It’s 4 times a 4km course, two times an 8km course or even 40 times a 400m track. For a mathematician there is a lot of fun to be had with the number 16.

Because it just works?

The distance seems so right on so many levels. For me it is all the above, the perfect duration to engage me physically, mentally and of course socially. When’s your next 10 miler?


Picture; The iconic Anzac Walk now a part of my favourite 10 mile loop in Newcastle. What a view!