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The Mile, America’s Classic Distance

  • By TJ Murphy
  • Published Jun. 4, 2013
  • Updated Jun. 5, 2013 at 11:30 AM UTC
The mile is not just a fun distance; it can also help improve your speed in longer races. Photo: Scott Draper

How To Train For The Mile

Want to run a faster mile later this summer? You need to build your speed and speed endurance over a six- to eight-week span. The following is a sample week for ramping up your mile training as suggested by Elmore. Assuming you have a solid running base, implement a week like this (or some of its workouts) on a regular basis as you approach a mile race or time trial.

Monday
2- to 3-mile easy warm-up run, followed by dynamic warm-up drills and 3 x 60-meter build-up strides at 75-80 percent effort

[BEGINNER] 8 x 200m in 35-40 seconds with a 60-90-second recovery jog between reps

[INTERMEDIATE] 4 x 400m in 80-90 seconds with a 60-90-second recovery jog between reps

[ADVANCED] 8 x 400m in 75-85 seconds with a 60-90-second recovery jog between reps; 2- to 4-mile cool-down

Tuesday
Easy 5- to 7-mile run, followed by 6 x 60-meter build-up strides at 75-80 percent effort

Wednesday
2-mile warm-up, followed by dynamic warm-up drills

5 x 1,000-meter repeats at your 5K race pace with a 3-minute recovery jog between reps

2-mile cool-down

Thursday
Easy 4- to 6-mile run, followed by 6 x 60-meter build-up strides at 75-85 percent effort

Friday
15-minute easy warm-up run

15- to 20-minute run at a “comfortably hard” tempo pace (or a pace 20-30 seconds slower per mile than your 5K race pace)

15-minute easy cool-down

Saturday
Cross-training with cycling, swimming or gym fitness.

Sunday
75- to 90-minute easy run, followed by 6 x 60-meter build-up strides at 75-85 percent effort

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FILED UNDER: Inside The Magazine / Training TAGS: / / / /

TJ Murphy

TJ Murphy

T.J. Murphy is a 2:38 marathoner and five-time Ironman finisher. He is the former editorial director of Triathlete Magazine, Inside Triathlon and Competitor Magazine. His writing has also appeared in Outside Magazine and Runner’s World. He recently authored “Inside the Box: How Broke All The Rules, Stripped Down the Gym and Rebuilt My Broken Down Body.”

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