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 Race The Mile

Elmore knows how to race: She’s a 15-time middle-distance national champion for Canada. As far as pacing, what words does she have for the aspiring distance-runner-turned-miler?

Don’t worry about pacing, she says.

“The point of the mile is to run as fast as you can and the hold on until you don’t think you can possible go any further,” she says. “But not to stop — just keep digging to the end!”

In the process you will likely enjoy both a rush of adrenaline and then some of the special joys known to milers.

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“Burning legs, bursting lungs, exploding heads and churning stomachs,” she says. Forget the sit-and-kick version of the mile you see in the Olympic final, Elmore counsels — the true satisfaction in the mile is found in going hard from the gun.

“The final few minutes might be a bit painful but pushing your body hard is very rewarding and addicting. It is really cool to see how fast you can go for a relatively short period of time and participate in such an epic and historical event.”

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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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