Milers and 1500ers congregate! How fast can I run the 1500? (Read 105 times)


Intl. correspondent

    Hello everyone,


    I have a 1500m time trial next Thursday (a week from today) and I wanted to ask your feedback on what should I aim for as target time.

    I wonder if I should be conservative and go for a PR (4:56) or if I should be a bit more aggressive and target a faster time.

    I've run the 800 in 2:32 20 days ago as part of a workout, could certainly have gone maybe 2:25 all out.

    My current 1500 PR is 4:57 from 4 years ago.

    I'm a 39yo male, 6'1 and 187lbs, somewhat high body fat % a little over 20%.

    Recent races:
    3K in 10:34 (a PR) back in the end of May
    5K in 18:12 (almost PR) on Aug 18th

    I've done a base training with the objective of improving aerobic capacity from January
    to mid June. That involved running an average of 40 miles per week with 2 workouts and
    a long run each week.
    Then in June I've asked my coach to get me setup on a 1500m training block.
    This involved roughly 12 weeks of training with 3 workouts each week, and a lot of these
    workouts at intensities (mile pace, 800 pace, all out sprints).
    Mileage averaged 30 to 37 miles per week.
    It also involved strength training 2 times a week which is admittedly my biggest weakness.
    This involved 4 weeks of focused work on raw strength, followed by 6 weeks of focused work
    on explosiveness/power.
    The raw strength was lower reps and higher weights, for instance
    in one of the last sessions I did 5 sets of 3 reps of deadlifts with 94kg/207lbs.
    For the sake of comparison, in the first week I was doing this with 65kg/143lbs.
    It took a bit to get the technique right and to become confident to go to the higher weights.
    On the power training it was higher reps but lower weights, however doing the movement
    in an explosive manner. So it'd be for instance doing a pushup, 3 seconds down
    then explode back up as fast as I could.
    Same for the other exercises (1 leg dead lift, 1 leg squat, deadlift, pull ups, 1 arm floor press, etc)

    Here are same sample workouts, these are from this week:
    1000 + 5x100 + 1000 + 5x100 + 1000
    1000s at mile pace, 100's all out sprint
    3:25 0:19 0:18 0:20 0:20 0:18
    3:37 0:20 0:19 0:18 0:19 0:19

    600 3x300 600 3x300
    600@current 1500 pace (2:00) 300@target 1500 pace (0:57)
    2:01 0:59 1:01 1:00
    2:07 1:01 0:55 0:59

    These were performed on less than ideal terrain (sidewalk path), with a slight elevation
    going in one direction. It goes from 24m to 27m, it's a bit more noticeable on the short

    Here is one that I've done on a track, about a month ago:
    5x400 + 5x200
    1:10 1:15 1:17 1:15 1:15
    0:36 0:36 0:36 0:35 0:36

    Another one on a track, 20 days ago:
    3x (800@mile + rest + 200 sprint + rest)
    2:32 0:37
    2:47 0:36
    2:46 0:34


    What do you think?

    PRs: 1500 4:54.1 2019 - 5K 17:53 2023 - 10K 37:55 2023 - HM 1:21:59 2021

    Up next: April 8th - 20.8K Eco Trail Porto (https://porto.ecotrail.com/en/race-ecotrail-porto/20km)

    Tool to generate Strava weekly


    37 going on 60

      My advice pace for 4:56 and hammer the last lap. There is nothing wrong with running a 65 or 70 second final 400. Also if you start passing and moving up it will help sustain the kick. But in a 1500 you get one maybe 2 moves. When you gun it, stay clear of traffic and go. You want to be in position coming down the home stretch of the 3rd lap and hammer at the bell. But before that, sit on the rail and stay on pace.


      2021 Goals for my 2 marathon cycles this year

      Marathon Sub 2:40 2:39:27 Grandma's Marathon 6/19/21

      10k Sub 35:00 in Marathon build

      5k Sub 16:30 in Marathon build /16:34 BK5K Memorial Day 2021


      2022 Goals

      Marathon Sub 2:37 2:41:32 Grandma's 2022

      10k Sub 35:00

      5k Sub 16:00

        All the greatest athletes I've ever known in my lifetime....all were looking for minor improvements...which led to big improvements.


        I agree, go for that 4:56 and hammer it the last lap if you have it and who knows you may crush it.

        300m- 37 sec.


        Stotan Disciple

          What are you asking?

          what i notice from your workouts is you fade. you start fast get slower. try doing it the other way. if you get faster thats good but right now you need more strength you need barn burner workouts. Have you ever heard the saying the "hay is in the barn". Well now you needed workouts that light the hay on fire.

          Thinking should be done first, before training begins.


            What are you asking?


            I had the same question.


            Are you asking if you should go all out in a 1500m time trial? I mean, yeah, that's the whole point right?


            I've only raced the mile a few times as an adult/masters runner. I never really trained specifically for the mile--I just did a few workouts to dial in the effort in the middle of my normal training for 5k-to-marathon races--but I think I managed to nail it a couple of times (i.e. get the maximum out of what I was capable of on the day) by focusing on 2 things:

            1. Running the first 300-400m at the exact right effort, which is very fast but not too fast. You have to quickly get to the redline but don't do past it. I practiced this by doing 300s and trying to dial in the effort so I knew what it felt like and had it drilled into my legs so that when the adrenaline of a race hit I wouldn't panic.
            2. Just racing people wire to wire, staying focused and mentally fully engaged in the race the entire way, and leaving everything on the track.

            If you are in tune with your fitness you can probably predict within a few seconds what you're capable of, but you can't run that by thinking about running a pace--you have to run an effort. At least that's how it works for me.


            Is this a solo time trial, or with other people--i.e. more of an informal race than a time trial? I can't imagine turning in a PR effort in a solo time trial, unless my PR was very soft. Some people seem to be able to do this or come close but that's not how I'm wired. I could always find a little more in competition with other people.

            Runners run


            Intl. correspondent

              dps/polevaultmiler - thanks for the advice. My only concern with that approach is that I might not be able to speed up the last 400 due to my lack of strength (as in, physical strength, once my core gives up I'm toast). But I agree it's the sensible approach.


              Nimmals - I'm asking for advice on what the target time should be. I figured people detached from my reality can do a more objective analysis.

              Thanks for the advice, I do indeed need to become stronger, both aerobically and physically.


              mikeymike - Unfortunately the race I was aiming for got cancelled so I'll have to settle with a time trial, with a chance of some running mates pacing part of it for me.

              I know for sure that if I have someone to chase I can be quite a bit faster.

              Thanks for the advice. Yeah, a lot of my workouts were built to have me running in tired legs and still trying to maintain pace.

              Due to lack of access to a track, a lot of these were run either on a bike lane or in a sidewalk like car path at the nearby university campus.

              I'll lack that specificity of running on the track, though I have done some workouts on the track and I was noticeably faster there, off course.

              I can feel I'm stronger now than back in June, but not sure I'm strong enough to try and go out in 75 seconds the first 400.

              I guess this is a bit of taper madness as well.

              PRs: 1500 4:54.1 2019 - 5K 17:53 2023 - 10K 37:55 2023 - HM 1:21:59 2021

              Up next: April 8th - 20.8K Eco Trail Porto (https://porto.ecotrail.com/en/race-ecotrail-porto/20km)

              Tool to generate Strava weekly


              Stotan Disciple

                You're in 5:20 mile shape and if conditions are great maybe 5:13-15. That mean 80 second quarters

                The road mile is my specialty. I dont race enough on the track so my my track mile sucks. add to the fact I hate traffic. I tend to fall asleep and I cant front run.

                Milers all have different strategies. Some are front runners Kiprop, Muir.

                Some are Turn up monsters Kejelcha, Dibaba.

                Some are kickers Simpson, Centrowitz.

                You have to decide where your best race will fall. which will come from experience, we can't guess that for you.


                With that said I'd run 80 second quarters. Reason being you averaged  2:41 on your 3x 800m while having your fastest 200M on the last one. Getting out faster than 80 is going to put you in a world of hurt. If you can run 80 and get faster that's the way to do it.



                Landry said the mile is a beautiful play in 4 Acts. I have to agree, for me they are

                1. Get out fast and easy

                2. Relax and Cruise

                3. Assert and float

                4. Attack and climax.


                Once you past 800m you have to almost redouble your effort to get the same output at least thats the feeling to me so assert the pace you need to hold but let it feel like a float. and attack the last quarter with a little left for a climax. I tend to kick at 150m rather than 200M.


                Lastly make an ugly face the last 150m, that seems to work best for me, ymmv  but it gives a fun picture to tell your friends the story of.

                Thinking should be done first, before training begins.


                Intl. correspondent

                  Thanks Slammin for the great advice (Look at me showing my forum age by remembering your previous username)


                  This has been very helpful as I had the wrong impression that I might have a crack at 4:45 for the 1500. Though it could be possible, I'm far better being conservative the first 2 laps, (I need 79 per lap for a PR) and then turn the heat on the last 400.

                  PRs: 1500 4:54.1 2019 - 5K 17:53 2023 - 10K 37:55 2023 - HM 1:21:59 2021

                  Up next: April 8th - 20.8K Eco Trail Porto (https://porto.ecotrail.com/en/race-ecotrail-porto/20km)

                  Tool to generate Strava weekly


                  Are we there, yet?

                    ... I'm far better being conservative the first 2 laps, (I need 79 per lap for a PR) and then turn the heat on the last 400.


                    Back in the day when I could run a sub-5:00 mile, a fellow competitor was trying to run his first sub-5:00. He went out hard the first couple laps, but then faded over the next lap and a half until he started his kick. All through the indoor and outdoor seasons right up to the final meet he kept falling a few seconds short.  Meanwhile I'm running consistently sub-5:00 running very even splits.  I finally persuaded him to hang back with me and try running even splits.  We came through our splits in 74, 2:29, 3:44, and kicked. He broke 5:00 running 4:57.  Questions?

                     2023 Races:

                          04/15 - Alexander County 12-Hour

                          05/13 - Dawn to Dusk to Dawn 50K
                          06/16 - Six Days in the Dome 12-Hour



                      I calculated my 1 mile potential from back in the day recently as 5:07


                      makes me wonder what it could have been... that was after a track season of never running more than 300m repeats, no distance, no long slow mileage.


                      also never ran a 1 mile time trial then,


                      of course that was at 22yo? now...38 almost 39... hoping to see if I can get some of that speed back before 40...


                      have a 1 mile race coming up, but if I break 7:00 I'd be ecstatic at this point,


                      maybe with some consistent training, next year I can see what I can do...

                      300m- 37 sec.


                      Intl. correspondent

                        wc - that's fantastic pacing! In my last 3000 race, which I ran in 10:34 I was lucky that I shadowed a guy doing the perfect pace the first half then another guy doing also perfect pacing the second half. Heck, he was my pacer to the finish line since when we hit the last 100 I moved next to him and he darted ahead to beat me by 1 second at the line LOL

                        I will indeed need good pacing.

                        Tomorrow I'll be repeating that workout:

                        3x (800@1500 pace + 200 sprints)

                        This is a cool workout, I've heard 3x800 is a good predictor, but this one adds the 200s to kill the legs.

                        I'll focus in running each 400 in 79 seconds as preparation for the race, it should be a good mental workout too if I can avoid burning out too quickly on the first one when I have fresh legs.


                        Polevault - I'm sure you can improve by doing specific training. I've noticed the 1500/mile require quite a bit of raw strength, so with a good regimen of strength training + a lot of R paced workouts you can get into beast mode.

                        PRs: 1500 4:54.1 2019 - 5K 17:53 2023 - 10K 37:55 2023 - HM 1:21:59 2021

                        Up next: April 8th - 20.8K Eco Trail Porto (https://porto.ecotrail.com/en/race-ecotrail-porto/20km)

                        Tool to generate Strava weekly


                        Stotan Disciple

                          How did the workout go and will you do a time trial or wait for an official mile.

                          Thinking should be done first, before training begins.


                          Intl. correspondent

                            Hey, thanks for asking, it went excellent.

                            Splits were:

                            3x (800@mile + 200 sprints)

                            2:40 0:37 2:40 0:38 2:42 0:46


                            I aimed for better pacing, following your suggestion. 2:40 per 800 is 5:20 mile pace so spot on.

                            I headed over to a track as I wanted to have the best surface possible, but it rained overnight and a portion of the track was under water.

                            So I ran a bit further and ran around an artificial pond which would be around 400m each lap.

                            I was set to go, but after the first 800 a lady showed up with a few doggos unleashed and as a result I had to run on only one side of the pond and as such I had to do a few u-turns each rep. I've still managed a very good pacing, except the last 200.

                            In that case I had the bright idea of doing it on the way home, except I had to run on bad surface dodging puddles and going around muddy areas 


                            Today I had the last workout in the taper with 5x400

                            Splits were 1:19, 1:19, 1:16, 1:20, 1:22.

                            These were run on not so ideal terrain, but I was doing ok until I overcooked the 3rd lap and paid for it later.

                            Not too bad though. 5k easy tomorrow followed by a shiatsu session in the afternoon to relax a bit.

                            I should be ready to go Thursday morning if I don't do anything stupid between now and then.


                            It will be a time trial, unless I find some pacers on Thursday morning, but it is looking more and more unlikely.

                            A shame, cause I don't think I can go 100% in a solo effort. There's always an extra gear when we're racing someone else.

                            PRs: 1500 4:54.1 2019 - 5K 17:53 2023 - 10K 37:55 2023 - HM 1:21:59 2021

                            Up next: April 8th - 20.8K Eco Trail Porto (https://porto.ecotrail.com/en/race-ecotrail-porto/20km)

                            Tool to generate Strava weekly


                            Stotan Disciple

                              Flavio - Looking forward to your results be sure to keep us posted. There used to be a thread for milers in the earliest RWOL forum. Guess those guys all moved onto LR.

                              Thinking should be done first, before training begins.


                              Intl. correspondent

                                Hello guys, shiny new 1500m PR in 4:54.10. I don't have the traditional splits as I didn't want to manual split. But my coach was yelling splits at me, some of which I only heard when I saw the video afterwards ( I put my wife in filming duty ).


                                300 in 55 (too hot)

                                800 in 2:35 - way better, flying close to the sun, I needed 2:38 for a PR

                                1000 in 3:14 - so far so good, PR pace would be 3:17.5

                                1300 in 4:16 - I was slowing down here, if I slipped only a bit on the last 200 I'd miss the PR

                                1500 in 4:54.10 - fortunately I managed to find some strength somewhere on the final sprint, last 200 in 38.10


                                There were no pacers as this was a time trial so I'm certain I can take at least a couple of seconds off of that time in a race.

                                I might consider signing up for the 1500m in the national master champs in November, though it will be in the middle of half marathon training.


                                I felt great during the race, though my upper back was very, very tight with around 600 to go, like after you did chin ups to failure.

                                But I didn't feel tiredness on the legs and I can see on the video that I found an extra gear, at least in cadence, on the last 100m.


                                I'm sure a few more rounds of strength work (dead lifts, chin ups, single leg dead lifts, single leg squats, squats, pushups, etc) I will possibly find a way to have a longer, more powerful stride.


                                I feel like especially the single leg squats and the chin ups gave me a lot of boost in the power of my stride and in my form as well.


                                This was the first time I put myself under a lifting regimen and it produced very good results, I'm quite happy about it.

                                This was also only the 2nd time that I was able to follow a training plan from start to finish. Even though in this case I had to take a 7 days break due to a cold in the middle of the 12 weeks training block.


                                here's the video:

                                I'm the dude in the yellow jersey, running with a weird gait. It used to be a lot worse, I promise you LOL



                                Thanks everyone who chimed in, your pacing advice was spot on!

                                PRs: 1500 4:54.1 2019 - 5K 17:53 2023 - 10K 37:55 2023 - HM 1:21:59 2021

                                Up next: April 8th - 20.8K Eco Trail Porto (https://porto.ecotrail.com/en/race-ecotrail-porto/20km)

                                Tool to generate Strava weekly