The Mile (Read 588 times)

Interval Junkie --Nobby

    I had two goals for this year: sub-3 marathon and a sub-5 mile.  The latter is a rather lofty goal for me considering a 5:10 goal is more realistic.  Still, it's the only measure I have that would mean anything to my High School self -- someone I'm still trying to beat.


    Never having trained for such a "short" distance, I was wondering what workouts are suggested for people coming off typical marathon training (other than re-reading Once a Runner).



    I have 2 weeks until a track mile (May 10th) race -- the local Masters' Mile.  I'm not in a good place for it, as I just got back from Boston and have some issues.  But I'm wondering if there's anything I should be doing in this short-term to let my legs know I'll be calling on them next Saturday.


    I was thinking of doing some "200s" at full effort, to exhaustion, in the pool this Saturday.  I'm hoping this would reduce the risk of structural (ligaments/tendon) weaknesses turning into injuries after my marathon season, but reboot my legs into "speed". Then I'll do a moderate track workout on Wednesday.  The race would follow on Saturday.


    There's a road mile coming up in June.  It's more of a fantasy mile (gravity assist).  I can break 5 there, I'm pretty sure


    Any suggestions about the race itself?  Go out conservative.  Find your legs in the 2nd.  Amp up in the 3rd.  Hold on for the 4th?  (


    Or "Run hard.  Turn left"


    To be honest, I really don't care about getting a "good time" in the Mile.  I just care about sub-5.  So I might just try: 80s, 75s, 72s, 72s -- just go for broke.

    2016 Goals: Lose the 10lbs I gained for not having goals

      As for workouts, you need to start getting some reps at race pace.

      Starting with the 200's isn't a bad idea, then go to 300's, then 400s (over the course of a few weeks). Don't neglect stamina training during this period. Frankly, I'd do a workout that consisted of a few tempo reps, then I'd go into the speed reps.  This will keep your speed reps more honest, and be more realistic since you'll be a little fatigued.  It's easy to run a bunch of fast 200's if you're rested but IMO it doesn't mean much in terms of what you can do in a race.


      For race strategy, the best strategy is always even pacing. Though, it's probably wise to give yourself a couple second cushion on the first 400.

        If 5:00 is pr mile pace, you're not going to be able to negative split from 2:35 to 2:24 (could you run a 2:20 800 fresh?).


        When you start your marathons, your first few miles are your warmup, when you're racing a mile, you should actually warmup, and be ready to go when you get to the starting line.

        Know thyself.


          I have been in your situation.


          The only "workout" I did was 4 x 300 at mile pace a few days before the race just to get a taste of what that pace should feel like out of the shoot. Otherwise I ran it off my normal road racing base.


          You can't be conservative in the mile. If you're in a good race, it will go out way faster than you are ready for anyway. If you want any chance at breaking 5 you better go out in 74/75 and hang on. Be very well warmed up and ready to go.


          Here's a recap of my first mile race since high school.


          Good luck. The mile is scary as shit but an adrenaline rush like nothing else.

          Runners run.


            The mile is scary as shit 


            This rings true for me.


            I just received a notice of a new mile race downtown and this thread got me thinking about running it. Its a straight point to point and I'm thinking it might be time to set a new PR.


            This is a month away so I'm open to ideas.

            "He conquers who endures" - Persius
            "Every workout should have a purpose. Every purpose should link back to achieving a training objective." - Spaniel


              I have done this a few times the last few years, namely, come off of a marathon cycle and get thrust into a mile race.  My 2c. would be:


              1 cent:  You are way fitter than you realize, having just come through a marathon cycle.  You can probably run that mile faster than you think.  Don't be afraid.  :-)


              2 cent:  It would be good to wake up your legs with some speed, but this can take the form of simple fartleks (200m or less even) sprinkled into your running a few times a week or short hill sprints (say 25-30 seconds).  You don't really need formal speedwork, IMHO, especially if you haven't the time to work at it for, say, at least 3-4 weeks.


              Then there's this. 

              Good luck. The mile is scary as shit but an adrenaline rush like nothing else.


              Don't be afraid to go out in 72-73.  It won't be the end of your life; you just might be afraid that it will be.

              - Joe

              We are fragile creatures on collision with our judgment day.

                This discussion is way out of my league, but it is still very interesting to me.


                I want to race a 400m, after doing some old fat slow 5k's.  One thing I think about is that if I go out slow, I can't ever get that time back.  So I would assume with the marathon you have good endurance.  Might be worth really pushing yourself up front, and then see what your endurance does for you the rest of the race.


                  5 X 200m repeats     balls to the wall all out!


                  Running is stupid

                  Interval Junkie --Nobby

                    Here's a recap of my first mile race since high school.


                    Really good advice, everyone.  And a thrilling write-up, Zeus.


                    I realize I know nothing about how to train for the mile.  200s at race pace after a good effort, sounds like a nice start.  Then progress to 400s.  Understanding the pace is probably going to be really important.   I don't think I can be in Mikey shape in a week, but I'm really looking forward to a will-testing effort.


                    There are a few of the Sub3s who turned 40 last year.  A year before 5:01 would be the time to beat.  But some of these guys are old-D2ers and a win is way out of my reach.  Still, I love the track and can't wait to revisit the trauma of a fast race.


                    Also thanks on pacing advice -- again, I know nothing about it so suggestions are all welcome.

                    2016 Goals: Lose the 10lbs I gained for not having goals

                        But some of these guys are old-D2ers and a win is way out of my reach.


                      Don't let that psych you out.  Some of us old hacks who only ran in high school routinely beat old D1ers of the same age. 

                      - Joe

                      We are fragile creatures on collision with our judgment day.

                      Latent Runner

                        Flying in the face of conventional wisdom...


                        On 01-Jan this year I ran my first timed mile since 1975 (back when four-twenty-something was pretty routine).  The only reason why I ran this particular race was that it was the inaugural event of a year-long running series culminating in a half marathon this coming fall.  That said, literally all of my training has been in the form of LSD, and I didn't want to make any changes to my routine just to run this single (and a bit daunting/scary) race.


                        In the run-up to race day my only out of the ordinary preparation was to sandbag the first eight miles of my daily ten mile run, and then bump the pace for the last two miles to the point of imminent collapse.  My goal was to break 7:00, much to my surprise I ran a 5:50.  I strongly suspect the race had a gravity assist aspect to it as there were numerous sub-4:10 finishers on a very cold New Hampshire day.


                        As has been suggested, you're probably in better shape than you think; do a few 200 and 400 repeats (to exhaustion), attempt race pace for the last couple of miles of a long training run, and you should be good to go.

                        Fat old man PRs:

                        • 1-mile (point to point, gravity assist): 5:50
                        • 2-mile: 13:49
                        • 5K (gravity assist last mile): 21:31
                        • 5-Mile: 37:24
                        • 10K (first 10K of my Half Marathon): 48:16
                        • 10-Mile (first 10 miles of my Half Marathon): 1:17:40
                        • Half Marathon: 1:42:13

                          I can provide you with the one year customized training plan I used last year.




                          5th Ave mile, Sep 2012 - 6:14

                          Jan 3rd 2013 (indoor) - 6:11

                          Feb 7th (indoor) - 6:07

                          Mar 5 (indoor) 5:58

                          Apr 27 (track) - 6:02

                          Jun 9 (road) - 6:01

                          Aug 31 (road) - 6:01

                          5th Ave mile, Sep 2013 - 5:55


                          I was disappointed with the 5th Avenue Mile.


                          My target splits were 1:28, 1:28 1:27, 1:26.

                          I freaked when I hit the bottom of the hill at 1/4 mile and ran 1:27, 1:35, 1:27, 1:26


                          I put it down to skipping tempo runs.

                          Certified Running Coach
                          Crocked since 2013


                             But some of these guys are old-D2ers and a win is way out of my reach.


                            Another pre-race strategy would be to buy them beer and pizza for a month. Just call it pre-/post-workout male-bonding social or whatever.

                            Stuart Hall

                              I had exactly the same goal a few years ago that I need to resume, and also somewhat directed at my high school self.  If you google 5:10 mile, you'll see a youtube of me running a 5:07 mile in which I think my pacing was just right.  The first and last laps were the fastest but not by too much.  I did a 12 week program which had 3 cycles of 4 weeks.  I'm trying to dig it up.  But basically it started from longer intervals of 1000m (starting from 3 working up to 5 with 400m jogs at about 3:30 pace) and worked down to 200m at 33-35 or 300m in the low 50's.  400m reps were in there with 1 minute rest at about 75 seconds.  I think the short rest in the 400m was key and that the 1000m workouts were also very important.  I mentally broke the mile into the first 1000 cruising followed by the rest where I'd try to put the hammer down so the 1000s were great mental and physical prep.  Good luck.

                                Two weeks out, not much to do. I would avoid "all out" 200s or 400s [but would consider running them balls out.]


                                I like 300s at race pace (maybe 5 or 6) -- shouldn't feel too hard. Don't worry about wearing yourself out with them; just do enough to feel like you can feel the pace and stay RELAXED while you are running them.