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how do you run a mile? (Read 1013 times)

northernman


Fight The Future

    Ugh, I tried to run a mile as fast as I can. Terrible time. The charts say I should be able to do a 6:10 or even better, based on marathon PR of 3:22. I could barely make it to 6:40. Not sure why everybody says that times in short distances should be directly related to longer race times, because they're obviously not, for me. 

    Anyway, what is the best overall strategy for a 1 mile race? Start out slow and speed up? Just run as fast as you can and hold on until your guts fall out? None of the above?

    MJ5


    Chief Unicorn Officer

      For me personally, I first set a realistic goal time--when I chose mine, I based it off of how I was performing in my 5K speed workouts, not off a predictor chart, because those can be notoriously unreliable from distance to distance. Once I had my goal in mind, I broke the race into quarters. I had a specific time for each quarter I had to run in order to meet the goal. The first quarter, my goal was to stay exactly on pace--no faster, no slower. Second quarter I allowed myself to pick it up and run it a bit faster if I felt good. Third quarter was basically just hang on. Fourth quarter was balls to the wall. It worked for me.

      Mile 5:49 - 5K 19:58 - 10K 43:06 - HM 1:36:54

        For me personally, I first set a realistic goal time--when I chose mine, I based it off of how I was performing in my 5K speed workouts, not off a predictor chart, because those can be notoriously unreliable from distance to distance. Once I had my goal in mind, I broke the race into quarters. I had a specific time for each quarter I had to run in order to meet the goal. The first quarter, my goal was to stay exactly on pace--no faster, no slower. Second quarter I allowed myself to pick it up and run it a bit faster if I felt good. Third quarter was basically just hang on. Fourth quarter was balls to the wall. It worked for me.

         

        Calculators assume that you are trained for the distance that you are going to race. So think of the calculator as a rough potential estimator rather than what you can run. If you want to run the mile time predicted by the calculator you need to train for the mile.

         

        Trained or not, I like to break down everything on the track to 100m segments so that I can check my pace regularly. If you go out even a second or two per 100m ahead of pace you are likely to blow up (that's 16-32 seconds per mile!), if you're just a second or two slow per 100m you will have trouble making up the lost ground in the back half of the mile.


        Muddling through

          In running for time in any distance race the optimum strategy is almost always an even pace. Of course to run that optimum time you need an accurate assessment of what your pace should be. In my best mile races my pace hasn't varied by more than about 2 seconds per quarter from slowest to fastest. In my PR race I think my slowest quarter was 72.5 and my fastest 70.9. In my best race this year it was a 4 second difference between slowest and fastest quarters.

          2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

            In running for time in any distance race the optimum strategy is almost always an even pace. Of course to run that optimum time you need an accurate assessment of what your pace should be. In my best mile races my pace hasn't varied by more than about 2 seconds per quarter from slowest to fastest. In my PR race I think my slowest quarter was 72.5 and my fastest 70.9. In my best race this year it was a 4 second difference between slowest and fastest quarters.

             

            I'm curious usually how many years have runners gotten under their belt before they can judge their pace to within a few seconds while they're running? I assume it is a learned skill coming from experience, or is it more an innate ability? I can differentiate effort levels now (I've been running for about 2 years), but I still have no good sense of pace even to within half a minute/mile sometimes, that's what I use my garmin for.


            Muddling through

              I'm curious usually how many years have runners gotten under their belt before they can judge their pace to within a few seconds while they're running? I assume it is a learned skill coming from experience, or is it more an innate ability? I can differentiate effort levels now (I've been running for about 2 years), but I still have no good sense of pace even to within half a minute/mile sometimes, that's what I use my garmin for.

               

              I think it's a bit of both. It can be taught, because I've taught runners I've coached or trained with, but I think there's some innate features as well because some learn quicker than others. I learned because my coach in 9th grade track and xc used to call splits every at every 100 and we we expected to be on pace +/- a second.

              2014 Goals: Run first trail ultra, first 100K, and see what I can do in a 24-Hour race

                I'm curious usually how many years have runners gotten under their belt before they can judge their pace to within a few seconds while they're running? I assume it is a learned skill coming from experience, or is it more an innate ability? I can differentiate effort levels now (I've been running for about 2 years), but I still have no good sense of pace even to within half a minute/mile sometimes, that's what I use my garmin for.

                 

                Five years and I'm a terrible judge of my pace.  The calculators guess my pace a lot better than I do.

                Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

                  I think it takes practice and patience. I've run a lot of races this year and I think the mile was my worst execution. It's a hard race with little room for error. If I could go back I would have run some track workouts and focused on better pacing.


                  Fat butt on couch

                    Not sure why everybody says that times in short distances should be directly related to longer race times, because they're obviously not, for me. 

                     

                     

                    Well, they are related, but trying to infer your mile time from a marathon is not going to yield anything useful.

                     

                    When I was running in the 2:28-2:29 range for the marathon, I was running in the 4:30s for the mile and about 2:06-8 for the 800m.

                     

                    I know another individual who was running 1:52 for the 800m, but 2:5X for the marathon.

                     

                    And, yet another individual who was only 3-4sec behind me in the mile who could JUST sneak under 3 in the marathon.

                     

                    It is a matter of both being specifically trained for the event and to what degree you are naturally inclined towards one event or the other...I am very slow-twitch, the two other runners I mentioned were both fast-twitch guys who were just naturals at mid-distance races that require a lot of raw speed.

                     

                    Pacing the mile is knowing how to go out fast, be able to hold together through the third lap without dropping off pace, and still be able to push a good fourth lap.  It will just take practice.  For ME it is a very uncomfortable distance and I feel horrible after the first quarter.

                    "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                     


                    HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                      As mentioned, the marathon doesn't seem like the most useful race time predictor for the mile -- surely a 5K time would be more closely correlated.

                      It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                      scappodaqui


                      rather be sprinting

                        The mile is a tough race!  I think the key is to run plenty of 400m repeats at your desired pace, on a track if possible.  For me the difference between a perfectly paced race and a complete blowup can be 1-2 seconds per lap.  Running on a track REALLY helped me learn how to pace.  For you, you can go off of your 6:40 pace to run intervals, since you have that.

                         

                        And yeah, long and short distance times just don't match up for most of us.  

                         

                        In terms of race strategy... here is what I have heard:

                         

                        Go out at a pace that feels fast, uncomfortably so but not enough that you're gasping after the first 400m.  Then try to run the second 400m even harder.  Then try to hang on in the 3rd.  Then try to sprint to the finish.  Basically, I have had the most success running really even splits, but the second and third quarters always FEEL much faster but may be a few seconds slower.  

                        PRs: 5k 19:25, mile 5:38, HM 1:30:56

                        Lifting PRs: back squat 176 lb

                          I'm curious usually how many years have runners gotten under their belt before they can judge their pace to within a few seconds while they're running? I assume it is a learned skill coming from experience, or is it more an innate ability? I can differentiate effort levels now (I've been running for about 2 years), but I still have no good sense of pace even to within half a minute/mile sometimes, that's what I use my garmin for.

                           I find that is the biggest benefit of track work, running 200's and 400's to a certain pace you end up able to judge pace pretty accurately. I find it's easier to judge pace the closer I am to my limit - just a little bit faster is a bigger difference in effort. It's easier to judge the difference between 1500m pace and 5K pace than say the difference between easy pace and marathon pace. (and for me they're pretty close to the same difference apart)

                          2013 Goal: Make 3:00:16 go away - FAIL.

                          2014 Goal: Make 3:00:16 go away.

                          scappodaqui


                          rather be sprinting

                            I've only been running for a little more than 2 years and got a feel for pacing last winter during track--it really is just about practicing at the right speeds.  It helps to work out with other people who can help pace you.

                            PRs: 5k 19:25, mile 5:38, HM 1:30:56

                            Lifting PRs: back squat 176 lb


                            I've got a fever...

                              He was starting to get the white haze even this early; it would
                              be very bad when it all caught up, but of course that was no
                              consideration now. Come on you son of a bitch, he thought, but he
                              knew he was just hanging on. It was all going slowly downhill and
                              Walton had about eight yards on him still. Cassidy could feel the
                              muscles in his neck start to tighten, pulling his lower lip
                              downwards into an ugly grimace; he knew this was one of the last
                              signs, this death sneer. So this is what happens! You just don't get
                              him, that's all! The son of a bitch just keeps on going and it ends
                              and you don't get him ever!

                               

                              Cassidy adjusted his lean a little forward; that seemed to help
                              some, but the neck was getting tighter and he felt his arms
                              beginning to stiffen. By the time they got out of the turn and into
                              the last straight, he knew they would be really bad. All down the

                              back straight Cassidy tried to reel him in, but it was no good. Eight
                              yards. Eight yards, Eight yards! The strain was apparent to those
                              close to the track, on the exhale breath he made little gasps: gahh!
                              gahh! gahh! His eyes were starting to squeeze up shut but he could
                              hardly see through the white haze anyway.

                               

                              The chant roared across the field, beseeching, hopeful,
                              frenzied.


                              CASS-A-DAY! CASS-A-DAY! CASS-A-DAY!


                              Shut up! Shut up! I'm not your godamned hero! All down the
                              back straight he stared at the fleeing black suit through the
                              wrinkled slits he had left for eyes, stared at the black suit and
                              wished they would all leave him alone. Just leave him the hell
                              alone with his misery and defeat.


                              That's when he saw it.


                              Almost imperceptible, but there it was just the same: the left
                              shoulder dipped suddenly, then the right leg shot out a little further
                              than usual, and that was it: back to normal stride.


                              Walton was tying up too.


                              So that's the way it is. Not so casual after all.


                              Cassidy bore down, bore down, and finally began reeling him
                              in, all during the final turn, all the way around he pulled him in,
                              inch by inch, as his mouth was drawn more and more into the ugly
                              grimace by the spastic neck muscles. Inch by inch the black suit
                              came back until finally they broke clear of the turn and there it
                              was: John Walton was three feet ahead of him with a hundred and
                              ten yards of Tartan stretching out in front of them to the finish line.
                              There was utter pandemonium in the stands as the chant
                              degenerated into a howling, shrieking din.


                              Quenton Cassidy moved out to the second lane, the Lane of
                              High Hopes, and ran out the rest of the life in him.

                               

                              All through the last 50 yards he had looked
                              through the two fogged slits of windows at
                              the howling slow motion nightmare going on
                              around him as he rigged up in true fashion,
                              getting the jaw-shoulder lock and the
                              sideways final straight fade as he began to
                              lose all semblance of control; he peered out at all this as the orb
                              was about to burst letting all the poison flood out, peered at it and
                              quite calmly wondered: when will it all end?


                              He felt more than saw Walton come back up to his shoulder,
                              entertained an idle curiosity about who would get it, but then went
                              back to wistfully concentrating on those green inches of Tartan
                              passing slowly, slowly beneath his feet.


                              The last 10 yards his body was a solid block of lactic acid, with
                              those straining neck muscles pulling his lip down and his back
                              arched, trapezia trying to pull him over backwards. And all the
                              way Quenton Cassidy is telling himself:


                              Not now…it hurts but go all the way through do not stop until
                              you are past it you cannot afford to give the son of a bitch
                              anything…so holdit holdit holdit jesus christ hold it
                              holditholditHOLDITHOLDITHOLD IT…


                              Finally with a scream and a violent wrenching motion he shook
                              himself loose from this terrible force that gripped him, forced
                              himself into a semblance of a lean and it was over…

                              On your deathbed, you won't wish that you'd spent more time at the office.  But you will wish that you'd spent more time running.  Because if you had, you wouldn't be on your deathbed.

                              northernman


                              Fight The Future

                                That was beautiful. Just reading that made me want to go be sick in sympathy (? empathy ?)

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