Updated: Mar 10, 2020
I’ve been asked hundreds of times how to run a faster mile. Here’s the template I prescribe nearly every time. Step 1: Time trial your mile. When possible, do this on a track and note your 400 meter splits. Step 2: Decide on your goal mile time. Don’t overestimate, be realistic. If you ran an 8:00, don’t set your goal at 4:45. You’ll only set up for failure. A good rule of thumb is to not shoot for more than a 10% decrease in total time.
Step 3: Divide your goal time by 4 to find your 400 meter pace. If you’re trying to run a 7:20, you’ll have a 1:50 400 meter pace. Step 4: Do work.
Two times a week follow this protocol: Week 1 Session 1 Monday Run 4 x 400 meters at your goal pace, resting a 1:1 ratio. If you’re running a 1:52, round your interval to be 3:40.
Session 2 Thursday Run 4 x 400 at your goal pace, resting a 1:1 ratio, minus 10 seconds. If you’re running a 1:52, this session the interval will be 3:30 Week 2
Session 3 Monday
Run 4 x 400 at your goal pace, resting a 1:1 ration, minus 20 seconds. If you’re running a 1:52, this session the interval will be 3:20
Session 4 Thursday Run 4 x 400 at your goal pace, resting a 1:1 ration, minus 30 seconds. If you’re running a 1:52, this session the interval will be 3:10
Continue dropping 10 seconds until your sessions get to only 10 seconds of rest. After this last week, take a week off, do light recovery work like jogging and stretching. The following Monday, time trial again and bask in the glory or a personal record. If you follow this protocol, you WILL PR. You can also use a similar protocol for an 800 by using 200’s and 5 second decreasing rest, or a 5k by using 3 x 1 mile and 20-30 seconds decreasing rest. User warning: These sessions are not easy. You will want to stop. If you’re serious about your goals, get after it and do the work!