The 3-Week Training Plan to Run Your Fastest Mile Ever
Time yourself for a hard 5K run, then subtract 30 seconds from your Mile pace. That’s your Mile race goal.
By Cassie Shortsleeve, Men's Journal
The Mile is a tricky distance. It’s not a sprint, so you’ll need aerobic endurance, plus enough speed to make it a true race. Still, even if you’re new to running, the distance is accessible, while veteran pavement-pounders can push themselves in a new way.
“The Mile is a great test of overall fitness,” says Michael Olzinski, a San Francisco–based run coach.
First, do the Mile run test (see below). Then do two cycles of the three-week plan, courtesy of Olzinski. Retest, aiming to run 30 seconds faster.
Mile Run Test
To warm up, jog for 10 minutes, then do basic running drills (high knees, butt kicks). Pace yourself by imagining the flat track is actually uphill. “Don’t blow yourself up in the first lap,” Olzinski says. And make your last lap the fastest. “Give yourself the chance to have a sprint finish, which means using up every last bit of effort by the end,” he says.
The 3-week Plan to Run Your Fastest Mile
Day 1: Light Strength Work
Each week, do 3 sets of 6 to 10 reps of the following exercises: lunges (forward, lateral, reverse), bodyweight row (using a barbell resting on a rig, or rings), squat jumps, glute bridges, ending with 1-minute side planks.
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