Mastering the 3200m: Essential 2 Mile Running Tips and Strategies
Training for a 2 mile race requires a different approach than training for a 1 mile race. The 3200m requires more emphasis on endurance and the ability to maintain a steady pace for a longer period.
Similar to 1 mile training, easy running forms the foundation of the training program. You should aim to build a solid aerobic base by running at a comfortable pace that allows you to hold a conversation. As you progress in your training, you can include speed workouts to enhance your performance.
2 Mile Running Tip #1: Speed Workouts Required
Interval training should be performed at a pace around race pace. You can do shorter, faster intervals or longer, somewhat slower intervals.
A reasonable example is 800-meter intervals at goal pace.
You want to build leg speed by doing 200m intervals and 400m intervals, then build on that by increasing the length of your intervals. Running at or slightly faster or slightly slower than goal pace is a good way to build speed.
Tempo runs are longer, sustained efforts at a pace just below your lactic acid threshold. You can do tempo runs through cruise intervals (3 x 10 min tempo) or through a longer sustained effort, e.g. 20 minutes tempo. For 2 mile training you will want to do regular tempos. Throughout your training cycle, a tempo run should be on the menu pretty much every week.
2 Mile Running Tips #2: Long Runs
When you are able to do a long run of that type of length, then you can work on adding quality to your long runs, e.g. doing the last 1-2 miles at faster pace.
2 Mile Running Tip #3: Hills and Strength
Hill repeats and other forms of strength training should also be incorporated into your training program to improve power and explosiveness.
2 Mile Running Tip #4: Recovery
Recovery is just as important in 3200m training as it is in 1 mile training. You should include rest days and/or active recovery in your weekly routine.
Rather than going hard the whole time, you need to get used to the hard-easy principle. Hard work needs to be followed by an easier effort and/or rest. Otherwise your body will not get a chance to recover.
2 Mile Running Tip #5: 3200m Race Strategy
Let's face it. Running that fast, you are going to hurt! So, you need to expect that pain and you need to apply sufficient mental focus to maintain the pace throughout the race.
I have provided a lap by lap strategy on this Q&A page: 3200m Strategy.
In summary, training for a 2 mile race requires all the usual training components: a solid combination of easy running, longer intervals, tempo runs, long runs, and strength training.
More than 1 mile training, the emphasis is going to shift to endurance and the ability to maintain a steady pace for a longer period. In addition to that, your 2 mile race requires a different pacing strategy, with a focus on patience and pacing in the first mile a key to success to ensure you're able to last the distance.
Now, check out some of the Q&A for more 2 mile advice!
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