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5 Minute Mile at 45 Years Old

by Mike

Mid-life crisis question. I'm 45 years old and haven't run seriously since college. In high school, I ran 4:40 for a mile; 10:20 for two miles. I could easily run a 5 minute mile in practice without a huge effort. But that was 28 years ago. I'm probably 20 pounds heavier now than then - I'm 5'7 175 pounds now.

I would like to run a 5 minute mile in the next year or so. I doubt I could do much better than an 8 or 9 right now, since I haven't been running. Do you think this would be possible and if so, could you suggest an outline of a plan to get there? Thank you.

running tips
Answer by Dominique:
Hi there,
Thanks for your question about running a five minute mile.

Do I think it is possible?

I would not see why not.

It will be hard to do, but a lot is possible when you focus on a goal, do the required work for it and believe in yourself.

How to get there?

I would advise you to first get some "easy" running into your legs. With easy running, I mean running at a pace easy enough that you'd still be able to have a conversation with someone.

It would be great if over the course of a few months you could build this up to about five miles or so.

Read more in the link about building up your base

Once you have got a more solid base under your belt, you will be able to more easily hone in on your goal via speed sessions. Do intervals at, slightly above or slightly below goal pace.

To give yourself the best chances of success I'd also consider your weight. Every extra pound slows you down a little. Twenty extra pounds slow you down enough to stop you from obtaining your goals. You'll probably find that you'll lose some weight as you start running more and more, but do keep your diet in mind.

Also see the running for weight loss page, that talks more about running, diet and weight loss.

Hope this gives you some good ideas.
As a final suggestion, if you want a more detailed running plan, you can either get a good running training book like Daniels' Running Formula or get a customized running training plan via Best Running Coach.

Best of luck.
Kind regards,

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