How to Run a Faster 3200m

I run a 13:44 3200m and a 6:18 1600m and I want to run an 11 minute 2 mile. What workouts should I do so? I would really like to know how I can run a faster 3200m.

Answer by Dominique:
Hi there,
Thanks for your running training question. I am guessing you want to run a 11-min 2 mile?

I'll break this answer up in the following components:

1. What are your timeframes?
2. Analysing race times
3. Aerobic workouts
4. Anaerobic workouts
5. Two mile race strategy

how to run a faster 3200m

What are Your Time Frames?

You are ambitious. I am hoping that you are trying to reach your goal of a faster 3200m over the next few months or years, not over the next few weeks. Improvement takes time. Having said that, it also really depends on your current training. Are you already pushing yourself to the max and are you hitting a plateau? Or has training been less optimal and is there still a lot of potential by simply putting in the work?

Either way, some hard work will be required to improve...!

Analysing Race Times

It is always incredibly useful when people provide some race times. It allows comparison through the Race Conversion Calculator.

What I did was I plugged in your 1 mile time and asked for the equivalent 2 mile time.

Based on your 6:18 1 mile you would have to be able to do a 13:08 2 mile at the moment. Your time is 13:44. So you lose a lot of ground. Why? Your aerobic base is not well developed yet.

Aerobic Workouts

What does it mean when your aerobic base is not fully developed? It means you need more endurance. The best way to build endurance is through long runs, supported by easy runs.

Not sure what your longest run is at the moment, but let's say it is 3 miles. Try to build that up further to 6-7 miles. For a fast two mile I like to see runners do long runs that are 70-90 minutes in length. Imagine if you are able to do that, how much easier would it be to run only two?

Build up to this sensibly. Not overnight. Follow the tips from the Increasing Mileage Safely page.

how to run a faster 3200m

Anaerobic Workouts

I am suspecting that once you do a season of consistent long runs like that, you will see your one mile and your two mile times drop already. Eventhough they are shorter distances, do not underestimate how much the one mile and two miles take aerobically!

Your base of long runs and easy runs needs to be augmented by sharpening workouts. Now, let's get back to the race conversion calculator again and plug in a 2 miler in 11 minutes. How fast should your mile time be then? It says 5 min 16.

So, you need to become a lot faster as well. The aerobic work will help. Sessions such as intervals and a bit of tempo running will help too.

Two Mile Race Strategy

The right race strategy is pretty important for the two miles as well. And possibly the true secret in how to run a faster 3200m in the very short term. The one mile is almost a case of running at close to top speed and trying to hang on for dear life. The two miles needs to be treated with a bit more care. Check out this question and my answer which provides almost a lap by lap 3200m race strategy.

I am sure you can improve quite a bit. At the moment that sub-11 minute 3200m is out of reach, but a lot is possible when you train hard and train diligently.

Best of luck.
Kind regards,

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