How to Run the 3200m 4 Minutes Faster?

how to run the 3200m faster

What are some workouts to run a 3200m under 10 minutes? I ran a 13:20 and want to get it down 4 minutes before next year.

Answer by Dominique:

Hi there,

Thanks for reaching out with your question about improving your 3200m run time. I'm really excited to help you with this! So, let's dive in. I am going to answer your questions in the following parts:

1. Size of the improvement
2. The benefit of easy running
3. The benefits of faster running
4. The benefits of goal pace running
5. Did I disappoint you?

Size of the Improvement

how to run the 3200m faster
First off, let's talk about the size of the improvement you’re looking for, which is huge. To shave off four minutes from your run time in a year is ambitious, but may not be impossible. However, your ability to achieve this goal will largely depend on your current training level, your inherent running talent, and your willingness to work hard.

If you've been relying on natural ability and haven't really dialled down and focused on training for this distance yet, then you're in a perfect position. This means there's a lot of room for improvement and you could see a considerable decrease in your time with the right training regimen.

On the other hand, if you've already been seriously and diligently preparing for the 3200m then be prepared for progress, though potentially not as drastic. Improvement may come, but it might not be the four minutes you're aiming for.

Now, let's talk about how you're going to do this. We'll break it down into different parts.

The Benefit of Easy Running

Even though it is "only 2 miles", success in the 3200m relies heavily on your endurance. You need to build up your stamina. I'd like to see you get really comfortable with a 70-90 minute long run. If that is already comfortable, then go further than that. Not yet running that type of distance? Then check out the Increasing Mileage Safely page.

I'd also recommend 2-3 easy shorter runs (30-60 minutes) during the week.

The Benefits of Faster Running

how to run the 3200m faster
Faster running types like tempo runs, interval runs, and strides all offer specific benefits.

Tempo runs, also known as threshold runs, are long, sustained runs that improve your lactate threshold. This is the point at which lactic acid builds up in the body faster than it can be cleared away. By improving your lactate threshold, you can run faster for longer before you start to fatigue.

Interval runs involve running shorter distances at a faster pace, interspersed with periods of slower running or rest. This helps improve your cardiovascular fitness and your body's ability to handle the buildup of waste products from intense exercise. Varying your intervals (distance and intensity) will keep your workouts interesting and challenge your body in different ways.

Strides, short bursts of speed with an emphasis on quick turnover and good form, are a great way to work on running efficiency and speed without causing fatigue. These can usually be added at the end of your easy runs.

A pretty solid running program would have a tempo run and an interval run included in your weekly schedule.

The Benefits of Goal Pace Running

Goal pace running workouts require you to run specific distances at your goal pace. This is beneficial as it gets your body and mind used to the rhythm and effort needed to hit your desired time. The mind-body connection and muscle memory developed in these sessions can be a powerful tool come race day.

Closer to a race, you will want to replace some of the interval or tempo runs with goal pace workouts.

Did I Disappoint You?

how to run the 3200m faster
Note, I may have disappointed you as I did not give you any specific workouts. There are no magic workouts like say a 8 x 400m at goal pace (good workout) or a 3 x 10m tempo run (good workout), a 90 minute long run with a fast finish (good workout), or a 6 x 800m interval run (good workout) that will magically produce results.

Success lies in the consistency of showing up every day, every week, every month and moulding all of the above ingredients into a good running program. There are some better and worse workouts you can do, but in the end it is the cumulative body of work that will get you your results.

Lastly, keep in mind that rest days or easy days are needed when you are training hard. It helps prevent overtraining and aids in recovery. You'll need a clever balance of in your program, to build up the intensity and the mileage, without pushing your body to breaking point.

So, with dedicated effort and time, I believe that you will see improvements in your run time within a few months. It's an ambitious goal, but hey, reaching for the stars is how we grow. Make sure to be patient with yourself and remember that improvement isn't necessarily linear. You’ve got a whole year to make progress and I have faith you'll get faster if you stay consistent.

Hope this helps and wishing you the best of the luck on your running journey.

Kind regards,

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