Tips for Running the Mile - Need to Improve My Mile Time

by Anish
(Delhi, India)

Hello Dominique,
I can run 5k in 24min, but I can't run 1600m in 6min. I really need some tips for running the mile, because I need to be able to run it in 6 minutes.

Answer by Dom:
Hi there,
Thanks for your question about improving your 1 mile / 1,600m time.

I don't want to discourage you, but you are a fair way off your goal time right now. When you plug in a number of 5k times into the race conversion calculator, starting with your current 5k time of 24 minutes, you get the following results:

5k time of 24 min is equivalent to a 1 mile time of 7:13 min
5k time of 23 min is equivalent to a 1 mile time of 6:55 min
5k time of 22 min is equivalent to a 1 mile time of 6:37 min
5k time of 21 min is equivalent to a 1 mile time of 6:19 min
5k time of 20 min is equivalent to a 1 mile time of 6:01 min

So, you have got your work cut out for you!

My key tips for running the mile, would start with assessing how fast you'd be able to run it currently. I'd be interested to know how fast your fastest 1,600m time is at the moment. I am going to assume it is faster than 7:13 minutes. This is generally the case when you are newer to running or you are building up your running. Your endurance needs developing. You have got some basic speed, but you quickly run out of steam.

And make no mistake about it, a 1,600m race needs your endurance! Any race 800m and up is mostly aerobic. So, as tip #1 for running the mile, building your base is going to be paramount.

In addition to that, I'd recommend browsing the running training section, especially such pages as the running workouts page which will give you a general overview of different workouts you can do to improve your running.

Focus on building that base first and foremost, then put in some faster workouts. I'd also recommend doing a healthy dosis of strides at the end of three or so running sessions per week. You need to develop your leg speed. This is important for any race, strides should be a fixture on every running program, but for the shorter distances, leg speed becomes even more important.

If I were to build a running program for you through my coaching service, a number of specific leg speed sessions would likely feature on those (depending on your further background, of which I don't know very much at the moment other than your 5k time).

Anyways, I hope that provides some tips for running the mile, some food for thought, or as a friend of mine sometimes says, food for doing!.

Best of luck.

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