"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How I Train to Race One Mile

I know I never got around to explaining my 5K plan and I haven't yet got to training "curses" as promised. This is for one specific person who wanted my input on the mile. This will be extremely boring to everyone else. Proceed at your own risk!


The plan is to run 40 minutes per day every day with 200 meters at what instinctively feels like mile pace done 8 times with three minute jogged intervals (8x200@M-3).  I tend to overestimate my abilities and run too fast at first, but after several days, get into a rhythm. I estimate the 200 meter distance by counting strides; 80-90 strides will be about 200 meters, regardless of how tall you are or how fast you're going (and, to be clear, two steps is one stride; count each time your left foot hits the ground). Once you get used to this, you can get a feel for how fast you can do a mile, even without having run on a track, by how many miles you do in the 40 minutes:
4.0 miles = 7:15
4.5 = 6:20
5.0 = 5:40
5.5 = 5:05
6.0 = 4:40
6.5 = 4:15
7.0 = 3:57

Of course, you'll probably run to the nearest mile, rather than go by time, but the chart gives you an idea of where you are.


Starting with 8x200@M-3, there are several directions one can go. One can build up repetition number, decrease time, increase repetition length or decrease the rest interval. Here's some progressions I use, using a 4:00 mile basis (not that I expect anyone will run that fast, it's just useful for the math):

8x200 in 30-3, 10x200 in 30-3, ... 20x200 in 30-3, 20x200 in 30-2, 20x200 in 30-1.5, 13x300 in 45 - 1.5, 10x400 in 60-2, 8x500 in 75-3.

Occasionally, I go back to the 20x200 and try to build up to 30 reps.

8x200 in 30-3, 8x250 in 37.5-3, 8x300 in 45-3... 8x500 in 75-3.

When I can do the 8x500 workout, I'm usually ready to race. Two other methods of getting there:
8x500 in 90-3, 8x500 in 85-3...8x500 in 75-3.
4x500 in 90-3, 5x500 in 90-3...8x500 in 90-3.

Once at 8x500, I start racing, but occasionally try to continue the progression
8x500 in 75-3, 6-7x600in 90- (3-6), 5x800 in 2:00- (4-7), {4x1000 in 2:30- (4-10), 3x1200 in 3:00- (5-10).} The bracketed workouts are probably too hard to ever do, but I include them because the end stage is also attempted from another direction:

3x1200 in 3:45-5, 3x1200 in 3:30-5...3x1200 in 3:00-5.

Other progressions
8x200in 30-3, 8x200 in 29-3... 8x200 in 24-3.
From this last, there are two different directions:
8x200 in 24-3, 10x150 in (17-18) - 2.5, 16x100 in (11-12)-2.
8x200 in 24-3, 5x300 in 36-4, 4x400 in 48 - 4.5, 3x500 in 60-5.

This underlined workout is another important season goal, which can also be approached another way:
8x200 in 30-3, 5x300 in 45-3, 4x400 in 60-3, 3x500 in 75-3, 3x500 in 70-3, 3x500 in 65-3, 3x500 in 60-3.

A last progression comes from decreasing the interval:
8x200 in 30-3, 8x200 in 30-2.5... {8x200 in 30-1, 8x200in 30-0.5} This progression starts hard and becomes impossible quickly. The preferred method of decreasing interval time is simply to run as far as possible at pace, recover and finish up the distance to the mile goal. 1000 meters at mile pace is about as far as one can go at mile pace in training. The way I do it is: 1000 in 2:30, 4-5 minutes rest, 600 meters in (1:30-2:00). Once one can run 1000 at pace, followed by 600 at pace, one's ready to race one's goal race.

The way to decide how often to do the hard track interval workouts is to do the pre-season workout the day after a hard track workout, then, if one isn't able to do it comfortably as fast as one had in the preseason, to continue that workout until one can do it comfortably. The day after it's comfortable is the next hard workout.
The particular hard workout one does is chosen intuitively; don't do the workouts that seem easy as often as the ones that come with difficulty.

Ideally, each week ends up having one extensive interval workout (where one runs as much distance at pace as possible), one speed workout (where one runs faster than race pace) and one endurance workout (where ones repetitions are as long as possible). For example:
Tuesday: 20-30x200m
Thursday: 16x100
Saturday: 1000 time-trial, plus 600.
Sunday: one hour run with 3x1200 at about 5K/8K pace.


Keith said...

I can't do any of that, but it was much more interesting than the Phillies.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

This is for one specific person who wanted my input on the mile.

Wow. Keef is just outing himself all over the place, isn't he? Notorious Kanadian Krank. Oenophile. Philliephobe. Practitioner of Teh Rarified & Ancient Art of Teh Klumsily Kertwanging Nonsequitur Komment. And now ... SteveQ stalker.

For one must assume he's the "one specific person" this post was written for since his is the only comment within 24 hours.

Wow, SteveQ. Way to write to your base ... and, man, do I mean base.

Glaven Q. Heisenberg said...

So, Mr. Dead Rock Star First Alert System ... when were you planning to tell me about Capt. Beefheart?

RBR said...

Re: Tuchis vs. tuckus

Jesus! Are you EVER wrong? A smidge irritating, by the way.

Re: Alioli butter flavored Gu?