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Run A Mile Faster by Going HARD in the Second Half

Updated on February 24, 2014

<< Part 2 <<

So you still enjoy running a mile, have tried out my first slight modification and want a little more variety. Am I right?

I know it can get boring if you're running the same type of run over and over again.

Let me help add another modification to your workout grab bag for your mile runs.

Variety in your workouts is going to keep your workouts fun and it's going to keep your body guessing. That means more progress for you because you won't give up as quickly and your body will have to adapt even more to keep up with the changes. So let's get started!

Are you ready to run?

Are you sure? Let's check...

  • Do you have good running shoes?
  • Do you have water for before and after your run?
  • Do you have a stopwatch or watch to time yourself?
  • Did you stretch and warm up?

If you mentally answered yes 4 times, then skip to the next section; you're ready! If you said yes out loud, who are you talking to!?

You need to have good running shoes in order to run at your full potential. You don't want to be halfway through your run and have to stop because your feet hurt or your stride's all messed up. Do yourself a favor and get some decent running shoes and make running a bit more comfortable.

Water is VERY important! But you knew that already, right? We're made up of mostly water and won't function properly if we're not hydrated. Anytime you break a sweat you're going to have to replenish that water. So drink some water before your runs and have some waiting for you after you're done.

If you aim to improve your mile run time then you need to keep track of your results. It's not hard to do, just bring a watch or a stopwatch along and time yourself. Write down your results each time and when you run this run again aim to beat your old best time. You're good competition; outrun the slower you of the past.

The last step you need to take before you start any run is to warm up. You may be in great shape and can easily run a mile, but if you don't warm up you may have to cut your run short or be disappointed with your time. Stretch and warm up to be sure that you'll run at your best and reduce the risk of injury.

Alright, let's get into the workout.

Care to compete?

Let's have a friendly competition. Once you've tried this, post your results in a comment below. Don't be shy; I'm sure some of you are a lot faster than me! I'm not much of a distance runner. Here's what you need to post:

  • The DATE you did ran it
  • Your AGE and GENDER
  • Your HEIGHT and WEIGHT
  • If you ran it outside or on a treadmill
  • Time for the 2nd half of the mile (if you remember to keep track)
  • Total time for the whole mile
  • Did you like the workout?
  • Will you do it again?

Here are my results:

July 28, 2007

  • 25 year old Male, 6'3" and about 230lbs.
  • Ran this outside and managed to run the second half in 3 minutes and 31 seconds.
  • The total run took me 7 minutes and 54 seconds and I love this modification. I use it often.

September 28, 2007

  • Same guy, same age and height, but I think I was around 240lbs.
  • Ran it outisde again and managed to run the second half in 3 minutes and 23 seconds.
  • The total run took me 7 minutes and 30 seconds.
  • So this workout has definitely helped me boost my endurance and run faster, even at a heavier weight! I love simple modifications like this, don't you?


The Workout

Alright, now break out a pad of paper because you know how complicated I like to make my workouts. You can take a break in between taking notes if you need to. Ready? Let's begin.

I want you to jog the first half of the mile and then run hard, maybe even sprint, the second half mile back.

Yes, it's that simple again. You might think this little change won't amount to much but believe me it does. Once again it's like we're breaking your run into two long intervals. Sticking at a steady pace is actually easier and easy doesn't breed the best results.

You can really work on boosting your endurance with a modification like this. You'll develop a strong "second wind".

After you've warmed up you'll start out by jogging at a nice pace, whatever you're use to. This will help get you completely warmed up for the second half. You won't be pushing yourself too hard but I know you'll get anxious once you see that halfway mark. Just hold off until you make it there; keep that energy on reserve.

Once you cross the halfway point go ahead and burst into a full out run! Personally I like to look down at my watch and remember how fast I ran the first half so I know how fast I ran the second half too. You already have half a mile behind you and now you're starting to push hard; training your body for runs like this will help boost your endurance. You can break into a sprint if you can handle that pace but I usually wait until the finish line is in sight to run that hard. Then I push as hard as I can and sometimes you don't realize where the strength's coming from but you're picking up speed at the end.

That's it, that's the workout! Go ahead and walk or jog slowly back to your car and drink some water along the way. Don't stop immediately and sit down, your body isn't going to like that. Your blood is pumping hard after a run like that and you have to help cool it down again.

>> Continue Reading Part 3 >>

More Tips To Improve Your Speed

Did This Help YOU Improve Your Mile Run Time?

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    • profile image


      3 years ago

      14 years old

      5'4 and 116 lbs

      Outside on a cross country course


    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I'm 14, 87 pounds and 5'. My best mile time is 7:04, and I've been working at it since August. hopefully I can break under 7 minutes by the summer!

    • Bendo13 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Guinter 

      6 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      I'm not sure what you mean by 8.5 of a mile, David? If that's your time for one whole mile then that's not bad at all, especially for your size.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I am 27 weigh 250 and im 5'7 I can run 8.5 of a mile in 7.43.57 is that good been working at it for a while

    • profile image

      Swirls layer 

      6 years ago

      Hey I'm 6 foot tall 175 lbs




      I'm trying to get 5:00 eventually

    • Bendo13 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Guinter 

      6 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      That's awesome, Kenny... glad to see you're in the 9 minute range now!

      Keep at it and you'll keep getting faster!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      mile run 1. 11.10 seconds

      2. 13. 15

      3. 9. 10 seconds..

      this thing helps...

    • Bendo13 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Guinter 

      7 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      That's a great time, RW!

      Your workout sounds a bit to endurance-based for me but I'm sure it'd be handy for track or cross country!

    • profile image


      7 years ago


      15 yrs, M

      5’3, 107 Lbs

      Ran outside

      2nd half of the mile was 2:30


      The workout was fine

      I would prefer to do this workout. 6-11 times 600 meter run, no rest. After finish 1 600 meter run, simply just jog 200 m and run it again.

    • Bendo13 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Guinter 

      7 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Thanks, Ic... thanks for reading ;)!

    • profile image

      Ic moorebuts 

      7 years ago

      ***** -5 stars :D

    • Bendo13 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Guinter 

      8 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Thanks for reading, Healthy Living Is!

    • Healthy Living Is profile image

      Healthy Living Is 

      8 years ago from allergies, people, flowers. health, diet, art, medicine, mental health

      Great Post

      I need to loose a few pounds

    • Bendo13 profile imageAUTHOR

      Ben Guinter 

      9 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Exactly Imerson, don't get stuck in a rut because you're doing workouts that you're use to because guess what? Your body's use to them too!

      Add variety to your workouts from the beginning and avoid ever hitting a plateau.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Once you have reached the plateau, it's time to add variety to your performance. Modifying the workout is a great way to motivate yourself to look forward to the next workout.


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