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How To Run A Mile Faster

Updated on May 13, 2015

Want to go for a quick run?

Come on, let's get some exercise. I won't make you run the whole mile hard. At least I'll try to make it interesting.

So why run a mile?

Well, it's a pretty common distance to run; it's not overly long but it's still a challenge. And I don't like to run much farther than a mile; long distance runners don't usually have much muscle to them. A long distance runner will probably have nice definition, but they won't have much muscle on their body, and I love my muscle and strength too much to risk it.

Running A Mile

Ah the timed mile run, do you remember your first time?

I think mine was in gym class and I didn't enjoy it at all.

I wasn't in shape for it and I knew I HAD to run it in a certain time or I didn't get a passing grade for that day, or something along those lines.

We'd run around the edge of a field a few times and then try to run hard at the end, to impress the gym teacher.

But now a mile doesn't seem that long of a distance. In fact, my senior year in high school (2000), I ran the whole mile backwards (my back crossed the line before my front did) and I was wearing jeans.

So, the timed mile has lost its dreaded atmosphere, at least for me.

Are you ready to try a mile run with me?

Well, make sure that you've got some good running shoes; nothing too worn out. Your feet will thank you! Good cushioning goes a long way with running shoes. Believe me, you can tell the difference.

And you'll also want a stopwatch of some type to gauge your progress; I use a digital wristwatch.

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 1st half of the mile (if you remember it)
  • Total time for the whole mile
  • Did you like the workout?
  • Will you do it again?

Here are my results:

July 5th, 2007 - I'm a 25 year old Male, I'm almost 6'3" and was around 243lbs when I ran this. I ran it outside on a paved track and for the first half of the mile it took me 3 minutes and 4 seconds (3:04). The total mile took me 7 minutes and 57 seconds (7:57 - that's the date too), so the second half of the mile took me 4 minutes and 53 seconds (4:53). All in all, it wasn't a bad run for ME; running the first part hard pays off. I don't know if I liked the workout when I was running it as much as I did when I finished, but I'll definitely do it again.

August 1st, 2007:

  • I was probably around 228lbs or a little more.
  • I ran it inside on a track and the first half of the mile took me 2 minutes and 58 seconds (2:58).
  • The total mile took me 7 minutes and 58 seconds (7:58), so the second half of the mile took me 5 minutes this time.
  • I may have taken a second longer this time around, but my focus is on improving the first half of my mile. I improved my half mile run by 6 seconds, so that's decent.
  • I'm getting used to running like this, can't wait to see what I can do next month.

September 28th, 2007:

  • I was probably around 240lbs (yeah I gained some weight in 2 months - but not all fat believe me)
  • I ran outside with a friend and the first half took me 2 minutes 51 seconds (2:51) and the second half of the mile took me 4 minutes 38 seconds (4:38).
  • Total Mile time: 7:29. So I improved my mile time by 29 seconds in two months and that's with me being heavier.
  • I improved both halves, but you can see a huge improvement in the second half (22 seconds).
  • It was great to workout with someone and this was an "easy" mile, not full out. I love this little mile run modification.


The Workout

Alright, now let's move onto the basic structure of "my workout". It's really technical, are you ready for it?

You run the first half hard and the second half is just a nice-paced jog.

Man, let that sink it. Let me know when you're ready to move on.

Alright, I set it up like that so that it's almost two long intervals, three if you count running hard at the end. Plus, it's a little easier than running the whole mile hard. It'll help you work on getting a fast start in your mile and setting a faster pace for the first half. That fast pace may even carry over into the second half.

Plus, you'll still get a decent endurance workout, because you don't stop at the halfway mark. You'll want try to jog the rest back, after running the first half mile pretty hard.

And, if you're able to, feel free to sprint the first half... I know I try to. Run it hard; try to get a good time for your first half. Now don't stop the timer when you get halfway; just look at your watch and try to remember how fast you ran the first half. The first time I did this my "jog" was more like a fast prance on the way back, until I caught my breath.

Pace yourself though, do what you think you can handle, just don't give up. If you have to walk some on the way back, then go right ahead. It's almost an art, trying to figure out when you should run hard and how hard you should run. Now, when I see the finish line, I like to kick hard and finish fast. That gives me a slightly better time and it adds in another interval, since it's a different intensity than your jogging pace.

Now, that doesn't seem too bad, does it? It definitely is a good workout though, especially if you like to test yourself with running. This may be nothing new to you; I just like trying different things with my running workouts.

And isn't it nice how the faster you run, the shorter your run has to be, time-wise, to feel like you got a good workout? That's why I like to go more by distance (instead of by time) with my cardio workouts. Go hard and have the distance you want to go mapped out in your mind, before you even start. Don't hop on the treadmill and say, "I'm going to run for 20 minutes," it's not as effective.

Now, go on, try this yourself and don't forget to warm up first!

>> Continue Reading Part 2 >>

© 2007 Ben Guinter

How Do You Like This Slight Modification?

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    • profile image

      Perbhat Kumar 2 years ago

      Male

      14

      5/7

      137 Lbs

      6:22 mile

      Just ran it today, my time improved almost 26 seconds in the past 3 weeks!

    • profile image

      Someone 2 years ago

      Somewhere around dec 2014

      8th grade

      5"4"

      13 age

      8th grade

      Outside

      5:17 mile

    • profile image

      noah 3 years ago

      6 feet tall

      soccer player 165 pounds

      7:30 mile

    • profile image

      Jordan 3 years ago

      Male 5' 9'' 134 pounds Age 13 Mile Time 6:46 Outdoor track

    • profile image

      Simohamed Benk 3 years ago

      I'm 13 years old and in 7th grade , I'm 1meter and 59 centimeters, I weigh between 46 and 47 Kg

      On an outdoor track I ran 1200m which is a mile, I think in 5:08 min

      It was June 6, 2014

    • profile image

      Amanda H. 3 years ago

      I am 75 pounds, I am 5 foot, I am 13 years old and I am a girl. My time for an outside mile was 7 minutes and 50 seconds, every time that I run the mile I get better at it. I ran with music and I am starting to enjoy it a little more too. :-)

    • profile image

      di did 3 years ago

      15

      road

      4:38

      train for a club for 6 months

      6 foot

    • profile image

      payton 3 years ago

      13 male

      127

      7:15

      Track

    • profile image

      Morgan 3 years ago

      I'm 13

      108

      6:38

      for 2 miles

      14:28

    • profile image

      Otis 3 years ago

      I'm 13 5'2 and I do xc and my fast split was in state I did a 5:10 and a 11:11

      2 mi.

    • Bendo13 profile image
      Author

      Ben Guinter 4 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      That's great, Jack!

      You ran a mile faster than I ever have before and I've been alive almost 3 times as long as you have.

    • profile image

      jack 4 years ago

      i am eleven i ran the mile in 6:30 i am eighty pounds and height 5 ft is that good

    • Bendo13 profile image
      Author

      Ben Guinter 4 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Sean, I'm not sure what the average weight is for someone your age and height, but if you're running 2 miles at that pace, and it wasn't your best, then you probably have your body pretty finely tuned, in terms of weight. When it comes to running, some days are good, some days aren't... it really depends on a lot of things, like how you slept the night before, how you've been eating lately (were you properly fueled), what's on your mind at the time of the race (were you distracted) and a lot of other factors. I wouldn't worry too much about your weight; I'd focus more on getting good sleep, eating a clean diet, staying focused and training with others who are really going to push you hard. If you placed second, I'm sure you can beat the guy on another day... just stay focused and don't obsess too much over your weight. You're doing pretty awesome so far!

    • profile image

      Sean 4 years ago

      Male 13 years old 5 feet 6 inches 110 I got a 12:29 on my 2 mile race today. Wasn't my best I got second place. Im always worrying about my weight I don't really know what the average weight is for someone like me . I need help please!

    • profile image

      Tim 4 years ago

      I'm 41 Male, 5'10" and 190 pounds. I am training for a marathon in November. I decided at the end of 5 mile run this past week to push my last mile and see where I ended up. I ran a 6:36 mile. Felt pretty good :-)

    • profile image

      Gary 4 years ago

      Male

      12

      5'5

      125 lbs.6:52 mile (last night at like 9:00 haha!)

      Back in Tennessee I had like an 8:51(6th grade) but now I live in the Bay Area and we have more frequent runs so I've really improved.

    • Bendo13 profile image
      Author

      Ben Guinter 4 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Hey Alison, sorry to hear about your knee. For softball I would do short sprints because that's the type of running you do in that sport. Short sprints to the base or short sprints to run and catch the ball. So, you don't really have to train with mile runs for softball; short sprints would help you out a lot more.

      Find out the distance between the bases and do sprints for that distance. Or, if you play in the outfield, figure out the farthest distance you'd have to run to catch a ball or to cover a base, and do sprints at that distance. The shorter distance runs will be better for your sport and your knee.

    • profile image

      Alison 4 years ago

      Female

      14 years old

      5'5

      145

      Outdoor track

      Was at 9:58 and got an inflammed tendon in my knee and went back up to 10:19. I play softball and looking to get it in under 9 minutes. For the sport I play should I do more short sprints or more endurance? Thanks

    • profile image

      Cool 4 years ago

      Male

      15 years old

      5'9"

      141 lbs

      indoor track

      6:14 mile

    • profile image

      unkown 5 years ago

      Male

      16 years old

      5'10

      144 lbs

      outdoor track

      5:57 mile

    • profile image

      Kimberly 5 years ago

      Female

      15 years old

      5'2

      123 lbs

      Indoor track

      First half 3:02

      Mile 6:28

    • profile image

      yo soy 5 years ago

      Age: 15

      Mar-30-11 mile 6:55

      MApr-22-12 mile 5:56 thanks to track

    • profile image

      taylor 5 years ago

      age:11

      weight:95

      third mile:8 minutes

      first mile:10 minutes

      second mile:9 minutes

    • profile image

      Chris 5 years ago

      I'm 15 and my weight is 236 I'm 6'1 and my mile is 6:30 and the way that I'm able to do that is because my football coaches run us all the time wich makes u faster so another way would to join a sport like soccer or football

    • profile image

      Caroline 5 years ago

      Female, 12 years old

      Outdoor track, 7:55

      I had to run it for gym class because our school requires us to do the presidential fitness challenge, which in order to get a presidential mile time for a twelve year old girl you had to get an 8:23 or below, so i guess I did okay.

    • profile image

      Moose man 5 years ago

      i am an 8 year old and it took me 8 minutes and 40 seconds to run a mile

    • Bendo13 profile image
      Author

      Ben Guinter 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      You just have to get your body use to the distance, LB... and running ability is one of those things that goes away if you stop training. So, if you want to boost your running and really be able to push hard through that last lap, just be sure to run that distance anywhere from 2 to 4 times a week, just to get use to the distance.

      Your practice runs don't all have to be record breakers; your goal with them is to just be use to the distance. Then, once you want to time yourself, you'll know that you can push hard and make it through the whole distance.

      It's all about getting to know what your body is capable of and knowing what pace to run at. You'll learn more about your abilities the more often you run.

    • profile image

      LB 5 years ago

      This is my first year running and I am on the 1 mile. So far I have been having trouble running my last lap at track meets. How do I keep from fatigue on the last lap and becoming last. My times so far is 9:14, 9:00,and currently 8 something.

    • Bendo13 profile image
      Author

      Ben Guinter 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      That's awesome, Sarah! Glad to see such a good improvement and I hope you made the team.

      That is pretty dang good, Emma! Keep it up.

    • profile image

      tommy 5 years ago

      14 year old male 5'6 ran school track meet 4:30 hard

    • profile image

      Emma 5 years ago

      13 year old girl

      total time: 5:32

      weight: 106ish...

      is this time good for my age???

      I love to run!!!! is this time good for

    • profile image

      Sarah 5 years ago

      Hi it's Sarah again. I got 7:34 as my time on monday! I went from a 9:03 at the end of last year to 7:34 at the beginning of this year without even training! Thank you for your help. :)

    • profile image

      Anonymous 5 years ago

      12 male 4 foot 8 75 lbs

      6:36

      I ran this on my school track. Hopefully the next time i run it i can get into the 5 minute mark

    • Bendo13 profile image
      Author

      Ben Guinter 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Yeah, that's definitely good, alex! If it's something you really want to accomplish, then I'm sure you can become the best runner in your high school. Great job!

    • profile image

      alex 5 years ago

      Age: 14

      Gender: female

      Height: 5' 1

      Weight: 80

      Mile time: 6:12

      Ran on an inside track, and had to do 13 laps in total

      I am the second best runner in my whole high school and was wondering if this was good, I'm just a freshmen but I also did cross country

    • Bendo13 profile image
      Author

      Ben Guinter 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      That's a great time, trackgirl01... congrats! All I can really suggest is what I suggested to Sarah above... find someone you know runs faster than you and make sure you run beside them during practice. Let them make the pace for both of you and just stick with them the whole time.

      Then, when you're closing in on the finish line, try your hardest to outrun that person and finish stronger than they do. If you can hang in there at their pace you'll eventually get use to that pace, and it should be even faster than what you're use to. Plus, by trying to outrun them at the end, you train yourself to really finish strong, which can shave a lot of time off your mile.

      You seem to have a lot of the pieces in place to help you improve. But I think competing against someone just a step above you, hanging with them and then knowing when to take over and beat them will really help you.

    • profile image

      trackgirl01 5 years ago

      When I ran it: last night

      Age:16

      Gender: Female

      Height: 5'6

      Weight: 110

      Ran it on an outdoor track

      1st half: 2:51

      Total: 5:55

      I run highschool track, so I run hard every single day. I finally got a sub 6 mile last night during the first meet of spring track! :) I really want to keep improving and hopefully qualify for states, so do you have any tips to help me? I run so much and eat super healthy, and also do 15-30 minutes of core each night. Thanks :)

    • Bendo13 profile image
      Author

      Ben Guinter 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      That's not too bad, Sarah... but I do know it can be a challenge to breathe the way you need to in cold weather like that. For your treadmill workout be sure to use at least a 1% incline and you really only need to train for a mile, if that's the distance you need to run.

      If you know the time that you have to beat in order to make the team then set your treadmill to a speed that has you beat that time by a little bit. See if your body can take it and really try to zone out into music or TV or something so that you don't even think about running. Just let your legs move as they need to to keep you on the treadmill.

      If it's too much of a challenge then you can slow it down a little but you should always train to run HARD right near the end, to shave off some extra time and finish strong.

      If you can get your body use to a pace that is slightly faster than you need to run the mile in, then you'll know the pace you're going to need to keep. You're really going to have to make that time through mental power, since you don't have much time to train.

      So, when the day comes you have to run it, pair up with someone you know is going to run the mile fast enough to make the team. Then all you have to do is stay with them - I know it will suck, but all you want to be thinking about is that finish line... because you only have to run it this once and it's less than 10 minutes of work. You can force your body to do it and deal with the exhaustion aftward.

      So, train to find the pace you need to stick to, keep pace with someone faster than you and when you see that finish line is getting close then just dig down deep and run as fast as you can.

      Hope that helps!

    • profile image

      Sarah 5 years ago

      Age: 13

      Female

      Weight: 107

      Time: 9:03

      Yes, I know my time is horribly horrible, and I get so out of breath after one lap on the filed in 40 degree weather. I play lacrosse 5 times a week, yet I am HORRIBLE at running. On monday, I have to run the mile, and I need to get a much better time so I can be on the a team lacrosse for my school. Please help! Today I will be running two miles on my treadmill. We will be running in 40 degree weather on monday. I am loooking for advice, really helpful advice on how to get a much faster mile time without getting out of breath and being really fast.

    • Bendo13 profile image
      Author

      Ben Guinter 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Schedule a few runs a week, but don't push yourself too hard too soon, Bunni... all you can really do is gradually start exercising more, keep up on your sleep, eat healthy and stick to it (which is the biggest thing). The longer you continue to be more active the better your results will be in the long run.

      That's pretty dang good, TND! You made the team, so that's a plus and you're probably one of the faster kids on the team... so don't worry about not being the fastest. I'm sure after a few weeks of practice you'll be even more fit.

    • profile image

      TND 5 years ago

      AGE - 14

      Weight - 150

      Mile Time: 5:27

      Is this good, or bad. I'm not sure. We had to do a timed mile for Varsity hockey, and I made the team, but there were people still faster than me.

    • profile image

      Bunni 5 years ago

      I'm 16, female, 5'5, and 130 pounds...

      I ran the mile in ten minutes.

      I'm slow right now because I'm out of shape.

      How do I get back into shape?

    • profile image

      casey 5 years ago

      20 degrees outside ran the mile in 7:34 secs

    • profile image

      jordan 5 years ago

      ran a 5:26 mile secound place for track and feild

    • profile image

      james 5 years ago

      15 male 5'10 4:12

    • Bendo13 profile image
      Author

      Ben Guinter 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      That's awesome, Tyler... you reached your goal! The 3rd place finish doesn't matter as much as beating the record you aimed to achieve. You're really improving!

    • profile image

      Tyler 5 years ago

      Ran my mile today.

      3rd place 6:26

    • profile image

      Tyler 5 years ago

      Male

      13 years old

      5'6

      137lbs

      6:46 outdoor

      I ran this in PE on monday and was my new record.

      I play baseball and consider myself to have horrible stamina.

      I have another mile run tommorow morning and plan on getting under 6:30 and place 1st

      I

    • profile image

      wazzeldazzel 5 years ago

      on july 2nd 2011 i started a challenge .....i weighed 248 pounds trained for the marathon 4 months later and weighed in at 185 pounds ran a marathon time of 3hrs 48 mins now in training for my first 5 k run and tonight beat my pb with a time of 19.26 that's a 6.16 mile pace my first mile was 5.49 but when i started 6 months ago i was running at 9.30 mins a mile so anyone can do it you just need the drive.....get a friend whose close to your times and really go for beating each others times....it works let me tell you.....by the way i won that competition

    • profile image

      wazzeldazzel 5 years ago

      Done my first mile of my 5k run tonight in 5.49

    • profile image

      lauran wiliams 5 years ago

      Girl

      9years old

      4'6"

      82lbs

      12:13on an outdoor track 2 days ago

    • profile image

      Shan 5 years ago

      Girl

      16years old

      5'7"

      First half 2:31

      5:17 on an outdoor track 2 days ago

    • Bendo13 profile image
      Author

      Ben Guinter 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      I give a TON of methods to help you improve your speed in the rest of the articles in this series and in all the comments above, haley...

      But I've never really had the "side stitch" problem myself, so I don't have personal tips on that but I have heard that you should wait at least an hour after you eat before you run, try to breathe more by expanding your belly as well as your chest and to either massage the sore spot or actually grunt as you exhale... some of those methods might help you.

      I hope your running improves even more!

    • profile image

      haley 5 years ago

      thanks, how should i work up my speed? I get intensely bad side stitches while running and they slow me down. Sometimes they will stay for the rest of the day if i keep running through them, do you have any tips?

    • Bendo13 profile image
      Author

      Ben Guinter 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Yeah haley, that's pretty fast... Especially in the cold, windy weather... good job!

    • profile image

      haley 5 years ago

      Im a girl,

      15

      5'7

      weigh 105

      ran outside in the wind and 30 degree weather in 6 minutes and 6 seconds, is that fast?? for my age?

    • profile image

      Matt 5 years ago

      Forgot to add im 20 years old

    • profile image

      Matt 5 years ago

      Male

      6'5 300 pounds

      outdoors not really windy time was around 8:50

    • profile image

      Someone 5 years ago

      boy

      11 years old

      outdoor track

      no wind

      time 7:00

    • profile image

      EatMyDust98 5 years ago

      girl

      13 years old

      outdoor track

      no wind really

      time: 4:57

      im pretty proud of myself, but i really want to do better! i run for my middle school and hold the record for fastest to run a mile, and 2 miles. i joined crosscountry and am the best on the team. its great leg strength for horse back riding. (why i run) honestly to anyone who rides, the best way to get more leg muscule is running!

    • Bendo13 profile image
      Author

      Ben Guinter 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Awesome time, Shaddow... Especially going against the wind!

    • profile image

      Shaddow 5 years ago

      Male:13

      140 lbs

      Mile: 5:30

      Outside against wind

    • Bendo13 profile image
      Author

      Ben Guinter 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Those are some good times, lee! Congrats on improving your overall fitness too!

      Currently I've been doing short, sprint intervals on a treadmill, since it's all wintery outside. I'd warm up at 6 mph, walk at 3 mph and sprint at 10 mph... I'd alternate back and forth between walking and sprinting and then cool down at 6 mph again.

      I normally don't like to run much longer than a mile because I want to hold onto more of my bulk and muscle build for brute strength...

    • profile image

      lee wakefield 5 years ago

      weighed 101 kg run every day for 12 weeks now i weigh 85 kg and im the fittest ive been , 7 mile run takes me 53 mins quickest 51 mins target nxt yr to get 47 mins so bendo13 u got a lot of comments on here how far do u run

    • Bendo13 profile image
      Author

      Ben Guinter 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Nice job, Andrew! Good to see a fellow runner that's the same height as me. I know how it feels to run at a weight like that too; most people would give up! Glad to see you ran the whole thing... stick to it and you'll keep getting faster!

    • profile image

      Andrew 5 years ago

      Male 6'3 295lbs ran mile in 8 min 17 seconds

    • profile image

      ap 5 years ago

      Thanks for the positive respone Bendo i will keep up the training i have the showcase tomorrow in London so hopefully i do well.

      I checked out the link you gave me very helpful :)

    • Bendo13 profile image
      Author

      Ben Guinter 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      With times like those, I'm sure you'll get a scholarship, ap! The longer you train, the better you'll get, I'm sure...

      Check this out to see how well you're doing...

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mile_run_world_record...

    • profile image

      ap 5 years ago

      Is that true i am quite shocked and yes it is accurate i did it yesterday in 24.41 seconds and was curious if it was good or not i am training for a scolarship in America so i started running 5 miles per day thanks for the feedback Bendo :)

    • Bendo13 profile image
      Author

      Ben Guinter 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Yeah, if those times are accurate, ap... then you are running pretty dang fast!

      You would have been the fastest woman in the world in 1962, for your single mile time...

      And you would have been the fastest woman in the world (5 times in a row) in 1954, with your average mile time for 5 miles...

      So what do you think... is that good? ;)

    • profile image

      ap 5 years ago

      i need some advice is running 5miles in 24.41 seconds good?

    • profile image

      ap 5 years ago

      age 17 female

      height 5,4

      i run 1 mile in 4:40

    • Bendo13 profile image
      Author

      Ben Guinter 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      That's a pretty good time for not being used to running the mile, Noe! Stick with it and keep your body used to running longer distances and I'm sure you'll be happy with your 5K race time!

    • profile image

      Noe 5 years ago

      Age: 13

      Height: 4'9" -.-

      Weight: 80 lbs

      Date of the mile: December 8th 2010

      Time: 7:40

      Outdoor track- my middle school's

      i've only ran short distances since then.

      haven't actually raced it since that date, i've only jogged it with my friends.

      Going to try to do it today, i am training to do a 5k race by March 15.

      Going to check if i have improved.

    • Bendo13 profile image
      Author

      Ben Guinter 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Awesome, Alex! Glad to hear you're still at it... keep overcoming those obstacles and nothing can hold you back!

      Hmmm, so it could be the sleep... and even stress from not having much time, trihard. The next time you're going to run a race (a timed one) try to schedule your day so you can get an extra hour or so of sleep the night before the race and see if that helps you any. Your body repairs a lot during your sleep and the less sleep you have the slower you progress.

    • profile image

      trihard 5 years ago

      From what they told it does look like they get more sleep than me, but that can't be helped because that's time I spend studying. Nutritionally I'm doing well. Don't really have a lot of free time even on the weekend at the most 5 hours on a typical Saturday and some of that is spent stretching. Only physical things I do is with my teammates, which all except one said that its the only thing they do too, it usually consist running, swimming, cycling, core, and light weight workouts.

    • profile image

      Alex 5 years ago

      Hey Bendo, I had a foot bruise so I thought I couldn't run, but I tried on my back up shoes(skeletoes) and it felt fine. I got a suprisingly good time for a somewhat hilly course - 21:36 (same as last 5k haha!)

      I was very happy I actually ran it because I hadn't gone out to run for a week. No need to reply to this post, I'm just telling you how it went :)

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      Ben Guinter 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Hmmm... well trihard, if you are all training the same way you will have to look at other aspects of your life. Do they get better sleep than you? Do they eat differently than you? Do you do other strenuous activity outside of your training that could be overtraining your body? Or do you sit around all day, which makes it harder for your training to take effect?

      Results come from more than just the time you put in at the gym or on the track... I mean, think of the hours you put in working out and compare that to the hours that you aren't working out. You can't out exercise a bad lifestyle. So, if I were you, I'd ask your friends for advice on what they do different or just observe how they live, see how it's different from your life and make some changes in their direction.

      If you all are about the same age and size and you all train the same way, then it has to be the lifestyle.

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      trihard 5 years ago

      hey bendo13, I'm a 17 yo male weigh 129 height is 5'9"

      I've seem to have a reached a plateau in the 5k and I have no idea what to do about it. Me and my friends train a lot for triathlons and they don't seem to have the same plateau problem and are quickly leaving me behind despite the same training routine. They are currently knocking on the 16min door while I'm still trying to break 18min. Why is this happening and what can I do about it?

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      Ben Guinter 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      During the race, I would run in some kind of slow increase in speed, Alex... You'll have to go by what your body is capable of and pick specific distances where you want to pick up the pace a little bit, but it's always best not to try to go full bore too early... and if you pick a decent pace for the whole race, you may actually have been able to run a bit faster for half of it. So slowly increase your speed at different increments.

      But when you're training I would do something similar, but mix it up and run at different paces for your intervals so that you don't get bored and your body keeps improving... like from time to time you can do the opposite of what you know to work and go all out at first and then slow down when you can't take that pace anymore, and just cruise through the rest of the distance. That would be a way to challenge your body in a way it's not use to. But I always sprint when I see the finish line, to get it stuck in your head to go all out every time you finish. But as you train with different paces at different intervals, keep track of your times... see which grouping of intervals/paces really gives you the best time and stick with that one when it's time to race or when you want to set a new PR.

      That's a good plan, Mo! I run on the treadmill at the moment and it's really great when it's bad outside to just hop on there and have the treadmill push you to keep you at a certain pace. Plus you can control the hills and all that good stuff too.

      But I can understand that... when I tried out for soccer my senior year the coach said he wouldn't coach me because he never coached me before? So I practiced with the JV team, a team I couldn't play on because I was a senior, and then ended up being kicked off the team because I missed some practices because I had a job...

      All you can do now is be your own coach, when others don't seem to be helping you, and prove that it was their loss... if you can get back to eating a little better I'm sure you'll see even more progress... excess weight can really slow you down and you need good fuel in your body for races!

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      Mo 5 years ago

      @Bendo13 Thanks for the tip! I'm also going to ask my mom to buy a treadmill to get some training when I'm not running. If I want to get even close to Varsity XC I need 5 minute miles.

      And in 6th grade I was in my prime. I was faster and NEVER used to eat like I do now(Soda , chips, you name it) I used to drink so much water and eat tons of fruit but I got lazy. In 7th grade I tried out for the basketball team, despite being one of the best dribblers and best shots I wasn't allowed on the team because I was to short. It discouraged me and I just stopped.

      When I was younger I played soccer and basketball every year. Then the stupid coach in 7th grade ruined my chance of ever being a great runner by making me stop sports.

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      Alex 5 years ago

      Yet another comment from me :).

      I'm sorry this doesn't have to do with the mile, but because you have been so helpful I thought I should ask you a question about 5k's.

      On Thanksgiving I ran a 21:36 5k (had some minor hills) and that is my PR. I ran at a steady pace of 6:58. For a 5k do you think I should just run at a steady pace or do some type of interval? Thanks!

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      Ben Guinter 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Mo, when you run a longer distance, your average mile time is going to be a bit slower than your fastest mile time (unless that 7:15 wasn't a mile run on its own?)

      When you run just a mile, you can go full bore, because you know you don't have 2.1 more miles to go in your 5K... but when you're running a 5K, you pace yourself a bit so that you can finish strong and not burn out too soon.

      You seem to have made a good amount of progress with your 5K time and it appears that you're slowly getting your body use to being more active again. I think your goal is attainable if you stick with it. Continue to run every week, get your rest and add variations to your runs. Test your body in ways its not use to and it will give you the adaptations you want.

      I think you hit the nail on the head though... you took a couple years off from the sports and might have lost a little endurance. So if you want to improve (or even just stay as fit as you are now) you have to "use it or lose it" and just keep on the path you're on now.

      You already dropped almost 5 minutes off your 5K time and you don't even have to drop that much to reach your goal... about 3 minutes faster and you're there! So keep doing what you're doing!

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      Mo 5 years ago

      Hi!

      My mile time has gotten worse! In 6th grade I got my best mile time yet , 7:15! I recently did a 5k and my split times were 7:31! My first 5k I did in May 2011 with a 28:06 now it's down to a 23:18. I'm in 10th grade now. Also, in 7th and 8th grade I did not sports at all.

      Did my legs develop for a long distance runner? I'm only 5'1" 95 pounds and I'm a 15 year old male! Any tips to get the time in between 6:10-6:30 will be great!

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      Ben Guinter 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      That's a pretty decent drop in a month, Michael S.! I think you can reach your goal if you continue to push yourself and aim to hit a new PR at least once every week or two. I know sometimes it sucks and you don't feel into running, but once it's done and you've hit a new goal it will feel amazing. So just train your mind to help you push through it, use music to take your mind off running and help you pick up the pace if you need to, and you'll reach your goal!

      That's a great time, Thomas! And yeah, I'm sure that lacross game bogged you down a little but you have the drive to beat the guy that got first place. Hopefully next time you'll be well-rested before the race... or you could possibly jump up to running 3 miles a week, to really get your body use to the distance, if you want.

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      Thomas 5 years ago

      Age- 13

      Male

      5-6 120lb

      4:56

      I wasn't happy with my time I came in second place in my race although I was only running like 2 miles a week and he was running 20. And I had a lacrosse game the day before but I'll definitely do it again.

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      Michael S. 5 years ago

      I am age 17 height of 5-11 and weight of 180. I started my 1-3 mile 5 or so times a week run about a month ago and have seen an improvement of 8:45 to around 8:00 to 8:15 a mile. Is this a good improvement? I need to really try to get to 7 minutes within the next 5 months because i ship out for basic training May 22 for the national guard and want to be able to live through their running at base.

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      Ben Guinter 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Wow... those are great times, Kubiak Runenr! All I can suggest is variety... I mean, you're on the top teir so you have to take your body outside of what it's use to.

      Read through my suggestions in the comments above for different ways to target your body during your runs, read all the parts of this article series and also check out my other running series (which I've linked to above).

      Once you've trained your body in different ways you should have that extra push to get you in the lead... but you know it's all a mental game and you have to know what your body is capable of and when to really push hard.

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      Kubiak Runenr 5 years ago

      Hi, I have PR'd for the mile at 4:16, and for my half about 1:55, and for the 3000 m about 8:54. What do I do to get faster and beat the top runners in college?

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      Ben Guinter 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      I would probably choose snowshoe running, Alex... I use to run in the snow in regular running shoes and it got really annoying because you couldn't really push hard or you'd slip. But snowshoe running would help give you more traction and is closer to running than cross country skiing.

      I bet it'd be a good challenge for you, pushing off of snow, as opposed to solid ground, and having the extra weight of the snowshoe. It's always good to train your body in different ways and that seems like a good way to improvise.

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      Alex 5 years ago

      Thanks for the quick reply, Bendo.

      I just have one more question, here in New England it will get fairly snowy, so in winter months should I do snowshoe running or cross country skiing? It's okay if you're not able to answer this because you might not live in a snowy place. Thanks

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      Ben Guinter 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      That's awesome, Alex! Good to see you're so into running at your age. I think that doing distances like that will definitely keep you in shape and help improve your running times.

      Your body will be so use to running that you'll have days where you pull in record times without even trying. And if you're running 5K's then running a mile will be so easy for you. It's a lot shorter of a distance so you'll really be able to push hard the whole time. Stick with your running!

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      Alex 5 years ago

      Male- 11 years old

      88 lb 4'11

      5:52

      Ran the mile for 6th grade PE and got 5:52 (next person got 5:53 ha!)

      I was very happy with my time and I've gotten a lot better now that I've run cross country (2 mi races)

      i want to improve my time to a 5:40 by next year. Will running 5k's around this season help me for cross country and the mile?

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      Ben Guinter 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      I don't think competition is a bad thing, as long as you want to do it to show that you've improved, Erica... it's different if you just want to beat them to rub it in ther face.

      I think it's only natural to want to reach new levels of fitness, and if that involves beating your friend at least once then go for it!

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      Erica 5 years ago

      Is it a bad thing if the reason you want to win is to beat somone else. i love the sport, and im always getting beat by a friend of mine. So i have been running more and harder. My best time is 12 min. and something seconds. with about 6 min and 10 miles about in there. and im only in 7th grade

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      Ben Guinter 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      You just have to find new ways to challenge your body, bradley... I've given a lot of suggestions above in other responses but I'll repeat some. The reason you need variety is that your body will get use to doing the same thing over and over and you'll stop improving.

      So try uphills, intervals, running backward, running in sand, running with a weighted vest, running with a parachute, running on a treadmill at different inclines and speeds, running up stairs and above all... running the mile often, with each of these new tactics sprinkled in there, staying well fed (you don't want to feel drained, with aching muscles as you run) and well rested.

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      bradley farris 5 years ago

      male

      15 years old

      5'11

      149lb

      best mile time: 5:15

      im very athletic i love running i smoked a little but i quite and i got 1st in my cross country distract race i play football bball track and cross country so im always moving how should i improve??

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      Ben Guinter 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      It's a decent time, Roli... but if you want to improve it I would suggest you read some of the longer responses I have given in the past 11 days... I gave people a lot of different ways to challenge their body and force it to improve. The biggest thing is getting your body use to the distance; and that just takes practicing the distance, in different ways.

      Focus your life (training, nutrition, rest) around your fitness goal and you'll quickly reach it. My responses to Sam, SalvadorH and tammyt should help you out a lot!

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      Roli 5 years ago

      Female

      14 years old

      5'8

      115 lbs.

      best mile time: 7:28

      I'm very athletic and enjoy running a lot, is this a good time for my build? Personally I don't think it's that great, how can I improve my time?

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      Ben Guinter 5 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Hey Sam, I mention to run hard first in this one because it helps to mix things up and test your body in different ways. You'll still be getting use to the same distance but you'll be challenging your body in a different way than you're use to, which will make your body adapt and grow.

      This is a three part article series (as you can see I link to the second part at the very bottom) so check out the other two articles for some more ideas. You can check out some of the suggestions I gave in the comments above too; there are a ton of ways to mix things up. But I also have another mile run workout I set up here:

      http://bendo13.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Run-Faster-...

      But, it all depends on genetics AND the distance you normally run... if you're running marathons you're going to slim down and be a bit boney. But when running just a mile as the longest distance you run your body doesn't need to shed all that excess weight (fat AND muscle), because this distance isn't great enough.

      Yeah, it is a long distance to a degree and you will lose fat and your fast twitch muscle fibers (ones that are good for quick bursts like sprints) aren't going to be targeted as much with these types of runs... but you can still hold onto a bit of your size. And muscle will jiggle and look flat whenever you're not flexing it... that's pretty normal. Only people with a really low body fat percentage look all "muscled up" even when they're sitting around doing nothing. And to have bigger muscles that always show, you'd want to be targeting your Type IIa Fibers (fast twitch), not the Slow Twitch (Type I) muscle fibers that a mile run would really work. So I'd say your muscles are looking how they should with your training.

      That's a great time, nw! But since you want to improve, look into the stuff I just mentioned to Sam and see if that will help you too. There are lots of ways to modify your mile runs and I give a bunch of examples of things I've tried to trick my body into improving even more.