Now I am not a coach, physician, exercise physiologist, or any sort of professional related to running/fitness. But, I have run a mile (and 1500) many times and have a pretty solid idea of what training should look like. So, here are my favorite workouts for preparing for a 1 mile!
- Hills. There is a very famous quote from Frank Shorter (I think) :"Hills are speedwork in disguise". Hills are great for any type of race but really get you ready to run the shorter, faster workouts needed to train for a mile.
- Fartleks- like, 2 min on 1 min off or 1 on 1 off. The "on" portion should be a pretty solid effort, and the "off" portion should be more of a relaxed jog.
- Intervals. I love these. I looked back through my college logs to see what I did back then- it was a combination of repeats ranging from 200-1000 m, run between 4:55 and 5:30 pace (I was in shape to run a 5:15 mile). So adjust accordingly. These should be hard workouts! But also they have great payoff by getting used to running a fast effort.
- Run consistently. Just because you are "only" training for a mile doesn't mean two miles every other day is going to cut it. I mean, yeah, you'll still probably finish if you only run two miles every other day...but running consistently is key for any race.
Our friend Larissa was with us too but signed up for the 5:15-5:30 heat and was running while we were posing for photos. Before our race we went out for a 3.25 mile warm up jog around campus and over the stone arch bridge. It was a very scenic run!
We got back to the field house just in time to see Mr. B finish his race. He was in the first heat, and had the lead up to the last 50 meters or so until being caught by a high school kid who ran 4:17 last spring. He finished second in 4:24! Not bad :)
I did a few short strides and these weird knee/hip loosening exercises and then it was time to go! The race was a true mile (1609 meters) and there were a lot of people in our heat! There was a little bit of crowding right away and I found myself running just on the inside of lane 2 for the first 400 meters or so. During this time my legs felt like lead. I was seriously worried that I was going to run 6:00 or something. I just could not get the turnover going! I finally loosened up at about 500 meters in and started to feel strong.
|It's blurry, but there we are.|
As I mentioned our heat was pretty crowded so I started to work my way around a couple people. I still felt pretty good and don't remember a lot from 500 m-1400 m. The laps are 200 m each and they just went by so quickly. I definitely was feeling tired with one to go, but at that point you just have to remind yourself its only 200 meters and just go for it. I finished in 5:38.4 and Meg was right behind me at 5:39.6. Not terrible, especially for an indoor race. Larissa ran really well in her heat and ran 5:18.
Overall I'm happy with how the race went. I'm not used to running that fast a pace so it was definitely a system shock.Also, running on an indoor track (especially in an old facility like the U of M) causes some major coughing and dryness in the chest. I was coughing so hard after the race I felt like I might throw up. Not cool. However, the race was really fun and I will definitely do it again next year!