How to Run a 5-Minute Mile: Training Plan
The mile distance is having its moment. As a symptom of the pandemic, when races got canceled, virtual races and time trials sprung up in their place, including many for the mile.
It’s no wonder. The mile is a challenging race against oneself. Four perfect loops at almost an all-out sprint. It is not for the faint of heart, especially learning how to run a 5-minute mile.
Should I train to run a mile?
Now with races back on the calendar, many runners are finding the challenge of shorter races like the mile is helping them in their typical longer distance efforts.
Many training plans for marathons and other long distances have ignored the importance of speed and power training for runners. By focusing on getting faster in shorter distances, you will improve your long-distance running performance by improving your overall running economy (how much oxygen your body needs to run at a certain pace).
You’ll also strengthen your muscles, bones, and connective tissue and improve your neuromuscular fitness. In addition, you’ll improve the recruitment of your fast-twitch muscle fibers. This helps your body run more efficiently, improving running performance and preventing running injuries.
How can I tell if I can run a 5-minute mile?
Before attempting to train for a 5-minute mile, you’ll need to do a self-assessment. You should be running a weekly base mileage of 20-30 miles with some doses of speedwork-like strides.
You’ll need to be healthy without any running injuries. Runners who have a 5k time of 19 minutes or less can train to run a 5-minute mile.
Those with faster race times are more likely to run a 5-minute mile.
How fast is a 5-minute mile?
A 5-minute mile is four 75 seconds per lap around the track. To train to run a 5-minute mile, you must train your body to run a lap in 75 seconds or less.
How long does it take to train to run a mile in 5 minutes?
It will take at least 8-12 weeks to train to run a mile in 5 minutes. The time it takes to train to run a 5-minute mile will vary depending on the runner’s current fitness level.
How many miles a week do I need to train to run a 5-minute mile?
Runners will need to run 20-30 miles per week to train to run a 5-minute mile. They will need to spend weeks running easy miles building their weekly mileage to at least 20.
Then they will need to add in several weeks with two days of post-run strides before beginning any intensity of speedwork.
How do you race a 5-minute mile?
Although short, the mile distance is challenging to race because it is essentially an all-out sprint.
When going for a 5-minute mile, the most common race strategy is to run the first 2 laps at even splits of 75 seconds. Be sure not to go out too fast; otherwise, you will likely have a positive split.
The third lap is the toughest. Try to hold your 75-second pace on the third lap. On the fourth and final lap, give it your all. It’s just over a minute of pain.
Most milers have success with pacers who jump in at the third lap.
How much speedwork do I need to do to run a 5-minute mile?
A runner training for a 5-minute mile should do most of their weekly runs easy with about two higher intensity speedwork sessions per week.
Should I strength train to run a 5-minute mile?
Runners should focus on simple movements with heavyweights. Key strength training for runners’ movements includes squats, deadlifts, lunges, step-ups, bridges, and plank variants.
What does a training plan for a 5-minute mile look like?
The 5-minute mile training plan includes 2 speed workout days, one long run day, 2-3 easy run days, strength training 2-3 times a week, plus mobility, drills, and strides.
See a sample training plan at the end of this article.
Is training to run a mile a worthwhile goal?
For most, training to run a 5-minute mile is a lofty yet admirable goal. While your training volume is relatively low, the intensity of trying to run 4 laps in 5 minutes or less will make your legs burn, and your lungs feel like they’re bursting.
It’s an exquisite way to challenge oneself and set a runner up for success in longer distances.
If you don’t achieve running 4 laps in 75 seconds, you’ll still be a better runner than when you started. And chances are—if you don’t succeed, you’ll try, try again. The mile distance can be addicting.
5 Minute Mile Training Plan
Before beginning this training plan, perform a mile time trial to get a current level of fitness.
Ensure you run at least 20 miles per week plus strides two times a week after easy runs for several weeks. Jumping into this training plan without a solid base of easy running puts you at risk for injury.
Every fourth week attempt a mile time trial on Tuesday. Warm-up and cool-down with 1-2 miles. Do dynamic stretching, mobility, and drills before attempting time trial.
Mondays: Easy running of 3-5 miles, 4 by 100m strides
Tuesdays: AM: Speedwork on the track. PM: Lift session
Sample workouts to be used in a 12-week training plan include:
- 6-8 by 400m at 85-90 percent max effort, with 1-minute interval rest, or max effort with full recovery
- 3-4 by 800m at 85-90 percent max effort, with 1-minute interval rest, or max effort with full recovery
- 10-12 by 200m at 85-90 percent max effort, with 1-minute interval rest, or max effort with full recovery
- 3-4 by 1,000m at 85-90 percent max effort, with 1-minute interval rest, or max effort with full recovery
- 2 by 1,600 meters at 85-90 percent max effort, with 1-minute interval rest, or max effort with full recovery
- Time trial: Warm-up 2 miles, then run 1 mile as fast as you can, cool down 2 miles
Wednesdays: Easy run of 5-6 miles, 4 by 100m strides or 4 by 50m hill strides
Thursdays: AM: Tempo work. PM: Lift session
Sample workouts include:
- Fartlek, warm-up 1-2 miles then do 10-12 80-90 seconds at 5k race pace and 1-minute jog recovery. Cool-down for 1-2 miles
- Fartlek, warm-up 1-2 miles then do 6-8 2 minutes at 5k race pace and 1-minute jog recovery. Cool-down for 1-2 miles
- 5-6-mile hilly route, run the hills hard, and go easy on the way down
- Warm up 1-2 miles, then run 20 minutes at threshold pace, then cool down 1-2 miles. You can gradually increase the hard effort time in 5-minute
- increments, if desired.
- Warm-up 1-2 miles, then do a 5k tempo, then cool-down 1-2 minutes
- Hill workout: 8 by 200 meters at 85-90 percent max effort with a jog downhill recovery
Fridays: 3-5 easy miles or rest or yoga/Pilates
Saturday: Longer run of 6-10 miles easy pace
Sunday: REST DAY or yoga
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