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Fightthefire

Sub six minute mile?

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Things that mighthelp

  • Speed drills - to run faster you have to train faster
  • Long runs - running longer often means your short runs will get faster
  • Weight loss - less mass moved with equal force means more speed
  • Running form technique - bio-mechanics are weird 
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More or less, this ^^

 

In high school I went from something in the arena of an eight minute mile to a 4:36 best time in the span of two seasons.   I used:

 

Structured Interval Training

  The coach broke down our goal times into various short runs, and we ran them over and over.  Starting with 16 100 m dashes at the target pace, which was brutal.  Then slowly moving to fewer but longer runs, with some varying days.  For example, 200m runs, 400 m runs, and half mile runs, with a couple ladder days ( 100, 200, 400, 800, 400, 200, 100) and finally the mile at goal pace.    We did this 2-3 times a week, depending on our conditioning and performance.  The timing and pacing is the key, because you can do a lot to make yourself physically faster but if you don't train your mind and body to pace properly, you'll have serious trouble getting the time down.  Sometimes you have to slow down at first to go faster at the end.  I found this especially true for sub-6 minute timing.

  

Long runs

  On alternate days from intervals, we ran between 30 and 60 minutes at a slower pace.  The only rule was no stopping.  Sometimes this may have included running hills.

 

Weight loss

  I lost about 65 lbs, which was critical.  

 

Bio-Mechanics

  I originally ran like a duck.  It destroyed my shoes and wasted energy.  My coach was relentless about form and good form saved me a lot of shoes, injuries, and time.

 

*Disclaimer: I did this when I was 17-18.  I'm pretty sure I'd die if I worked that hard, that fast today.  

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Disclaimer: I've run sub-six-minute miles only handful of times in my life.

To the advice already given, I would add careful, deliberate weight training two days a week, depending on your schedule. Start with air-squats, lunges, both forward and rear, and maybe some iron chairs. Move to weighted lunges as you feel comfortable and dumbbell or barbell squats. I went through a period of about six week this year where I couldn't run so I turned to strength training. My first day back to running I ran my second fastest two-mile time ever.

 

Mechanically, running is a function of how fast your legs turn over and how much force each step has. Speed drills and form fixes will help with your leg-turnover. Weight training will help with raw power.

Edited by Nomad Jay
Changing "turnover" to "turn over"
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5 hours ago, Nomad Jay said:

Disclaimer: I've run sub-six-minute miles only handful of times in my life.

To the advice already given, I would add careful, deliberate weight training two days a week, depending on your schedule. Start with air-squats, lunges, both forward and rear, and maybe some iron chairs. Move to weighted lunges as you feel comfortable and dumbbell or barbell squats. I went through a period of about six week this year where I couldn't run so I turned to strength training. My first day back to running I ran my second fastest two-mile time ever.

 

Mechanically, running is a function of how fast your legs turnover and how much force each step has. Speed drills and form fixes will help with your leg-turnover. Weight training will help with raw power.

 

I completely left that out. We trained with weights on long run days. It's also another critical component of speed, and at the time I didn't take it nearly seriously enough. I was fast but better weight training would have taken me to the next level. 

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On 9/12/2017 at 5:35 PM, Sciread77 said:

*Disclaimer: I did this when I was 17-18.  I'm pretty sure I'd die if I worked that hard, that fast today.  

 

Laughed out loud at this...ain't that the truth? When I was last able to run a 6 minute mile I was doing cross country and track so what I did then was "work out 3 hours a day 5 days a week then also have a meet on top of that". I did mix it up though, because I did sprinting/throwing events in winter and spring track. I was a bit of an outlier because of that.

 

As for the actual question, what these folks said is great advice and should really help. Strength training and intervals (gotta get your body used to running that speed for a shorter distance just so it gets used to what it feels like).

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6 minutes ago, The Tin Man said:

 

Laughed out loud at this...ain't that the truth? When I was last able to run a 6 minute mile I was doing cross country and track so what I did then was "work out 3 hours a day 5 days a week then also have a meet on top of that". I did mix it up though, because I did sprinting/throwing events in winter and spring track. I was a bit of an outlier because of that.

 

I don't miss a lot about being a teenager, but I do miss the energy levels.  

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During PT with the army recruiters, we would aim to be done with our 2 mile run in at least 18 minutes. Now my goal (from 16 minutes) is get down towards the 12 minute mark, so that would be around 6 minute per mile. Any tips on how to do that? I know that it’s a mile longer so the concepts might be the same but it is a mile longer and I know distance running is different from sprints, though I’m not sure if you could count 2 miles as a distance when running lol!

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1 hour ago, Themoon said:

Any tips on how to do that? I know that it’s a mile longer so the concepts might be the same but it is a mile longer and I know distance running is different from sprints, though I’m not sure if you could count 2 miles as a distance when running lol!

 

The basics are the same as the mile. The two mile is a legitimate running event, especially at the pace of 6-minute miles! Training for speed, you’ll still run intervals at your goal pace, starting with the 100m and increasing to 2 Miles. The optimal progression is probably different than when training for the mile but the most important thing is to run slower early so you can run fast later. Be militant about your pacing on the shorter runs, because it’s super easy to run too fast early on and throw off the times on the longer runs of the full 2-mile. 

 

Keep in in mind that while interval training will feel fast and hard if you do it right, it isn’t sprinting as hard as you can each time.  It’s hard, sustained running to train your body to keep a goal pace over time and distance. Your goal at 12 minutes on the 2-mike breaks down to 32 22.5 second 100m runs, 16 45-second 200 m runs, 8 90-second quarter mile runs, etc. All in a row. Initially you’ll rest roughly 60 seconds between each one but by the end you’ll smoosh them all together. Since it’s a longer distance you may need to add shorter runs or a shorter total distance for intervals while you’re working up to it. You’re cutting your time by a third so that’s probably going to require several intermediate steps at that pace or a cutting to 14 minutes before tackling 12 minutes. 

 

In my training I alternated intervals with long, slow jogs (you’ll want to alternate with light cardio and engage in some strength training on those days) and rest a couple days a week.  

 

A 12-minute 2-mile is a heck of a thing. May the Force be with you, and I hope in time  to hear about your success. 

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17 hours ago, Sciread77 said:

 

The basics are the same as the mile. The two mile is a legitimate running event, especially at the pace of 6-minute miles! Training for speed, you’ll still run intervals at your goal pace, starting with the 100m and increasing to 2 Miles. The optimal progression is probably different than when training for the mile but the most important thing is to run slower early so you can run fast later. Be militant about your pacing on the shorter runs, because it’s super easy to run too fast early on and throw off the times on the longer runs of the full 2-mile. 

 

Keep in in mind that while interval training will feel fast and hard if you do it right, it isn’t sprinting as hard as you can each time.  It’s hard, sustained running to train your body to keep a goal pace over time and distance. Your goal at 12 minutes on the 2-mike breaks down to 32 22.5 second 100m runs, 16 45-second 200 m runs, 8 90-second quarter mile runs, etc. All in a row. Initially you’ll rest roughly 60 seconds between each one but by the end you’ll smoosh them all together. Since it’s a longer distance you may need to add shorter runs or a shorter total distance for intervals while you’re working up to it. You’re cutting your time by a third so that’s probably going to require several intermediate steps at that pace or a cutting to 14 minutes before tackling 12 minutes. 

 

In my training I alternated intervals with long, slow jogs (you’ll want to alternate with light cardio and engage in some strength training on those days) and rest a couple days a week.  

 

A 12-minute 2-mile is a heck of a thing. May the Force be with you, and I hope in time  to hear about your success. 

So I’ve just started implementing two or three of these workouts below in hopes of cutting my time. Any tips?

 

Workout #1: 

- Run one mile easy/stretch

 - Repeat 8-10 times 

- Run 1/4 mile at 10-20 seconds under current mile pace 

- Jog slow or walk 1:00

 

For example, say you are running a 9:00 1.5 mile run = 6:00 mile pace = 90 seconds 1/4 mile run. So you would try to hit these 1/4 mile intervals at 70-80 seconds. Benefits - increase foot speed, and build VO2 Max.

 

Workout #2:

 - Run one mile easy/stretch 

- Repeat five times 

- Run 1/2 miles at 10 seconds under current mile pace 

- Jog slow or walk 2:00

 

Workout #3: 

- Run one mile easy / stretch

 - Run one mile at 10 seconds above current mile pace 

- Jog 2:00 slow 

- Run one mile at current mile pace

- Jog 2:00 slow 

- Run one mile at 10 seconds faster than current mile pace 

- Cool down jog 5:00

 - Stretch

 

Workout #4: 

- Run 5:00/warm-up/stretch

 - Run for 30:00 total BUT 

- Run 1:00 sprint / followed by 1:00 slow jog for 30:00

 

Try these workouts during the next month using two to three of the above workouts each week mixed with your normal pace jogging on other running days. I’ve also started to light weights on these lighter days, just light stuff for now, but I hope to improve that as well.

 

Thanks!

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On 9/12/2017 at 4:35 PM, Sciread77 said:

*Disclaimer: I did this when I was 17-18.  I'm pretty sure I'd die if I worked that hard, that fast today.  


Ok, so I sort of tried something very similar to this from October 2019-March 2020. It was a similar amount of time to what I had in track season, just as a 35-35 year old. I actually started with something like a similar time to my first (awful) mile in high school, 9:34, though I was training for the 1.5 mile.  I lost about 20 lbs and got down to a 7-minute mile pace time on long runs. Not quite as fast as my high school improvement but not bad for a guy in his mid-30s with a desk job and arthritis. 
 

Work got insane starting with Covid-19 hitting hard but once things slow down I’d like to continue on and see if I can hit a sub-6 again. I didn’t realize how much I missed the challenge of race running.

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