1 Mile Repeats - Two different approaches to a classic interval workout

Running 1 Mile Repeats is a workout that I both loved and hated to do. I always judged my pace in a race by my splits at the mile, so running mile repeats for an interval workout always helped me understand what I was capable of. They are hard, but they build speed, stamina, and most importantly, courage.

There are many different ways to approach running this workout, but I have found two ways to be the most effective.

1. Three to five intervals slower than your 5k/10k race pace, with only one minute rest between each mile.

2. Three to five intervals just below your 5k/10k race pace, with equal recovery time. (If you run your intervals at 6:30, you get 6:30 rest between each mile)

Want more details on each version of this workout? Splendid. Knowledge is power.

Early in the season, when we are working on stamina, I use the first approach. The one minute rest period helps you more mentally than it does physically. Let's say your 5k average mile pace is 5:30. You should add 30-45 seconds to this time and then run three to five mile repeats at 6:00-6:15 pace. You have to be careful not to run the first couple too fast, because the short rest will really catch up to you.

Later in the season, when we are getting a few weeks away from the championship races (conference, sectionals, state) we switch to the second approach. If your average 5k race pace is 5:30, then shoot for 5:20-5:25 for the 1 mile repeats. Remember, you get equal rest between each interval, so you will step to the line feeling better than during the first approach. These intervals help you deal with the speed of a race. You shouldn't feel like you are running too fast come race day because of a workout like this.

I hope this classic interval workout will help you achieve your goals. Mile repeats are a great indicator of your current fitness level. If you have a great workout, it can give you the confidence and courage to really push yourself even further than you thought possible come race day. Good luck!

This is just one great workout you can add to your routine. If you are running a marathon and want the best plan from day one of training to race day, I suggest the 100 Day Marathon Plan.

- Written by David Tiefenthaler

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