Quarter Mile Challenge

by Robert
(Stickney, Illinois)


My name is Robert. I am 44 years old. My 26 year old nephew has challenged me to a .25 mile race. The big race is approximately 1 month from today. I did beat him a few weeks ago on my birthday in a half city block race. I am not a runner but I am in reasonable shape for my age. I gotta beat this kid! I just got done running the track for a few laps. My question is how fast do I have to be to beat this kid? If I time myself for .25 mile what is a good time? How do I get faster?

Keep that nephew of yours at bay by doing some training on the track. The quarter mile is one of the toughest track races because it is short enough to be a sprint, but long enough to really test your endurance. In short. It hurts!

I wouldn't really focus on a specific time you have to run to beat him because I don't know how fast he is. I would more worry about getting in shape and making sure you can hold a fast pace for a long time.

From now until race day, see if you can run every other day. Here are two workout ideas.

Workout # 1 - Go to the track and jog two laps. Stretch out for five to ten minutes. When you are good and loose do a simple workout. Sprint for 1/2 a lap, then walk 1/2 a lap. Repeat this about four times. When you are done, jog for a lap. This would be a great workout for you if you are in decent shape.

Workout # 2 - Very similar to the one I described. Same Warm-up jog of two laps. Stretch out. Then run a quarter mile fast! Concentrate on starting out fast, but not at your top speed. You want to run just under that so you still have some energy for the last straightaway. When you are done, jog a lap easy.

When you get to race day, have a strategy. I would let him lead the first 1/2 of the race. Just stay right behind him. When you get to the second part of the race, push the pace and try to pass. Good luck on race day! Show your nephew who's boss.

You already beat him once. If you do some training and are ready a month from now, there is no reason why you shouldn't beat him again.

- Coach Tief

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This article was written by David Tiefenthaler, the founder and main contributor for Tips4Running.com. In addition to running, he's also an author, and a full time teacher.

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