One-mile race: tips for setting a better time

The 1609 meter runs are a powerful goal to improve endurance and speed. Discover the following training plan applicable to beginner and advanced runners.

Last update: 03 November, 2021

The one-mile race proposes a route 1609 meters long, that is, 1.6 kilometers. Some people measure the mile time as a reference for longer distances and others to start in the activity of the running.

Focusing on improving this time is functional for advanced runners, who usually travel 5 or 10 kilometers, since they obtain a specific control of their speed in miles. On the other hand, amateurs can face this distance with an initial target time of 10 minutes to gradually reduce it to 6.

To achieve this, a specific training plan is necessary., which includes about 8 weeks of preparation focused on increasing endurance and speed. Improving the time for the mile run brings multiple benefits to the body.

Training plan for the mile run

Like most physical exercises, especially those that require resistance, Improving time goals takes weeks of effort and preparation. However, through a series of steps, the one-mile race is within everyone’s reach.

Equipment for the one-mile race

For this type of training, it is advisable to have light footwear, more geared towards speed rather than damping, as is common on longer runs. The less weight it has, the more comfort it is.


Many people who want to start setting goals in the running they make it through the mile. It can be done on a treadmill or going out on public roads. Nevertheless, the ideal is to have a track.

In general, athletics tracks are 400 meters long, so the mile represents four laps of it, plus a few more meters. It is an easier method to have an accurate reference of distances.

If you have a running track nearby, it will be the ideal place to improve your mile training.


When running, a significant muscular requirement is required, so a few minutes warm-up is recommended to avoid the risk of injury. Activating the muscles and joints through exercises such as lunges, hip movements and hamstrings is essential.

Starting time in the one-mile race

The first full rounds must be measured against the clock to know the current physical state. Do not demand too much, but keep in mind that it is the starting point to begin the improvement.

3 day routine

For the one-mile race, a 3-day workout is recommended: 2 speed, 1 or 2 interval and 3 or 4 recovery. This completes the week, while the total extension goes from a month and a half to two. The order of the days can be adjusted to the needs of each person and their physical demand and recovery capacities.

The goal is to increase the intensity and shorten the times week by week. For those who are just starting to run, a mile time of approximately 10 minutes is common, which can go as low as 6 for frequent runners. Professional athletes have an average goal of 4 minutes.

Speed ​​days

Start by jogging for a mile as a warm-up. Then run 400 meters, resting between 75 and 90 seconds every 100. The next step is the same, but slowing down every 200 meters.

Rest periods should be occupied by jogging between 200 and 400 meters as recovery. Perform 6 to 8 repetitions and finish with a half-kilometer jog.

Long interval days

These days are aimed at achieving greater resistance, so less speed and more consistency is required. Start with two 800-meter intervals with a 2-minute recovery time.

At this point in the training you have to focus on progression, that is, start with a slower and more comfortable pace and then increase at a faster pace. It is advisable to add, week after week, one more mile of travel.

You can start with a distance of 2 to 3 miles and end the training plan with a long run of 7 to 8. Longer runs provide improvements in physical and cardiovascular condition.

Recovery days

Your name can be misleading, but it is an active rest day. Although times and distances are not so timed during these days, it is important to make an effort by running between 30 and 40 minutes.

It is a more free day, which each person can adjust to their own needs. Although it is possible to rest completely one day, it is advisable to go jogging so as not to lose rhythm or perform physical exercises that stimulate other muscles.

One mile race day

After 8 weeks of preparation, whoever took their goals seriously is ready to participate in the 6-minute mile race. That day should start with a medium speedAlthough some people recommend a greater acceleration in the first lap and a decrease in the second.

This is a short run, so intensity is important, although it should be gradual. In general, the most difficult moment comes in the third lap, when the body asks to slow down. However, you must have strength to increase to maximum speed.

Heart rate

During the weeks of preparation, the heart rate should be kept constant. It is clear that it is common to feel tired after the race, but it is not necessary to end up with excessive exhaustion every day.

Especially from the fifth or sixth week. If for that moment the extreme fatigue continues in the same way, leaving 1 or 2 days off is ideal.


One detail that can be added to training for the mile run is hill running. If you have a field of this type, it is advisable to leave it for the second or third week of training, when the body has already obtained a certain rhythm. Find a gradual incline that is between 100 and 200 meters, run with speed and then descend in a relaxed way to recover.

On the other hand, if there are no hills nearby, ladders can also be used. In that case, go up for about 30 seconds running and go down to recover. Perform 5 repetitions.

Training unevenly provides another type of muscle development and endurance, so it is recommended if there is the possibility of doing so.

Benefits of training for the mile run

This type of preparation has physical advantages for both beginners and regular athletes. It is an exercise with aerobic and anaerobic elements:

  • Quick runs improve muscular endurance, since they put fibers to work that are not activated in other types of longer routes.
  • It is suitable for amateur runners and people with little time, because it is enough to go out for a run during some time of the day.
  • Speed ​​contributes to increasing calorie burning potential. Once the body is used to the routine, more miles can be traveled and more calories burned during the same time.
  • For regular runners it works as a way to control and reduce time in a specific short period.
  • All training plans must be accompanied by a nutritional approach. This depends on the needs of each organism. It is advisable to consult a nutritionist.
  • Some warm-up exercises improve running posture and form. For example, butt kicks, that is, taking steps lifting the heels up to the buttocks.
  • Lunges are another way to pay attention to posture. Try to improve your stride speed and also your foot position when hitting the ground.

Complementing the training plan

Other exercises that can help you prepare for the mile run include strengthening your legs. For instance, lunges, squats, and calf raises. You can take advantage of active rest days to apply 3 complete laps of 10 to 15 repetitions for each exercise.

Many people find a running partner helpful. If possible, have similar rhythms and goals to keep up. On the other hand, do not forget to always have a bottle of water or a source of hydration nearby.

It might interest you …