Sub Six Minute Mile

John Handley High School State Championship Track TeamI’ve never been a good runner. Never will be.

I ran track in high school to get faster for other sports (football). I never really took it seriously. My High School track team won a state championship, however, I was an alternate, not a participant. Don’t believe me? Check the picture below.

I hated the mile run physical fitness test. I never ran faster than an 8 minute mile. I never received the bs “Presidential” fitness certificate because of the mile. All of the other tests I excelled. I was lazy, didn’t want to do it, didn’t care.

Over the past few years, I’ve run a handful of 10k races and 5k races. Most of which were horrible performances. I ran them for exercise and to beat my own personal times, nothing competitive or remotely serious.

One year ago, May 2012, I ran the Loudoun Street Mile in Winchester, Va. I practiced for about 2 weeks for the race with no real goal in mind. To my surprise, I finished the mile in 6:09, which, for me is a personal accomplishment. When I race, I intend to beat my own personal records, no one else. From that day on, I wanted to be able to run a mile in under 6 minutes. Hard, but not impossible.

This year, May 2013, with less than 2 weeks of training I ran my first mile in under 6 minutes. I hadn’t tried running a mile that fast since the previous year. For some, this might not be a challenge or difficult. For me, it is hauling ass. If I can do it, so can you.

How to Run a Mile in Under 6 Minutes With Less Than 2 Weeks of Training

I’m in no way, shape or form, an expert. I’m not even an “average” runner. This worked for me. Doesn’t mean it will work for you. Running a mile in under 6 minutes won’t be easy. If you currently run a mile in 8 or 9 minutes, it will be down right painful. If you injure yourself, sucks for you. You have been warned.

  1. Get a baseline on a treadmill, how fast can you currently run a mile? Don’t go all out, run a mile at a quick pace without killing yourself. If you are able to run a mile in 9 minutes or less, good news, you can do it. If you ran over a 9 minute mile, you may want to reconsider attempting to run a 6 minute mile. I’m not saying it can’t be done. Train a little more and revisit when you can run an 8 minute mile without barfing.
  2. If you ran a 9 minute mile, you probably ran at a 6.5 speed on the treadmill. If you ran an 8 minute mile, you probably ran at a 7.5 speed on the treadmill.
  3. On each run, increase your speed by 1 for 2 laps or for 800 meters of the run. So, if you ran an 8 minute mile at a 7.5 speed on the treadmill, run lap 1 at 7.5 speed, lap 2 at 8.5 speed, lap 3 at 7.5 speed, lap 4 at 8.5 speed. Do this until you run the entire mile at 8.5 speed.
  4. Once you’ve completed an entire mile at the new speed, keep increasing in the same manner.
  5. The end goal here is to run the entire mile at a 10.5 speed or higher for the entire mile.
  6. Running on the treadmill is kinda cheating. The treadmill forces you to keep your pace. You will want to eventually transition from the treadmill to track or ideally, the course you will run. This way, you are responsible for keeping pace, not the treadmill.

Sub Six Minute Mile

Below are my times which ultimately helped me achieve my goal.

1st attempt – treadmill – 5:54
2nd attempt – treadmill – 5:58
3rd attempt – treadmill – 6:00
Official Race Time – 5:58

I placed 51st in my heat. I placed 59th overall. There were 153 participants total. The first place winner ran it in 4:09.

What I Use to Train

The Elevation Training Mask 2.0 has many benefits which include: increased lung capacity, increased anaerobic thresholds, increased oxygen efficiency, increased energy production, increased mental and physical stamina, increased mental focus. For more information see my post about the Elevation Training Mask 2.0.

The RumbleRoller is great for rolling out the muscles in the hamstring, the quad, the IT band and even the arches of your feet. For more information see my post about the RumbleRoller.

4 thoughts on “Sub Six Minute Mile

    1. I’m not an expert in any way. I just do what works for me. I would shoot for a 2:50 800 meters to ensure that you run a sub-six mile. This is assuming that you would keep that pace for another 800 meters.

    1. I’m sure all treadmill speeds vary, but running at 10 should get you close to your goal. Probably not exact, but close.

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