Where Your Dreams Become Reality
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Poster: MS3 Runner
Subject: RE: Need some help from the milers out there
This is an old rule of thumb, but it seems to work pretty damn well:
1. Taking your best 400m, multiply by two.
2. If your 800m time is ~4 seconds slower, you need to do more speed-oriented work. If greater than ~6, you need to do more aerobic work. If in between, you're pretty well balanced.
Based on the above, I think that your friend needs to put a greater emphasis on his aerobic work. Once upon a time I fell into the trap of doing only short-intervals, thinking what I lacked was speed. When I started doing 1600m intervals and tempos, my mile time magically dropped from 4:24 to 4:13 in the span of a few months. Continuing on the same formula I dropped another 10 seconds over the years. Strength = speed.
My short-term recommendations:
1. 12x400m intervals with 60 second (max) rest at 3-4 seconds slower than mile pace.
2. One long (10+ miles) run per week where the pace starts very slow and is ratcheted down each mile.
3. 1600m intervals with 3-3:30 rest in between at 30-35s slower than mile pace.
My long-term recommendations:
1. Build up slowly to 60mpw from 40mpw. (This should be easy to do with a weekly long run of 12 miles). Do not drop this mileage until the last month of the outdoor track season.
2. Never go shorter than 8 miles on any distance run. (Unless it's the day before a race).
3. Never stop the weekly long run (no matter what part of the season).
4. Don't do intervals shorter than 800m until the track season starts. (Unless it's the 12x400m workout, which is more of a distance workout anyway).
5. Never "redline" your effort in any workout. You can run hard, but it has to be controlled/comfortable.
I hope this helps. There's a lot more but I tried to keep it simple. I wish I had a cursory knowledge of this kind of stuff when I was in high school.
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