How to Reduce Your Mile Time
When was the last time you ran a mile? Maybe it was this morning, maybe it was high school. No matter! Whether you barely make the 14 minute mark, or want to get one under 5 minutes, or even just want to run a little faster during your evening jog, here are a few steps to follow as advised by an avid track runner!
Step 1. Buy comfortable running shoes
Comfortable running shoes are incredibly important for a great running experience! Though you may not need the newest running shoes in town, find shoes that suit your body type and its needs. Shoes that have too high/low of an arch, not the right cushioning, or the wrong grip, may make a runner more prone to injuries. If you wish to reduce your mile time, you'll need the right shoes: try out a test here!
Step 2. Pick a running location
Since you will be training multiple days a week, pick a running location that’s convenient, challenging, and more importantly, fun. You need a place where you’re motivated to go frequently: this can be anything from buying a gym membership, running on a public track, to running along the beach. More tips on how to find a great running location for training can be found here and sites to look up routes can be found here!
Step 3. Plan my running schedule
Now it’s time to plan your running schedule. First, pick your habit forming days according to your weekly schedule. You may adjust your schedule as you go, but try refraining from doing so in case of procrastination. Second, consider your target mile time and set a time frame within which to achieve your target time so that you can tailor your intensity and training duration to fit your goals!
Step 4. Practice improving my running form
Running is not as simple as it sounds. In order to run faster with less injuries and build the right muscles, you need to practice with the right form. Perform drills such as "fast feet," "butt kicks," and “carioca drill” for a couple of minutes after your warm up and before your main training. Also, when running, pay attention to your posture, arm motion, and foot strike position.
Step 5. Practice improving my stride turnover
Your stride turnover is the rate at which your feet hit the pavement. If you increase your stride turnover, you can decrease your chances of injury and boost your speed. In order to practice improving your stride turnover, run for 1-minute intervals. During each interval, try to increase your foot strike count by one each time.
Though turnovers may vary, recreational runners usually have 160 to 170 steps per minute, and athletes have around 180 to 200. More information on how to find and improve your stride turnover can be found here.
Step 6. Run uphill
Running uphill can help increase your leg strength and cardiovascular endurance! Practice by running up the hill near max speed and coming down with a slow jog. Repeat about 3 times at first and increase the number of runs as you become more comfortable. When running uphill, be careful with your posture: don't lean forward at the waist, and keep your arms at a 90-degree angle, swinging them forward and back. Try this course out when you need a new challenge.
Step 7. Complete running intervals
Running intervals is not only a great way to increase speed, but is also fit for those who have less time to spare. Intervals may vary according to every runner and what mile time they are aspiring for, but a good start could be to run 200-meter sprints 5 times with short recovery in between each sprint. You could also time yourself so that you give yourself regular rests in between sprints. For a more detailed guide on how to run interval training, click here.
Running can be a very rewarding experience in itself. But you could also make your workout sessions more fun by running with and against a frenemy!
Remember to maintain a healthy diet and refuel your body properly. This includes hydrating yourself frequently.
On average, runners become 2 seconds faster per 1 pound of weight shed. Consider losing weight if your BMI is above a healthy range! However, consult a dietitian before going on a diet.
Click here to download Dreamfora to add the customized plan “Reduce my mile time”. Dreamfora will set you up with a comprehensive set of daily tasks, habits, and milestones for you to follow.