RW's Definitive Serious Speedwork: Mile Sessions

Six variations on the simple favourite


Posted: 1 June 2000
by Steve Smythe

The mile repetition (or 1600m – four laps of an athletics track) is a simple, but favourite, standard distance that focuses more on strength than speed. Below the basic table, there are some different mile sessions for variety - try mixing them into a single session.

  Standard Strength Speed
Repetition 4 x mile 6 x mile 3 x mile
Recovery 400m jog/3 mins 200m jog/60 secs 800m jog/5 mins
Best 10K (/mile)      
35 (5:36) 5:25 5:30-5:36 5:15
40 (6:24) 6:15 6:20-6:24 6:00
45 (7:12) 7:00 7:05-7:12 6:45
50 (8:00) 7:40 7:50-8:00 7:30
55 (8:48) 8:30 8:40-8:48 8:15
60 (9:36) 9:20 9:25-9:36 9:00
65 (10:24) 10:10 10:15-10:25 9:45

Variation 1:
Jog bends/stride straights. The total time per repetition should equal your 10K pace, or be slightly slower.

Variation 2:
Gradual acceleration. Set off just below 10K pace, hitting just inside 10K pace on the third lap and then accelerate further over the last lap to come just inside average 10K pace.

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Best 10K (/400m) 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total
35 (84.0) 86 85 83 80 5:34
40 (96.0) 1:38 1:37 1:35 1:32 6:22
45 (1:48) 1:50 1:49 1:47 1:44 7:10
50 (2:00) 2:02 2:01 1:59 1:56 7:58
55 (2:12) 2:14 2:13 2:11 2:08 8:46
60 (2:24) 2:26 2:25 2:22 2:20 9:34
65 (2:36) 2:38 2:37 2:36 2:32 10:22

Variation 3:
Run 400m at approx 5K pace, 100m jog, 800m at approx 10K pace, 100m jog, 200m at mile pace

Best 10K (/400m) 400m fast 100m jog 800m fast 100m jog 200m fast Total
35 (84.0) 80 25 2:45 25 35 5:30
40 (96.0) 90 30 3:05 30 40 6:15
45 (1:48) 1:40 32 3:30 33 45 7:00
50 (2:00) 1:50 35 4:00 35 50 7:50
55 (2:12) 2:00 40 4:20 40 55 8:35
60 (2:24) 2:10 45 4:40 45 60 9:20
65 (2:36) 2:20 50 5:00 50 65 10:05

Variation 4:
Alternate 50m quick jog, 150m fast for four laps. The total time per mile should equal pace per mile for 10K.

Variation 5:
Steady first half at slower than 10K pace, second half should be 10-15 seconds quicker.

Best 10K (/800m) First half 2nd half Overall
35 (2:48) 2:50 2:35-2:40 5:25-5:40
40 (3:12) 3:15 3:00-3:05 6:15-6:20
45 (3:36) 3:40 3:25-3:30 7:05-7:10
50 (4:00) 4:05 3:50-3:55 7:55-8:00
55 (4:24) 4:25 4:10-4:15 8:35-8:40
60 (4:48) 4:50 4:35-4:40 9:25-9:30
65 (5:12) 5:15 5:00-5:05 10:15-10:20

Variation 6:

Try breaking up the mile by running 300m or 400m fast, followed by 100m slow.

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