The Alternative RW Mile Schedule

In setting a training schedule for potential milers, I’m assuming that you come from a distance-running background and that you are used to putting in at least 30 miles a week, including at least some fast striding or fartlek.

The difficult bit is knowing how long it will take to adjust to the faster tempo of mile running. In the four-week programme below, I have introduced two fast sessions in the first week and three in the next week. If you feel this is too much, try introducing one speed session a week for two weeks, then two a week. This means that it will take you four weeks before you’re ready to move onto Week 3 of the programme – but better safe than injured.

The Pace

Only do a little of your training at miling pace. Do most of the aerobic work more slowly, with shorter recoveries.

Pace A is your 10K pace, and the recovery after each run should be less time than you spend running: for example, five-minute runs followed by three-minute recoveries.
Pace B is your 5K pace, about three seconds a lap (10-15 seconds a mile) faster than Pace A. Recovery time should equal running time.
Pace C is your mile or 1500m pace, about three seconds a lap faster than Pace B. Recovery time should be double running time.
Pace D is almost flat-out, and the recovery should be as long as you need – perhaps as much as three times the running time.

Two-week schedule

  MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
WEEK 1 6M fartlek 3 x 5 min at Pace B 6M easy 6 x 600m at Pace C Rest or gentle jog 2 x 2 mins at Pace C, plus 6 x 200m at Pace D 5M easy, plus 5M with strides
WEEK 2 Hill session of 8 x 40 secs 6 x 400m at Pace C, with long recoveries 6M easy 5M easy with strides Rest or gentle jog Race 10M slow

Four-week schedule

Do each week’s days in any order within a hard-easy pattern.

  DAY 1 DAY 2 DAY 3 DAY 4 DAY 5 DAY 6
WEEK 1 8-10M run Pace A (3 x 5 mins on grass) 4-7M recuperation run Pace B (12 x 400m on the track) 4-7M recuperation run Pace C (two sets of 8 x 200m, untimed)
WEEK 2 8-10M run Hill session (10 x 40 secs up, jog back down) 4-7M recuperation run ABC session (ie 4 x 400m at Pace A, 4 x 400m at Pace B, 4 x 400m at Pace C, with 5 mins jogging after each set). Record the times and the intervals 4-7M recuperation run Pace D (6 x 300m on grass)
WEEK 3 6-8M run Pace A (3 x 5 mins on grass) 4-7M recuperation run BC session (4 x 800m at Pace B, 4 x 400m at Pace C) 4-7M recuperation run Pace D (6 x 150m fast, after a 5M run)
WEEK 4 6-8M run Pace B (4 x 1000m) Pace B 5 x 600m, pace C 5 x 300m Pace C (5 x 600m plus 5 x 300m) 4-7M recuperation run A race or time trial over 1200-1500m