How to Run a Sub-7 Minute Mile – A Case Study
After Chris managed to cut more than half of a minute off of his 1 mile time trial time in the previous month, he approached me for advice on how to get a new PR. He had already managed to run a 7:19 mile on his first trip outdoors since he started testing himself.
The interesting thing about Chris is that he is not a runner; he is a power lifter. He adds a little cardiovascular work to his workout routines and has recently been checking once per month to see how fast he can run. He has a new goal of beating his mile time from high school, which was somewhere in the low or high 6 minute range. He recently asked me what I thought that he should do in order to bring his time down another 30 seconds or a minute, and this is what I suggested based on what I knew about his training.
In his next training phase, Chris was planning on working on some sort of running activity two days per week. He was not sure yet what his lifting routine on the other days were going to be but were probably going to be focused on bringing his body fat percentage down.
If Chris decides to opt for a day where he does some light running each week, then he should start by jogging a mile or two at a slow pace. If he is running two interval sessions per week, then he should consider running a longer warm up on the session with the fewer days of rest and should run 1 less repeat than he did in the previous workout (unless he did 2 repeats, in which case he should still run 2).
Given this modest program and Chris’s goals, I told him that he could do this work and make not only his 6:52 goal but his 6:12 sub goal after a few months.