6-week 1 mile crash course

This a 6 week plan intended for runners doing 25-45 miles per week of training. While I normally like a much longer training cycle, if you are in decent shape from racing longer distances 6 weeks is sufficient to prep you to run a good mile. You will focus on getting comfortable running at mile pace while maintain the aerobic fitness you already have. During this 6 week phase it is fine if you back off your usually mileage a bit while you adjust to the stress of the faster paced workouts.

If you do not know your 1 mile or half marathon race paces you can use this calculator to estimate your paces based on another recent race time. I’ve only listed workout days. Most other days should be 30-60 minutes of easy running with a long run ever 7-10 days of 90 or more minutes. By easy running I mean running at a conversational pace, the best way to make sure you are going at an easy enough pace is to run with someone else and have a conversation with them.

Please see the notes below for more explanations and suggestions.

Week 1Training PaceExample times for a 6 minute mile
2(8×200 meters with 200 meter jogging rest) 4 minutes rest between sets1 mile pace45 seconds per 200 meters
5×1000 meters with 200 meters jogging resthalf marathon pace4:28 per 1000 meters
Week 2
8×400 meters with 400 meters jogging rest1 mile pace90 seconds per 400 meters
4×1200 meters (1.5 miles) with 4 minutes resthalf marathon pace5:25 per 1200 meters
Week 3
16×200 meters with 200 meters jogging rest1 mile pace45 seconds per 200 meters
6×800 meters with 400 meters jogging rest5k pace3:20 per 800 meters
Week 4
no early week workout
8×300 meters with 100 meters jogging rest1 mile pace67 seconds per 300 meters
Week 5
8×400 meters with 90 seconds rest1 mile pace90 seconds per 400 meters
5×1000 meters with 3 minutes rest5k pace4:12 per 1000 meters
Week 6
4×400 meters with 3 minute rest1 mile pace -3 to -5 seconds85 per 400 meters


Strides are a great way to work on your form and your top end speed. They teach you to run fast but relaxed. At least twice a week you should do 4-6 strides after an easy run or work them into the last mile or so of your easy run. Start slow and build speed for 5-8 seconds until you are near you top sprint speed, hold that speed for a few second then gradually slow down to a jog, jog for 30-60 seconds before starting your next stride. A stride should take about 15-20 seconds or about 100 meters.

Warm up/Cool down: 

You should establish a warm up and cool down routine and try to do it the same way every workout and every race. This will help prepare both your body and your mind for the hard effort. A proper warm up doesn’t just prepare your muscles but it also primes your cardiovascular system. While everyone has a slightly different routine I would suggest doing roughly the following.

40 minutes out: 15-20 minutes of easy running, start at a shuffle but end the last few minutes and your normal easy run pace or even slightly faster.

20 minutes out: Change into whatever you plan on racing in, bathroom break, final sips of water or sugar drink.

10 minutes out: Head to the starting line (or where ever you are going to start your workout). 4×20 seconds strides at 5k race pace with 1 minute between strides. Do any dynamic stretching (high knees, butt kicks etc) you prefer.

You should finish your warm up routine as soon as possible before the start of your race. Standing around for more than 3-4 minutes will negate much of the work you just did to get ready. There is no time to work into a mile, you need to be ready to run hard from the gun so a good warm-up is critical. I strongly encourage you not to do any static stretching before a race or workout as it robs your muscles of power and likely does nothing to prevent injury. Save the static stretching for after.

Cool down: 10 minutes of easy jogging followed by a good mix of carbs and protein.