Diary of a Fat Runner 4.5
Disney to Boston – Magic Mile
How fast can you run a mile? I think that is probably the equivalent of the “how much can you bench?” for weight lifters. Reason I bring this up is that I had my running group run a timed mile on Tuesday. Some were pleasantly surprised and some were disappointed. But how does running a mile translate into running a 5K or even a marathon?
I read a lot of articles about this. Most are correct in saying that you can run a single mile faster than you will average in the longer races (if not, you are a freak of nature – Dean Karnases). I have run so many races and coached so many runners that I don’t believe there is one formula to calculate what you marathon time will be from a one mile test. The range goes from 15 seconds slower to 3 minutes slower. Elite athletes will be closer to the first number while first timers and recreational runners will probably be closer to the second number.
There are too many factors that may play a part in the formula. A few examples are weather, genetics, course, and just how good (or bad) running shape the person is. There are many more factors. I also think the mental make-up of the person is a big factor. I’ve always said that it is easy to break down a runner’s gait at mile on, but a little different at mile marker 20. Through my experience runners fail to train through the pain and agony you feel at a certain time in a very long run. They start slowing down their pace, walking or even stopping completely. Just this January I did a marathon and was averaging just under 9 minute miles up to mile 20. Then the cramping began. I averaged over 10 minute miles the last 6 miles. My average minute per mile was a little deceiving. I just remember my high school physics teacher giving us a lesson in acceleration and instantaneous time. I now feel bad for being bored in the class.
So running a mile at almost full effort is a great way to see how your time is going to be at the longer races but only if you commit to do the longer training. I did have a Magic Mile Challenge with my running club. It is a good way to see where you are and set up goals for future races. What we did is set up a one mile time trial and will retest in 4 weeks to see how we do. I do challenge you to do the same and to input your time in the comment section. By the way, my mile was 7:21.
Create a great run!
Manny Davila, ACE Certified Personal Trainer and RRCA Certified Running Coach