Welcome to Mile Club: Week 1 - A Sobering Reality Check

When I was 17 years old I ran the mile in 4:27 and 2 miles in 9:25. As I never raced those distances in college (I quit pretty early on), those times ended up becoming my lifetime PRs. I'm never going to run 4:27 again, but I think it would be cool to break 5:00 in the mile again. That's doable based on my current performances in the 5K and 10K. To do that, though, I need to work on my basic speed, something I've pretty much neglected as a masters runner. No more! This week is the beginning of what I'm calling "Mile Club". I want to do one short, very basic speed workout each week, geared to running a fast mile. Today, I went to the track and embarked on my journey and was quite humbled. 4 x 400 with 400 meter jog/walks for recovery in 73, 73, 73, and 75. 73s felt like 63s used to! If you add up all four reps, my mile time would be 4:52, which was a typical opening mile for me in a fast high school cross country race. I didn't run the 400s 'all out' but I pushed like I would in the first lap of an 800 or 1,000 meter race. Right now I probably can race sub 5:40 per mile pace for a 5K but I'm not sure if I could run much faster than 5:20 in an all out mile. This is why I want to commit to my small experiment. So each week I'll do a short little session of 4 x 400 or 2 x 800 or a 1200 meter time trial (Roger Bannister was big on these -- see photo on the left) and try to get comfortable in a zone that is currently uncomfortable for me. I'll continue my longer runs and tempos as those are the bread and butter workouts for a slower twitch 5-10K guy like me, but a little speed can't hurt. I won't let my mileage slip either. For today's workout I warmed up 2 miles and ran a 5 mile cool down.

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