It’s been 60 years since medical student Sir Roger Gilbert Bannister broke through the four-minute mile wall with an unthinkable race time of 3 minutes 59.4 seconds. And even if you never come close to Bannister’s achievement, you can work toward setting your own personal record.
“Chipping away even a few seconds in a race for a new personal best is generally recognized as a substantial feat,” says Jason Chuhay, a running expert and One to One Fitness Gym running club director in Cleveland, OH. Incorporate some of these strategies into your running plan, and your miles will soon fly by faster.
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Intervals require the body to use both your aerobic and anaerobic energy systems, which over time enables you to exercise harder for longer periods of time. Chuhay recommends using a treadmill and a 1:1 to 1:3 low-intensity:high-intensity ratio such as 30 seconds of each or 30 seconds low-intensity and 90 seconds high-intensity for five sets.
Begin your initial set at a high-intensity speed slightly slower than your average comfortable pace, and increase your high-intensity pace by 1 to 2 tenths per mile for each consecutive set. “Attempt to meet and exceed your typical running pace by the third set, and continue to increase your speed for the latter portion of your workout,” Chuhay says.
To avoid injury, mix intervals in throughout the week between long endurance runs and cross-training.
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Here’s an example of a workout for a 6-mile-per-hour (10-minute-mile) runner.
|TIME (mins)||MILES PER HOUR|