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Old 07-06-2008, 01:43 PM   #1
Jake Galgon
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Training for the mile

Every Thanksgiving, my family has a mile (well, 1600m) race, which my cousin has been taking for years. I think this year it's time to bring the Galgon Mile back to the Galgons. I think that to have a chance at beating him I need to drop my time from about 5:50 to 5:00. Crossfit has helped me out in most areas, but my mile has been stagnant for a long time.

Anyway, I have two goals:
1: Maintain the fitness I have in other areas
2: Drop my mile time as much as possible given this constraint
I was thinking of a program along the lines of:

Day 1: 400-800m high volume interval work @ 5:00 mile pace (building volume and distance week by week)
Day 2: Heavy lifting day: 3x3 squat, deadlift, dip, press, 5x3 weighted pullup
Day 3: 3-5k (nothing that precludes a 7:00 mile pace)
Day 4: Rest/light recovery run
Day 5: Either mile time trial or skip to "day 6"
Day 6: Crossfit non-running "middle distance metcon" (e.g. fran, elizabeth, filthy 50) followed by some rest and an easy run
Day 7: Hill runs (~150-200m @7-8% grade, I think) at an "800 pace" in terms of exertion per unit time (building volume week by week)
Day 8: Rest/light recovery run

So, it would be a 7 or 8 day schedule with two days of rest or recovery built in. My questions are:
1: Will the two non-running days be enough to maintain my general fitness? FWIW I'm not anywhere near an elite level (780lb cft @ 200lb bw, 7:30 fran). Could I get by with even less?
2: Are the running days well programmed? I've never run track or xc so I've got no experience with programming.
3: Is the sub-5 mile goal attainable in a 4.5 month time frame given any program?

Basically, any feedback is helpful. I've tried to pick up what I can from the recent "training for the 400m" thread, but I couldn't find much on mile training. Thanks in advance--my next 4.5 months of training lies in y'all's hands.
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Old 07-06-2008, 02:36 PM   #2
Dan Peterson
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Re: Training for the mile

I have quite a bit of track experience, not so much with distance work but I have seen the training of some pretty good 1500 (4:00) runners. Generally I think that your plan is pretty solid. I would suggest that since the actual race is quite a ways off, you should break your preparation into two distinct phases. For the next month and a half to two months you should focus on building aerobic capacity with more longer runs and less speed work. For you, this would mean about two 10k runs a week as opposed to quicker stuff like 400 or 800m repeats. Keep in mind that these runs shouldn't be slow and easy, push hard. If you wish, sub a continuous run up and down a long hill for a longer run to build strength endurance. By all means keep doing heavy lifting and slightly longer metcons in this time period if you wish to maintain other aspects of fitness. To keep yourself familiar with the race you're training for, perhaps throw in a mile time trial now, one month in, and when you change training phases.

After 6-8 weeks of higher volume, move into the plan that you have outlined above. The focus should be more on long speed work, such as the 400-800m repeats @ your goal pace that you mentioned. Ditch the long hill runs for 'shorter' hill sprints of 200-400m. Lactic acid is your best friend now. As are cold baths and contrast showers. As long as you have two hard pacing days per week, I wouldn't worry about hitting 5:00 pace on these; just make them hurt a lot. More time trials in this phase are necessary (try two every three weeks).

Keep in mind that speed work requires a lot of rest since it is easier to overtrain here than in the volume phase. Take a recovery week with reduced volume after a month. To beat your brother, taper your volume down in the last week so you're fresh on game day. Good luck!
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Old 07-06-2008, 04:17 PM   #3
Jack Germain
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Re: Training for the mile

One option may to be adopt a traditional cross country method. The best I know of is the standard cross country training text, Jack Daniel's Running Formula. I found it in the local college library, you could try there before buying it. Check here for the author's credentials. I believe he was the pioneer of using the VDOT measurement to set training pace. The book covers everything from the half-mile to marathon, so that may help. It's kind of complicated though.

Another, possibly better, option is http://www.crossfitendurance.com/.
It prescribes a Workout of the Day just like Crossfit that is usually just intervals or
running a distance for time. You could give this a shot for a few weeks and see if you get results.

Good luck.

Last edited by Jack Germain : 07-06-2008 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 07-07-2008, 07:48 AM   #4
Justin McGinley
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Re: Training for the mile

This post might help

http://www.board.crossfit.com/showthread.php?t=33707 wfs
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