What’s so great about the mile? That glorified distance? Everyone can do it, including you… and some of the fastest athletes of all time.
Whether it’s achieved by sprinting across a soccer field, dribbling a ball up and down the court, chasing your dog through the park or running a few blocks in your neighborhood, one mile is totally within reach. Many could cover the distance in fewer minutes than it takes to get that morning latte. Seriously, it’s that short.
But a lot can happen over the course of 5,280 feet: Races are won, records are broken and new runners are created. Because ultimately, four-plus laps around the track is about all it takes for anyone to find his/her fast and fall in love with running. Plus, training for a speedy mile also helps boost performance in every other distance, or any other sport.
“A mile is the classic distance. It has the most storied history and the most epic barrier—4 minutes, four laps of 440 yards, each under 60 seconds,” said Nike+ Run Club (NRC) Global Head Coach Chris Bennett.
Derived from the Latin word “mille,” or one thousand, the mile was originally measured as 1,000 strides.
Over time, runners’ interest in conquering this age-old distance has continued to rise substantially. The number of mile-length road races in the U.S. has more than doubled in the last 25 years alone, according to Bring Back the Mile, an organization devoted to promoting the distance. And this summer, NRC invites you to join some of your favorite athletes and train for one (from July 2 to August 30) together.
Run Your First — or Fastest — Mile
Remember having to run a timed mile in gym class back in the day? Sure, it may not have been pretty, but you did it. And you can do it again, only faster.
“Everyone can be a miler and everyone has a barrier they can chase, whether it’s sub-10, sub-8, sub-5, or even sub-4,” explains Bennett.
The Nike+ Run Club partnered with Bennett to create a 6- to 8-week mile training plan that will prepare runners of all levels to run your fastest mile on August 30. The program incorporates both short and longer workouts to simultaneously build up your speed, strength and endurance—all necessary components to run a successful mile.
Find your fast with our So Fast Mile training program here, and kickstart your training next week. Stick it out through the rest of the summer, and you’ll reach the finish line quicker than you ever thought possible before, no matter when you last raced a mile, or what your pace was coming into day one.