/ Sub 5 minute mile

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Roberttaylor - on 30 Jul 2012
Today two friends and I went out and ran a measured mile (in the meadows, Edinburgh), just to see what kind of pace we could do it at. I do a fair bit more running than they do, waited for them quite a lot and finished in 6:15.

I think, had I been going at my own pace, I could get sub 6:00 (this theory will be tested within the next few days).

My question is, how hard is it to run a sub 5 minute mile? I run two or three times a week, mainly in the hills. I am comfortable running distances up to 17km (down from 25km before enforced 4 month layoff).

Robert
Minneconjou Sioux - on 30 Jul 2012
In reply to Roberttaylor:

Not as hard as running a sub four minute one but still hard enough. This shows the gap in people who have a reasonably high level of fitness and those who are elite athletes.

I have never been able to break sub 5 mins.
IainRUK - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux: Agree.. I can run sub 5 min for 1 k reps just. So for a one off mile maybe.. I hold 5:11 pace for 5 k.. But I train a lot but do have a lack of natural speed. Most decent fell runners would struggle.
The New NickB - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to Roberttaylor:

I run 5k at sub 6 minute pace, but struggle to run a single mile in much less than 5:30. That extra whatever off mile pace is really hard.
Skyfall - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to Roberttaylor:

I'm not sure - After three months of almost no exercise to injury I posted about 7:30 on the concept 2 for 2km age 47 (HWT just) and just over 3:30 for the 1km. Whereas 6:30 and 3:00 would seem v good for my age with a shit load of training. And my aerobic base is pretty rubbish really (when uninjured I focus entirely on climbing).

On those percentages, you should be doing a lot better running. Which perhaps is good news as a target. Or is running a lot harder? If you see what I mean.
Minneconjou Sioux - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to JonC:
> (In reply to Roberttaylor)
>
>> On those percentages, you should be doing a lot better running. Which perhaps is good news as a target. Or is running a lot harder? If you see what I mean.

I'm not sure that is entirely fair but I understand your point. The human body is capable of far more than most of us take it to and in distance running especially most people start out at a pace that they are comfortable at and build up from there rather than take the Lynn Hill approach which is to run as fast as you can for as long as you can. Perhaps Robert has never really pushed the boat out.

I think his question relates to whether it is possible to train to a sub-five minute mile or whether genetics must play a part. Obviously its both but I think genetics plays a very big part.
wbo - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to Roberttaylor: The issue is that what you're doing, (running 2 or 3 times a week, in hills, up to 17kms) is going to get you fitter, but not anything like prepared to run a fast(er) mile. You'd get a better idea of where you're at by trying it again , and then again a week or so later, and getting used to going as fast as you can and making it hurt early. It sounds quite doable to me. I ran sub 5 as a schoolboy with precisely zero training.

Jon - the concept 2 stuff is hard to compare to running. I have one in my garage and can have comparable times to yours with a little practice. I think the base strengh from running is important, but for me it's an issue of muscle strengh as I barely get out of breath doing it (but my arms hurt)
The New NickB - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to Roberttaylor:

To add to what I said last night. Have had a look at Purdy and associated tables, they suggest I could run a sub 5 mile if I trained specifically for it, not that I am going to.

I notice that you are only 21, you might have a bit more natural speed than my old bones.
diddler - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to Roberttaylor:

My 10k pace is under 5 minute miling, but I wouldnt be able to maintain that pace without some specific training. a five minute mile feels fast and so some specific 8/1500 training would prob help you out. but going from 6 to 5 is a big difference.
Liam M - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to diddler:
> (In reply to Roberttaylor)
>
> My 10k pace is under 5 minute miling, but I wouldnt be able to maintain that pace without some specific training. a five minute mile feels fast and so some specific 8/1500 training would prob help you out. but going from 6 to 5 is a big difference.

This post is confusing me. Are you saying you can sustain sub 5min miling for 6miles+ but would need specific training to maintain it! That's rather impressive pace without specific training.
Roberttaylor - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to Minneconjou Sioux: r.e genetics I think I am OK there. I'm 6"2, weigh approx 70kg and am in pretty good shape. While I realise this build is perhaps better for longer distances (which, truth be told, I enjoy more) I've realised that doing some shorter, faster stuff might help to up my speed.

I will post the results of my next timed mile.

R
mountain.martin - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to Liam M:

That is 30 mins for 10K which is seriously fast.
diddler - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to Liam M:

No, Im saying that to get to that point I train hard, and a 5 minute mile is not an easy thing, and to get from 6 to 5 min mile the OP would probably have to do some specific training, speed endurance and that.

And that 10k was when i was 22 and im my prime, dodgy knee and such have stopped me progressing, but It has helped me get stronger climbing wise.
Sweetjesus - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to Roberttaylor:

There's a very steep sustained hill at Dalby Forrest on compact hardcore! I've hatched a plan to attempt a sub-four minute mile (admittedly downhill)& I've managed to sustain the pace for nearly a kilometer so far so I reckon its a possibility!:-)
IainRUK - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to The New NickB: Very true.. Its surprising how hard it is.. thing is a mile is an aerobic endurance event in many ways.. not just raw speed.

I can run 6:11 pace for 42 km.. yet my 5k pb is 5:11 pace for 5k.. yet I'd really struggle to run a sub 5 min mile...

M0nkey - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to IainRUK:
> (In reply to The New NickB) Very true.. Its surprising how hard it is.. thing is a mile is an aerobic endurance event in many ways.. not just raw speed.
>
> I can run 6:11 pace for 42 km.. yet my 5k pb is 5:11 pace for 5k.. yet I'd really struggle to run a sub 5 min mile...

That's really surprising. I would have thought the extra 11 seconds would be easy to achieve for a single mile.
IainRUK - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to M0nkey: I'm very much an endurance runner though, without much natural pace. Drop roughly a minute off my marathon and I can hold 7:20 pace for a 100km. My pb is 7:35.
john arran - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to IainRUK:

When I was about 15 (about 1978/9) I used to run for a club alongside Cavin Woodward - I didn't realise at the time quite what a legend he was as he was a very modest and unassuming chap. He had one pace only - which worked spectacularly well over 100 miles but much less so over two. Used to feel good to beat a world record holder in almost every race that was under 4 miles!
Liam M - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to IainRUK: It does seem an interesting distance the mile. I guess the ease of cracking 5mins may depend upon what is the limiting factor in him running 6mins. If he's someone with a 12s 100m but little endurance it may come a bit easier than someone with a 17s 100m pb but a lot of stamina.

I also get the feeling that making significant improvements in distances of 400m or less would be rather tough for most people
David Riley - on 31 Jul 2012
In reply to Sweetjesus:

Yes, I fancied a go at that.
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Nutkey on 02 Aug 2012
In reply to Roberttaylor:
It's generally considered easier to build endurance than speed, but you'll have more speed than you imagine - running in meadows isn't that fast, and a lot of it is just knowing how much pain you can endure.

Back when I was about 20, I did a bit of unstructured running. I could do a mile in 5.50 or less (no idea what, never did a proper test on a track) and did a marathon in 3.45 (so 8m30 a mile).

10 years later, I joined a running club, and did a lot of training, including proper speed work though admittedly not many short reps. My best mile was 5.20, but I did a marathon pretty comfortably in 2h59 (so 6m50 a mile). I suspect I could have done a 5 minute mile if I trained for it specifically - and perhaps still could - but it would have been hard work. Equivalent to, say, a 2h45 marathon.
wilding - on 02 Aug 2012
In reply to IainRUK:

Out of curiosity, have you ever tried running a short distance, like 100m? I've never tried a single mile or 100m.
IainRUK - on 02 Aug 2012
In reply to wilding: No, but I was always horrifically slow. Probably why I was a goal keeper..
humpha44 - on 02 Aug 2012
A little off topic. But Marathon Talk and Talk Ultra are running a Magic Mile challenge in september. So you run a mile as fast as possible and then log it. Should be fun and interesting.
bowls - on 02 Aug 2012
In reply to Roberttaylor:

I would suggest focusing on getting your 800m time down, you need to get to the position where you can run at least a 2:20 800m to feel comfortable at 5 min mile pace, maybe run a few four hundred metre reps in 70 seconds - your mile time needs to be 75 seconds or so for four laps, so have a focus on getting comfortable feeling quicker than this and then put it all together.

A 5 min mile is worth around a 4:35-4:40 1500m - so a good womens club standard over 1500m, or a mediocre male club standard, or slow mens club standard. However as other posters have metioned, this is still beyond most males who consider themselves fit/or very fit, since you will need athletic ability to do this - be able to relax at speed.

Good luck!
mikekeswick - on 03 Aug 2012
In reply to Roberttaylor: I had acl reconstruction a few years back and part of the rehab was starting running again. From zero running for years I got to 6 min miles pretty quick and after 6-7 months of rehab was going close to 5min miles outside but on the running machine I could crack them easy enough. I think most people don't like pain!
bobbybin - on 05 Aug 2012
In reply to Roberttaylor: I did a mile race once, nearly killed me as way too short for me. I did 4.37, at the time i was doing weekly 400m reps off quite short recovery, very hard session but makes you fast
Steve John B - on 22 Aug 2012
In reply to humpha44:
> A little off topic. But Marathon Talk and Talk Ultra are running a Magic Mile challenge in september. So you run a mile as fast as possible and then log it. Should be fun and interesting.

There's one of these in Leeds:

http://marathontalk.com/events.php?event=1504

6 for 4 laps of the track seems a bit of a p*ss take though!
Liam M - on 23 Aug 2012
In reply to Steve John B: It probably doesn't help that Leeds Met Carnegie charge about 4 for entry to the track, so not much is left for the event organisers.
Al Evans on 23 Aug 2012
In reply to Roberttaylor: I ran the supposed mile round Parkers Piece in Cambridge in under 5 mins, which leads to be absolutely certain it is not a true mile, as I never got below 5.10 on a track.
Al Evans on 23 Aug 2012
In reply to Al Evans: There used to be a mile event at Mow Cop, well two actually one up the hill called the 'murder mile' and one down the hill called the 'maniac mile', I don't know if they are still yearly events but the 'maniac mile was a good opp to run your best ever mile times.
Incidently before Kenny Stuart started his run of Snowdon wins there was a top fell runner called John Wild breaking all the records, he is reputed to have come down Snowdon on his record breaking time doing under 5 min miles, it was under 19 mins for the 5 miles, stunning when you consider the terrain.
IainRUK - on 23 Aug 2012
In reply to Al Evans: I'm fairly sure mowcop mile is going strong.. its featured in Lennox and Mudge's ultimate races book... and I think one of our runners ran it this year...
IainRUK - on 23 Aug 2012
In reply to Al Evans: Also think the sub 5 min mile pace was Skiddaw.. not Snowdon..
Al Evans on 23 Aug 2012
In reply to IainRUK: Well it happened at Snowdon too, I was in the red cross tent being treated for blisters at the same time as he was.
"John, you know I always get blisters the size of half crowns on my heels in this race and it's the only one it ever bloody happens on!"
" Me too Al, Me too, wonder what it is?"
Then somebody came in to tell him the details of his record.
SteveRi - on 23 Aug 2012
In reply to Al Evans:
Doesn't Richard Askwith punt the idea that the first 4 min mile was a hand timed job on A Very Big Hill.
IainRUK - on 23 Aug 2012
In reply to Al Evans: I don't think sub 20 for Snowdon has happened..

21 mins is the record I think..Lucio Fregona 21:05 (1996) as far as I know..
I do 24/25 mins and am normally in the top 10 fastest descenders most years.

Normally 23ish is the fastest descent time.
jackcarr on 23 Aug 2012 - 5ac42406.bb.sky.com
In reply to Roberttaylor:

Ran on and off for ages, mainly just to keep fit, but never taken it too seriously. Was happy with sub hour 10k's and that was about my distance limit.

This thread made me want to time a mile and I did it in 6:58, is this even remotely good? I went out WAY too fast and slowed quite a lot in the second half. Would I be able to do a sub 6 with training?
Steve John B - on 23 Aug 2012
In reply to jackcarr: You don't know till you try. The Riegel formula converts a 6 minute mile into a 41'36 10k, for what it's worth.

As mentioned earlier in the thread basic speed is important for mile times - could you do 1/4 mile under 90 seconds? Or 100m in 18 seconds?
Steve John B - on 23 Aug 2012
In reply to Steve John B: Just had a look and my 5k PB (19'40) "equates" to a 5.56 mile:

The formula was originally devised by Pete Riegel, a research engineer and marathoner, and published in Runner's World, most recently by Owen Anderson in 1997. It has been widely used since then. The formula is T2 = T1 x (D2/D1)1.06 where T1 is the given time, D1 is the given distance, D2 is the distance to predict a time for, and T2 is the calculated time for D2.

http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/general/rws-race-time-predictor/1681.html

Not an exact science, obviously some people can go faster and some can go further. But worth a play all the same!
IainRUK - on 23 Aug 2012
In reply to jackcarr:
> (In reply to Roberttaylor)
>
> Ran on and off for ages, mainly just to keep fit, but never taken it too seriously. Was happy with sub hour 10k's and that was about my distance limit.
>
> This thread made me want to time a mile and I did it in 6:58, is this even remotely good? I went out WAY too fast and slowed quite a lot in the second half. Would I be able to do a sub 6 with training?

Deffo.. try going to a track and timing 100m sections of say 800m.. and look to run within 1-2 seconds each 100m section.. there's no real benefit in 6 800's with splits of 75 seconds for lap 1 and 100 seconds to lap 2..

Track sessions really help provide pacing info..

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jackcarr on 23 Aug 2012 - 5ac42406.bb.sky.com
In reply to Steve John B:
> (In reply to jackcarr) You don't know till you try. The Riegel formula converts a 6 minute mile into a 41'36 10k, for what it's worth.
>
> As mentioned earlier in the thread basic speed is important for mile times - could you do 1/4 mile under 90 seconds? Or 100m in 18 seconds?

Think my best 10k was 53 something from memory. Like I said, I never took it seriously, was just a way of keeping fit, so I never really had the timing mentality. Maybe could have gone sub 50 if I'd tried during one of the times when I was doing it regularly but 41 seems steep.

In school I would do the 100m in just under 14s and the 400m in around 1:10 so I reckon I have the speed to do it, I just massively misjudged my first attempt and went out too quickly. Might give it another go tomorrow and see if I can beat it.

I should get down the track and time some new splits really too.
John Rushby - on 23 Aug 2012
In reply to Roberttaylor:

I managed to do BFT's around 7:10, so I guess that "could" equate to a 5 minute mile. My training was some distance but mostly lots and lots of high intensity efforts.

At the same time, my best marathon was 3:30 and best half was 1:35 and best 10k was around 34 minutes so it underlined the fact I don't have much speed over distance.

This was all achieved around the time that Sutty was a lad....
alicia - on 23 Aug 2012
In reply to Roberttaylor:

I was just reminded of this thread when I saw that there's a 51-year old with a streak of 37 years of sub-5 min miles! Pretty impressive stuff.
http://www.letsrun.com/forum/flat_read.php?thread=4770444


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