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Mile

3 11 2010

Have you ever tried to run a mile on your best effort on an oval track and find out what is your best time?

A mile is a length of a distance which is equivalent to 1,600 meters. It is the English system in measuring a distance. Its counterpart in the Metric System is the Kilometer. A Kilometer is equivalent to 1,000 meters. Obviously, a mile is longer than a kilometer by 600 meters.

In the sports of Athletics, a Mile Run is one of the most popular running events done on an Oval Track. A mile run is equivalent to four (4) laps on an oval track. However, in the Olympic Games and in IAAF sanctioned events, the metric equivalent of the mile run which is the 1,500-meter run is the one which is considered as sport event.

Many books had been written about athletes who have run the mile in less than 4 minutes. But I’ve never read any of these books except for the book, “Lore of Running” by Dr Tim Noakes where all the significant runners who broke the 4-minute barrier in the mile run had been mentioned.

At present, the standing world record for the mile run is 3:43.13 minutes by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco on July 7, 1999 in Rome, Italy. For the past 11 years, such record time had never been broken. I am sure some Filipino runners had broken the 4-minute barrier for the mile but I have yet to know the National Record time for such distance by our local runners.

To answer the question that I mentioned above, I have to admit that I’ve been running on the oval track for so many times for the past years but I never thought of trying to set my personal best time on the said distance. Since I’ve set my GF 305 on the metric system, I usually measure the distance I could run in kilometers.

When I was still active in the military service, a 2-mile run was a part of our regular Physical Fitness Test. My best time for the 2-mile run was when I had my military schooling in Fort Benning, Georgia, USA when I timed 12:00 minutes for the said distance. I was then 32 years old. The 2-mile route at the US Infantry School was a flat trail surface. I would safely say that I ran my best one mile in 6 minutes. I wonder what would be my time if I’ve done the 2-mile run on an oval track with a tartan surface during that time.

On my last Physical Fitness Test before I retired from the military service (4 years ago), my time was 14:20 minutes done at the Headquarters Philippine Army Grandstand running/jogging area, which is translated to a 7:10-minute mile.

Three days ago during my 5K tempo run on the oval track, I was able to register a time of 7:40 minutes as I finished my first 4 laps at the oval track. I really don’t consider this as my legitimate best time for the mile because I started with a slow pace on my first lap and started to increase my pace on the 2nd lap and finally maintaining my fastest pace when I was already on my third lap. I wonder how will I perform if start on a racing mode from the very start up to the finish line in a mile run?

I asked my elite athletes if they have timed their best one mile run since they started running and all of them said “Not yet, Sir!”. I am surprised to know that these elite athletes do not mind knowing what their best mile run is. Is this the normal behaviour of our elite runners? Is this an indication that they are not coached and trained properly? No wonder we could not excel in other long distance running events as we could not even excel on the very most basic distance where the training standards in long distance running is based. Coaches would base every training program for his/her athletes from the best time they could finish a mile or 1,500-meter run.

Having said this, I am going back to the “basics” of training the best of my one mile run as part of my aerobic training for the half-marathon, marathon, and ultramarathon training. It’s a crazy thing to do but it is nice to know what your body is capable when you run at your best effort in a 4-lap run on the oval track.

Now, I ask you, “Have you tried running your best one mile run lately?” You can write your comments and I would like to know your best time on the said distance.

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2 responses

4 11 2010
tigerboy

hi jovie… I already tried doing an all-out effort on all standard distances last July (200m, 400m, 800m…) with the intention of using those times on my training plan. my 1-mile registered at 6:00 mins, around 3:45 mins/km.

5 11 2010
kenleyjones

Very nice post. I was once quite a speedy runner in high school clocking a 4.38 mile. To bad I couldn’t do that 26.2 times consecutively or even once now. I have not since that 20 years ago clocked my best mile. Something I might do after 10 days from now. marathontalk.com when they interview they ask a question towards the end. If you can train for 6 months with everything provided, training, diet, etc. what would your magic mile be. I think that Ryan Hall is in the lead with something below 4 minutes. I would like to at least have a sub 5 minute mile in the next 5 years.

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