Do you have what it takes to run the 5-minute mile run? Perhaps you’re an aspiring runner and want to reach the 5-minute mile mark.
You should know that completing this milestone is not an easy task, especially for beginners that are new to running.
However, it is not impossible to reach. It is not a question of “How” you’ll complete the 5-minute mile run but a question of “When.”
“A dream does not become a reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination, and hard work.”
For you to reach your dreams and goals, you should not be lazy. Instead, you should be patient, persistent, and consistent.
We need both physical and mental strength to make sure we complete our goals.
This article will teach you how to break the 5-minute mile barrier, make sure you have the right equipment, diet ideas to help improve your nutrition, and several training methods.
How To Run A 5 Minute Mile in 2021: (Tips from a 4.22 Miler)
Evaluating Your Fitness Level
First of all, we need to know your fitness level. We need it because we have to determine what kind of intensity level you have to train.
Why is it important? We can customize training methods and be efficient with your workouts according to your physical capabilities.
Once we determine the appropriate training routine you should undergo, results will be noticeable.
The table below shows the three general fitness levels and their description based on their physical capabilities:
|Beginner||New to running and jogging in general.|
Not used to long-distance running and still has a below-average speed and stamina.
Still runs out of breath when performs High-intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
Struggles to find the correct/comfortable pace to run.
|Intermediate||They run 2 to 3 times a week and goes on long-distance runs from time to time.|
Have an adequate amount of speed and stamina due to repetitive runs performed over time.
Can perform (HIIT) with sufficient strength and produce results with improving speed.
Most likely joins marathons and fun runs occasionally.
|Advanced||They run 4 to 5 times a week and only take rest days when necessary.|
Do exercises to improve speed and endurance while running at a marathon pace.
Performs (HIIT) multiple times a week while getting ample rest. Takes care of their nutrition and has a strict diet plan to follow.
Based on the table above, you should find at least one description that matches your capabilities.
The beginner should be doing the most accessible types of training with low-intensity workouts and activities. We don’t want them to be exposed to high-intensity training that would cause them fatigue.
Intermediate runners are capable of high-intensity training but still need enough time to rest and recover. Compared to beginners, they have a faster speed and more incredible stamina.
Advanced runners, however, are athletes that utilize their time to provide excellent results. They do efficient workouts and training to get the most out of their efforts. They do more high-intensity training than your average runner.
Although people have different fitness levels, some things matter regardless of fitness levels. Here are few things that are also important to all fitness levels:
As a runner, it’s crucial to be patient. Results don’t show up overnight. You have to train with all your efforts and wait for the results to show up by themselves.
Everything takes time, like how the famous quote goes; “Patience is a virtue,” you should learn how to wait and persevere through the hardships of training.
Besides being highly motivated/enthusiastic about getting good results, you should be persistent no matter what happens.
There may be times where you will feel demotivated, but that’s where you should be strong because you only will get better in life by making mistakes and learning from those experiences, and moving on.
No matter how complex your training routine maybe, you need to be consistent because consistency is key.
That’s what separates professional runners from your average daily runner. Their more consistent with their training routines, schedules and are constantly compatible with their diet.
- Mental Toughness
Mental toughness is essential in running. In marathons, road racing, and other similar racing events, you may have heard of the expression ”If you’re not first, you’re last.”
You should prepare yourself and have the correct mindset that losing is okay. You should use this as motivation to win your next marathon.
Mental toughness allows athletes to unleash their full potential in high-pressure situations while remaining calm and being able to bounce back from obstacles and mistakes.
Making Sure you Have the Right Footwear and Clothing
Although training and working out is essential to improve, you should not forget about the proper footwear and clothes you need to wear.
It’s essential to have the right gear while training because we need to be efficient with our training while being comfortable while doing an intense workout.
Many people take this for granted, but there’s science behind choosing the proper footwear for your needs.
According to Dr. Anthony Luke, a primary care doctor at the UCSF Sports Medicine Center, you should buy shoes based on your foot shape and the type of running you intend to do.
Over time and miles, your shoes start losing elasticity, so you’ll need to get new shoes based on the amount of mileage you put in your shoes.
When you’re still starting as a runner, you don’t need the fancy and expensive running shoes, but one that fits you perfectly.
Choosing the proper footwear and clothes is to better your health and performance in the long run.
Now that you have the proper footwear, we should talk about suitable clothing. What you wear depends on the weather and what you are comfortable with.
For example, if it’s a sunny day, wearing a t-shirt and shorts may be your best bet. It’s thin enough to keep you cool and dry for the oppressive heat.
However, if you find yourself running in the winter season, then wearing a jacket and leggings may help you stay warm in the cold weather.
Overall, you always want to wear comfortable clothing when training. It helps you stay motivated because you are having fun without being irritated by your footwear/clothes.
Diet Ideas to Help you Achieve the 5-Minute Mile (500)
You should never run on an empty stomach; that’s why it’s vital for you, a runner, to have a set-out diet for the rest of the week.
First of all, having diet plans has a lot of benefits to your health. What’s great about it is it doesn’t have adverse effects on your body.
It’s crucial because you can help the body:
- Lose weight and stay in shape
With constant exercise and workouts, you can lose weight in no time when eating the right kinds of foods.
- Lesser chance of getting diseases and improve your body’s immune system
Since you’re eating healthy foods, there is a lesser risk of getting non-communicable diseases. Over time, you are improving your immune system to fight off viruses.
- Provide good results in running
Eating the right kinds of food is part of staying fit, and being a healthy runner will significantly improve your speed and stamina after consistent practice.
- Better mood and energy levels
Eating healthy food can boost your energy levels and improve your mood. Healthy food makes the body feel good, and subconsciously, you also feel good because your body is always in top condition.
“To keep the body in good health is a duty. Otherwise, we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.”
Although we are not certified dieticians, we have suggestions on how your diet should look like. It doesn’t have to be the exact meal—instead, another meal with similar nutritional value.
This diet is applicable to rest days or very low-intensity training days. This diet is essential when you’re recovering from high-intensity workouts from the past few days.
Breakfast: Spiced Scrambled Eggs
Lunch: Chicken with sweet potato mash
Dinner: Lemon-rubbed salmon
In diet b, however, are the foods you eat on a regular training day. Foods that are in this diet are rich in carbohydrates and protein to ensure muscle growth.
Breakfast: Scrambled Egg Muffin
Lunch: Smoked fish
Dinner: Chicken breast with avocado salad
Diet C will introduce the food you need to eat during high-intensity days. These meals are perfect for days where you perform High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
Breakfast: Blueberry bircher pots
Lunch: Quick chili bean wraps
Dinner: Chicken, sweet potato & coconut curry
|Training||REST||Fifty minutes of warmup (running at a preferred pace). After the warmup, proceed with running a long-distance run.||REST||Improve leg speed by making 400-meter sprints with a 1-mile jog at a recovery pace.||REST||REST||Join a half marathon.|
|Diet Plan||DIET A||DIET B||DIET A||DIET C||DIET A||DIET A||DIET C|
The table above is an example of a training plan with the correct diet. If you look at the table correctly, you are given Diet A on rest days as you are expected to recover in these days.
On regular training days, you are provided with Diet B., Which contains the right amount of carbohydrates and protein.
Lastly, you are suggested to consume Diet C on a high-intensity day, like joining a half marathon.
Diets are volatile and can be changed according to your liking. However, you need to make sure the nutritional value is the same if you plan to change your diet.
Consulting a professional dietician can give you better and accurate diet plans accustomed to your fitness level and daily consumption.
Example of a Training Method
So, you have the right running equipment, planning a good diet, and you are ready to train but don’t know how to?
Well, we have a solution for you. Although people improve at a different rate, the critical thing is you make progress no matter how slow it is.
“Always remember, your focus determines your reality.”
There are a few things to take note of before embarking on your journey completing the 5-minute mile.
The 5-minute mile run is all about speed and endurance. You have to maintain a swift pace in a short amount of time to make sure that you reach one mile in five minutes.
This training is different from the training you usually do in a marathon because this is just a concise run consisting of four, four-hundred-meter laps.
Here is a rundown of what preparations you need to prepare before attempting the 5-minute mile run:
The warmup is significant before every workout/training session. Warmups prepare your body for aerobic activity and prevent abrupt muscle strains.
Warmups can also help your heart prepare for the extra workload that you may perform throughout the day.
Doing pre-exercises before training can loosen the joints to give you extra flexibility to improve performance in training.
- Develop Speed and Stamina
If you’re a beginner, then long-distance runs may seem complicated for you. Beginners tend to run out of breath quickly because their respiratory system is not used to working in prolonged periods.
However, this is only a minor issue because the more you run for longer distances, your body will get used to it.
Stamina is vital because you can maintain a certain pace without getting tired no matter how far your goal is.
Speed, on the other hand, requires you to do intense HIIT. High-Intensity Interval Training can improve your speed by 100-meter strides or 100% effort sprinting with ample rest between sets.
- Build your Endurance
Building your endurance is much more complex than simply participating in fun runs and going on long runs.
When you are out on endurance runs, you should set a comfortable pace for yourself and never go below that pace.
This way, you are forcing the body to maintain the pace in a very far distance. Doing this could build your endurance in no time.
- Work on Leg Speed
To improve leg speed, you should have less body fat, more muscle, and the correct form. Running in the incorrect form can do a lot more damage than you think.
Early on, you should maintain a good posture, engage your core muscles, and gaze forward. Bad form early on will be hard to correct after miles of running in a bad posture.
If you have extra time to go to the gym, then at least allot one hour a day. A gym is a place where you can do some leg workouts, especially the quads.
But if you don’t have access to the gym, then doing leg workouts like squats at home should give you some results on your leg speed.
- Set a Goal Pace
Assuming that you have already worked on your speed, stamina, and endurance. You now have to set a Goal Pace.
Goal Pace is the pace you should run at in a marathon which is slightly faster than your average pace.
This is important in your training routine because it requires you to perform a pace similar to the one you run in the 5-minute mile attempt.
- The Sprint Speed Pace
This is a simple training routine that may help you improve your leg speed as well. You need to do at least two strides per set.
1st 100-meter stride (85% Effort)
The first stride should initiate all your core and leg muscles to work together, producing an 85% effort stride.
Even if you’re not as fast as other runners at first, don’t be discouraged. As long as you’re consistent, you will see how significant the improvements will be.
2nd 100-meter stride (75% effort and finish with 95% effort)
The second stride, however, should simulate the 4th lap of your 5-minute mile run.
You start the run with an average speed providing 75% effort and go all-out upon reaching the finish line.
Going all-out in the last portion of the attempt/race is very important because it serves as a shock to your nervous system on how it should feel when you are swiftly approaching the finish line.
- Keep moving at the Starting Line
Once you have performed your warmups before the attempt, it’s essential to keep moving at the starting line.
After your warmups, your nervous systems are alert and awake. Moving at the starting line will keep them awake for the rest of the attempt/race.
- The 3rd Lap
The third lap is just a mini-tip, but this will help significantly. The third lap is the most brutal because this is the lap where you feel tired and painful.
You must push through this challenging lap. However, the fourth lap will be a lot easier because you will feel all the adrenaline rushing in your body and forget the pain and exhaustion.
To Sum Things Up
The five-minute mile is different for many people. Some may say it was easy for them, and others may say that it took them a lot of time to finish.
However, if you wanted to improve your skills, you should focus on your results. With the proper equipment, diet, and mindset, nothing can stop you from reaching your goal.
All you have to do is to be persistent, consistent, and most of all, be patient. Beginner athletes lose motivation along the way because they are not seeing the results they are hoping to see.
Be patient, and results will come. With all the training you will do, you will complete the five-minute mile run.