An average person can run a mile in around 10 minutes.
US male runners finish a mile at 9 minutes and 19 seconds on an average running distance of 4 miles. In contrast, women complete it at around 10 minutes and 19 seconds at a 3.7-mile run.
The US’ average mile run is just seconds ahead of the global average. These statistics are from Strava’s 2019 Year In Sport.
Every runner wants to surpass the average time. Some aspire to do a mile run in 7 or 6 minutes, but some dream of doing it in only 5 minutes.
You could be saying, 5 minutes? My legs will not stand that!
I assure you, your body can handle it. To help you do it, I’m going to give you some tips and information on doing a five-minute mile run.
How to Run a Five Minute Mile
Most of us often interchange stamina and endurance, but they’re not the same. Endurance is all about our body’s physical capacity to do something for a long period.
In contrast, stamina is the ability of a runner to bear running physically and mentally for an extended period. Increasing your stamina helps you run a mile for five minutes without getting tired along the way.
The best way to enhance your stamina is to increase the running distance slowly. Don’t add another mile after a day because your body and mind will not have time to recuperate.
Running a mile in just five minutes needs speed. To increase your speed, you need to have the proper running form.
A proper running posture consists of different key elements. Here are some of the basic ones:
- Your feet should maintain a hip-width distance between them.
- Your elbows should form a 90-degree angle.
- Your eyes should look straight to the horizon.
- Your legs should not overextend.
Don’t know your running form? Join the club!
The best way to understand is to let someone take a video of you while running. It’s a great way to assess your running form and improve on those faulty areas.
Although its name defines what it is, speed work is more than running faster. It’s when you run in intervals at par, near, or quicker than your VO2max pace.
Most runners don’t like to do it as it needs more energy. However, speed work helps you lose weight, increase your stamina, and enhance your aerobic capacity.
Pace Plus Race
Race pace is running at a speed ideal for a specific type of race. Triathletes make more sprints as time is essential to them.
It is essential to know your race pace for a mile to gauge your best time finishing it.
Interval training involves different sets of running intensities. A great example is to have sprints during your run to pair it with slow runs after.
This kind of workout builds speed, increases anaerobic capacity, and cuts down running time.
Who Should Run a Five Minute Mile?
Running in marathons is no easy task. Marathoners endure long distances while thinking about the time they need to finish it.
A five-minute mile run improves a marathon runner’s time, speed, and other physical features of running.
All avid fans of running should at least put the five-minute mile run on their bucket list. Doing it will increase their drive and passion for running.
Most sporty individuals are competitive and want to surpass themselves. Running a mile within five minutes can be a challenge or an achievement for them.
Also, it can give different benefits that will help them play any sport.
What Challenges to Expect in a Five Minute Mile Run?
Any physical activity poses a challenge to our bodies. Running for a mile in just five minutes is not an exception.
Here are some of the bodily obstacles you may face in a five-mile run:
1. Shortness of Breath
Runners often catch their breath when they run faster or for a longer distance.
There are also different factors at play when you have shortness of breath. It can be the humidity or underlying health problems like asthma and allergies.
2. Sore Muscles
One of the most common complaints runners say is their aching muscles. It is caused when muscle tissues have tiny tears after being stretched and working overdrive in a five-minute mile run.
Sore muscles are more frequent in your legs and feet than in any other part of your body. It occurs a few hours after running and can last a day.
There are many ways to alleviate sore muscles. One great and cheap way is to have a warm or even a hot bath with Epsom salts.
3. Stomach Problems
Some runners experience cramps, diarrhea, or any other abdominal pain during or after running.
According to a study, there is no exact basis for stomach or abdomen pain in runners. But some correlate it on viscera tugging on peritoneal ligaments.
The best way to avoid stomach problems is to warm up properly, hydrate, and eat 2to 3 hours before running.
4. Aching Back
Back pain in runners is more common in the lower part of the back.
The best way to cure back pains is to lessen any physical activity for a few days. Stretching and yoga alleviate some of the soreness.
According to Congcong Cai and colleagues, lower body exercises also improve lower back pain.
5. Painful Feet
If you say that you don’t have painful feet after a five-minute mile run, you may be superhuman.
Having sore feet is a usual dilemma within the running community. Overexertion, blisters, too much friction inside the shoes, or other issues may cause the pain.
Consult a doctor immediately if these complications come too quickly or persist after you stop running.
How to Improve Running a Five Minute Mile
It’s an exhilarating feeling when you have reached the five-minute mark. But like any other person, you want to outdo your personal best.
Here are some tips and tricks you want to put in your running plan:
Strength training or resistance exercises use resistance to train a specific muscle or muscle group. The activities use weights or sometimes the runner’s body weight.
But you might ask, isn’t lifting weights going to make me bulkier and heavier? Not necessarily.
Runners use light weights with high repetitions. Other strength exercises for runners include box jumps, planks, squats, and calf raises.
Probably one of the most underrated tips is jutting down your running time. Seeing your data will help you change your training.
There are different drills specific to improving your form, speed, and stamina. These exercises help your brain and legs communicate well, strengthen the joints, and a great warm-up before challenging runs.
Weight plays a role in running. Losing weight means losing some excess baggage.
Shaving that extra baggage will lessen the energy it costs you to run and make moving easier.
Some of you might fear the word ‘rest’ as it denotes taking time off from running. You would think that taking a break would lose all your hard work.
However, resting is an integral part of running. We mean having an 8-hour sleep and having a full day or two without training.
Resting serves as a recovery time for your body. Moreover, it can keep your motivation alive.
How to Stay Safe When Running
Safety is the most important in any activity you do. Before running, you need to observe some pointers so you’ll have a pleasant running experience.
We cannot stress this one out. Warming up is very important.
Whether you’re at the gym or dancing, you need to prep your body. Even professional runners or athletes do it.
When you warm up, you condition your body by loosening up your muscles, joints, and bones. It also lowers the risk of getting any injuries.
Find a safe space
Always choose a well-lit space whenever you’re going to run. This way, you’ll see where you’re going and any obstacles along the way.
A safe running area also needs to be away from any traffic. Do not run in places where a lot of cars pass by.
You should also pick familiar places or an area known by runners.
Wear proper attire
Proper running attire depends on many factors. For example, you could add a jacket or wear jogging pants for added warmth during cold weather.
Generally, you need to wear breathable clothes and the correct type of shoes. Incorrect clothes or shoes can lead to injuries, overheating, or sunburn.
Don’t know how to pick the right running shoes? Check out this page.
Bring your mobile phone.
Always take your phone with you in the event of any emergency. People can use it to track you down, or you can call someone when you feel unsafe.
Water is an important aspect of our lives. We can live up to 3 weeks without food but can only last at least 3 days without water.
Being hydrated helps regulate the temperature of our bodies and adds cushion to our joints. Water can also enhance your recovery time and lessen cramping.
Benefits of Running a Five Minute Mile
Doing a five-minute mile run does the body good. We’re going to list down some physical and psychological benefits!
Improve blood pressure
Running a five-minute mile boosts your cardiovascular fitness, significantly improving your blood pressure.
Paul T. Williams noted in his research that the increase in running “is inversely associated with the prevalence of hypertension.” He also stated that “more vigorous the exercise, the healthier the health benefits.”
Enhances brain activity
Running boosts your cognitive performance while prompting your creative thinking.
There are also long-term mental benefits of running. It can keep you more focused and develop your working memory.
It also makes it easier for you to switch from one task to another.
Scales down blood sugar
Intense physical activity like running a mile in five minutes lowers your blood sugar.
As you use your muscles while running, they use up more glucose. The less glucose in your bloodstream, the lower your blood sugar will be.
Lowers chances of getting a disease
Data from the British Journal of Sports Medicine shows an inverse relation between life-threatening diseases and running. Engaging in high-energy running like a five-minute mile run decreases the odds of all-cause, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases and mortality.
Better quality of life
Running increases your quality of life. It gives you more energy and lets you stay fit and healthy.
A study shows that runners live 3 years more than non-runners. Moreover, they can have a 25%-40% decrease in premature mortality.
John Hopkins Medicine stated that running produces endorphins, the “happy hormone” which induces the runner’s high.
Our body also releases another chemical called endocannabinoids, similar to cannabis but naturally occurring in our bodies. Endocannabinoids induce calmness and decrease your anxiety levels.
We’re not saying that you’ll sleep like a baby, but you’ll have a pleasant one after a five-minute mile run.
Doing it at night makes it even better. Running can induce a deep and relaxing sleep when done for 1 to 2 hours.
Is a five-minute mile run hard to achieve?
It’s not hard to do. As long as you build up your stamina and do drills and exercises, you can achieve it in no time.
Always remember to pace yourself. Good things come to those who wait.
Will I lose weight doing a five-minute mile everyday?
Definitely! You can burn 11 to 17 calories per minute, depending on your body weight. You can burn up to 85 calories a day or even more!
How fast should I be for a five-minute mile?
The best results are for those with a speed of 12 miles per hour to achieve the five-minute mile run.