How to Train to Run a Mile in Seven Minutes

The Race
A group of runners are running on a track. (Image: Kenneth Mellott/iStock/Getty Images)

Running a mile with a seven-minute pace is an indication of superior cardiovascular fitness, which is not attained easily. Whether you are training for the full 26.2-mile marathon or looking to pass a physical fitness test, devoted training and technique can help you achieve the speed you want. There are no time frames given because your training progresses based on your current level of fitness and speed. The average adult will take 222 steps per minute during a seven-minute-mile run. Set your speed goal and take the steps required to reach it.

Step 1

Run one mile as fast as you can and time your starting speed. Use a stopwatch to clock the time. Look at how many minutes you need to shave off your run. For instance, if you are running at a 14-minute-mile pace, you are going to have to double your speed and effort.

Step 2

Run three to four times a week if you are new to running, or daily to increase cardiovascular fitness and endurance. Adding up the mileage will help increase your performance at higher speeds. New runners should aim to run one mile, regardless of time in the beginning.

Step 3

Increase your run to five times weekly once you are consistently running between an eight- and 10-minute mile. You can also increase your distance to two miles per run.

Step 4

Add sprints throughout the run once you are comfortably running two miles in under 19 minutes. Sprint with a long stride for 150 m, then return to your normal pace. Add this interval training as tolerated, but do not sprint so much that you do not have the energy to maintain your regular speed.

Step 5

Start running on a marked track. Take note of the meter marks, which are usually at the quarters of a mile. There are about 1,600 m in a mile, so you should see a mark at start, 400, 800, 1,200 and 1,600, or one mile.

Step 6

Start your chronograph as you start your run. Note your position on the track at the 105-second mark. To run a seven-minute mile, you should be at the 400 m mark. Don't quit if you are not, just take note of your final time and finish your run.

Step 7

Continue to run on the same track and note the pace you have to keep to reach the 400 m mark at 105 seconds -- this is the pace you have to keep throughout the mile to achieve a seven-minute mile.

Step 8

Watch for the 800 m mark once you have achieved 400 m in 105 seconds. You should reach the 800 m mark at 210 seconds and are halfway done with the mile.

Step 9

Watch for the 1,200 meter and one-mile markers. Your time at the 1,200 should read 315 seconds and 420 seconds, or seven minutes, at the one-mile mark.

Step 10

Keep clocking your time until you achieve a seven-minute-mile. Running, interval training and increasing your speed and distance over time are the only ways to achieve a faster pace.

Tip

Consider learning the arts of pose, chi or evolution running. These techniques use balance, gravity and foot-strike technique to shave minutes off run times and are taught by professional trainers.

Drink plenty of water daily, especially before and after a run to supply your body with the nourishment it needs for speed.

Regulate your breathing while running. Breathe in for three strides and out for two to avoid hyperventilation.

Warning

A seven-minute-mile pace is challenging, even for the seasoned athlete. Check with your doctor before starting any fitness or training program.

Cold muscles are easily injured -- stretch your leg muscles, specifically your hamstrings and quadriceps, before and after a run.

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