Because of its universality and general appeal, the Mile is “so simple, which is the beauty of it.”
By Jenny McCoy, Runner's World
It’s almost time for the Runner’s World 2022 Holiday Run Streak, where we challenge you to log at least a Mile a day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. Joining the #RWRunStreak is simple: All you have to do is complete the minimum Mile distance daily during that 39-day period—no registration or formal tracking needed.
The Run Streak centers on the Mile, which, in our humble opinion, is an underappreciated distance. “I love it,” says Runner’s World coach Jess Movold of the Mile. “It’s the perfect distance to get you going.”
Whether you’re a new runner building up to your first-ever Mile, an experienced athlete training for a fast race, or a middle-of-the-pack runner just looking to fit a little more movement in your day, there’s a lot to love about this distance. Here, 15 amazing benefits of The Mile:
#1 You can reap serious benefits in a short amount of time
Think the Mile is too short to provide legit health benefits? Not true. When it comes to exercise, every bit counts. In fact, research shows that just 10 mins of running can boost your mood. Moreover, running in 10-minute bursts consistently can raise your VO2 max, lower your heart rate, and even help you build muscle. That’s a lot to gain from a relatively short distance.
#2 It’s proof you don’t need to run long to be a runner
There’s a misconception in the running world that you have to log a certain number of miles in order to be a “runner” or for a run to “count.” Truth is, “that’s absolutely not the case,” says Movold. “One Mile is a run. There’s a start, there’s a middle, there’s a finish. The Mile offers a sense of accomplishment and is a complete effort.”
In fact, building up to run continuously for a Mile is a “big goal” for a lot of first-timers, says Janet Hamilton, certified strength and conditioning specialist, exercise physiologist, and running coach with Running Strong. If that’s your goal throughout the run streak, you’re 100% a runner.
#3 The Mile is less intimidating than long distances
The Mile is just four quick laps around the track, which is a lot more achievable, and way less daunting than logging, say, 26.2 miles for a marathon, or even 3.1 miles for a 5K.
#4 You can do it every day
Most of us don’t have the time or physical ability to run long distances every day—nor would many experts recommend that as part of a safe and well-rounded training plan. But a Mile? Now that’s a distance you can repeat day in and day out, so long as your body is telling you you can handle it and you’re not going max effort each time.
#5 The Mile is easy to fit into your schedule
Finding time to run a 10K or even a 5K isn’t always feasible with busy schedules. A Mile, however, is much easier to slot in: It takes just a small chunk of your time—say, a quarter of your lunch break—and still provides a lot of the amazing benefits of running. By logging a Mile, says Movold, “your day is going to be that much better.”
#6 You don’t need to worry about fueling
When you’re only running a Mile, there’s no need to pack a water bottle or mid-workout snacks, making it that much easier to just lace up and get out the door. The fact that no fuel is needed can be an extra plus for runners who struggle to stomach food while striding. The Mile, says Movold, is “so simple, which is the beauty of it.”
#7 The Mile is a realistic goal for a wide range of runners
Not everyone has the bandwidth, ability, or desire to train for a long-distance race. The Mile, on the other hand, is a “great goal,” says Nicole Sifuentes, certified strength and conditioning specialist, two-time Olympian who specialized in the metric Mile, and running coach with Sifuentes Coaching. “It’s certainly more appropriate than the big goal of the marathon for a greater number of people.”
#8 It’s really versatile
There are loads of ways to approach the Mile. You can run it all out for time, jog it at a slow pace for recovery, or tackle it at a specific pace, says Hamilton. That means it can help you turn up the challenge if you’re in the mood for fast, simmer it down if you’re in the mood for slow, or find that perfect middle pace that allows you to practice being comfortable with a little discomfort.
Continue reading at: runnersworld.com