Mile News

Running Advice from Jim Ryun

October 08, 2014

"I know Coach Timmons had to really reach down inside of me at times and pull out some things that I didn’t think were there."

By Mike Rosenbaum, Track & Field Expert

In the 1960s and early 1970s, Jim Ryun was among the world’s top middle distance runners. He credits some of his success to advice gained from his coach Bob Timmons. Today, Ryun operates camps in which he coaches young runners. In the following segment of his interview with, Ryun offers general advice for middle distance runners.

For young runners getting started in 1500 meters, 1600 meters or Mile running, is there any general advice that you would give them?

I try to help runners as much as I can when they ask a question like that. But it’s not something that you can easily explain. Usually it takes a week to understand training and all the things that go with it, and even then we just scratch the surface. Because distance running – Miling in particular – is something that takes time to develop. It’s not the McDonald’s-type drive-in; you drive in and you drive out. It takes time to get there. So the explanation of what it takes to get there is also part of it. So you have to have that blend of threshold running, distance running, interval workouts, making sure you rest – and when you rest, really rest. It’s a combination of all those things, and (it takes) a period of years to actually get there. And if you’re willing to do it, it’s a marvelous experience.”

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