How to Run Your Fastest Mile
The Mile is a poetic blend of cardio endurance and all-out intensity.
By Bill Bradley, GQ Magazine
We have to admit, we geeked out just a little over the weekend when we heard that Dijibouti runner Ayanleh Souleiman had won the prestigious Bowerman Mile at the Prefontaine Classic in an incomprehensibly fast 3:51.10. This is such an insane feat of athleticism. Imagine that you're in an all-out panic—perhaps you're fleeing a knife-wielding madman, or maybe you have just a few precious seconds to race across the parking lot before the Cheesecake Factory closes—and you break into a dead sprint. Now imagine holding this pace for an entire Mile. That's basically what Souleiman just did.
While we're not suggesting that any of us mortals will ever go that fast, we do think there's a certain romance to running your own best Mile time. The Mile is a poetic blend of cardio endurance and all-out intensity. It pushes you to be your best, and is just long enough that you can see real progress if you train right. With something short like a hundred-yard dash, you're making huge strides if you knock off one lousy second from your personal-best time. With a Mile, you can see minutes worth of gains.
So we called up Nike Run Club Coach Blue Benadum to figure out how a normal guy can work toward a blazing personal best in the Mile. His plan doesn't necessitate the commitment of training for a marathon. It's not going to be a time suck on your social life. In fact, start an email thread filled with shit talking now and get your buddies in on the fun. Make a race of it.
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