Thursday, June 30, 2011

6-minute Mile

When I was in high school, I was a pretty fast runner.  I was no Roger Bannister.  Hell, I never even ran track because it was in the same season as baseball.  We did some endurance running in all of my athletics and I always ran to finish first, and every year we would have to run the mile for the Presidential Skills Test.  In my prime, I was running very low 5 minute miles (I think 5:07 was my best, unofficially).  I remember having friends that fretted about running a sub-6 minute mile to make the varsity soccer team, and I always thought about how easy that would have been for me to run.

Now that I am an old man and have spent many years not caring for my health and well being, if I run a sub-7 minute mile I feel pretty darn good about myself.  In my most recent 10K, I ran the first mile in 6:30 because I thought I could run out front with the big dogs.  I probably paid the price for the rest of the race because I went out entirely too fast.  But it also got me to wondering if I could run a sub-20 minute 5K.  Honestly, it just got me to wondering if I could run a 6 minute mile.

So, when I went out for this mornings 5 mile "tempo" run, I ran hard for the first mile just to see how I would do.  And it went pretty well!  I have noticed that I do not have a "good" form when I run.  I typically run pretty straight-legged/flat-footed.  So I worked on getting a good push from my rear leg, while "pulling" with my fore leg.  I worked to keep my core, hips, and glutes engaged.  And I focused on having a good arm swing to sort of "pull" me along.  I realize that it sounds like I am trying to be some sort of expert with my description, but nothing could be further from the truth.  I am simply repeating what I have read in some magazines, and trying to incorporate what I think it all means in my runs.  Whatever I was doing seemed to work!  I ran a 6:23 mile!  Not bad, if I do say so myself.  Just a few more seconds and I will be able to make the varsity soccer team!

Anyway, it seems kind of silly I think, but I am going to keep this goal of a 6 minute mile hanging around.  When I get done with the half marathon training and get back into some 5K runs, it may just come in handy.

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