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Workout Wednesday: The Mile Breakdown

M~ SUN0210Bannister2This week features another speed session before the higher mileage of typical endurance training begins. This workout is particularly good preparation for a tune-up race  and can be done 4-5 days before race day.

The workout is best suited for the track but can easily be done on any road or trail with the help of a GPS watch or by measuring out the distance in advance.

A mile breakdown is a series of intervals that start with the mile (1609m) with subsequent intervals “broken down” into shorter distances. The amount of rest between intervals is traditionally 400m/one lap of the track, but can be made longer (800m or more) if need be.

The speed to run the intervals can also vary but should be goal race pace or slightly faster. If doing the workout as pre-race preparation, try to run the intervals at the same pace you hope to run the race.

As always, be sure to warm up and cool down before and after the workout. Also consider adding a few strides and dynamic stretches before starting the intervals.


When ready, begin by running one mile. For simplicity, 1600m/four laps of a track is preferred.  After running an easy lap or two to recover, continue with three fast laps (1200m), then two (800m), then a single lap (400m) followed finally by a half-lap (200m) of the track. The total distance of hard running is just over 4K.

Warm-up – 1600m-1200m-800m-400m-200m@Race Pace/400m easy between – cool-down.