Join the April Mile Speed Challenge Presented by the Medtronic TC 1 Mile
How fast could you run just one mile? 9 minutes? 7 minutes? Sub 6 minutes?
Most of you probably have no idea because you’ve never trained for, or run just one mile. Maybe in high school or college, but the once revered distance isn’t so popular anymore.
One way to estimate it is by taking the time of your last race, and plug it into a VDOT calculator. For example, the average finish time at the 2013 Twin Cities Marathon was 4:17:35, which translates to an 8:04 VDOT mile, even though that marathon pace was 9:50! Obviously that’s an estimate, and there are other factors involved (like are you still in that good of shape?). Still, it makes you wonder –
How fast could I run just one mile?
What is a VDOT Calculator?
Just so you don’t think I’m pulling numbers out of thin air, the VDOT system was created by legendary running coach Jack Daniels, Ph.D., and exercise physiologist (yes, that’s his real name). According to Runner’s World, your VDOT is;
…the amount of oxygen you consume during a minute of running. (VDOT is actually shorthand for “V-dot-O2 max.”) This number, or value, can be determined in a research lab for a small fortune–or you can determine your VDOT from your recent race times.
VDOT uses mathematical calculations based on tons of research to estimate your aerobic capacity – how efficient your body is at turning oxygen into energy.
Using the VDOT calculator is a way to help you establish a baseline and go from there.
What is the April Mile Speed Challenge Presented by the Medtronic TC 1 Mile?
For this month’s challenge, we’ve partnered with Twin Cities in Motion. Our challenge is all about helping motivate you to get some zip back in your legs in the lead up to the TC 1 Mile (or whatever your next race is).
If you’ve spent the winter on the treadmill, or not running much at all, now is the time to fly! You know the benefits of speed work for distance runners, and focusing on a distance like a mile (in addition to your regular training) is one way to see what your made of.
How The Challenge Works
As you complete your speed workouts this month, record them here and be eligible for some sweet prizes. Results will be public so you can learn from and be motivated by others.
Here are a few “rules” and some anticipated questions.
1. What exactly qualifies as speed work?
Anything faster than your race pace! The VDOT calculator is also great to help you determine training paces. If 30 minutes is your 5k PR, that’s 9:39 pace. Speed work involves running shorter distances, faster than that pace. In this case, perhaps 400m repeats @ 8:54 pace.
2. How often do I have to do them?
Every plan is different, but if you’re not doing some form of speed work once or twice a week, you’re not getting much benefit to your overall fitness. You need to log at least 9 total speed workouts between April 1 and May 7 to be eligible for prizes.
That breaks down to one the first week, two in weeks 2 – 4, and one the last week (with some wiggle room). Totally doable!
3. How will you know if I did real speed work?
If you lie, more than likely your next race won’t go so well. That’s just the running gods keeping the universe in balance. 🙂
4. How do I Start Doing Speed Workouts?
We’re blessed with some amazing running talent in Minnesota. Four professional runners with Team USA Minnesota have graciously offered some sample training plans. These will help you prepare for the TC 1 Mile, as well as give you ideas on how to incorporate consistent speed work into your regular running plan.
Take a look at all 4 and find one that’s right for you.
- Beginner by Antonio Vega
- Intermediate by Dani Stack
- Advanced by Jon Peterson
- All Purpose by Heather Hampf
In addition to the incredible satisfaction of become a faster runner, here’s what you’ll be running for.
- Two $35 TCM “Run Card” gift cards
- Three $10 Caribou Coffee gift cards
- Four pairs of Twin Cities In Motion FITSOKs
- One pair of Mizuno Wave Sayonaras (lightweight performance trainer/racer) courtesy of Mill City Running & Mizuno
- One pair of lightweight performance trainer/racing shoes courtesy of Marathon Sports
- T-Shirts from Run the Race
- More that we’re still working on!
What is The Medtronic TC 1 Mile
In short, it’s the second largest road mile in the country, and this year will be the 10th anniversary. Join 3,000+ runners and race down Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis, then stay to cheer on the professional runners!Register for the TC 1 Mile
How fast do you think you can run just one mile?
Leave your best guess in the comments below, then join us on May 8th to find out!