Want cardio cred? Follow this program to run your fastest mile ever
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a runner or not, or whether you ever plan to toe the starting line of a marathon or 10K. Every man should aspire to run a 6-minute mile, or at least see how fast he can run this classic distance.
Running hard for a mile requires speed, stamina, and grit. And then there’s muscle: “People often forget that you need strength to run that distance that fast,” says Ryan Lamppa, cofounder of Running USA and founder of Bring Back the Mile, an advocacy group trying to restore the race to its pre-1980s glory (that is, before track and field’s conversion to metric).
“Look at milers: Unlike distance runners, they’re muscular,” Lamppa says.
Much of that strength comes from the training required to clock a decent time. “You need to run intervals—repeated bouts of all-out effort and rest—to target both slow- and fast-twitch muscle fibers,” says Ben Rosario, head coach of the Northern Arizona Elite running team.
That’s why a 6-minute mile is such an accomplishment. “It shows that you have power and a strong aerobic base, which translate to better performance in any sport,” he says.
Follow these steps to achieve it in just 4 weeks.
1. Set a Starting Point
A week before you begin the program, head to the track at your local high school or college and, after a warmup, run a mile as fast as you can. (A mile on a typical track is four 400-meter laps in the inside lane, plus about 10 yards or meters.)
Note your time. This is your baseline for deciding a reasonable goal and for measuring improvement. If you’re new to mile-specific training, you can reasonably expect to run the mile 10 to 15 percent faster after this four-week program.
So if you run a 7-minute mile, you’ve got a good shot at hitting that magical 6-minute mark after a month. In this preliminary week, if you do another cardio workout (in addition to your regular workouts), make it an easy distance run.
2. Accelerate Your Training
Once a week for the next 4 weeks, head back to the track to run intervals. (Use the chart below to guide your sessions.) Warm up with 10 to 15 minutes of light jogging and four to six “strides.”
To complete one stride, accelerate from a jog to a sprint over 50 meters. Rest briefly and then begin your intervals workout.
Two other days a week, jog for 30 minutes. These cardio sessions should be in addition to—not to the exclusion of—your regular gym workouts. Just be sure to perform each workout on a different day.
3. Time Your Mile Again
Did you finish in 6 minutes or less? Congratulations! You are faster and fitter than most men on the planet.
If you missed your goal, no worries; just repeat the four-week training cycle. “But this time, also run hills once a week to strengthen your quads and boost your explosive power,” Rosario suggests.
Find a moderate hill—something challenging but not so steep that you need to walk up it. Sprint uphill for 20 to 30 seconds. Walk back down to recover. Repeat 6 times. Then go back to the track and try again!
|Week 1||Week 2||Week 3||Week 4|
|Run each interval at your own pace||10x200M||10x400M||2x800M||4x400M*|
|Walk/jog between each interval||1 Min||1 Min||5 Min||90 Sec|
*Run 5 seconds faster than your 1-mile pace this week.
I want to attend Marine OCS next summer but my running time is holding me back a bit – it’s 24 minutes for 3 miles. I can max the pull-ups and crunches but would love to drop my 3 mile time at least 2-3 minutes. Do you have any plans or suggestions to help?
Sure do. First, you have likely built a decent foundation of running, so working up to running 3 miles should not be difficult. You are feeling no pain I assume?
If you are good to go on that front, it is time to add some pacing drills to build up your running speed and VO2max.
Here are some of my favorite running workouts that will help you bring your 8 minute mile to a 7 minute mile. Once you get to a 7 minute mile, and that is easy, you can push to the next level: the 6 minute mile and maxing the USMC 3 mile run!
Main Workout for Pacing at first. Learn the new pace: Warmup run 1 mile, any pace Repeat 10 times 1/4 mile at 7 min mile pace (1:45) (no faster / no slower) rest 50 seconds
Cool down run 1 mile at any pace
As you progress, you can do 1/2 mile distances, 3/4 mile distances, and mile repeats at your new goal pace. Repeat as many times as you can and rest 50% of the time it takes you to run.
Mix in some leg PT as well because the two things that will get tired are your lungs and your legs.
Repeat 6 times 1/2 mile at goal pace (3:30) squats 20 lunges 10/leg light stretch if needed Sprint / Jog Workouts: This will take you off your pace BUT push your heart rate as the goal is to get really winded and try to recover with a jog (not a walk).
1 mile warmup jog Repeat 4 times 1/4 mile SPRINT 1/4 mile jog Repeat 8 times 1/8 mile SPRINT 1/8 mile job
1 mile cooldown run
I would do each one of these types of workouts a week. If you prefer, you can add in another goal pace drill workout. Also add in a steady, slower paced (LSD – Long Slow Distance) run to maintain your distance ability.
If you have any issues with pain, try to stretch, foam roll soft tissue, or rest and go with non-impact options if needed.
Tabata Intervals are some good non-impact VO2max workouts, and they can be done on bikes, elliptical, or rowers too.
The goal is to push for about 7-8 minutes of a 20 second sprint followed by a 10 seconds easy – do this for 7-8 minutes. Stop, stretch, and loosen up and repeat again until you have nothing left in the tank. Pushing the next minute faster on your mile pace runs requires to push yourself even when not running.
Good luck with the next level of running. Keep pushing!
The 4-minute mile is for elites. But a sub-5 or sub-6 is a challenge for the masses.
Leafing through an old copy of Runner’s World, as I am wont to do on occasion, I came across a feature about Adharanand Finn’s attempt to run a 5-minute mile. The author of Running with the Kenyans had been a decent middle-distance runner as a teenager and, having focused on the marathon as an adult, wanted to see if some of the old track speed still remained.
When it comes to the mile, the famous digit is of course 4. It’s now been 65 years since Sir Roger Bannister broke the seemingly impossible 4-minute barrier for the distance. No such mystique has existed around the 5-minute mile for the simple reason that, for elite or even decent club runners, it’s an eminently achievable feat.
Yet one of the many great things about running is its ability to be moulded to your own ambitions, however big or small. And that’s why for the past three weeks, I’ve been training for a sub-5 mile. If the sub-4 mile is the sub-2 marathon of its day, I’d say the sub-5 mile is the middle-distance equivalent of the sub-3 marathon: a tough challenge that is nonetheless within the realms of achievement for quick men and very quick women.
Even if the mile distance itself doesn’t pique your interest, the knock-on benefits for the longer distances are a compelling reason to give it a go. ‘The faster your mile time, the faster your cruising speed will be,’ said Trevor Painter, a top UK running coach. Tuning up your top-end speed also improves your technique, posture and form, while the sessions are short enough to be packed into a lung-busting 20 minutes.
The downside, of course, is that mile training is intense. I’ve included the four-week schedule below, which is roughly divided into three easy runs and three tough sessions. Running at 5-minute mile pace, for me at least, is a shock to the system. But I’ve also found myself looking forward to the sessions, reminded once more of how exhilarating fast running can be.
The training can easily be adapted to your particular needs, too. If a sub-5 mile feels impossible – and it still does to me at times – then how about a sub-6, sub-7 or sub-8? Ultimately, as long as the time pushes you to your limit, it’s legitimate. I’m hoping to run my sub-5 by mid-January. If you’re looking for a way to kickstart your running year, I encourage you to set your own mile challenge and get 2020 off to a flying start.
An Army Officer emailed me with a goal of dropping two minutes off his mile run pace. This is not a tough goal to achieve if you are presently running a 10:00 mile and have a goal of 8:00 mile pace. However, as you can imagine, it gets much tougher going from 8:00 mile pace to 6:00 mile pace or faster. But the 10:00 to 8:00 pace can actually be done in less than a few months as long as you are not new to running.
If you are a beginner, you should always ramp up distance, pace, and intensity over a six to eight week period as described in the chart below:
Running Plan I – Beginning Runners
|1||1-2 mile||Bike or swim|
|2||2-3 miles||Bike or swim|
|3*||Bike or swim||Bike or swim|
|4||3 miles||Bike or swim|
|5||2 miles||3 miles|
|6||2-3 miles||3-4 miles|
|1||1-2 mile||Bike or swim||1-2 mile|
|2||2-3 miles||Bike or swim||2-3 miles|
|3*||Bike or swim||Bike or swim||Bike or swim|
|4||3 miles||Bike or swim||3 miles|
|5||off||4 miles||2 miles|
|6||off||4-5 miles||2-3 miles|
*Do not run during Week 3 – bike or swim everyday. There is a high risk of injury to beginners.
For more experienced but slower runners, going from 10:00 to 8:00 mile pace is best done with the following recommendations:
No Running – rest or PT
PACE DAY – 3 miles of intervals at goal pace
Here is an explanation of the chart:
Run two miles, but try for as long as you can to run at your goal pace — chart progress each week on how far you were able to maintain goal pace. The chart below will help you figure out your goal pace at the intervals recommended in this running plan:
|Intervals||Goal mile pace: 8:00||Goal mile pace: 7:00||Goal mile pace: 6:00|
|1/2 mile intervals||4:00||3:30||3:00|
|1/4 mile intervals||2:00||1:45||1:30|
|1/8 mile intervals||1:00||52 seconds||45 seconds|
To ace the running portion of any PFT, it is most important to learn your pace. Recognize breathing, arm swing, leg stride, foot strikes and create muscle memory of exactly how you should feel when you are running at your goal pace. As you get into better shape, you should feel better throughout the running event.
Note: One day a week you should push the speed limit and do a series of faster than pace runs:
Intervals will help you build your VO2 max and foot speed to better learn your goal pace. On a few of the interval runs, try to run one to two miles at faster-than-goal pace just to push your limit. After each interval run, walk or slow jog for a recovery for one to two minutes. During the second month, increase your distance but keep the pace the same. Shoot for 1/2 mile intervals at goal pace.
Wednesday – Day off
Swim or rest. Do your PT exercises today as well as every other day as recommended in any of the PT articles in the article archive and at the Military.com Fitness eBook store.
Two mile timed run or two mile jog. Test yourself on Thursday, after a day off of running. If your PFT distance is 1.5 miles or 3 miles (USN, USCG, USAF, or USMC respectively), run that distance required for your services PFT followed by a jog of the same distance.
Learn your PACE. All runs no matter what the distance – 1 mile, 2 mile, 3 miles, 1/4, 1/2 miles etc are to be done at your goal pace. Work up to three miles of running for as long as you can at your goal pace. Once you fall off your pace, stop, walk and recover for two minutes and continue running shorter intervals until you reach a total distance of three miles.
Long run Saturday: 4-6 miles easy pace. Have a nice leisurely run at slow moderate pace and stretch well after each running session.
Sunday – Day off
As you can see, the best way to get better or faster at running is to practice running. This routine is aggressive but doable, and should only take 20-40 minutes on most weekdays.
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Sometimes setting an unreasonable goal is the only way to jump-start your fitness
I was watching the 1,500-meter Olympic final last summer at a bar, a few months before my 35th birthday, when I first wondered if a middle-distance runner lurked within. It was a strange thought. At six-foot-three and 175 pounds, I have the look of a runner but not the legs. In my early thirties, some half-assed training led to an unimpressive 22:39 5K, a 1:49 half marathon, and an almost four-hour marathon. Usually, it was a girlfriend who’d goaded me into racing. Now, in my mid-thirties, I was managing bad back pain.
Still, the mile intrigued me. It sounded short, simple. Training would take much less time than distance racing (or so I assumed). And everyone runs a marathon these days, right?
I’d never run a timed mile. Never even been on a track. My personal best in the 5K suggested that a 6:30 mile was possible, but that time would be nothing to brag about.
Sub-six seemed too pedestrian, 5:30 too random. Hicham El Guerrouj’s 3:43 world record, set in 1999, was safely out of reach. I decided to go for a sub-five-minute mile. More than 23,000 high-schoolers break five minutes annually. But at twice their age, I’d be OK with that company.
On an early August morning, at a track near my home in Atlanta, I laced up my cushiony New Balances and managed four very tiring, uneven laps in 6:19. Not bad, I thought, sprawled on the grass. But what now? A former college miler told me to “train until you can click off 74-second 400’s in your sleep.”
Atlanta is miserably hot in summer, so I began by running my 400’s (a quarter-mile, usually done as one lap around the track) on a treadmill. I set it at 12 miles per hour—a five-minute-mile pace—and tried to hang on for a minute and 14 seconds. I could soon manage one of those. But it was a couple of months before I could reliably run four in a workout. And that was with rest in between.
By early winter, I’d lost what little fat reserves I’d had and gained some confidence and stamina. I could knock out a tough 2:30 half-mile on the machine. On a chilly mid-November day, I went for it at the same track as my first time trial. My buddy Will, who set our high school 5K record (16:20) 17 years and 30 pounds ago, joined. As did our fit, 28-year-old pal Wyatt, who attempts a sub-five mile annually.
I went out hard, leading the first 400 in 66 seconds (a 4:24-mile pace!) and the second in 73 (still sub-five pace!) before dropping off precipitously as lactic acid filled my over-eager legs. I fell across the finish line, 16 seconds behind Wyatt, in 5:15. Will lumbered in a half-minute later. I could barely stand afterward and coughed for days.
Charles Bethea warming up at a track near his home in Atlanta. (Photo: Amanda Greene)
I’d shaved a minute from my mile time in three and a half months, but it was clear that I needed help to get over the edge. Luckily, Nick Willis, the two-time 1,500-meter Olympic medalist from New Zealand who won bronze in the very Rio race that spurred my quest, agreed to coach me. He’d just debuted an online mile-training boot camp called Miler Method. He devised a five-week plan for me, involving four weeks of training—two focused primarily on endurance, two on speed—and a final week with two shots at my goal.
There was good news. Racing flats, Willis said, would cut three or four seconds off my time. At his suggestion, I ordered some fancy Adidas Adizero Takumi-Sen 3’s. Willis told me that the blazing first lap of my 5:15, inadvisable as it had been, was proof that I had the necessary speed to pull off a sub-five, assuming I learned how to pace myself. The bad news, he went on, was that I needed to run a lot more, around 30 miles per week to build strength. Running too little is a common mistake that novice runners of all stripes make, but milers in particular are prone to the misstep.
“Do you think I’m too old to pull this off?” I asked him.
“The prevailing wisdom has long been that you’re best in your mid-twenties,” Willis said. “But there’s been a real trend in the last decade of people pushing those boundaries.” In other words, my age was no excuse.
I kept carefully to his plan, which included easy five-mile jogs twice a week, a weekly ten-mile run, a three-mile tempo run at a 6:15 pace, hill intervals, and 100- and 200-meter sprints. Despite eating four or five meals a day, I dropped down to 166 pounds. With Willis’s sign-off, I set an early-January goal date.
Buzzed on coffee and feeling nerves, I arrived at a local high school track on a cloudy afternoon. I’d listened to an R. L. Burnside song with a hypnotic groove that morning, and I tried staying in it as I jogged a warm-up mile. Knowing my tendency to start too hard, Willis had told me to shoot for a more relaxed first lap and steadiness throughout, aiming to make my last lap the fastest.
I contained myself on the first lap. Seventy-six seconds. Then 73, and another 76. By the end of the third lap, my legs felt the telltale weight of lactic acid approaching as I hugged the inside lane. I could taste the metallic flavor of blood in my throat. I strained to breathe. But I knew I was just over a minute away from my goal.
Coming into the final straightaway, according to an amused spectator, I was making audible grunting noises and looked “a little deranged.” I didn’t care. With the last of my energy, I lunged across the finish line and pressed stop on my watch: 4:59:4. Maybe it was the endorphins, but I swear I heard 23,000 high school kids cheering.
The Fast Lane
Whether you’re trying to run under five minutes in the mile, PR at a half marathon, or just finish your first 10K, most new runners make the same mistakes. Here, Olympian and coach Nick Willis tells you how to avoid them.
The Problem: Not running enough.
The Solution: If you want to get close to your potential, or at least enjoy race day, work up to at least 30 miles a week. This is true even for relatively short events like the 5K. To be competitive, you need to increase your volume even further, to about 70 miles a week.
The Problem: Too many runs at race pace.
The Solution: To build a strong fitness baseline, do most of your workouts at a relaxed pace. A good rule of thumb: 80 percent of your runs should be easy, and the other 20 percent should be hard tempo runs, sprints, or hill work.
The Problem: Starting too fast.
The Solution: To avoid a spectacular blow-up in the back half of any race, you need to run at a consistent pace. “You have to develop this judgment in training,” says Willis. Come race day, you’ll likely be so eager that you have to consciously hold yourself back.
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The feeling is exhilarating.
If your goal is to run a six-minute mile by the end of summer, you can achieve it by following these simple steps.
- Increase Your Mileage
The mile is considered an endurance event, so it is important to increase your current mileage to expand your cardio and VO2 max. This doesn’t mean that you have to go from running twenty miles a week to forty miles. With each passing week, slowly add a few miles so you don’t suffer an injury from overtraining. Whatever your current fitness level may be, it is crucial that you increase your cardio. This will help you in breaking that six-minute mile barrier you are destined for.
Running additional miles will only help you so much. While it is important to increase your cardio and fitness, it is also essential to build stronger muscles in your legs so when your cardio gives out, your strength kicks in. Runners don’t need to focus on getting bulky arms. Rather, focus on your core and leg strength. You will need the extra power in your legs to be able to sprint to the end of the finish line. There are simple exercises like back squats, lunges, and deadlifts that will assist you in building strength in your legs. It’s also important to note that you must be careful if you have never lifted before. I myself have been injured from lifting too heavy of weight. Start out with light weights and add more over time. Remember, the goal is to gain strength, not to be able to squat 300 pounds.
3. Run Hill Sprints After Your Runs
This is similar to weight-training, but without the weights. Doing hill sprints will strengthen your legs and increase your anaerobic fitness. If you’ve ever felt your legs burning in sheer pain, it’s known as lactic acid. It’s every athletes worst nightmare. Runners build up lactic acid during high-intensity exercise like sprinting. It is especially important to do hill sprints after your runs in order to build mental toughness. You’ll need to be mentally tough when enduring the pain of a sub-six-minute mile.
4. Diversify Your Workouts
If you begin to increase your running mileage, that’s great. However, you must not simply go on jogs every day. Jogging daily will lessen your chances of breaking a sub-six minute mile. Along with easy runs, you must train vigorously and endure some painful workouts. Incorporate tempo runs during your weekly running schedule. This is when you run at a pace that you could hold for five miles if you had to. It is important to get some speed work in during the week or else you won’t improve your physical fitness. While you need to allow your body to recover, you also must push yourself and test your limits.
5. Maintain a Healthy Diet
It’s important to fuel your body with the proper nutrients after a workout in order to ensure that you are reaping the benefits from the workout. It does no good to complete a hard tempo run and eat chips and candy upon returning home. Focus on eating protein in addition to fruits and vegetables. Diet will help immensely in improving yourself as an athlete.
If you don’t break the six-minute mile barrier initially, don’t get discouraged. Increasing your physical fitness and endurance takes time. But if you’re committed and mentally tough, running a sub-six-minute mile will be a breeze for you.
Running a mile on a treadmill is perfect because it displays the time and distance you’ve run. So you can easily see when you’ve made it and how long it took you. Running a mile has been the ultimate distance for a long time. It took many years for people to run the mile quicker than 4 minutes. No one thought it could be done but it finally was in 1954.
When you start running you’ll be going much slower than a 4 minute mile but the dream of running the distance is still there. Once you can run 1 mile you can keep going and run 2. Once you’ve run one mile your health and fitness levels improve. You will also burn calories and help lose weight. It’s a great starting distance.
How long will it take me?
This table gives a wide range of minutes per mile from walking to running. 3 miles and hour is brisk walking so that’s 20 minutes per mile. At first you may be doing a lot of walking but you’ll be running the whole mile before too long. The thing is not to worry too much about the time you do it, just that you’re doing your best and your progressing to running the full mile instead of walking part of it.
Divide the mile into chunks
If you’re a beginner to treadmill running you probably won’t be able to run the mile straight off. For this reason we need to divide it into walkable and running bits. Instead of using distance which can be tricky when we’re dealing with small numbers we’ll train with time spent running. This way before you realize it you will have run a mile.
Try brisk walking the for 2 minutes then running for 1 minute, repeat that until you’ve covered the mile. That will take around 15 minutes. The next week run for 2 minutes and walk for 2 minutes. The following week run for 3 minutes and walk 2. Then run 4 minutes. Building up this way keep an eye on the distance and within a few weeks you will be running for a mile.
Now that you’ve run for a mile
Now that you’re running for a mile perhaps you want to do it quicker. Well the treadmill is the perfect machine to help you do that as well. You can learn to run faster by using the incline feature. Instead of walking for 1 minute set the incline to 2% and run. Then bring the incline back to 0%. You alternate between running at an incline and running flat.
Doing this is harder on the body so when you go to run a mile again on 0% incline or a flat treadmill you will be able to do it quicker. Once you’re run one mile you’re a proper runner so perhaps you can take your new found hobby to the next level. Perhaps you can learn to run further. It’s all about taking it slowly and running a further distance each week. Your body will slowly adapt itself by losing weight and becoming fitter.
Soon you may be running 3.1 miles. This is exactly 5k, 5k is the distance that a lot of races in the country run for. We have our own 5k training plan and its perfect to take on after running a mile. When you’ve come to this point it’s important to get some running shoes even though you’re running on a treadmill as they are designed for running and are kinder to your joints.
Meet The Author
I’m Simon Gould. I’ve been around treadmills my whole life. From running on them at an early age to working in treadmill dept’s of national stores. I’ve run outside and I’ve run on treadmills and I prefer running on treadmills. I still run on one nearly every day and love it.
Please see a health care professional before undertaking any exercise program.
Where you see a * in the link, it means it’s an affiliate link and I maybe compensated if you make a purchase.
You won’t pay any more for the product and the content is not influenced by this.
It’s just a way of funding the site itself.
Of all the events that make up the Army Combat Fitness Test, the two-mile run generally causes soldiers the most grief
By Adam Linehan February 19, 2016
Of all the events that make up the Army Combat Fitness Test, the two-mile run generally causes soldiers the most grief. That’s because you can be in great shape but still consistently fall short of your goals. If you really want to crush your next Army Combat Fitness Test, you have to train for the two-mile as if it were an Olympic event. Which is why we asked Derrick Adkins to offer up some pro-level advice for soldiers looking to drop their two-mile run time.
Adkins won the gold medal for 400-meter hurdles at the 1996 Olympics and now trains coaches and professional athletes competing in endurance events.
“If you’re running a 15-minute two-mile right now and you want to take it down to 14 minutes, you could do that in two to three weeks,” Adkins told Task & Purpose. “But if you do this for six to eight weeks, I’d say you can take that 15 minutes down to 13.”
Buy good running shoes.
“Having the right shoes makes a big difference when you’re trying to do something like this,” says Adkins. “I recommend going to a specialty running shop instead of a big sports store. At these shops, the sales people are more than sales people; they’re experts who will look at your foot, your arches, and how you walk to find the right shoe for you.”
Don’t starve yourself.
It’s never a good idea to combine the goal of dropping your two-mile run time with the goal of losing weight. Running a lot makes you hungry. So eat. “Try to consume only healthy carbs, fruits, vegetables, salads and whole grains,” Adkins says. “And there’s no need to cut down on the amount of meat and protein your body is already used to. Just stay away from fatty cuts and fried food. You can eat as much as you want as long as it’s healthy.”
Find a track.
A 400-meter track is the ideal venue for this because it allows you to measure time and distance accurately. To begin, you’ll want to establish a baseline by running two miles (or eight laps) around the track. This will give you a starting point. “If you can’t find a track, a measured course with mile markers will work, too,” Adkins says. “Avoid the treadmill. That’s a last resort.”
Do speed work.
Begin with a 5–10 minute warm-up jog followed by some stretching. Then hit the straightaways for 10 100-meter sprints at 75% full speed. “After each 100-meter sprint, take your time walking back,” says Adkins. “Only do this once a week. You don’t need any more speed work than that.”
Do over-distance work.
Since you’re training for a two-mile run, you’ll want to run between three to five miles two or three times a week. This will ultimately make the two-mile distance feel shorter and easier. “It’s okay to leave the track for this,” Adkins says.
“Intervals or tempo runs are paced runs a tad faster than your two-mile pace, but definitely not a sprint,” Adkins explains. The ideal interval distance is 800 meters, or two laps around the track. Run one interval at moderate pace and then rest for four minutes. Repeat three more times for a total of four intervals. Do this twice a week.
Don’t overdo it.
“Remember that your body actually gets stronger while resting, not while training,” says Adkins. “Training four to six days a week should be sufficient. Try not to train seven days a week. You need your rest.”
Focus on form.
Contrary to what they used to teach us in the military, striking first with the heel of your foot while running is bad form. “If you see a pro marathoner caught in a still photo, they look flatfooted,” Adkins explains. “That’s because they’re striking mid-foot tending toward the front of the foot. That’s good form. On the other hand, if you see a still photo of a runner with his leg out in front and only his heel striking the ground with no other part of his foot touching, that’s wrong.” Good form also entails keeping your torso erect and your chin up. “If you have a slight forward lean, it should be very slight.”