Q:

# How can a person run a 6-minute mile?

A:

The ability to run a 6-minute mile depends on fitness level, physical condition, age and genetics. Because of this, some people may never achieve running a mile in 6 minutes, despite extensive training. However, those in good physical condition with a natural runner's body and experience with running might be able to train for a 6-minute mile using a measured distance running path and a stopwatch.

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1. Improve conditioning and pace

No one can simply jump into running long distances at a fast pace. Regularly running 6 miles or more builds a strong base of aerobic conditioning and allows a runner to improve his pace. Begin the distance runs at a normal pace, which depends on fitness level; as time goes on and running becomes easier, gradually increase speed to about 7 minutes per mile. A stopwatch helps keep time.

2. Increase stride length

Plyometrics is a type of exercise that reduces the amount of time a runner's feet are in contact with the ground. Maximizing stride length minimizes contact time, which in turn increases speed. The stride rate is the number of strides done in 30 seconds multiplied by 2. A stride rate of 90 to 95 a minute is effective for a 6-minute mile.

3. Vary terrain

Running up and down hills builds leg strength and increases speed. Find a good hill or series of hills and incorporate it into distance runs.

4. Use interval training

Training in intervals helps with both fitness and speed. Interval training includes running short sprints in succession with only small breaks in between. Speeding up to a sprint for a short amount of time during distance running is also effective interval training.

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