Why the Magic Mile?

After having worked with over 300,000 runners over 40 years, I’ve compiled hundreds of performances and have established a prediction formula based upon a one mile time trial. In other words, every 2 weeks or so, you can run a measured mile (at a good, hard pace for you) and use the time to predict what you could run at longer distances.

This assumes that:

-You do the training needed for the distance and time goal (See my books Running Year Round Plan and Galloway Training Programs)
-The temperature on the race day of your race is 60F or cooler
-You pace yourself correctly and take the walk breaks necessary for your goal (see the same two books for details)

The calculation uses the formula below.

  • Add 33 seconds to your magic mile for your pace for a 5K
  • Multiply your magic mile time by 1.15 for 10K pace
  • Multiply your magic mile time by 1.175 for 10 Mile pace
  • Multiply your magic mile time by by 1.2 for half marathon pace
  • Multiply your magic mile time by by 1.3 for marathon pace

Here’s how to do the one mile time trial:

1 Warm up with a slow one mile run
2 Do a few acceleration-gliders (See my books Running Year Round Plan and Galloway Training Programs)
3 Pace yourself as even as possible on each quarter mile
4 Run about as hard as you could run for one mile–but no puking! (finish feeling that you couldn’t have run more than a football field at the same pace)
5 Keep walking after the time trial for 5 minutes, and jog a slow 1-6 miles, as needed for the mileage for that day

Recommended Run-Walk-Run Strategies

Pace/mi Run Walk

7:00 6 min 30 sec (or run a mile/walk 40 seconds)

7:30 5 min 30 sec

8:00 4 min 30 sec (or 2/15)

8:30 3 min 30 sec (or 2/20)

9:00 2 min 30 sec or 80/20

9:30-10:45 90/30 or 60/20 or 45/15 or 60/30 or 40/20

10:45-12:15 60/30 or 40/20 or 30/15 or 30/30 or 20/20

12:15-14:30 30/30 or 20/20 or 15/15

14:30-15:45 15/30

15:45-17:00 10/30

17:00-18:30 8/30 or 5/25 or 10/30

18:30-20:00 5/30 or 5/25 or 4/30

Pace/km Run Walk

4:30/km 5 min 30 sec

5 min/km 4 min 30 sec

5:30/km 2 min 30 sec

6 min/km 90 sec 30 sec

6:30/km 75 sec 30 sec

7 min/km 60 sec 30 sec

8 min/km 30 sec 30 sec

9 min/km 20 sec 30 sec

10 min/km 15 sec 30 sec

11 min/km 10 sec 30 sec

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