Training

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

Run with the legend

Run, walk, hike and move back to 490 BCE when the founder of our sport, Phidippides, changed the course of history with this run!

GET MOTIVATED by participating in the origins of our sport (and western democracy)! Join the team at Phidippides Running and Greek-American Dean Karnazes and connect to the rich history of distance running with scenic views, landmarks, and a fun podcast.

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