How Fast Can you Run a Mile? Find out at the TC 1 Mile!
A mile is 5280 feet, (or 1609 meters if you’re Canadian). It is the mainstay of the Presidential Fitness Challenge, military and law enforcement readiness requirements and a host of other fitness indicators (my grandmother had to walk a mile in under 15 minutes to qualify for some life insurance thing).
Yet surprisingly, most runners couldn’t tell you how fast they could actually run a mile, myself included. At a recent group run, I asked a handful of people, “how fast is your mile time?” Most responded with, “A mile? Just one? Hmmm…” then proceeded to guesstimate based on some arbitrary subtraction of a fast 5k race.
If you’d like to have an exact answer to this question, I highly encourage you to register for the Medtronic TC 1 Mile on May 12. Not only will you know if you meet the Presidential Fitness Challenge, but, more importantly, you’re going to have a ton of fun doing it!
What’s New at the TC 1 Mile in 2016?
The Medtronic TC 1 Mile has run through Minneapolis since 2005. 2016 is the sixth time it will host the USATF 1 Mile Road Championships. It is also a stop on the Bring Back the Mile Grand Prix. Heather Kampf (local running hero) is a three-time winner of that series. In 2014, the TC 1 Mile was canceled due to weather.
This year, the biggest change is a new course. TCM is always trying to create better race day experiences for the runner. According to Virginia Brophy Achman, Executive Director of TCM,
We always reevaluate our venues, and while last year’s Hennepin Avenue course had the excitement of running downtown, it was a challenging location operationally. The city asked us to consider other venues and we were excited about the possibilities of running in the historic Minneapolis Riverfront area.
The 2016 course will start on S 2nd St, between Park and Portland Ave in Minneapolis, near Mill City Museum. Runners will go almost a half mile east on 2nd, past Gold Medal Park and Izzy’s Ice Cream before taking a sharp left onto 13th Ave S (take it wide). From the turn, you’ll get about a 1/4 mile of a gentle downhill before making another turn onto West River Parkway. You’ll zip past Gold Medal Park and finish on the river side of the Guthrie.
Heather Kampf, the 2015 women’s winner, says this new course is good. TCM asked her (any many others) for input before deciding on it. It should be a bit faster than past years.
Why This is a Great Place to Test your Speed
I asked fellow runner and blogger Jessie Benson from The Right Fits, why she has run this event 4 times.
As a distance runner it’s pretty rare to have an opportunity to go all out in a race like you do at the 1 mile. Marathons and 1 mile races are so different but it’s a great way to challenge yourself in a totally fun (and totally uncomfortable) way. It’s only a mile!
Challenge and Fun. Two things that often go hand in hand with TCM events, especially the TC 1 Mile. It kind of reminds me of a high school track meet. Because of the multiple wave starts, you have huge groups of runners waiting around for their turn. There’s music, games, dancing (if you’re into that), and just a whole lot of fun running energy. You almost can’t help but get excited and pumped to run your mile!
A few other perks…
- Brooks® technical short-sleeve shirt for all participants ($24 value, pictured right)
- USATF-certified, chip-timed course with instant results by Mtec
- 1,000 finishers will be selected to receive a guaranteed, non-complimentary entry into the Medtronic
- TC 10 Mile
- TCM Photo Stop with props and a photographer!
- Wave starts so you can run, then stay to cheer on friends
- Sweats check, Special offers from local retailers and sponsors
Additionally, because it’s only 1 mile, you barely sweat, so going out for food and drinks after barely requires a shower!
A Tip from a Professional Miler
Heather Kampf, Queen of the Road Mile is the quintessential miler. She runs for Team USA Minnesota, and is crazy fast. She has been tearing it up out there over the past few years (track, road, whatever). Some may think it takes a certain level of crazy to run a fast road mile, and while that may be true, it also takes some good training, a focused mind, sleeping lots, and eating dessert every night (that’s seriously part of her diet).
She loves running road miles because,
…it’s exciting, and feels so much faster on the road than on the track! You never run that fast on the roads, because other races are much longer. It brings you back to when you were a kid!
I recently asked her for help estimating how fast someone could run a mile. She suggested a really good workout that would give you a pretty good idea.
Do 6, 400 m repeats, with 1 - 2 minutes rest in between. (whatever helps you feel like you’re not going to die. Take the average time from those six 400’s, multiply by 4, and use that as your mile time.
I did this and the average of my six 400’s was 86 seconds. If I take ( 86 * 4)/60, I should be able to run a 5:45 mile. She admits this isn’t scientific, but a pretty good estimate of your top mile time.
You could also use a vDot Calculator, but I found that my 5k PR was the only one close to Heather’s formula.
She also added that there’s a trick with running a mile (or any race for the matter). It’s the third third that can make or break your race. In regards to the mile,
You have to think you’re running faster in the 3rd 400 meters if you want to finish fast. Once you get close to the finish line, you’ll get that home happy feeling to finish strong.
Your TC 1 Mile Experience
Are you running the TC 1 Mile this year or have in the past? What are your tips, and what is your best guess at how fast you could run a mile? Share below.