Tips to Improve Your Mile Run Time

We get this question every week “Coach, how do I improve my mile run time?”.

You may be trying to get better for the next local 5k run or trying out for Special Forces.

These tips will help you if you apply each one with discipline.

Tips to Improve Your Mile Run Time #1
Go out and run a mile on a flat track and record your time. This is your mile baseline time. If you don’t have a flat track then run on the street without hills.

Tips to Improve Your Mile Run Time #2
Set your goal. Are you trying out for military Special Forces or competing in a local 5k run? Write down your goal and set a time to complete and of course – lower your time.

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Tips to Improve Your Mile Run Time #3
Lay out your week with a schedule and run with appropriate rest. Create a habit of running every week but allowing for down time to recharge your body. Fresh legs can help you run faster and with more intensity – which translates to lower times.

Tip #4
Go pick out a new pair of kicks. New shoes translate to lower times. Mentally you feel excited with new shoes and physically you can feel the extra spring in your step.

Question: What is a good training book I can read to help me improve my running further?

We like the book 80/20 Running: Run Stronger and Race Faster By Training Slower.

Running is like any sport in that you want to train with discipline and a few good tips can set you on the path towards success.

Check out the Nike Free Run+ 2 Running Shoes @

Tip #5
Stretch on your off days. A good session of yoga will also help to lengthen the muscles, increase restorative blood flow and relax your mind.

Tips to Improve Your Mile Run Time – #6
Get a running buddy to challenge you – push you.  A workout partner helps push the pace. Intensity will boost your workouts, your performance and make it fun.

Question: What is a good running shoe to get started with training?

You can’t go wrong with the Nike Free 5.0 running shoe.

This is a good all around running shoe and a good value for the dollar.

Check out the Inov-8 F-Lite 235 Functional Fitness Shoe @

Tip #7
Get plenty of sleep to rest your body and mind. Treat your rest day like a workout day and allow your body to recover.Check out this article on sleep and rest for athletes

Tips to Improve Your Mile Run Time #8
Use CrossFit workouts to build your cardio, legs and core. Try rowing, box jumps, air squats, jumping air squats and Air Dyne bike workouts to supplement your running workouts.

Tips to Improve Your Mile Run Time #9
Improve your speed with sprint training. Spend an hour at the track and establish your 50 meter, 100, 200, and 400 meter sprint times. Use sprint workouts once a week to build power and speed.

Check out the CFF 3 – N – 1 Wood Plyo Box @

Tip #10
One of the most important things you can do is mentally envision yourself reaching your goal. You will become what you think. See yourself on that APFT test reaching your run time goal. Mental preparation is key to success.

Check out more info on the Schwinn Air Dyne Exercise Bike

Tips to Improve Your Mile Run Time #11
Keep a training log for running. Note type of workout (long slow endurance, sprints, etc) terrain (track, street, trail, etc.) and conditions (heat, wind, snow, etc.).

Check out this article on how to set up a Training log and keep it updated

Tip #12
Be patient with yourself. You will have good days and bad days. Improving your mile run time does not happen overnight. Run with intensity, add in CrossFit, get good rest and the lower times will follow.

How To Run Faster

Check out the CrossFit Garage Gym gear to help you improve your Running

Tips to Improve Your Mile Run Time #13
More miles does not make you faster. Depending on your past conditioning – do not try to run too much per week too quickly. Pace yourself and make small increases each week. Too much running too quickly can lead to shin splints.

How to build endurance for running

Concept2 Model E Indoor Rowing Machine

Tip #14
Sign up and enter a race.  Running in a competition is a great way to boost your training as you will have a goal and will also run harder in the pack against your rivals.  There is nothing like competition to help you get better.

How to build stamina for running

Tip #15
Pose running. Work on improving your form by studying and performing the Pose method. Land on the ball of your foot – not your heel and you will improve your efficiency.

Questions from the athletes at our gym.

Question: How do I improve my 2 mile run time? Are there different workouts? Try the workouts above for the 1 mile and then run the 2 mile and you will more than likely see a drop in your time.

Question: What are supplements to decrease your 1.5 mile time? We only recommend a few supplements such as fish oiland whey protein powder would be a good choice as it helps speed up recovery time.

Question: Can a new pair of shoes reduce my time on the mile run? Yes; especially if your using a lighter shoe and running on a track.

Question: Can I improve my run time in one week? Depends. You could lose 5 lbs in 7 days if you eat really clean and do cardio workouts burning calories. Get a new pair of shoes that are lighter. If you ran on the street for your mile run and then ran on the track. There are many factors but you could best your mile run time in one week.

Question: what 5 different factors can contribute to increase in a mile run time? New running shoes, losing a few pounds, properly hydrated, being warmed up, running technique (pose running) and mindset.

About the Author:
bradBrad McLeod knows first hand about mental toughness after being kicked out of a top tier Spec Ops training unit. He failed out of BUD/S the first time after failing a math test (made it through Hell Week and Dive Pool Comp). He came back a year later and graduated and served as an operator on the Navy SEAL Teams.

Today he is one of the most sought after mental conditioning coaches in the world today having recently returned from Ireland, Southern California, Pennsylvania and parts unknown in north Florida. SEALgrinderPT audios and Ebooks have been downloaded in 20 different countries around the globe.

Check out SEALgrinderPT Coaching to help you step up and take hold of your dreams and realize your goals.

Related Articles:
Top 10 CrossFit Equipment for a Garage Gym
Check out this article on 5k Running Tips
Check out this article on Trail Running Tips
C2 Rowing Tips
Check out this article Special Forces workout
Tips to Decrease Asthma

Tips to Improve Your Mile Run Time


  1. gcefalo says

    When I started to train with Coach McLeod, he sent me this article and I have used the information religiously to where my mile run time is down to 7:43 from over 9 minutes when we started and it continues to drop. Print this article if you can, read it and study it. It works.

  2. Jason Robles says

    Currently training for the USAF Pararescue PAST, had a 1.5mile run time of 13:44min. My goal is to meet and exceed the minimum PAST 1.5mi time of 9:47.

    These are all solid tips from Coach McLeod, will definitely see improvements in my running time and my running time after the 500m swim in the PJ PAST. Improvements to follow. Hooyah!

  3. says

    Hills, hills, and hills. I take time every week to dedicate to hills. I need to run more consistently but inserting thoselong hill runs keeps me improving significantly without taking as many days to dedicate to it. Though I should.

  4. says

    Brad awesome article. These are all tremendous tips. I would also add in the addition of resisted speed running. As you pointed out with using strength training to enhance performance this can also be done with the addition of a weighted vest, bungees, etc.

    For distance runners this would obviously be better to implement during days of doing interval work. I like to throw in weighted vests on days I do intervals to enhance my work capacity and to further raise that lactic acid threshold. It has no doubt sped up the process of enhancing my performance. Thanks again for sharing.

  5. R.J. says

    I am in a reconnaissance unit wich requires speed and endurance for run, ruck, swimming with gear this and the hill running helps as well as a switch up of intense treadmill and battle ropes I’ve found to work as well.

  6. says

    I recently sent this email to Brad,

    “I recently joined my NROTC unit’s endurance team, running isn’t my strongest trait but I am not the slowest. However I want to be in the top 4 to start for the team. We run around 5 miles a day for three days a week.”

    He recommended this article and I have been following the tips it has been giving me. I have already seen improvement.

  7. Ryan Greer says

    Hey Coach! Got some awesome news. I’ve been running 2 miles a day every night after work. My goal is 10 a day before I take my PST. I’ve discovered how incredible the mind and minds outlook truly is over the past 2 nights.

    Monday night I clocked in at about 13:48 I believe. On Tuesday night I said “ok, on the hardest parts, smile and picture a Trident directly in front of you but it moves away as fast as you move” and clocked in at 13:21! Last night, I said “Ok, now with last nights tweaks, always physically keep your head up and forward” and clocked in at 13:08!

    Hope all is well and we can talk on the phone soon.

    Ryan Greer

  8. Frank Valdez says

    Great article, I have had a busy month of may, I completed my first half marathon and the murph challenge. I had a time of 2:51 for my half and 1:07 for the challenge w/o vest. I enjoyed your primer audio and am starting to work on improving both those times for next year and hopefully shed at least another 20 lbs. What would be a good set of audios to purchase next to get going.

    Thanks for the motivation

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