How to run a mile in 6 minutes (with pictures)

How to run a mile in 6 minutes (with pictures)
How to run a mile in 6 minutes (with pictures)

Running a mile in 6 minutes is a goal pursued by many runners. Most don't get there without a lot of practice. In fact, most would never even try! You will need to work on your endurance and build muscle by running long distances and doing sprints. You just need to be focused and motivated to make it happen. If you keep up with your workout and push your limits, you'll be able to run a mile in less than 6 minutes before you even have a chance to say “phew”.


Part 1 of 3: Improve your time

Run a 6 Minute Mile Step 1

Step 1. Work your ½ and your ¼ mile

Instead of seeing the entire mile, split it into parts. It is much easier to work your performance on 90 second blocks. When you get to run ¼ mile in 90 seconds, work your ½ mile. When you can run a ½ mile in about 3 minutes, try to keep that pace for the entire mile. So don't tire yourself out more than necessary and take it step by step.

Psychologically, it will have its effect. When you think about running a mile in less than 6 minutes, you're going to say, “Wait a second… 6 minutes? Is this a joke? But 90 seconds of frantic racing? " Why not ? "

Run a 6 Minute Mile Step 2

Step 2. HIIT

That is, High-Intensity Interval Training. This is probably the best solution for improving your mile time and boosting your athletic performance. It's like sprints (discussed above): repetitive and cyclical. For example, you are going to give yourself full for a minute, rest for a minute, and repeat this cycle about eight times. In the end, running a mile in 6 minutes will be a snap.

As you improve, do more intense sessions. Run 75 seconds and rest only 45 seconds. Keep doing this until you get 3 minute sessions. You just have to combine them

Run a 6 Minute Mile Step 3

Step 3. Work on your endurance over long distances

When you practice, focus on other goals as well. Speed ​​isn't all that matters. Stamina will also help you improve. Put your speed training aside for a ride and have a long, hard run. When you can run 5 miles at your ease, 1 mile will scare you less.

Suddenly, you can change the environment. Go for a run in the gym, on your treadmill, or outdoors. You need to stay motivated

Run a 6 Minute Mile Step 4

Step 4. Run downhill

You can work on your endurance and speed as much as you want, but remember that in order to propel your body over long distances or at a certain speed you will need strength, which you will need to work on as well. Running on a flat surface for several miles will never have as much effect as a hilly course. By increasing your heart rate and working your muscles on slopes, you will be able to reach the next level on the flat.

It's a good excuse to change your habits. At first it's easy to hit the gym or your favorite course, but when the novelty wears off and you manage to run those courses without even thinking about it, your goals will start to slip away. So change your habits and go to hilly terrain

Run a 6 Minute Mile Step 5

Step 5. Start improving your time

Learn to run ¼ mile in 1:30, then ½ mile in 3:00, then ¾ mile in 4:30 and finally try to reach your goal of running a mile in 6 minutes. Find a course where you can easily spot the distances, grab your stopwatch, and see what you can do. This is the only way to know if your goals are really so ambitious or, on the contrary, achievable.

However, you don't have to do this every day. Train most of the time during the week and only then test your progress. If you do this everyday, you will get bored

Run a 6 Minute Mile Step 6

Step 6. If you go shopping, take a few things into account

If you are aiming to run a mile in 6 minutes because you want to be a better runner, there are some tips that can help you get in the lead to get to the finish line faster.

  • Give it your all right from the start. Unless you want to play the game of the outsider that overtakes everyone at the last minute. Stay ahead from the start so you don't have to deal with the cohort of runners in front of you.
  • Don't put pressure on yourself either, you don't have to be first. This person sets the pace, breaks the wind, and is under tremendous pressure from everyone else behind. It will tire out at some point and that's when you need to take advantage of it. Above all, don't force yourself. The worst mistake you can make in a long or medium distance race will be in the first minute: don't force yourself.
  • If you are running on a track, pass in the straights. If you're trying to pass the person in front of you on a turn, you're going to have to run a little faster to get there. And you will waste energy unnecessarily.
  • Make an effort for the last third of the race. Breathe more deeply, lighten your strides and make a final effort. Your head will beg you to stop, but your body will continue. If you put in a little more effort in the last third of the run, your pace will either stay consistent or improve. You have to feel like you're going faster in the last third to keep the same pace. Plus, it'll be easier to push your limits in that final third. If you make an effort at this time, you will definitely improve your time. When you see the finish line, you will find the energy to finish in style.
  • Focus on your strides, your breathing, and what is in front of you. When you start your home stretch, continue to focus on your strides and try to lift your knees a little higher. Above all, don't focus on the horde of admiring fans, your coach, or your feet. Look straight ahead, think of the finish line, and don't get distracted. It only takes a second of inattention to ruin all your efforts.

Part 2 of 3: run smarter and better

Run a 6 Minute Mile Step 7

Step 1. Learn to breathe well

We all have a bad habit of just taking short breaths. Do not do it ! Make sure you breathe deeply through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. Bad breathing can tire you out faster than you think.

Try to keep the same pace throughout the race. Inhale every 3 or 4 steps. In addition, this rhythm will allow you to concentrate on something

Run a 6 Minute Mile Step 8

Step 2. Always remember to warm up and stretch

To turn your muscles into war machines, you must first warm them up. Otherwise you risk forcing them to do something they don't want to. Suddenly, they will rebel by wrinkling or tearing each other. Do a few jumping jacks, a few burpees, raise your knees, sway your hips, relax your body and get it ready.

Also, don't forget to stretch after every workout. This will allow your heart to slow down smoothly and for you to come to your senses after intense exercise. Plus, your muscles will benefit and won't stiffen too suddenly

Run a 6 Minute Mile Step 9

Step 3. Take good strides

Running badly is not only potentially dangerous, but you also waste energy unnecessarily. To be able to run a mile in 6 minutes, you need to run as efficiently as possible. Here's how you can go about it.

  • Regarding your upper body, look straight ahead and not to the sides. Relax your shoulders. If you are tense, shake your shoulders and arms to relax. Keep your back straight and your elbows at a 90 degree angle, your hands form fists, but don't squeeze them.
  • Regarding your lower body, make sure you have light strides (the less noise you make, the faster you will go), touch the ground with the middle of the sole of the foot, unroll it to take your next stride by propelling yourself with your toes. Raise your knees slightly, take short strides, and place your feet directly below your body. You must feel like you have springs under your soles.
Run a 6 Minute Mile Step 10

Step 4. Strengthen your arms, legs and abs

Running a mile as fast as possible depends on your strength. So don't forget to strengthen your body. Do regular squats, lunges, planks, sit-ups and push-ups to build muscle and improve performance.

Also, introduce weight training with dumbbells into your workout. Do curls, extensions, presses to work your biceps, triceps, forearms and shoulders. You can strengthen your arms when you are at home, even while watching TV

Run a 6 Minute Mile Step 11

Step 5. Drink water

Your body will not function optimally if you are dehydrated. So remember to drink enough water every day, as you train hard and always drink a glass or two of water before you go for a run. After the race too! You will need to supply your body with what it just lost through sweating.

Water is by far the best drink. However, a cup of (black) coffee right before you go for a run can give you some energy. On the other hand, avoid becoming addicted to it, do not overdo your consumption and do not rely on caffeine on the day of a major race. You can never predict how your body will react when you ingest caffeine

Run a 6 Minute Mile Step 12

Step 6. Eat healthy before and after

If you are planning to run a marathon, a special diet would be appropriate. But running a mile is another matter: you don't have to top up on carbohydrates and so on. You should simply avoid eating an hour before your workout (but remember to eat with every meal) and consume slow sugars, proteins, fruits and vegetables. Don't go running if you're hungry!

  • A fruit (like a banana, an apple or a peach) will give you the sugar you need in a natural and safe way. An English muffin or oatmeal will also do the trick.
  • Try energy gels if you feel like it. They'll give you the sugar and energy you need to reach the finish line seconds earlier.
Run a 6 Minute Mile Step 13

Step 7. Lose Weight

The point is, your body has to carry its weight to the finish line. If you are overweight or obese, this will slow you down. Even 2 or 5 pounds can make a difference, if you can afford it.

However, most of all, you need muscles. Reducing your calorie intake and losing weight won't make you go any faster if you're just losing muscle. If your weight is acceptable for your height, do not change anything

Run a 6 Minute Mile Step 14

Step 8. Buy good shoes

Why ? Because it's better than running and hurting yourself. There is no picture, is there? It might even influence your time! Go quickly to a specialty store to get a good pair of shoes. Too many people take the first pair they like. No no no ! You need to know exactly what you need to improve your performance. Talk to the salesperson, ask them which shoe is right for your foot. Here are a few tips.

  • The heel and upper of the shoe should be comfortable, but cannot tighten. You should be able to easily slip your foot out of the shoe with the laces untied.
  • The feet tend to swell naturally during the day and during a run. Make sure they have room! About an inch should be enough. If you really want to be careful, buy your shoes at night when your feet are at their widest.
  • Try on the shoes. Put them on and run in the store or on their treadmill. Just having them on your feet and sitting still will not get you moving. You need to be sure that the shape of your foot matches the shape of the shoe perfectly. You wouldn't buy a car without trying it out, would you?
  • Unless you have a good medical reason, don't spend more than you need to buy orthotics. It is better to invest in a good pair of shoes than to spend hundreds of dollars on a completely useless product.

Part 3 of 3: Prepare

Run a 6 Minute Mile Step 15

Step 1. Have good equipment

Much of what we accomplish depends more on our state of mind than anything else. If you're near your 6-minute goal, your state of mind may be what's blocking you. So, don't hesitate to invest a little more in this pleasant and healthy hobby!

  • Buy sportswear. There are clothes made especially for runners, but at the end of the day you can run in whatever clothes you find most comfortable.
  • Also, bring a good towel, a water bottle, a bottle holder belt, a stopwatch, etc. The material things may not be what matters most, but if you buy the right equipment, you will at least want to use it.
Run a 6 Minute Mile Step 16

Step 2. Listen to music

Create a playlist made to achieve your goal with songs that are around 190 bpm. You will quickly realize that your feet have no choice but to follow the beat of the music. In addition, when you hear your favorite song, you will have a surge of energy, an overwhelming urge to go faster.

There are plenty of racing playlists you can find on the internet if you don't know where to start. You will obviously need an iPod or another type of player

Run a 6 Minute Mile Step 17

Step 3. Run with a friend

There's nothing like a bit of competition to push the envelope! Obviously, make your friend run as fast as you, if not faster. If he slows you down or you can't keep up with him, you'd better run alone.

You can also take turns running. It will be easier to time. Also, having someone waiting for you at the finish line to judge you is definitely a motivation

Run a 6 Minute Mile Step 18

Step 4. Set Goals

Each week when you go for a run, try to set yourself an achievable goal. The more you reach these goals, the more motivated you will be to continue. Whether it's running that many miles, doing that many intervals, or gaining 10 seconds every week, set a goal and try to achieve it. These kind of small wins will keep you motivated to keep going.

Don't forget to reward yourself! Every time you gain 10 seconds, do yourself a favor. Those 10 seconds may not seem important to you, but in the long run they will make a difference. And that's why you deserve a reward


  • Don't let your arms go all over the place when you run, keep them close to your body to run faster!
  • Never walk, you will have a hard time getting back on your way.
  • A lot of people run with a partner, it motivates them, because they don't want to disappoint the other.
  • When running downhill, take longer strides, but slow down.
  • When running uphill, take shorter strides, but speed up.


  • Running can be very tiring. When you are done running, stay upright! It will be difficult for you, but you have to stand and put your hands on your head or your hips in order to get oxygen quickly.
  • Don't drink energy drinks or drinks that contain a lot of caffeine. This will make you want to urinate and increase your risk of stomach pain. Simply drink water, preferably an hour before you run to avoid cramping.

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