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I've set as a goal running a sub-5-minute mile, but I haven't really come across any great guidance about a good training plan for this, or even whether it's a realistic goal at all. I'm curious to hear what folks here think.
I'm 33, 5'9", 150lbs. I can currently do a mile in 5:45--that is pretty much an all-out effort. I run about 20 miles or so a week, although there's plenty of other exercise in there, too--weights, calesthenics, and so on. The fastest I've ever done a mile is 5:30, although that was many years ago.
I've sort of set as a very rough goal doing a sub-5-minute mile by the end of the year, but that may be way too optimistic. I really have no. I'm curious to hear what others here think. Thanks!
My short answer would be to ride a bike. It's the only way I'd do it. I think I broke 6 once in high school but am happy to get below 8 now.
But more seriously, I do know that my fast friends do a lot of sprints to build the specific strength needed to maintain that speed. Hill sprints are very effective but anything pushing that pace or better as intervals will get you in the right direction. I used this approach for my last half training plan and took 10 minutes off my previous year's time so it gets results. The other bonus here is this is great for raising your aerobic threshold which is going to be essential for a mile sprint.
In summary, do short sprints. Lots of them as interval sets of varying lengths just to keep it interesting. There is probably more you could do but this is my 2 cents.
Also a not-so-expert opinion. You don't mention any sort of speed work, intervals in particular. You definitely need to do those, at least once, probably twice a week. I would guess mostly short repeats - 100s, 200s, 400s. You can get pace recommendations at http://www.mcmillanrunning.com/. The other thing I would recommend is higher weekly mileage, with some tempo-type runs mixed in.