By now, I am no stranger to the mile! I love to run distance races, but I adore running one milers. I ran my first one last year at the Pittsburgh Liberty Mile (part of the Bring Back The Mile tour), and since then, I have run two more and have signed up for a third.
Many of my distance running friends have never even thought about running mile races. I get the impression that they think it’s kind of useless. But…trust me. It’s not only fun, but it can be very rewarding as well as a huge confidence boost. Check out some key reasons why you should definitely register for a mile race TODAY.
REASON #1: IF YOU’RE BRAND NEW TO RUNNING, YOU GET A DELIGHTFUL TASTE OF THE RACE ATMOSPHERE
This one is for all my novice runners out there! I am talking to all of you with that nagging runner friend (sorry – that’s me all the time!) who is begging you to run a 5K, but you just don’t know if running is your thing yet. Running the mile is a great place to start because you get to see what the race atmosphere is like and if training for a longer race is something you want to pursue.
You get all the perks of a 5K race: A bib, a t shirt, timing…it will truly open your eyes to what it’s like to be in a race, and yet, your training is quite minimal (and you can walk the entire thing if you want – several people do!).
REASON #2: IF YOU ARE COMPETITIVE LIKE TO RUN FAST, THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO RUN REALLY FAST.
When I began running, I uncovered a personality train in me that I didn’t think existed beyond academics: I can be competitive. I often complete against myself by trying to set a new record, but when I get lined up for a mile race, you bet your ass I’m trying to place. In my last mile Race, the Akron National Interstate 1 Mile, I placed first in women 25-29. It. Felt. Amazing.
Running a mile is your chance to shine if you’re competitive and enjoy winning! Of course, you can always apply this to longer races, too – but there’s something awesome and magical about being a speed demon for a mile.
REASON #3: YOU CAN RUN THE RACE, AND GO ABOUT YOUR DAY.
Even people running sub five minute and sub four minute miles walk away from the course. It’s a mile, not two or three – so your body isn’t taking a beating that will force you to sit in a bathtub full of ice for the rest of your weekend.
Plus, you can just get up and go! You don’t have to worry if you forgot something. Forget your KT Tape? Probably won’t matter. Forget food? You’ll be done with your race before you’re even hungry. Have a wedding to go to? No problem – you will have plenty of time left over to apply eye makeup and look fab. It’s just mile. Even if you walk it, you’re done in less than 20 minutes!
REASON #4: YOU CAN TAKE YOUR KIDS WITH YOU, IN THE JOGGER OR RUNNING BESIDE YOU, AND LIKELY AVOID “MOMMY I WANT TO BE DONE NOW.”
Ah, mother runners. We are a special breed. If it comes down to staying home or shoving all the kids in the car, along with the BOB Dualie, we pick the latter. The great thing about the mile race is that your kids can run/walk with you or they will most likely be content in the stroller. This isn’t a 5k or 10k where you have to tape the iPad to the stroller wheel cover and play Sesame Street the entire time you run.
The mile is a family event, and it’s easy going for everyone. You never know – your non running partner may even join you.
REASON #4: IT DOESN’T INTERFERE WITH TRAINING PLANS.
You have seen many posts of mine about Hansons Method. Just as a refresher: It’s the most disciplined plan I have ever done. Five days of running, many of which are long distances, and if you start skipping runs – you’re screwing yourself. The program is about cumulative fatigue, and failing to build endurance makes the training plan pointless.
When I run mile races in the morning, I complete my training runs later in the day. That would be way more challenging if I ran a 5k or 10k! The mile is great because it doesn’t cause you to make adjustments to your training or throw you off your schedule. You can absolutely do both, likely without injuring yourself or even feeling it.
REASON #5: IF YOU ARE HEALING FROM AN INJURY, THIS IS YOUR WAY TO KEEP YOURSELF MOTIVATED AND FEEL ACCOMPLISHED.
So, maybe your doctor told you that you have to “slowly ease back into running.” Contrary to runner denial that we have all experienced, this likely doesn’t mean 5k. It means gradual, which means working up to certain distances. If your doctor has given you clearance to run a bit, consider the mile.
I’ve had a couple different injuries in my running career: torn hamstring (out for four months), bone bruise (out for two weeks), severe ITBS (out for a month). During all of these injuries, and with the clearance from my doctor, I walked or ran short races that were 1-2 miles. Pinning my bib on, hearing the horn to start…it kept me motivated and helped me understand that the injury was temporary, and that running was something I definitely wanted to go back to.