The Magic Mile Test
The magic mile test: what is it? Hands up who has heard of it. I didn’t know about it and when it was explained to me, I was even a little sceptical. Then I tried it.
Does anyone know Jeff Galloway? A name that doesn’t mean much to most people. Jeff is an American coach who prepares athletes. His method is based on training to achieve results through constant improvement thanks to customised tables and schemes.
As you can imagine, throughout his life, he has created and adopted different rules, but the one that has given him the best and most accurate predictions is “the Magic Mile method”.
From the name you can easily understand what it is: it is a test that is based on running a mile on asphalt, (although it is best to do it on track), and interpolate the results with formulas that Jeff himself has studied. All of this is done to accurately predict the actual race results, which, according to the coach, is impressive in terms of accuracy.
Curious about how it works? Here’s how it works, with a link to calculate it online.
1. The test
For the test, as mentioned, it is best to run on the track, as the distances are accurate and you don’t have to rely solely on GPS. It should only be run every 2/3 weeks and only once.
Before the test, warm up with 3/4 sprints of about 100 metres. The sprints should be done at the speed at which you are going to run the Magic Mile and only for about ten paces.
Run the mile at a steady but not extreme pace for the first 3 laps, then accelerate only on the last lap. A mile is 4 laps (400 meters each) plus 9 meters and 34 centimetres.
Don’t sprint at the beginning of the mile, but try to go at a pace that you are comfortable with for the entire race, and stick to it.
Take the times on each lap, especially to see if you have really run following the advice just given. Finally, walk.
Now it is time to interpret the data.
2. The results
Here is a guide on how to interpret the numbers and how to convert them into estimated race time.
- Add 33 seconds to the Magic Mile time to get the 5k pace
- Multiply the Magic Mile time by 1.15 to get the 10k pace
- Multiply the Magic Mile time by 1.2 to get the half marathon pace
- Multiply the Magic Mile time by 1.3 to get the marathon pace.
If you get lazy, there is a dedicated tool on the Gallaway website. You can find it by clicking here.
Everything I have said is valid, as long as these conditions are met:
- You must not be injured
- The temperature of the race must be below 15°.
- The race course must be flat
Are you ready for the test? All you need is a watch and a running course to know what the pace of the next race will be.
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