Mile repeats are a great workout for anyone who is training for a race of any distance. They’re a great supplement to your traditional longer-distance workouts. From helping you on your race rhythm and turnover to building stamina to improvising your energy system, mile repeats provide multiple benefits for runners of all types.

The Basic Workout

The name is in the workout. Run a mile, recover, and repeat. While the concept is simple, you want to make sure you focus on your stride, cadence, and form throughout the entire workout. The more you focus on these aspects of your running, the more efficient and faster of a runner you can become.

Like every other workout, you want to make sure you’re warmed-up before you put the pedal to the metal. Warmup for 10-15 minutes easy.

  1. Find a track, or a place where there aren’t many obstacles (turns, stoplights, stop signs, etc.).
  2. On a track, a mile is typically 4 laps (8 laps on a standard indoor track). If you don’t have access to a track, use MapMyRun or a different service to map out a mile outdoors.
  3. Run one mile (see below for pace suggestions)
  4. Recover. We suggest jogging at a really slow pace. You won’t want to, but it’s good to keep the legs warm
  5. Repeat another mile at target pace

Once you finish your target number of reps, take a rest (no need to move). Then, jog for another 10-15 minutes to cooldown.

Note: This workout can also be done on a treadmill, but we suggest you

Training for a 5K

When training for a 5K, you want to focus on a lower quantity of repeats, but at a faster pace with less recovery. This will help your body adjust to the faster speeds when it comes to race day.

  1. 1-2 mile warm-up
  2. 3x1 mile @ 5K pace
  3. 200m (1 minute) jog for recovery
  4. 1-2 mile cooldown

Training for a Half Marathon

For half marathons, you want to increase the number of repeats while keeping the same pace as a 5K but increasing the recovery time.

  1. 1-2 mile warmup
  2. 4-5x1 mile @ 5K pace
  3. 400m (2 - 2 ½ minutes) recovery
  4. 1-2 mile cooldown

Training for a Marathon

Mile repeats when you have to run 26 in a row for a marathon?! Yes, it sounds crazy but this is a great workout for anyone training for a marathon. It’ll give you that feeling of speed and turnover that you’ll need in the final part of your marathon.

  1. 2-3 mile warmup
  2. 4-6x1 mile @ half-marathon pace
  3. 400m (2 - 2 ½ minute) recovery
  4. 2-3 mile cooldown

Just Trying to Get Some Speed In

If you’re not trying to train for a specific race but are looking to get the legs turned over, try this workout.

  1. 2-3 mile warmup
  2. 3-5x1 mile @ half marathon pace + 30 seconds
  3. 400m (2 - 2 ½ minute) recovery
  4. 2-3 mile cooldown

Switch it Up

You may not have access to a track, or you’re training for a trail race, or you simply just want to switch it up. There are several ways you can challenge yourself further and make your workout more interesting.

  • Do the workout on a road - Most of us won’t be racing on a track, so going to a road will mimic an actual race
  • Do the workout on a trail - limit the pounding your legs will take and hit the trails
  • Add some hills - Mile repeats are already hard enough, but with hills? Yes. Adding small hills in your workout will correlate to what an actual race may be like.


  • Find a partner - These can get really tough, especially the later ones. Find someone that is near the same level as you to help push you through
  • Stay consistent - Many runners will go out slow and then finish fast. The goal of mile repeats is to stay consistent so when it comes to race day, it feels more natural
  • Pat yourself on the back - Mile repeats are a hard workout. When you cross the finish line, make sure to talk yourself up and congratulate yourself!

Mile repeats are a great workout regardless of your skill level, the race your training for, or your experience. If you have any questions or suggestions, please reach out!