Understanding the Magic Mile

This is a section of an article I wrote on training for The Main Street Mouse. Feel free to head over there to read the whole article.

A lot of people have commented on how helpful this section on the Magic Mile was, as it seems to be a source of confusion for a lot of people, so I thought I’d share that here.

For some reason, the Magic Mile ends up being a source of confusion for people new to the Galloway plan. Admittedly I didn’t understand it just from reading the Dopey training plan. It took doing some research on Galloway’s website, as well as reading discussions from others confused by the Magic Mile to actually understand what it was, how it worked, and how to properly run one.

The Magic Mile is a single mile run used to predict your pace and finish time in perfect race conditions.

For this mile you do not do run/walk intervals, you run the entire mile at a comfortable and sustainable pace without stopping (DO NOT run all out or as fast as possible). At the end of the mile note your time. Take that number and multiply by 1.4 if you are running a challenge (Dopey, Rebel, Glass Slipper, etc) and by 1.3 if you are just running a single race. The resulting time will be your predicted pace per mile.

With one exception, which we will discuss in a moment, only run a Magic Mile when instructed to do so on your training plan. After running your first Magic Mile, your goal with each subsequent magic mile should be to beat your previous best Magic Mile time.
Depending on the training plan, Magic Miles are run approximately every two weeks.

Although Galloway doesn’t suggest this, I recommend starting your training plan by running a magic mile about 2 days before you start training (that way you have a day of recovery between running your magic mile and running your first training run). Multiply by the appropriate number (1.4 for challenges and 1.3 for individual races) to get your projected race day pace per mile. Take that number and find it on the chart for the training plan you are using, rounding to the nearest whole minute. The corresponding run/walk interval is what you should train at. If your magic mile results in a pace time that ends in the 25-35 second range, I would recommend rounding up to the next minute for your pace range, however if you find that a struggle, drop down one level and run at the lower intervals).
As your Magic Miles improve, adjust your training pace accordingly.

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