Runner Kim Clark wearing AfterShokz Aeropex wireless headphones
${ mainCategoryTag }

How To Train For An 8-Minute Mile in 30 Days

If you’re looking for a sign to start working toward your running goals for the New Year, consider this it. For many, running a fast mile is a daunting task, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible! We’ve reached out to runner and influencer Kim Clark (also known as @trackclubbabe) for some tips on how to train for an 8-minute mile and a 10-minute mile in as little as 30 days. Keep reading to get a full running workout plan tested and approved by Kim herself. 


Improving your running technique and getting faster is something anyone at any age or any experience level can do. So much of it is figuring out what works for you and staying consistent with a training routine. In my opinion, I think the best way to get faster is to run fast. It seems like it wouldn’t be that simple, but running much faster than your established goal mile time helps achieving your goal feel a lot easier and more relaxed.

Ready to get started? Here are some tips and training routines to use to run an 8-minute mile or a 10-minute mile in as little as 30 days.


TRAINING FOR A 8-MINUTE MILE GOAL

Week One Training:

Focus this week on your running cadence. Cadence is the number of steps that you run per minute. Ideal cadence is 180 steps per minute. A higher cadence is preferable-- it’s a more efficient way to run and also reduces the risk of injury since shorter strides will keep you from overstriding. Put cadence tracking on your fitness tracker or watch to help better focus on that goal. This is the top thing that started to help me: being fully aware of your cadence while in-stride (vs seeing your cadence after your run and by then it’s too late to do anything about it). You may think you are doing a 190 cadence (190 steps per minute) but a watch is the real deal and will tell you that you are barely hitting 150s, which is instant accountability. The cadence field is the top field on my watch (there are so many great ones out there-- from the Runkeeper app you can use on your phone to a Garmin watch) so my eye instantly catches it.

While you’re running fast this week, when you want to pick up speed, think about taking quicker steps, not longer steps. Focus on when your back foot is on the ground, picking it up as quickly as it is down. I’ll say “pickup, pickup, pickup” to myself in my head to encourage my mind to focus on getting that back foot up with lightning speed. So, when you want to run fast— remember quicker steps, not bigger steps.


Workout of the Week: 

  • Warmup - 15-20 minutes very easy running
  • Workout - 12 reps of 30-second hard running sprints, 60 seconds of recovery slow jogging in between each interval 
  • Cooldown - 10 minutes of easy running

Week Two Training:

This week’s focus is on your forward lean. I used to sit back in my stride with super unattractive posture. My core was never engaged. Now, I focus on leaning forward. It feels so weird at first, but running is controlled forward falling if you’re doing it right. Don’t sit back in your stride and reach forward with your feet. Keep your upper body in the game and keep your core more active. My upper body now leads the way. While you run, think “slight lean forward” and let gravity take over so that it’s working with your body to move faster. To get used to this posture, try standing and “falling forward” and catch yourself before you actually fall.  That lean is what you want to replicate with your run. 


Workout of the Week: 

  • Warmup - 15-20 minutes VERY easy running
  • Workout - 5 reps of 3-minutes of hard running sprints, 2 minutes of recovery slow jogging in between each interval 
  • Cooldown - 10 minutes of easy running

Week Three Training:

The focus this week is on relaxing. In order to run fast, you need to relax and let the speed come out of your legs. It may sound counterintuitive, but I’ve learned to relax my body so that I can run faster. Before I was tensing up, which doesn’t help you run faster. In fact, it just wastes energy! Your body wants to run fast, so just relax and let it! Focus on relaxing everything while you run, from your face, to your shoulders, to your arms. If things feel like they are tensing up, shake it out to keep things loose.


Workout of the Week:

  • Warmup - 15-20 minutes very easy running
  • Workout - 8 reps of 1-minute of hard running sprints, 1 minute of recovery slow jogging in between each interval 
  • Cooldown - 10 minutes of easy running


Week Four Training:

The focus this week is on controlled arms. Try to keep your arms from flailing around, and practice the right arm swing for your frame. I used to overly pump my arms when I was trying to go faster. This is a total energy zap. Now I keep my arms in a smaller zone. But when I want to run faster, I don’t think “pump the arms,” I think, “quicker steps!” I let the speed come out of my legs and relax instead of forcing it with my arms.


Workout of the Week: 

  • Warmup - 15-20 minutes very easy running
  • DO A MILE TIME TRIAL

Notes: Start out at an 8-minute pace, when you’re feeling tired, focus on your form, think higher turnover, stay tough. At 0.75 miles— you can open up your stride and run whatever distance you have left. Think  “I’m going to leave it all out there!” You’ve got this!

  • Cooldown - 10 minutes of easy running


TRAINING FOR A 10-MINUTE MILE GOAL

Week One Training

Focus this week on your running cadence. Cadence is the number of steps that you run per minute. Ideal cadence is 180 steps per minute. A higher cadence is preferable-- it’s a more efficient way to run and also reduces the risk of injury since shorter strides will keep you from overstriding. Put cadence tracking on your fitness tracker or watch to help better focus on that goal. This is the top thing that started to help me: being fully aware of your cadence while in-stride (vs seeing your cadence after your run and by then it’s too late to do anything about it). You may think you are doing a 190 cadence (190 steps per minute) but a watch is the real deal and will tell you that you are barely hitting 150s, which is instant accountability. The cadence field is the top field on my watch (there are so many great ones out there-- from the Runkeeper app you can use on your phone to a Garmin watch) so my eye instantly catches it.

While you’re running fast this week, when you want to pick up speed, think about taking quicker steps, not longer steps. Focus on when your back foot is on the ground, picking it up as quickly as it is down. I’ll say “pickup, pickup, pickup” to myself in my head to encourage my mind to focus on getting that back foot up with lightning speed. So, when you want to run fast— remember quicker steps, not bigger steps.


Workout of the Week: 

  • Warmup - 15-20 minutes very easy running
  • Workout - 10 reps of 30-second hard running sprints, 60 seconds of recovery slow jogging in between each interval 
  • Cooldown - 10 minutes of easy running

Week Two Training:

This week’s focus is on your forward lean. I used to sit back in my stride with super unattractive posture. My core was never engaged. Now, I focus on leaning forward. It feels so weird at first, but running is controlled forward falling, if you’re doing it right. Don’t sit back in your stride and reach forward with your feet. Keep your upper body in the game and keep your core more active. My upper body now leads the way. While you run, think “slight lean forward” and let gravity take over so that it’s working with your body to move faster. To get used to this posture, try standing and “falling forward” and catch yourself before you actually fall.  That lean is what you want to replicate with your run. 


Workout of the Week: 

  • Warmup - 15-20 minutes very easy running
  • Workout - 4 reps of 3-minute hard running sprints, 2 minutes of recovery slow jogging in between each interval 
  • Cooldown - 10 minutes of easy running

Week Three Training

The focus this week is on relaxing. In order to run fast, you need to relax and let the speed come out of your legs. It may sound counterintuitive, but I’ve learned to relax my body so that I can run faster. Before I was tensing up, which doesn’t help you run faster. In fact, it just wastes energy! Your body wants to run fast, so just relax and let it! Focus on relaxing everything while you run, from your face, to your shoulders, to your arms. If things feel like they are tensing up, shake it out to keep things loose.


Workout of the Week: 

  • Warmup - 15-20 minutes very easy running
  • Workout - 6 reps of 1-minute hard  running sprints, 1 minute of recovery slow jogging in between each interval 
  • Cooldown - 10 minutes of easy running


Week Four Training

The focus this week is on controlled arms. Try to keep your arms from flailing around, and practice the right arm swing for your frame. I used to overly pump my arms when I was trying to go faster. This is a total energy zap. Now I keep my arms in a smaller zone. But when I want to run faster, I don’t think “pump the arms,” I think, “quicker steps!” I let the speed come out of my legs and relax instead of forcing it with my arms.


Workout of the Week: 

  • Warmup - 15-20 minutes very easy running
  • DO A MILE TIME TRIAL

Notes: Start out at a 10-minute pace, when you’re feeling tired, focus on your form, think higher turnover, stay tough. At .75 miles— you can open up your stride and run whatever you have left. Think— leave it all out there. You’ve got this!

  • Cooldown - 10 minutes of easy running


Follow Kim on Instagram for more running content, workout ideas, and tons of uplifting motivation!