Magic Miles

My half-marathon journey: I am currently training for my first half-marathon which will take place on May 21, 2011. I have never run farther than 10 miles, and I have had trouble with injuries when approaching that mileage in the past. I am taking a different approach this time. I am following a training program by Jeff Galloway, and I will be sharing my experiences along the way. Previous posts on this topic: Jeff Galloway – Week 3 Recap, Jeff Galloway – 5 Week Recap

Over the course of my training program, several of my runs indicated the number of miles “with Magic Miles.” First step, find out what that is. Second step, try it out.

Step One: What is the Magic Mile?

From Half-Marathon: You Can Do It, by Jeff Galloway:

1. Go to a track, or other accurately measured course.
2. Warm up by walking 5 minutes, then running a minute and walking a minute, then jogging an easy half mile.
3. Do 4 acceleration gliders.
4. Walk for 3-4 minutes.
5. Run fast – for you – for one mile. Use walk break suggestions in this chapter, or run the way you want.
6. On your first time trial, don’t run all-out from the start – ease into your pace after the first half.
7. Warm down by reversing the warm up.
8. Don’t use a treadmill because they are notoriously inaccurate.
9. On each successive one, try to adjust pace in order to run a faster time.
10. Use the formula below to see what time is predicted in the goal races.

Got all that?

I didn’t . I didn’t remember each step exactly, but I had the basic gist of it – warm up, go for an easy jog, run a fast mile, cool down.

Step Two: Doing It

I routinely run at a track over the winter, and I have a Garmin. This shouldn’t be a big deal, right?

Sadly, my first attempt at the Magic Mile was a big flop. I walked to warm up, jogged an easy mile, and 1/4 of the way into my first fast lap, my watch turned off. The battery was low, and it wouldn’t stay on. This, in spite of my charging it after my last run (or so I thought). Frustrating.

Given that the track was super crowded that day, I decided to count my blessings. It would have been really hard to keep up a certain pace when there were groups of walkers covering the entire width of the track. That is not a big deal when I am out for an easy jog; in fact, in makes me happy to see so many people out there moving. I think I would have gotten frustrated, though, if I had to keep stopping and waiting for an opportunity to pass while doing the Magic Mile. I decided to try again and to choose a time the track would be less busy.

Magic Mile, take two. I went back to the track late in the evening when it is much less busy. My Garmin was charged. I walked a lap, jogged a slow mile, ran a fast mile (for me), walked a half mile, then jogged another easy mile and walked to finish cooling down.

The formula mentioned above works like this:

Your Magic Mile Pace x 1.2 = Race Goal Pace

Race Goal Pace + 3 minutes per mile = Long Run Training Pace

In the coming weeks, I will be doing a few more of these Magic Miles. If I can do the half-marathon at the pace that I calculated with the Magic Mile, I will be really happy. I am actually not concerned about meeting a time goal. This is a new distance for me, and I will be so excited just to finish a half-marathon!

Time will tell if this Magic Mile prediction is accurate. It will be fun to find out how close I come to the predicted pace.

Have you found an accurate predictor of race performance?

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7 thoughts on “Magic Miles

  1. Hey! Congrats on tackling your first half. The distance is pretty scary at first (still is for me actually) but it’s pretty damn amazing to cross that finish line. I’ll keep checking in to see how the training’s going.

  2. Hey Melissa- I am with Celine- but just need to bragg about her- she is doing a 30 km race next month- she rocks as a runner! But, here is my advice to you……. train hard, and on race day let it all go and just have fun! I think that is the key to not freaking your self out. I cant wait to see how you do!

  3. Wow, that’s great! Thanks for the advice. I plan to have fun with it. I already know I’m not in contention to win it, so I plan to do my best and have a good time! 🙂

  4. Pingback: Jeff Galloway – Week 12 Recap | Be not simply good…

  5. Pingback: The Big Weekend is Here! | Be not simply good…

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