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I am trying to reach my goal of a 4:10 for the 1500m this track season. To anyone who has previously trained in mid-distance, roughly how fast should my base runs be? I can currently run 5 or 6 miles miles comfortably at a pace slightly under 7min/mile, should I be pushing myself harder on non-workout days?

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  • How, if at all, do your 5- to 6-mile runs relate to your target event (1500m)? – Christian Conti-Vock Mar 7 '18 at 19:32
  • @ChristianConti-Vock Training for mid-distance is much more than simply running the distance of my event. I do base runs (over 5 miles) around 3 times a week to develop a stamina base, and am therefore asking how the speed at which I do these base runs correlates to my race performance – user28016 Mar 7 '18 at 19:36
  • Yes, longer, "base" runs can help you build stamina for your 1500m races; however, you're essentially asking (if I understand correctly), "How should I train in order to run 1500m in 4:10?" If that's your question, then: How does training your stamina train your speed, if at all? – Christian Conti-Vock Mar 7 '18 at 19:58
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    @RomainSpeciel - It would help if you included your weekly mileage, what you do on your "non base" days, running history and your PR to date. Your base runs may not be a problem that needs solving. – JohnP Mar 7 '18 at 20:17
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    I’ve read that you should be able to do an 8 minute mile as a standard for each mile you do. Admittedly I don’t have a lot of experience or knowledge in that area though. – JustSnilloc Mar 7 '18 at 22:56
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In short, no, you should not be pushing yourself hard (at all) on your non-workout days. You should ideally strive for an 80/20 balance, in that 80% of your miles are easy, and 20% are hard (i.e. sessions).

Your easy runs should be done at just that, an easy pace. A pace that you can talk to a running buddy, in full sentences, or recite poems or songs. The idea is that by taking the easy days really easy, you can then push the sessions hard and maximise them. It's a common issue with runners that they run too fast/hard on their easy days, and so do not go into the sessions in optimal condition.

However, without knowing what your training is like, in terms of key/example sessions with paces and overall mileage, it's hard to say how fast you should be running your base mileage. If you happen to train by heart rate, and know your maximum (which is not 220-age...) - then occupying 70-75% HRMax is a good guide for easy running.

Please feel free to add some of your training, and hopefully we can help to inform you a bit better!

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