A group of runners at the Vitality Westminster Mile

Five reasons to run a mile race

The mile is a race like no other: when raced at full tilt it is the ultimate test of speed endurance and mental fortitude, yet it’s also a distance accessible to all. Even complete beginners with limited training will be able to run, jog or walk to the Finish Line, so first-timers and elite athletes alike can experience the thrill of completing the iconic distance.

If you still need convincing, here are five good reasons to race.

1. To test your speed

The mile is not an all-out sprint – which you will find out the hard way if you treat it as such – but while considered pacing is required, it is a distance that allows you to test your speed in ways that other conventional race distances (from 5k and above) simply don’t. There is a unique thrill to be felt from turning on the afterburners and covering the ground quicker than you normally would.

2. To train differently

Of course, if you want to race at speed, you’re going to have to train at speed, and that’s something to be relished rather than feared. Your training sessions can be shorter (albeit more intense) for a start, and shifting your focus to a different aspect of your running can be the perfect way to break through any performance plateau you might be experiencing – especially if you’ve been stuck in a rut of one-paced training for a bit too long.

3. Because anyone can do it 

As mentioned, the mile is unique because anyone and everyone is capable of finishing. While a 5k remains a distant benchmark for a lot of beginners, even if you can only run for 10 seconds at time the chances are you will be able to reach that one-mile Finish Line, even if it takes you half an hour to do so. By that token, the mile is a great entry-level event for those looking to experience the buzz of Race Day while also being able to finish.

4. Because it will be over in no time

No matter your ability, there is always a point in any race that feels at least a little bit uncomfortable. As you become more experienced, that period of discomfort becomes easier to manage, but it never completely goes away. The beauty of the mile is that no matter how tough you’re finding it – and even if the seconds seem like hours – it will be over before you know it.

5. For the post-race high

Running releases endorphins – ‘feel-good chemicals' – into our brains that produce the famed runner’s high: that happy feeling you get after a run. The really good news is that those endorphins are released at a greater rate when we really push ourselves, as most people who run the mile invariably do. So not only will it be over quickly; you’ll also feel amazing for doing it.