Last year, I did quite a lot of running, training specifically to finish the Disney World Half Marathon and Marathon on consecutive days (plus a fun 5k thrown in on the day before the half marathon, just for kicks!). At some point in my training, I realized that there would be a small chance that I could finish the marathon fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon. However, I wasn't completely expecting this result, since was running a half marathon the day before the marathon.
Well, it all played out perfectly, and I ran at an average of 7:15/mile for the marathon, qualifying me for the Boston Marathon by 35 seconds! Unfortunately, the Boston Athletic Association decided that my qualifying time is not a good enough qualifying time, and changed the registration process, making it a 99.9% probability that I will not be able to register. But that is a completely other post.
Since the Disney World Marathon, I took some time off to let my legs rest, and to start getting focused on this years Ironman Arizona. I still can't believe that I averaged 7:15/mile for over 26 miles. Well, I wanted to see where my current fitness is at. During my run yesterday on the Dungeon treadmill, I decided to sneak in one-mile time trial. Now, I was on a treadmill, so it wasn't really a time trial. I more just set the speed at a predetermined number (which I decided upon for various reasons). This speed was 9.5, which ended up to be a 6:19 mile.
It was a pretty devastating mile, and it took me another mile at a much slower speed to recover. But it was awesome! I've run miles that fast before, but not usually in the middle of a 9 mile run. Usually, the only time I run that fast is when I'm just doing sprint work, and happen to be running a mile for my sprint (which is pretty rare). I also ended my run with another 1'30" done at the 9.5 speed. It was awesome to be able to end my run at such a fast speed (for me at least) and not pass out! I don't expect that speed to transfer directly outside, but somewhere close should be expected.
I highly recommend that you try this out. Next time you are on the treadmill, at about the halfway point in your run, bump up the speed to somewhere near what you think is a really, really fast mile for you (well ahead of whatever your race pace is going to be).
I'm thinking that either next week or the week after I'm going to start back into the run training program that I used to qualify for Boston. I will note that in my weekly training updates when I do. Thanks for reading!