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Running the mile to unlock your speed - Ruben Carvajal

Having taken part in shorter distance races such as 800m, 1500m, mile and 3k, it has helped me develop the speed and confidence in progressing with faster 5k races and longer distances.


There are also added benefits of familiarising myself with different venues, logistics and running surfaces to be better prepared for future events. Particularly, having done frequent training sessions at the track as well as the weekly QPH sessions has contributed significantly to familiarising myself with ticking over the laps of a track race and enjoying the racing experience.


Whether it’s 25 laps of a 10,000m race or 20 laps of an 8k tempo, you tend to get more comfortable over time about the different stages the body experiences and you develop better judgement in how to manage your energy. Then having 4 laps to go means it’s ’just under 1 more mile’ and you know you can push through that final section.


I see the mile distance as the keystone and best indicator for performances in the races ranging from 5k to the marathon. So, fine-tuning your mile speed and technique can have significant benefits on your competitive running in general.


Despite my relatively short running trajectory, I can give this advice to runners aiming to get faster: focus on good running form (efficiencies and inefficiencies will multiply over your running distance) and getting good at body coordination drills such as fast feet on the spot and A, B, C skips.


Then the behind the scenes to this is of course good nutrition, sleep and adequate recovery.


Here is a quick overview of my 2023 and 2024 Lee Valley Athletics Centre 1500m indoor Tri County Championships performances, Senior men category:


2023: 4:58.30. 6th overall. 1st (only) Middlesex

2024: 4:41.95. 5th overall. 1st (only) Middlesex.


A strong sprint finish allowed me regain the 5th place that I was holding for the first 6 laps.

Ruben in 1st on the podium with no one on 2nd or 3rd


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