One of the first obstacles beginner runners face is learning how to run a mile without stopping or getting out of breath. Many new runners learn, to their disappointment, that even though they might be in decent physical shape, running a mile proves surprisingly difficult.
How can I run a mile without getting tired?
As you begin running, it’s likely that one of your goals will be to run a mile easily. This usually involves running the mile without stopping, losing breath, or finishing feeling like you just can’t run another step.
Running a mile without stopping might sound nearly impossible when you are just beginning. However, as your fitness gradually improves, you’ll find that your breathing naturally regulates and you can run longer without getting tired.
Related: How to Run Long Distances
If you find that you can’t even run a mile yet, don’t get discouraged.
Running a mile without stopping requires patience.
Those first few attempts to run a mile might leave you feeling tired and out of breath – but that is normal. Over time, your body will begin to adjust to the distance, gradually making it feel easier and easier. Before you know it, running a mile won’t feel quite as far-fetched.
With the right training, a little perseverance, and a well-designed plan, you’ll be running a mile without stopping or getting tired before you know it.
These simple tips for running a mile can help you accomplish your goal easily, confidently, and sooner than you might expect.
9 Tips for Running a Mile Without Stopping
If you have tried and failed to run a mile without stopping, you might just be running too fast. One of the biggest reasons beginner runners find themselves out of breath when running a mile is because they need to slow down.
Setting big goals for yourself is certainly encouraged – but remember that you will need to take small steps to actually achieve these goals. If you are having a tough time slowing down because you set a goal to run a mile in a certain time, break this goal down into smaller, manageable steps that will help you reach the end result.
For example, the first step might simply be to run the mile without stopping. In order to do so at your beginning fitness level – you’ll need to slow down.
Focus first on finishing a mile without getting tired. Slow down the pace until you are able to run a mile with energy leftover at the end before gradually speeding things up to reach your goal.
Get familiar with the distance
Running a mile without stopping can feel incredibly daunting if a mile is further than you’ve ever traveled before. To help decrease the intimidation factor that comes with running your first mile, get familiar with the distance.
Walk the mile, bike the mile or drive the mile. Travel the route you will be running often. If you’ll be running a mile on the track, take your training to the track to familiarize yourself with the surroundings.
Getting comfortable with the idea of running a mile greatly boosts your confidence. Knowing where the halfway point is, what it feels like to run a single lap of the track, or recognizing every house you pass along the way will help make running a mile less intimidating.
Learn proper form
In order to run a mile without getting tired, you’ll want to minimize the energy you expend elsewhere. To do so, you’ll need to make sure you are running with proper form.
Practicing good posture as you run – especially when you get tired – will help trick your mind into thinking you are still energized, and help reduce using unnecessary energy.
Running with improper form can waste quite a bit of energy. Slouching, overstriding or heel striking all leave you less efficient on the run.
Use your arms to propel your body forward if you start to fatigue. Taking the time to learn and implement proper form will help you successfully reach your goal of running a mile without stopping.
Practice pacing yourself
Another common mistake that new runners make when trying to run their first mile is starting out too fast.
With all the energy and excitement of working towards a new goal, it’s easy to take off running at a faster pace than we can maintain. After just a few minutes, we find ourselves running out of energy and quickly slowing the pace.
Not only can starting out too fast cause you to tire quickly when running a mile, it can also decrease your confidence and increase any self-doubt that you may have already been holding on to.
To avoid this pitfall, practice pacing yourself on shorter distances before attempting to run a mile without stopping. Try to get used to the feeling of running your goal pace, so that during the mile you’ll be able to settle into your pace right away.
Set a goal beforehand
Running a mile is a wonderful goal for new runners and those coming back after a long break. However, as you begin training to run a mile, try to set a specific goal for yourself.
Are you training to run a mile without stopping?
Do you want to run the mile without feeling tired?
Maybe you hope to run a mile without getting winded.
Whatever you desire, make it specific and write it down. Setting specific, measurable goals for yourself is a great way to stay motivated to continue training and conquer obstacles that might arise.
Follow a training schedule
Deciding that you want to run a mile without stopping is a great first step.
However, merely deciding to run a mile means nothing if you don’t actually put in the work to accomplish it. Once you know that you want to run a mile without stopping, take the time to create or find a training plan to follow.
Make sure to start small – figure out how much you are currently able to run without stopping or getting tired, and build on it. Don’t get discouraged if you are only able to run for a minute or so at a time in the beginning.
Try a walk/run method to gradually increase the amount of time you spend running. Stick to running the same distance or time for a few days, and then increase this by small increments over the course of a few weeks.
Learn how to breathe
Another one of the biggest obstacles new runners face is learning how to breathe properly on the move. It is incredibly common to try running a mile and find yourself feeling winded and out of breath.
Take the time to learn how to breathe on the run. Start slowly, and practice controlled breathing. If you find yourself getting winded, slow the pace to something more comfortable.
Give your body time to adapt to the new physical activity and learn how to regulate itself. You might be surprised what you can accomplish with just a few weeks of slower, more consistent training.
Increase mental strength
Arguably the biggest hurdle you will face when running a mile for the first time comes from your mind. You will likely have a few doubts about your ability to run the mile when you are just starting out, and conquering these doubts and skepticism can often be more difficult than expected.
The best way to increase your mental strength is to stick with your training. Get out there consistently and run. Don’t dwell on the distance or time that you are currently able to spend running. Run as far as you can without stopping and celebrate.
Believe in yourself, encourage yourself, and tell yourself repeatedly that you can do it.
Dig deep during those moments of struggle and really challenge yourself by asking whether you truly need to stop, or if you have just convinced yourself that you cannot go on any further. Mental strength is key to successfully running a mile without stopping.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, be sure to reward yourself throughout the process. Celebrate every accomplishment you make, no matter how small.
Keep track of where you started, and you might be surprised how much your progress begins to add up over just a few days.
Plan to celebrate running your first mile by rewarding yourself with something you enjoy. Whether it be your favorite meal, a celebration with friends, posting on social media, or taking the rest of the day off – you deserve it.
Once you can run a mile without stopping, you’ll start to believe that you are capable of even more. After conquering your initial fears and doubts, the possibilities begin to feel limitless. Soon you’ll be training for 5ks, 10ks, and marathons, or pushing the pace to run faster than you ever thought possible.
Running a mile is just the beginning.
More tips for beginner runners: