There is no other pain in running like mile repeats. They hurt, no matter what your level, from beginner to elite. They are too long to sprint, too short to jog, and they come way to quick between rest periods. Your chest hurts, your legs burn, and each repeats feels like you are running 1.05, not 1.0 miles. My repeats for this workout took place on the road with some decent incline and decline involved. I have a perfect one mile loop I do.
Mile repeats also happen to teach the body how to deal with pain during a race as well as helping to build VO2 max and raising your lactate threshold.
What does this mean? Basically, mile repeats make it possible for you to go faster and longer, before your body says no and fills up with lactic acid and falls down.
Today, in my first session of mile repeats in quite some time, I ran three repeats after my warm up. The workout went as follows:
1/2 mile warm up
1 mile at 6:50
3:30 jog recovery
1 mile at 6:37
1 mile at 6:45
1/2 mile jog recovery cool down
I felt really good on the second repeat. The 6:37 didn't kill me, but I felt like I was moving. In my mind, I started the 3rd repeat with a goal of going under 6:37 so I could negative split each of the three, but my body said no and I finished it in 6:45. No big deal, it was still faster than the first one. In a couple weeks, I will go again and add a repeat or 2.
It will hurt just the same!