Super sevens: How to run a 7 minute mile in 7 months


Running is a fantastic sport for many reasons. Not only is it practically free but it’s one of the easiest high calorie burning sports to get into. What’s more, it reduces your risk of many common ailments, such as obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and in later life, strokes. Add to that the fact it boosts your mood, and it’s easy to see why more and more people are hitting the road. Yet, as with any sport, it’s great to have goals. One that’s obtainable for everyone is running a seven-minute mile. To help you reach this milestone, we’ve put together some top tips that’ll get you there in seven months or less.

1.    Start nice and easy

If you’ve been passive for a while, you shouldn’t just start running around the block and expect everything to be awesome. However, the entry level running alternative is just as obvious: walking. Walk for twenty minutes every day for a few weeks. Almost instantly, you’ll notice how your muscles, which technically speaking are destroyed and rebuilt with activity and rest, are getting stronger each day.

2.    Get proper running shoes

While running doesn’t require a lot of gear, you want to treat your feet and legs well. Good running shoes absorb a lot of shock and will reduce the risk of trauma. Don’t overinvest in expensive shoes, but replace them regularly, every 500 kilometers or so. This avoids dealing with worsened protection for the hardware you’re working with: your body. Happily, specialists like Salomon have a huge selection of top-notch options for every type of running.




3.    Check your technique

Everything you do with your body requires technique and practice. By forming the right running habits, you can minimize strain and injury and obviously enjoy yourself more.

Basic tips include the following:

  • Keep your head straight and look forward to reduce tension. Your jaw and neck should be relaxed.
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed, back and down. Hunching over and tension inhibit your breathing, which means your muscles will get less oxygen.
  • Your arms should be relaxed, too, but not to the degree of flopping. Tension in your hands spreads to the back and shoulders.
  • To not waste energy, keep your arms bent at around a 90 degree angle. Swing them back and forth rather than across your body, to help you move forward.
  • Lean forward rather than bending in either direction. This avoids placing pressure on your hips.
  • Avoid complicated acrobatic waltzes like rocking your hips or swaying your behind. Rather, keep your hips stable and facing forward. This will lower the risk of back and hip pain.
  • Landing on the middle of your foot is the best option for recreational runners. Land your feet below your hips, not in front of you.
  • Take short, easy steps. Don’t strike to the ground. This is the best way to avoid unnecessary strain on your body.
  • Focus on keeping your breath deep and rhythmical. Whether you should breathe through your nose or mouth is down to personal preference, but the main point is to avoid quick, shallow breathing.

4.    Plan your running

Planning ahead is important for not being forgetful – deliberately or not. Figuring out a nice and safe route in advance will both help keep you going and make running easier. Happily, Sports Tracker’s route planner has all you need to ensure the run does the job. It also helps to keep a diary for both tracking and scheduling. Try running twice a week, every week. That’s much more efficient than, for example, running like crazy every third week.

5.    Keep it interesting

When you plan your runs, try and mix up your routes a bit so you don’t get bored. If you’re not the type who feels at one with the universe whenever your heart gets pumping a bit, listen to something. There are tons of spoken word podcasts and audiobooks out there, but it might be tough to focus on those when under strain . Luckily, nearly all music streaming apps for your phone, like Spotify and Apple Music, have curated playlists for running. Also, consider getting a pair of running-friendly wireless Bluetooth headphones so you can keep your phone tucked away while on the move.


6.    Be sure to warm up

Good progress is gradual. It’s really essential that you start by running slow and add speed and distance over time. This applies to each individual run, too. Start out with at least five minutes of warm-up, in the form of quick walking, marching on the spot, side stepping, climbing stairs or knee lifts. The choice is yours, just let your muscles get a gentle start.

7.    Alternate between walking and running

Again with the walking: it’s a good alternative to running. Let your body decide what feels good and increase the distance of your first outings by switching between running and walking. A walk stretches your muscles and can literally be your first step towards an increasingly active lifestyle.

8.    Get company

Whether you find a friend to run with or join a club of runners, there are useful apps like Sports Tracker to help you out. Apps like our very own can help you organise running groups to get you off the couch, find motivation or even compete, if you’re so inclined. Whatever way you find motivation, why not make use of the gadgets that otherwise might keep you passive?

These top tips have worked for us. If you have any more that have worked for you, we’d love to hear about them in the comments below.


Image credits: Alan Hill



    I can say this is the best fitness tracker with heart rate monitor

  2. Lora Empson

    Wonderful article, it will also help me to reduce some weight. Running is really a great thing to do.

  3. Jari

    All tips are good. For a beginner it is so important to start easy. Actually the first thing to do is make a decision which are those walking or running days. Too often people are forgetting that running long distance requires commitment to keep up with the program and stay calm, because progression takes some time. I’ve been running all the way from 1973, so more later:-).

  4. federico

    with the new app, how do I share my workouts on FB?

  5. Sally Mason

    Thanks! This is just what I need! Been trying to get a plan for getting going and hadn’t thought of walking to start or listening to podcasts once on the road. Be good to get list of suggested running podcasts if those even exist? :)

    1. The Sports Tracker Team

      We’re huge fans of music and podcasts, Sally. You’d be amazed how much you can learn after a few weeks. Not sure if there are any podcasts specifically geared towards running, but we’ll have a look. Maybe we can even write a story listing them. Thanks for the idea!

  6. Karl

    Follow these good techniques and i think you can do even quicker than 7 months. Good point to mention running shoes. I had a friend who stopped for months because of bad trainers. It’s good to avoid anything that can be an excuse to stop!!

  7. Ken Doyle

    I also have noticed that the distance recorded by Sports tracker is longer than it used to be and always longer than my Apple Watch?

  8. Dave Askeland

    I hope the Sports Tracker app is more accurate that the writer of this article!

    1. Paul Dobie

      True – the title is a bit misleading, but there are still some good tips in the article. And as I see it – anything to get folks motivated is good.

      For example, I’ll hopefully complete my 1,000-miles-in-a-year challenge in March. But what next? My average speed has been a plodding 5.5mph. Setting a lower mileage target but with faster speed could be just the ticket for me.

      So actually this this article was well timed for me, although I agree that the title doesn’t quite match the article content.

    2. Neal N

      What are you talking about? There’s some great tips here!!! Might not be useful to you but people just getting started like me these are really useful. If you have other why not share instead of just of criticize?

    3. Simon says

      Pro tip, Dave. If you’re going to moan about accuracy you might want to make sure your sentence is accurate and that you don’t link back to a page selling crappy new age junk.

      Thanks for SP team. Forwarded this article to my bro. He needs all the help he can get and that includes Sport Tracker too.

  9. Julie Pearce

    I clicked on the link hoping to see tips to increase my speed, not tips on how to get going. I can run 5k at 10 minute mile pace with ease, but I really want to get faster. Have you got a training schedule to share?

  10. Moe

    Great Read!

    Simple tips to get going!
    i’m recovering from shoulder surgery…excited to start running again! these tips boil it down ! Thanks

    1. The Sports Tracker Team

      Happy to hear you found them useful, Moe. Good luck kick-starting your running again, but please take it easy with that shoulder. Better safe than sorry.

  11. William Collin

    I really like the features on Sports Tracker but lately, reluctantly, I have stopped using it. It previously recorded distance very accurately but now adds around a third of the distance to every outing. Can you tell me if this problem will be rectified with the new forthcoming version? It would be foolish to purchase it with such a glaring problem. On an outing measuring 10 miles, Sports Tracker regularly records upwards of 15 miles.

    1. Paul Dobie

      9 months ago I set myself a challenge to run 1,000 miles in a year – a tough challenge for somebody at my level with the time I have. Works out at 2.7 miles a day – not much yes, but miss a day & you have a 5 mile run to do. Anyway, things are on track – 750 miles so far, & I’ve used Sports Tracker to record it all. I’ll be very disappointed & will probably feel cheated if I find that the app is over measuring distance. I’ll be doing a calibration drive to-day! Of course the car mileometer will also not be 100% accurate, so I’ll need to cross-check against a map.

      Incidentally for anybody interested, I went for a couple of runs along the bank of the Sea of Galilea in Israel in September and the distance measurements were way off – made me look like I was running like Mo Farah. I’ve run all over the place with Sports Tracker & this was the first time I’d noticed anything odd.


      1. Paul Dobie

        I’ve now compared the distance measured by Sports tracker on a 3.5 and a 6.5 mile run I do regularly with the routes plotted out on a 1:50 Ordnance Survey map using Memory Map. The two agree to within 5% which is about what you’d expect considering the inaccuracies associated with both measurement methods. So I’m satisfied that it’s good enough for me.

        Wearing your phone on your arm for example will ensure that the phone has the opportunity to have line of sight contact with a good number of GPS satellites. Some phones also allow position accuracy to be improved by also taking data from the cellular network.


        1. The Sports Tracker Team

          Thanks for testing it out, Paul. Needless to say, our aim is always to make Sports Tracker is as accurate as possible. Your challenge sounds fantastic by the way. Do you run the same route every day or mix up? Be interested to hear what tips you have for people thinking of the doing the same thing. Could make a great blog post :)

    2. The Sports Tracker Team

      That sounds really strange, William. When did it start acting weird? Have you been in touch with our support team? They’d love help.

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