I may be biased, seeing as I train and compete in middle- distance events, but I believe the 1500/mile is one of the greatest events in track and field. To start, the event has an amazing history due to the early debate of whether or not a person could break 4:00 in the mile. Although we have long since proven men are capable of crushing this barrier, the intrigue remains and every year hundreds of people attempt that feat. More interesting, though, is the women’s 4:00 equivalent barrier - or trying to run in the 3:5X in the 1500m events. Fewer women have broken 4:00 in the 1500 than men in the mile, so every time someone dips under the barrier, it’s a history-making moment. There are countless other barriers, though, that make the race exciting. Whether it’s breaking your own personal record or dipping under 5:00 or 6:00 for the first time, the races are always fast and thrilling to watch.
The mile, however, is not just interesting due to the barriers daring to be broken. The mile is exciting due to the unique nature of fitness the event requires: it’s the perfect mesh of strength and speed. This creates an interesting challenge for athletes to properly train to peak for the event. As a miler, we need the strength of a long distance runner (and hence do long runs and hearty mileage), yet need to be fresh enough to keep the speed of a sprinter (or rip some fast, shorter reps on workout days). Maintaining this balance is both an art and a science, but is also incredibly fun! Due to the varying nature in the required training, it keeps every run exciting and gives you the opportunity to test yourself in a vast array of ways.
Therefore, whether you’re a marathon runner or 400m runner, I always recommend you give mile training a try at some point in your career. It’ll let you continue to do a lot of the same training you’re already experienced with, while also giving you a chance to test out speeds or distances you’ve never experienced.