1500 Meter Training

Woman at starting line

The 1,500-meter run is a middle-distance run that's a classic Olympic track and field distance. Equating to roughly 0.93 miles -- and sometimes referred to as "the metric mile -- the 1,500 meters requires endurance, quick speed, proper form and mental focus. In fact, your 1,500-meter training program should involve each of these important aspects.

1,500 Meter Run

Just shorter than a mile, the 1,500-meter run qualifies as neither a sprint nor a distance event, and success at this distance requires qualities from both. Early in a 1,500-meter race, runners must pace themselves and secure a prime spot in the pack. But once they reach the 800-meter mark, runners need a burst of speed to finish the last 400 ahead of the pack.


If possible, choose a training location similar to your race location. If you will be racing on a flat, standard 400-meter track, complete your training on one. If you will be racing in the grass, head to the park for training. If the race will take place on a hot summer day, plan to train in the hot summer sun. During indoor track season, try to do as much training as possible on an indoor track.

Mental Training

If possible, adjust your training to imitate as many race-day aspects as possible. For example, if you will be running in a pack, try training with a small group of racers to become familiar with the commotion. Training your mind to focus before race day is crucially important. If you cannot focus during a training session, you will likely be unable to focus during the actual race.


Running Planet recommends the "10 x 400 meter” drill for 1,500-meter training. Repeat 10 consecutive 400-meter runs with two-minute rest periods in between. As you run, keep a steady and moderate pace, close to your goal race pace. If you need more variety, use a compound set instead; a compound training set might include running at an easy pace for 400 meters, increasing to a fast pace for 200 meters, returning back to an easy pace for 400 meters and finishing the last 200 meters at a fast pace. This compound training drill allows you to both build endurance and work on your speed.


Training for a 1,500-meter run involves more than preparing your heart and muscles for the intense physical demands. You also need to prepare your body to maintain proper running form. As you train, focus on keeping your body relaxed, especially the fingers, arms neck and face. Keep your elbows close to the sides of the body and avoid leaning forward. Although the 1,500-meter run is not an extremely long distance, using improper form can fatigue your body quickly and impair your speed and performance.