Breaking the 5 minute mile with less than 1 hr/day to train.

About a year ago I returned home from two years of missionary service for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. My purpose was to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.

So basically I would spend all day talking to people, sharing an amazing book of scripture called the Book of Mormon which testifies of Christ. I would also do service, and work with members of the Church by serving them and helping them share the gospel.

I also had time to exercise, a little bit. The morning schedule went like this-

Wake up 6:30 and then you have until 10 to do the following:

– 1 hour personal study

– 30 minutes exercise

– 30 minutes daily planning with companion

– Shower, get ready, and eat breakfast.

You may have noticed that with this schedule it leaves you with 90 minutes to shower, get ready, and eat breakfast. I found that I could do that reasonably in 45 minutes. But you also have to take some time in the morning to wake up, use the bathroom, and say your prayers. So that maybe took another 15 minutes. So with 45 minutes to get ready and eat breakfast and 15 minutes to get going in the morning, I was left with an extra 30 minutes to exercise (More if I got ready really fast). So I basically had 1 hour each day to train.

Train for what? I couldn’t race as a missionary.

Train for this: Breaking the 5 minute mile.

This was a goal that I thought would be fun to try and accomplish during my 24 months of missionary service.

With one hour to train and a focus on breaking 5, it left me with 30-45 minutes of running and 15-30 minutes of yoga- stretch work. I would also squeeze in another 15 minutes during my night routine and do core exercises.

Another challenge to throw into the mix: You can’t leave sight or sound of your companion. This meant that if my companion wasn’t down to run with me, or go to a track, I was stuck running laps in the parking lot in front of our apartment, or at a park. This turned out to be reasonable, I actually did a half marathon in one of these parking lots once, but that’s a story for another time.

So my workouts would be as follows

3 zone 2 ish days. Mid 8 pace, running for 30-45 minutes and then stretching.

2 hard days. A variety of different intervals with a warm up and cool down.

1 “long” day. Every Monday was preparation day meaning we would go grocery shopping, talk to our families, do laundry, enjoy some rest, or play sports, etc. This was from 8-6.

Before 8 we would do our personal study and daily planning.

Anyways, on Monday I typically had more time and so I was able to run a little longer. This why I ended up running a half marathon.

Usually I would run 8-10 miles.

What did I eat?

I followed the “daily dozen” to a tee for a while. It was awesome. The daily dozen is the following:


Servings: 3 per day

e.g. ½ c. cooked beans, ¼ c. hummus


Servings: 1 per day

e.g. ½ c. fresh or frozen, ¼ c. dried

Other Fruits

Servings: 3 per day

e.g. 1 medium fruit, ¼ c. dried fruit

Cruciferous Vegetables

Servings: 1 per day

e.g. ½ c. chopped, 1 tbsp horseradish


Servings: 2 per day

e.g. 1 c. raw, ½ c. cooked

Other Vegetables

Servings: 2 per day

e.g. ½ c. nonleafy vegetables


Servings: 1 per day

e.g. 1 tbsp ground

Nuts and Seeds

Servings: 1 per day

e.g. ¼ c. nuts, 2 tbsp nut butter

Herbs and Spices

Servings: 1 per day

e.g. ¼ tsp turmeric

Whole Grains

Servings: 3 per day

e.g. ½ c. hot cereal, 1 slice of bread


Servings: 60 oz per day

e.g. Water

I followed this SUPER well for about 1 month. I would often have more than what was suggested, but I made sure I got EVERYTHING in everyday and I wouldn’t eat any sugar/ processed foods. It was pretty awesome.

As a missionary bed time is 9:30-10:30 with wakeup time at 6:30. Me and my companions would normally try and have lights out by 10, leaving me with 8+ hours a night. (It normally takes me around 15 minutes to fall asleep).

So even though I didn’t have a ton of time to train, I was SUPER consistent. Same thing everyday. It brought results.

I attempted to break the 5 minute mile 5 times with the following times:






And the finally on the 6th try, after I dialed in my nutrition and training (as explained above) I went


My lap times were as follows:





It was painful. Really painful. My lungs hurt for the rest of the day. But it felt SO good! So so incredibly good! You can see the video on my Instagram. It was in May of 2021.

Obviously people run much faster than this. I graduated from American Fork High School where if you didn’t have a 4:30 or faster you probably weren’t going to be running varsity. Casey Clinger from my High School won National Championships two years in a row and recently broke 4 at a track meet representing Brigham Young University.

But for me, this was awesome. Running on my mission was something that helped me stay calm and focused. It felt familiar in a world that was sometimes so different.

On another note, I’ve been thinking about how we often limit ourselves. We are all SO capable. We are children of Heavenly Father. Children of God. Do you ever think about that? We have the capacity and potential for greatness. Eagles and Pigs do pretty much the same thing everyday; get food for their kids. But what do they do with their free time? Pigs roll in the mud. Eagles fly, they fly high. What do you do with your free time? Do you roll in the mud like pigs, or do you soar high, like eagles? Think about it.

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