If you ran the mile in elementary school, the emphasis was probably on finishing or possibly beating a previous time. Middle school brings a new level of competitiveness, especially if you are interested in track or want a decent grade. Walking is not an option and you certainly don't want to be the slowest. If you do it right, running a mile can be easier than you think.

Wear proper athletic shoes to start out on the right foot. Running shoes or cross-trainers that are broken in will perform better than a sneaker designed for another sport, such as basketball or skateboarding.

Set a goal pace and practice that pace a few times a week for at least 2 weeks. Have your parents drive a mile route in your neighborhood and practice running exactly a mile. Practice at the track at least once before the test, if possible.

Stay hydrated and eat complex carbohydrates leading up to the test. An apple is a better choice than ice cream at lunch.

Warm up for a few minutes before the test. Jog or even do jumping jacks in place. This also helps get rid of the nerves.

Stretch leg muscles by touching your toes, doing quad pulls and sitting on the ground with your legs in front and pulling back on your toes to loosen the calves.

Start the test at your goal pace even if everyone else begins at a sprint. Stick to the plan and you will soon be passing the early sprinters.

Wear a stopwatch during practice and the test. Check your pace every 1/4 mile and adjust accordingly.

Sprint for the last lap or 100 yards if you have it in you.