Improving Your 1.5 Mile Run

The following program is from the New Zealand Army and is preparation for the 1.5 mile run:

male week one:

20 minute run 5 times per week

male week two:

1.6 km run in 9 mins x 2 per week
25 min run x 3 per week

male week three:

1.6 km run in 8 mins x 1 per week
2.4 km run in 12.5 min x 2 per week
30 min run x 2 per week

male week four:

1.6 km run in 7 mins x 2 per week
2.4 km run in 11.5 min x 1 per week
35 min run x 2 per week

male week five:

2.4 km run in 11 mins x 2 per week
2.4 km run in 14 min x 1 per week
40 min run x 2 per week

male week six:

2.4 km run in 10.5 mins x 2 per week
3.2 km run in 13.5 min x 1 per week
45 min run x 2 per week

Many people also recommend some form of sprint conditioning in addition to the above. This makes sense considering the intense nature of the 1.5 mile run.

From the Singapore Army Fitness Website is the following advice for speed work to improve the 1.5 mile time:

Different Types of Speed Training

1. Fartlek – Try a 20-30 minutes easy run with some quick bursts interspersed. From an easy run, try speeding or burst from one landmark to the other, e.g. lampposts, bus stops or trees. Run as hard as you can and slow down your pace to an easy run once you pass your target landmark. Fartleks break the monotony of normal speed runs though not feasible for large groups of people.

2. Hills – Find a gentle hill and run 4-6 X 1 minute uphill with 85 – 90% effort, then slowly jog down to starting point. Increase gradually to 10 repetitions. Hill runs are good for quadriceps and hamstring development and create less impact on the joints. When running downhill back to the start point, do an easy jog or walk.

3. Tempo runs – Run 5 minutes, walk/jog 1 minute and repeat this for about 30 minutes.

4. Intervals – Do 4-6 X 200m with 2 minutes recovery jog on stadium tracks.

Other Advance Methods of Speed Work

Since the 2.4km run is not so much on endurance, but on speed, you need to train yourself to maintain an intense (not all-out all the way) pace throughout the distance. Once yoiu have completed about two months or so of speed training, and feel that you need more variety to speed training, you can try out the following.

1. Race simulation session – Run 6 X 400m at race pace, with one minute or less recovery time in between. This would train your body to adapt to running at a full 2.4km.

2. Run descending distances at increasing pace – Do a 500m, 400m, 300m, 200m and 100m with increasing pace, recovery less than 2 minutes.

3. Run circuits – Find a running track and do 4-5 circuits of about 800-1000m, recovery of 5 minutes in between repetitions.

Adequate Recovery

* Always ensure sufficient recovery, and remember to keep speed training to not more than twice a week with at least a recovery day in between.

* After each speed training session, cool down adequately by jogging (easy pace) for 10-15 minutes and stretch, especially your leg muscles (hold each stretch for 30 seconds). This will allow your body and heart rate to return to their normal resting levels.

* Rehydrate fully. Remember to cater for recovery after these high-intensity sessions by either doing only light workouts, cross training or having a rest day the following day.

* Assess yourself by doing trial 2.4km runs after two months of speed training. You should have shaved a few minutes off your last timing.

* Lastly, avoid pushing yourself through more speed work if you have limited time leading towards your IPPT to prevent potential injury.

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Hydration is very important, keep it in mind at all times, not just when you are running and be especially mindfull 2-3 days running up to your actual test days.

Keep doing your weight training and flexibility work. The above can be done in addition to your other conditioning.

Wind sprints and hill running are a great way to increase speed and lung capacity.

Work directly on increasing lung capacity – I have made a post some months ago on rib cage expansion and lung capacity training.

Try hypoxic training – this can increase oxygen uptake and improve your lungs and circulation if done correctly.

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