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Trying To Improve My 1.5mile/2.4km Run Before Joining The Royal Air Force -- Suggesti watch

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    ***Note I am a beginner training to get myself back into peak physical condition before joining the Air Force.

    I need to be able to run 1.5 miles/2.4km in sub 11 minutes (*preferably sub 10 minutes) on the treadmill.

    I am giving myself 5 months [August-ish] to get back into shape before I apply for the Air Force. From that point when I will actually put in my application and this will be another 2-4 months [where I will maintain performance levels].

    Here is my weekly routine until I can maintain the runtime or near about as desired. This will be attempted every week for the next 5-6 months:

    Monday:
    3 mile steady-state run (adding an extra 8-10 minutes each week) on treadmill.

    Tuesday:
    Intervals on treadmill (0.5% incline) for 20-30 seconds at maximum pace building up to 18 kph, rest for 30 seconds and then repeat this until I have completed 10 minutes in total. As my progression increases I will decrease the rest periods each week by how I feel naturally until I can do this non stop.

    Wednesday:
    Hill sprints (sprint to the top jog back down, repeat 6-8x)

    Thursday:
    Simple steady-state light cardio using both the elliptical and cycling machines for 20-30 minutes each or any cardio based sport for 20-30 minutes each like real football/soccer, tennis, martial arts or boxing.

    Friday: (Same as Tuesday)
    Intervals on treadmill (0.5% incline) for 20-30 seconds at maximum pace building up to 18 kph, rest for 30 seconds and then repeat this until I have completed 10 minutes in total. As my progression increases I will decrease the rest periods each week by how I feel naturally until I can do this non stop.

    Saturday: (Same as Monday)
    3 mile steady-state run (adding an extra 8-10 minutes each week) on treadmill.

    Sunday:
    Rest

    Practice 1.5mile Test:
    Every 5-6 weeks I will attempt a flat out 1.5 mile/2.4km run on the treadmill at the set 8.2mph/13.2 kph to track my progress to meet my desired record time.

    Weighted Workouts:
    My press-ups, sit-ups, dips and pull-ups are all fine (I will be increasing my max by an extra 1-2 reps every 2-3 days between rest). Also, my 4 days of push/pull routine is fine too.



    So, what pointers do you suggest about this routine?
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    You can practise the test more regularly than that. I'd say go for every 3 weeks. And when you practise it, do the press ups and sit ups too.

    Run outside more.
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    You can practise the test more regularly than that. I'd say go for every 3 weeks. And when you practise it, do the press ups and sit ups too.

    Run outside more.
    Since the official 1.5 mile run is on a treadmill that is what I'll mostly practice it on but I'll most likely alternate between the outside at my local 400m running track too especially since the bleep test is on solid ground. So I'll take your advice.
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    (Original post by Jimmy Two-Times)
    Since the official 1.5 mile run is on a treadmill that is what I'll mostly practice it on but I'll most likely alternate between the outside at my local 400m running track too especially since the bleep test is on solid ground. So I'll take your advice.
    Running outside is harder; train hard, fight easy
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    (Original post by Drewski)
    Running outside is harder; train hard, fight easy
    Thank you for your quick and positive response.
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    This looks like a really solid plan here, so instead of using the 12 week plan from the RAF I think I will use this instead. I just have to find the time.
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    As above, running outside will help. It's a lot less boring too in my opinion.

    Also, don't forget to factor in the odd rest day - this is just as important to allow recovery for your body. I 'only' run four times a week and usually break the 10 minute mark for 1.5 miles during a Parkrun on a Saturday Morning.
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    (Original post by Phirstman)
    As above, running outside will help. It's a lot less boring too in my opinion.

    Also, don't forget to factor in the odd rest day - this is just as important to allow recovery for your body. I 'only' run four times a week and usually break the 10 minute mark for 1.5 miles during a Parkrun on a Saturday Morning.
    I have a 400m running track near my home so I'll use that. Thanks for the advice.


    However, I can't quite run continuously for 30 minutes at the moment (in my second week) so what do you consider is the better option to progress my ability to do so?:

    1) Really slow running/jogging at a pace literally just a step above walking comfortably for 3 miles.

    2) Running/jogging at a faster pace probably 50%+, but having to walk.

    Which style would produce better results or would they both do the same eventually. Option 1) seems like the easiest way to get there though? Thoughts?
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    (Original post by NobleWizard)
    This looks like a really solid plan here, so instead of using the 12 week plan from the RAF I think I will use this instead. I just have to find the time.
    Stay positive and look at the amount of money you could save as into retiring early and a dream career you could make possible after being in the RAF... if you work hard enough to get there.

    I really want this as much as you and feel the daunting task ahead to get there but everyone has 1-2 hours to spare 5 days a week it's what you decide to do with it that counts.

    I've got some weight to shed which I'm sure will vastly improve my performance so until I reach my target BMI for the RAF of 180-185 lbs then I won't be content until I get there.

    I also think it's best to only apply once you are capable of doing what they ask of you otherwise you'll be setting yourself up for failure.

    I knew this wouldn't be easy and have been researching for a few weeks now.

    I hope you stay motivated to find the time like me too.
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    (Original post by Jimmy Two-Times)
    I have a 400m running track near my home so I'll use that. Thanks for the advice.


    However, I can't quite run continuously for 30 minutes at the moment (in my second week) so what do you consider is the better option to progress my ability to do so?:

    1) Really slow running/jogging at a pace literally just a step above walking comfortably for 3 miles.

    2) Running/jogging at a faster pace probably 50%+, but having to walk.

    Which style would produce better results or would they both do the same eventually. Option 1) seems like the easiest way to get there though? Thoughts?
    Combination of the two in my opinion. Training should consist of a mixture of:

    - The odd shorter run where you run flat out to get yours lungs/ running fitness going.
    - Slower/longer runs that will begin to shape your muscles into running for longer periods. Start with short distances at first (but keep at that slower pace) and then build up the distance in future runs as your body gets used to it.

    For me, when I started running, my first few sessions were:

    - 1.2 miles running flat out - took nearly ten minutes (and instantly coughed up a load of rubbish)!
    - 2.4 miles running much slower (took over 22 minutes from memory).

    After that I built up the 2.4 miles to 3 miles, 4 miles etc. but reverted back to the 1.2 mile quick one occasionally to see the progress - it works because your body becomes used to running!

    A combination of fast and slow runs, long and short distances in the overall plan is important - never run the same run twice in a row is my motto.

    Hope this helps.
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    (Original post by Jimmy Two-Times)
    ***Note I am a beginner training to get myself back into peak physical condition before joining the Air Force.

    I need to be able to run 1.5 miles/2.4km in sub 11 minutes (*preferably sub 10 minutes) on the treadmill.

    I am giving myself 5 months [August-ish] to get back into shape before I apply for the Air Force. From that point when I will actually put in my application and this will be another 2-4 months [where I will maintain performance levels].

    Here is my weekly routine until I can maintain the runtime or near about as desired. This will be attempted every week for the next 5-6 months:

    Monday:
    3 mile steady-state run (adding an extra 8-10 minutes each week) on treadmill.

    Tuesday:
    Intervals on treadmill (0.5% incline) for 20-30 seconds at maximum pace building up to 18 kph, rest for 30 seconds and then repeat this until I have completed 10 minutes in total. As my progression increases I will decrease the rest periods each week by how I feel naturally until I can do this non stop.

    Wednesday:
    Hill sprints (sprint to the top jog back down, repeat 6-8x)

    Thursday:
    Simple steady-state light cardio using both the elliptical and cycling machines for 20-30 minutes each or any cardio based sport for 20-30 minutes each like real football/soccer, tennis, martial arts or boxing.

    Friday: (Same as Tuesday)
    Intervals on treadmill (0.5% incline) for 20-30 seconds at maximum pace building up to 18 kph, rest for 30 seconds and then repeat this until I have completed 10 minutes in total. As my progression increases I will decrease the rest periods each week by how I feel naturally until I can do this non stop.

    Saturday: (Same as Monday)
    3 mile steady-state run (adding an extra 8-10 minutes each week) on treadmill.

    Sunday:
    Rest

    Practice 1.5mile Test:
    Every 5-6 weeks I will attempt a flat out 1.5 mile/2.4km run on the treadmill at the set 8.2mph/13.2 kph to track my progress to meet my desired record time.

    Weighted Workouts:
    My press-ups, sit-ups, dips and pull-ups are all fine (I will be increasing my max by an extra 1-2 reps every 2-3 days between rest). Also, my 4 days of push/pull routine is fine too.



    So, what pointers do you suggest about this routine?
    I think you should have more rest. One day rest is not enough. I also am trying to improve my 2.4km time. Although, first time I did it was in 13 mins, I require 10 mins. Over summer, I managed to bring it down by 2 mins to 11 mins. I will be attempting to do this again this summer (probably around May). I'm looking to apply for Royal Marine Commandos though. Also, just working on your legs will not be enough, maybe have a mix of upper body training... Also, the food you eat is important. Most likely, you should eat fruits/veg and food with loads of protein (ngl personally I eat junk food at least once a week to get protein from chicken.)
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    (Original post by Phirstman)
    Combination of the two in my opinion. Training should consist of a mixture of:

    - The odd shorter run where you run flat out to get yours lungs/ running fitness going.
    - Slower/longer runs that will begin to shape your muscles into running for longer periods. Start with short distances at first (but keep at that slower pace) and then build up the distance in future runs as your body gets used to it.

    For me, when I started running, my first few sessions were:

    - 1.2 miles running flat out - took nearly ten minutes (and instantly coughed up a load of rubbish)!
    - 2.4 miles running much slower (took over 22 minutes from memory).

    After that I built up the 2.4 miles to 3 miles, 4 miles etc. but reverted back to the 1.2 mile quick one occasionally to see the progress - it works because your body becomes used to running!

    A combination of fast and slow runs, long and short distances in the overall plan is important - never run the same run twice in a row is my motto.

    Hope this helps.
    Great tips, So say the second 3 mile workout that I have planned in the week I should run slower or faster than my target pace to shake things up a little to keep my body to always stay on its feet? But, wouldn't the intervals accomplish the same feat?
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    (Original post by neluxsan)
    I think you should have more rest. One day rest is not enough. I also am trying to improve my 2.4km time. Although, first time I did it was in 13 mins, I require 10 mins. Over summer, I managed to bring it down by 2 mins to 11 mins. I will be attempting to do this again this summer (probably around May). I'm looking to apply for Royal Marine Commandos though. Also, just working on your legs will not be enough, maybe have a mix of upper body training... Also, the food you eat is important. Most likely, you should eat fruits/veg and food with loads of protein (ngl personally I eat junk food at least once a week to get protein from chicken.)
    Two questions:

    1) So maybe instead of doing the light cardio based sport on Thursday like I had planned I should leave Thursday free and incorporate the light cardio based sport exercise on another day like a day that I do Intervals?

    2) How many rest days do you recommend 2 or 3?
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    (Original post by Jimmy Two-Times)
    Great tips, So say the second 3 mile workout that I have planned in the week I should run slower or faster than my target pace to shake things up a little to keep my body to always stay on its feet? But, wouldn't the intervals accomplish the same feat?
    I would say slower, not every workout needs to be at full intensity. For a few runs it's just about getting the miles in the legs, in my view.
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    Hello Jimmy,

    First thing - well done on getting out there and getting stuck in. With a bit of grit and determination you'll get the necessary results.

    Without knowing a lot about you, your current state of fitness, exercise history etc, it's very difficult to make specific advice on your training. But there are a couple of general points that I think would help.

    First, for most people the 1.5 mile test is primarily a test of endurance. As a newcomer to exercise, the best way to train for it would be to follow a 5km or 10km running programme. Try Runner's World (other running websites are available).

    Second, get out and train with other people (and possibly get some coaching). Join a local running club and go out on some of their club runs. You will be amazed how quickly your pace develops if you are regularly running with other people. You will naturally find that you are doing some longer, steady runs (really important for the 1.5 mile test) and some shorter intervals and hill work.

    Lastly, try and find a session that allows you to develop your all-over body fitness. Circuit training is good, but there might also be a football, boxing, or rugby club locally that has a "fitness session" that you can join in with. Anything that has you pushing yourself to do lots of bodyweight exercises etc. Again, it's good to train on your own - but you will push yourself harder and learn more if you train with others.

    Good luck and all the best,

    Andy

    PS - Having said it's difficult to give specific advice, I'd strongly agree with Phirstman. Your training is missing a long, steady run - at least once a week - building gradually to a 60-90 minute effort. It will pay massive dividends on a 1.5 Mile test.
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    (Original post by Andy1973)
    Hello Jimmy,

    First thing - well done on getting out there and getting stuck in. With a bit of grit and determination you'll get the necessary results.

    Without knowing a lot about you, your current state of fitness, exercise history etc, it's very difficult to make specific advice on your training. But there are a couple of general points that I think would help.

    First, for most people the 1.5 mile test is primarily a test of endurance. As a newcomer to exercise, the best way to train for it would be to follow a 5km or 10km running programme. Try Runner's World (other running websites are available).

    Second, get out and train with other people (and possibly get some coaching). Join a local running club and go out on some of their club runs. You will be amazed how quickly your pace develops if you are regularly running with other people. You will naturally find that you are doing some longer, steady runs (really important for the 1.5 mile test) and some shorter intervals and hill work.

    Lastly, try and find a session that allows you to develop your all-over body fitness. Circuit training is good, but there might also be a football, boxing, or rugby club locally that has a "fitness session" that you can join in with. Anything that has you pushing yourself to do lots of bodyweight exercises etc. Again, it's good to train on your own - but you will push yourself harder and learn more if you train with others.

    Good luck and all the best,

    Andy

    PS - Having said it's difficult to give specific advice, I'd strongly agree with Phirstman. Your training is missing a long, steady run - at least once a week - building gradually to a 60-90 minute effort. It will pay massive dividends on a 1.5 Mile test.
    Thank you!

    So instead of walking/jogging for 20-30 minutes up it to 60-90 minutes to build my endurance

    and I've always wanted to learn martial arts so that's one thing I'll look into but boxing another I'll try something though.

    One last thing, I want to do the IT based jobs like preferably the Intelligence Analyst or Cyberspace Communication Specialist but I've read on this forum that I'll need to know how to swim before joining the RAF. I just want to know if that applies to me as people are not very clear on this site sometimes.
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    (Original post by Jimmy Two-Times)
    Thank you!

    So instead of walking/jogging for 20-30 minutes up it to 60-90 minutes to build my endurance

    and I've always wanted to learn martial arts so that's one thing I'll look into but boxing another I'll try something though.
    Don't go straight from 20-30 to 60-90 minutes in one go. Try to increase the duration of your longest run by 5 minutes a week, for three consecutive weeks. Then have a 'rest' week. Otherwise you'll significantly increase the risk of injury. So a progression could look something like this:

    30 mins - 35 mins - 40 mins - 30 mins
    40 mins - 45 mins - 50 mins - 30 mins
    50 mins - 55 mins - 60 mins - 40 mins

    Also, it doesn't really matter what sport or class you do, so long as it is working your whole body in a way that challenges you. Boxing is good - because it tends to use circuit techniques and principles that are similar to military circuit training. But a Circuits Class at the local gym, BMF, Rugby or Football fitness sessions would all fit the bill.
 
 
 
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