Running Even Faster
Most of the time, I receive emails from people who are seeking to pass their PFT, and just as many who wish to max out their PFT scores for their age group. Check out the "Ace Any Military PFT" article for more info.
Every now and then, I get emails from people who are training to run even faster than they already are. These are the runners who are trying to break 5:00-6:00 mile pace and are usually Marines who want to run faster than 18:00 on the three mile run, or Army Rangers or Special Forces guys who want to hit 11-12:00 in the two mile run.
I have been working on some training regimens for speed building and have discussed many different ways to accomplish this goal with collegiate and Olympic runners in the 800m, 1500m, and 5km events. It seems from my trial and error and recent research that the way to tackle this speedy goal is twofold.
Be an Avid Runner Before Building Speed
Building a foundation of 20-25 miles a week of running is considered to be foundation enough to start pushing your own envelope of speed. Check out the "Running Plan for Marathons" article to see how to build your foundation if you are not up to that mileage yet.
Use Interval Training to Increase Speed
It seems that interval training will help you increase your foot speed, build your VO2 Max, and make your PFT distance running at faster paces more comfortable - this means you are getting in better shape. See the "Interval Training for the PFT Run" article on how to implement speed training with your running schedule.
Here are some intense intervals to help you with your training for crushing the PFT run or 5k and 10k contests:
Workout #1: - Run one mile easy/stretch - Repeat 8-10 times - Run 1/4 mile at 10-20 seconds under current mile pace - Jog slow or walk 1:00
Say you are running a 9:00 1.5 mile run = 6:00 mile pace = 90 seconds 1/4 mile run. Try to hit these 1/4 mile intervals at 70-80 seconds. Benefits - increase foot speed, and build VO2 Max.
Workout #2: - Run one mile easy/stretch - Repeat five times - Run 1/2 miles at 10 seconds under current mile pace - Jog slow or walk 2:00
Workout #3: - Run one mile easy / stretch - Run one mile at 10 seconds above current mile pace - Jog 2:00 slow - Run one mile at current mile pace
- Jog 2:00 slow - Run one mile at 10 seconds faster than current mile pace - Cool down jog 5:00 - Stretch
Workout #4: - Run 5:00/warm-up/stretch - Run for 30:00 total BUT - Run 1:00 sprint / followed by 1:00 slow jog for 30:00
Try these workouts during the next month using two to three of the above workouts each week mixed with your normal pace jogging on other running days. You will see your timed runs drop significantly.
Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit his Fitness eBook store if you’re looking to starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to email@example.com.
Interested in Joining the Military?
We can put you in touch with recruiters from the different military branches. Learn about the benefits of serving your country, paying for school, military career paths, and more: sign up now and hear from a recruiter near you