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2 Miles in 16 Minutes - Is it Possible?

by Ana
(Houston, Texas)

What are the chances I would be able to run 2 miles in 16 minutes? I am 43 yrs old.

I am in decent shape.

I can run 2 miles now in 30 minutes.

I want to start the police academy in October but I'm afraid its unrealistic for me to believe I would be able to run 2 miles in 16 minutes by the end of the academy.





Answer by Dominique:


Hi there,
Thanks for your question about your police physical test.

You should not start this by thinking you will not be able to achieve it. So, I am definitely not going to say it is unrealistic for you to get to your goal time of 2 miles in 16 minutes.

At the same time it is fair to say that you are quite a way off from your goal time at the moment. Good thing is that you ask the question early so you have got a number of months to train before going to the academy and then some more time while you are at the academy.

There are a number of key requirements to a faster 2 mile run:

  • A strong base. Imagine being able to run 4-5 miles non-stop. How much easier would it be to then run your 2 miles? Check out my page about base running drills for more information. Especially when you start off with running, base running is critical.


  • Speed work. Interval running will help you become faster and fitter quickly. As someone relatively new to running, you may find it easiest to consider fartlek first, before jumping into straight interval running workouts. You could also just start off by running a normal 2 mile distance in which you pick up the pace for 1 minute every 5 minutes or so. Then, build up from there, by reducing the time that you run slow and increasing the time you run fast until you reach something like 4-5 minutes fast, 2-3 minutes slow.


  • Tempo running. Tempo running will increase your body's ability to run fast for a longer period of time without your legs getting heavy due to lactic acid build-up. It is also known as lactacte threshold running. Check out my tempo running page for more information.


  • Cross Training. I am assuming that your police physical test will include more than just running. So make sure you include a day or two in your schedule in which you do some weights and or bodyweight exercises like push-ups, squats, pull-ups etc. This will help build your overal fitness, which will in turn help your running as well.

    What it comes down to now is start doing the work to get fit and get ready for the academy!

    Last pieces of advice:

  • When you jump into a fitness program from doing nothing or not much to 3-5 days of exercise per week it is always best to consult your doctor first. General rule is that if you are over forty, overweight, have not exercised a lot etc. you should consult a doctor first.


  • Make sure you build up your exercise steadily. Do not start off with doing lots of pushups, five mile runs, 10 x 400m intervals etc. Let your body get used to the additional stress you are putting it under, otherwise you risk injuries and that would make it harder to achieve your goals.


  • Combine your exercise program with a healthy diet. Any pound you lose in weight will make you a faster runner. For some simple no-nonsense weight loss advice check out How to Lose 10 Pounds in 10 Days. The title makes it a bit hyped up, but there is some genuinely good advice in there about good foods, bad foods, the value of supplements etc.


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    Well, best of luck and I hope you give it a go as it sounds like a career- and life-determining decision.

    Cheers,
    Dominique

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