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1.5 Mile in 13 Minutes, but Out of Shape

My husband is in a lot of trouble. He's slightly out of shape and has gained a few pounds. He had an injury that put him on a profile for a year.

He wasn't able to exercise or train. Now he has a test he must pass in three weeks. What is the best way to get him in shape to run 1.5 miles in less than 13 minutes?

Answer by Dominique:
Thanks for your running question.
That is quite a situation. The easy way out for me would be to say "not possible" and leave you to it. But, not knowing exactly how fit your husband is and what his natural abilities are, it may well be possible and I do want to help...

Three weeks is not a lot of time... and I see we have already lost a week due to me being away on holidays for the past number of weeks. 1.5 Miles in 13 minutes is normally a totally doable goal, but the time lacks for the ideal preparation.

The problem we have is that your husband would best get in shape by doing lots of exercise of course, but this puts him at risk of injury.

A very dedicated approach is necessary... as far as the running is concerned, he needs to do as a lot of running as is possible, e.g. 30 minutes a day four days a week.

Even if this means taking a few walking breaks in between or running slowly, but spending that time running is important.
E.g. a session could be 5 x 6 minutes of running with 2-3 minutes walking in between. By the end of the three weeks, he needs to work towards a longer period of running consecutively (e.g. 20 minutes of running, short walking break, 5 minutes of running, short walking break, last 5 minutes of running).

He needs to be wary though of injuries and if there are any issues with ankles, knees etc then he should be careful and not injure himself.

It is still better to be half-trained than to be injured and not be able to have a shot at the test at all.

He needs to take dietary sacrifices to see to it that he loses some weight, i.e. no alcohol, no sweets, no sugary snacks etc.

Some cross-training on off-days would help as well, i.e. bike riding, walking, swimming.

Doing a time trial over 1.5 miles could be a good idea but may be a double-edged sword. It is a good idea to practice the test so he knows the distance and knows where he stands, but if the time trial does not go as planned it may be demotivating and put him off exercise for the rest of the time.

The day before the test is best spent not doing exercise at all to make sure he gets to the start well-rested.

As a "race-strategy" it is normally best to run an even race, i.e. if he needs to run 0.25 mile circles, then he should aim for 2.10 minute splits. This sound simple, but it is very important.

If you do not have a lot of stamina, then starting off way too fast in your first lap or two can have devastating effects on the results of the last three.

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I sincerely hope this helps. Wishing you and your husband lots of success in the upcoming weeks. It would be great if you'd let us know whether he made it through or not!

Kind regards,

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