1.5 Mile Run - How Much Time Can I Shave Off in 6 Months?
I am now out of shape (too many fags and drinks over the past 10 years!).
Time has come and I need to seriously start getting fit again because I have a 1.5 mile run test in about 6 months.
With strict training approx how much time could I expect to shave off in 6 months?
Would love to get it down to 8 mins or less... could it be done??
First run was 10 min 30sec.
Answer by Dominique:
Thanks for your question about your 1.5 mile run test.
And let me say: Hallelujah! Somebody who wants to improve their 1.5 mile run time and giving themselves plenty of time to try and do it. Sorry, I sometimes get a bit frustrated when somebody wants to achieve the unachievable in a matter of 4 weeks.
Six months is a really solid lead time that should help see you improve.
Let's talk about:1. How achievable is a 1.5 mile run in 8 minutes?
2. What is the training you need to achieve your goal?
How Achievable is a 1.5 Mile Run in 8 Minutes?
You said you are currently completely out of shape and are able to do the 1.5 mile run in 10 mins and 30 secs. I would consider that an excellent, excellent starting point.
I would hope that it is possible to get to 8 mins with dedicated training.
But it is a massive leap.
10:30 minutes for 1.5 miles equates to 7 minutes / mile (4:22 min/k).
8 minutes for 1.5 miles equates to 5:20 minutes / mile (3:20 min/k).
That's a lot of improvement needed. Whether you are actually able to reach that will be determined by:a) how much you are willing to train
b) ability to adjust some of your bad habits - both drinking and smoking have a clear detrimental impact on your fitness
c) your talent
With regards to talent... I think there are certain levels that any reasonably fit individual can reach. But being able to run at 5:20 min/mile speed for a prolonged period of time will also depend on your talent. I know many good runners who have a lot of difficulty simply reaching that speed, let alone stay at it for a longer time.
Regardless of whether you are able to reach that 8 minutes goal for the 1.5 mile run, there is a lot of joy in improving your fitness and improving your performance over time! So, let's get into the training you need to do to get closer to your goal.
What is the Training You Need to Achieve Your Goal?
The general approach would be to build up your ability to run longer distances with a focus on faster workouts closer to the race.
That's a one sentence summary of what can be a complex process. But it is pretty much what it comes down to. Let's get it a bit clearer about this:Consistency is key. Make sure you do at least three runs per week. More is better if you can handle it. This should help you improve heaps over the next six months.Mostly slow running. The crazy thing about running fast is that you need to do lots of slower miles. Run easy, run far. This will build your engine and will help get you faster. Check out the base running page for more info.Some fast running. As you are progressing towards your race, get more and more specific with your faster running. A reasonable progression, without all the sophistication, is to start with tempo running, move to interval running and then move on to goal pace running.
All in all, enjoy the process. Running is a fantastic sport and sometimes we run the risk of just getting too focused on the end goal. But the real joy is in the process. Put in the miles. Day after day. Week after week. And good things will come.