1.5 Mile Run in 10:30 Minutes

by Rob
(West Sussex)

Hi, I have recently decided to join the British Army. I will be required to run 1.5 miles in around 10 min 30sec.

I have read your comments to others asking the same question, however the answer you gave them worries me slightly.

"Therefore, what I recommend you do is to increase your mileage. Why? Well, just imagine you'd be able to run five miles. How easy would a 1.5 mile run be then?

When increasing your mileage you increase the risk of injury, so make sure you do it safely. Also see my page about increasing mileage safely."

I myself am running just under 6 miles twice a week in 42 mins however, when I time myself at the 1.5 mile run I get around 12 mins 30 sec.

As you said above, you should try to run further than say 1.5 miles each time....Well I do! My pace is much quicker than when do my 6 miles yet I am still getting a shocking time.

Can you recommend any training tips to improve my pace?

Cheers Rob

1.5 mile run test questions
Answer by Dominique:
Hi Rob,

Thanks for your running training question.

Yes, my standard advice is to increase your mileage, because many people think that just by running the 1.5 mile over and over again, they'd be able to eventually get to their goal time.

In reality running longer distances will help much more because it helps build your stamina which is important in any race from 800 metres up.

And you are noticing it yourself: you are able to run the 1.5 mile distance at a much faster pace than the 6 mile run. That's a product of your improved stamina.

There is one thing that I do not understand in the times you provide me:

1.5 miles x 4 = 6 miles.

You run 1.5 miles in 12 mins and 30 secs.

12.5 mins x 4 = 50 mins.

But you run 6 miles in 42 mins...?

Something is not adding up there. If you are able to run 6 miles in 42 mins in a regular training run, then beating 10.30 for 1.5 miles should be a piece of cake. Even just running at that same pace should get you there (42 / 4 = 10.5 mins).

Maybe it's 6 km instead of 6 miles? Anyways, you are already doing some longer distance work and you have trouble getting to the 1.5 mile goal time. Let's focus on some things you can do to get more improvement:

1. Keep on doing longer, easy running
2. Do a session that's faster
3. Run more times per week or supplement with cross training

Keep on Doing Longer Easy Running

1.5 mile run test questions
Keep on doing those longer distances, minimum 2, preferrably 3 times a week. Run them at an easy pace, the pace at which you'd be able to have a conversation. And yes, if possible increase the length of those runs steadily over time.

There really is no upper limit, but when you are new to running and practicing for the 1.5 mile run test, a sensible maximum is 60-90 minutes. And there is no need to run that long every time. You can have a longest run of say, 60 minutes, and other runs can be more in the 40-45 minute zone.

Do A Session That's Faster

In addition to the long / slow / easy stuff, do one faster session. This may be a tempo run, intervals or a fartlek session.

See some links here:

Tempo Running

Interval Running


Run More Times per Week or Supplement with Cross Training

1.5 mile run test questions
I am not sure about your training background and how long you have been doing your running. Two sessions a week is a bit "on the light side". When people start running, I generally tell them to run at least three times per week to start seeing some results. And making that four times a week, provided you continue to take care of yourself and avoid injury, would be even better.

Chances are that with two more training sessions a week and some consistent training for a few weeks / months, you will be able to start chopping off considerable amounts of your 1.5 mile time.

Hope this makes sense.
Best of luck with your career in the British Army. Hope you make it.

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