1.5 Miles in 15 Minutes

I am to run 1.5 miles in 15:00 minutes (or faster) for the Police Academy. How do I start training for this? I try to run two miles a day but have never timed myself.

If you could please help me by giving me step-by-step advice that would be greatly appreciated...

Thank you for your time.


1.5 miles in 15 minutes

Answer by Dominique:
Hi Tonya,

Thanks for your question about running the 1.5 mile police academy test.

It's good that you are already running two miles a day. You are not starting from a zero base. And running every day is also fantastic!

Now we need to build on this with some more structured running training.

Key pieces of advice here are:

1. Make some runs longer, but slower
2. Make some runs faster
3. Adhere to the hard/easy principle
4. Practice goal pace closer to the test


Make a couple of your weekly runs longer, but slower. This will help build your endurance. Even though 1.5 miles is not super long, it is long enough to test your endurance. So try to go 2.5, 3 or 4 miles but run at a slower pace and/or take a short walking break in between. It's hard to say how far you should aim to go for, but just gradually build it up. Getting up to 5 or 6 miles for your longest run would be fantastic. It would really build your aerobic engine.

Check out Increasing Mileage Safely for further explanation on how to approach an increase in mileage to ensure you do not get injured.


Make 1-2 of your weekly runs a quality workout, i.e. faster. E.g. alternate 1 minute fast running with 3 minutes of slow running.

Whereas the slower running helps to build your aerobic capacity (stamina/endurance), the faster running will help you build your speed. Both are needed for a good 1.5 mile run test. If you are running 3 times per week, aim for 1 faster session. Running 4 times or more? Then you could put in a second quality session.

Some links for faster running:

Fartlek - A good starting point when you are thinking about adding quality to your training.

Interval Running - About intervals, how fast to do them, how many to do, etc.

Tempo Running - A useful speed to run at is tempo pace. A pace between easy running and interval speed, it is a controlled speed which is more or less on the edge of comfortably hard / uncomfortably hard.


One thing to keep in mind when you are going to be running further and faster is the hard/easy principle. A harder day (i.e. longer or faster) should be followed by an easier day (short, easy run or rest or cross-training).

Doing harder training will mean a bigger risk of injury. And doing too many hard days in a row will exponentially increase that risk.

So, be careful as you ramp up your training.

1.5 miles in 15 minutes

Practice Goal Pace Closer to the Test

When you get to the last four or so weeks before your test, it will be useful to get more targeted in your approach and really hone in on that 1.5 mile 15-min target. Replace one of your weekly quality sessions with a goal pace workout. Build it up, e.g. first time you do this, you could run 6 x 400m (quarter mile = one lap of an athletics track in lane 1), targeting 400m repeats in 2.5 minutes (pace of 6 min 15 sec). Next week, try 4 x 600m, etc.

An alternative to these interval sessions is to do a time trial and run the full 1.5 miles as fast as possible. For races lasting about 20 minutes or so, a time trial on your own is doable, I find. I did a bunch of 5k time trials in the Covid period. On my own on the track or road. I was able to push myself for that time. But I never tried a 10k time trial on my own. It is a very long time to be out there on your own, pushing yourself and being uncomfortable.

Hope this helps. Best of luck.

P.S. For a full step-by-step workout-by-workout plan, I'd advise you to have a look at my Running Coaching service.

I offer an in-depth assessment of your current fitness, strengths and weaknesses and create a running program to get you well prepared for your 1.5 mile police academy test.

It could be a useful service to you as this test is obviously important for your career.

Want to supercharge your 1.5 mile?
Simply DOWNLOAD Today!

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