2 Miles in 16 Minutes - Is it Possible?

by Ana
(Houston, Texas)

2 miles in 16 minutes

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 three months' time but I'm afraid it's 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.
2 miles in 16 minutes is very achievable. Not easy if you have a low base of fitness, but doable when you have a decent base.

And, you can make big, big improvements at the start of your running career. All it will take is keep going and get consistent with your running.

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, presumably, some more time while you are at the Academy.

I'll share with you:

1. The key requirements for a faster 2 mile run
2. Key things to be aware of

2 miles in 16 minutes

The Key Requirements for a Faster 2 Mile Run

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

A strong base. A 2 mile run is a long way. It requires you to have a lot of stamina. So, first, you need to start building up that stamina. The best way to do that is to run for longer than the 2 miles. Imagine being able to run 4-6 miles non-stop. How much easier would it be to then run your 2 miles? Check out my page about building your base for more information. Especially when you start off with running, base running is critical.

Quality workouts. Once you have a good base, some selective faster running will really sharpen the saw so to say. There are plenty of faster workouts to choose from. Check out my Running Workouts page for an overview.

2 miles in 16 minutes

As someone relatively new to running, you may find it easiest to consider fartlek first, before taking on anything more challenging. Fartleks are a low-entrance way to starting to run faster. Simply pick up the pace for a little while during a run, then drop it back down again. Depending on what you run past you can use landmarks like buildings, streetlights, etc. to decide on when to pick up the pace and when to drop it again. If that sounds a little too unstructured for you, then check out the fartlek page for some ideas about structured workouts or go to the interval running or tempo running pages for further ideas.

Cross Training. I am not familiar with police physical test requirements. They are different from state to state, territory to territory, country to country. But 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, core exercises etc. This will help your running as well. There are plenty of studies that back up the positive impacts of strength work on running performance. Check out my strength training for runners page for further information.

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

Key Things to Be Aware of

2 miles in 16 minutes
When you jump into a fitness program from doing nothing or not much to 4-5 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. If you don't quite know what you are doing and you are launching yourself into a fitness program, you risk injuries. Injuries mean time off, which makes it harder to achieve your goals. So, build it up wisely. Sure, work hard when you need to work hard. But take care of yourself and listen to your body. Learn to distinguish between normal muscle soreness and niggles and pains that may indicate injury.

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

Kind regards,

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