2.4k Run - Police Physical Test Three Months Away

2.4k run police physical test
Hi there,
I am looking to apply for the Police force. One of the requirements is the 2.4km in 11mins 50sec. I've read through some of the other questions, but the majority of them are wanting to shave time off etc. But me, I can't even run 2.4km so I would like to know where the best place for me to start would be?

I've got a 3mth old and therefore haven't been in the gym/run or worked out for 6mths. So my fitness level, as you can imagine isn't great.

Would you recommend I do one of the beginners programs?

If so which one would be the best for me if my ultimate goal would be the 2.4km. I did read an answer you had that running at a slower pace over a further distance would be helpful. So maybe the program 3? I was looking to apply in about three months' time...is that enough time? Thanks any advice is greatly appreciated.

Answer by Dominique:

Hi there,
Thanks for your question about your police force physical test.

Congratulations on the newborn.

Been there twice as a dad which was exhausting.

You being a mum, it is clearly a lot tougher.

My thoughts:

1. Yes, start with a run/walk approach
2. Speed up the Program
3. Lastly, add speed

Yes, Start with a Run/Walk Approach

2.4k run police physical test
I would definitely advise starting with a run/walk approach.

The Beginner Running Program 3 is a good program. It gets you to 30 minutes of non-stop running in 12 weeks time.

The only issue I see is that your police physical test is going to be in about 12 weeks time as well. Ideally we'd have a bit more time so you can get to that base position of 30 minutes of running and then have some additional time (say 4-6 weeks or so) to practice with some faster running as well.

Speed Up the Program

What you are going to have to do is find a way to speed up the program. So you have time left at the back-end to do some speed work. Some ideas:

2.4k run police physical test
  • Can you skip a few weeks - Beginners Running Program 3 starts at the beginners level and is great for anybody who is not able to run at all. I am not sure about your basic fitness at the moment, so I can't tell you where to start. But you might be able to leave out the first few weeks and start at week 3 or 4 for example. That would help shave off some preparation time.

  • Do more than three workouts per week - Given you are needing to make some serious improvements in fitness, I'd really recommend doing more than the bare minimum. Suppose you move to four workouts per week. The 3 workouts per week x 12 weeks = 36 workouts could then be accomplished in 9 weeks (36 / 4 = 9).

    A combination of these two strategies can get you to 30 minutes of non-stop running earlier.

    A third idea would be have a good look at Beginners Running Program 3 and use the same type of approach, but create your own program, getting you to run 30 minutes in say 8 weeks.

    In reality, although many people use the program and have used it to great success, almost nobody uses it exactly to the letter. I get reactions quite a lot of people stating that they skipped a few weeks, started off at week 5, repeated a week, etc.

    So, use the approach, but then tailor it to how you are progressing. Especially with a post-birth body and the exhaustion of dealing with a newborn you will have good and bad days, so you'll have to go with the flow a little anyway.

    Lastly, Add Speed

    Now, I am going to assume that based on the above strategies, you'll get to running approximately 30 minutes of non-stop running with time to spare. The more time the better, but something is better than nothing. Then I would use the last 4-6 weeks to add in some faster running as well.

    It would be great if at that time you'd be running four times a week and you'd be running 30-40 minutes non-stop three times a week and then one workout per week you focus on faster running.

    Given the limited time you'd be best off focusing your faster efforts on Goal Pace Running. Simulate goal pace so you know what it feels like. There are different ways to go about it. You could try to run the full 2.4k and see how you go. Doing a race simulation like that can be very helpful. You can also do an interval sessions, e.g. 12 x 200m, 6 x 400m, 3 x 800m etc. All of this will help you get used to goal pace.

    Four to six weeks of that type of interval training combined with slower, easier running can make you a lot faster and fitter.

    I hope this helps. It's going to be tough. It's going to be hard work. But, the above strategies provide you with a plan forward. Now it's up to you to execute it!

    All the best.
    Kind regards,

    P.S. Also just to make sure you know, I offer an e-mail series 7 Days to Pass Your 1.5 Mile Test eCourse. It's free of charge and worth subscribing too if you want to learn more about the best way to prepare for the 1.5 mile test. You can check it out below.

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