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2.4k Run - Police Physical Test Three Months Away

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 the FAQs 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 Jan so have about 3mths to that enough time? Thanks any advice is greatly appreciated.

running tips
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.

As a mum I know it is a lot tougher.

I would definitely advise starting with a run/walk approach.

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 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 a month or so) to practice with some faster running as well.

I am not sure about your basic fitness at the moment, so I can't tell you if Beginners Running Program 3 is exactly the right program for you. 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.

You could also have a good look at Beginners Running Program 3 and use the same type of approach, but come up with your own program, getting you to run 30 minutes in 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.

Now, let's assume you'll get to approx 30 minutes of non-stop running with about a month to go. Then I would use the last month to add in some faster running as well.

Again, this faster running should initially be done gently, e.g. 1 minute of fast running combined with 3 minutes of easy running. Then repeat that sequence a number of times.

You can then build up slowly from there. A month of that type of interval running combined with some of the slower, easier running can make you a lot faster and fitter.

I hope this helps.
Kind regards,

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