How to Improve my Running Time

by Mike

I am running a 13:42 Mile and a half. I am leaving for the marines in less than 3 weeks. I need to cut it to at least 12 minutes.
Is there anyone who can help me do that because right now it seems impossible.

Answer by Dominique:
Hi Mike,
Thanks for your question about how to improve your running time on the 1.5 mile.

Apologies for having you wait a little while. I had actually already answered your question a few days back, but somehow I forgot to publish it...

So here it is:
You have not given yourself a lot of time to improve. There are a few keys to improving your running. These are:

  • Do Longer Runs

  • Imagine you'd be running 5 or 6 miles a number of times a week. Then how easy would 1.5 miles be?

    1.5 miles is a great test of not only your speed, but also your endurance. For many people this is the big problem, they don't have the endurance to be able to go fast for a prolonged period of time.

  • Do Some Faster Running

  • One way to improve your running is to do some faster running, especially running just around the lactic acid threshold. This is the speed you can keep up for a longer period of time, just below the speed at which your legs would start feeling heavy. Read up more about Tempo Running.

  • But, what to do with so little time left??

  • Yes, this is a big problem. Ideally you would have asked this question three months ago. Suddenly doing 5- or 6-milers now would leave you very exposed to running injuries.

    So I would like to advise you to go running every day over the next few weeks, but you would very likely end up injured.

    A possible way to overcome this is do some other cardio-training as well, e.g. bike riding. Bike riding is a great way to build up stamina as well, without the impact on knees and joints that running has. As such it is a great complementary exercise to running.

    Mike, wishing you lots of luck over the next few weeks. I hope you will get closer to that 12-minute mark.

    Good luck.
    Kind regards,

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