I Need to Run 1.5 Miles in Less Than 15 Minutes With 1 Month to Train

by Rachelle

I need to run 1.5 miles in less than 15 minutes with 1 month to train. I am trying out for the police academy. This will make my third time trying. I have lost 40 pounds but my cardio sucks.

My time is 20 minutes that is if my chest isn't burning or my legs cramping. The area is flat, but we have to walk 2 miles before the run then I am too tired to run.

I am doing cardio kickboxing to increase my stamina. My fitness level is beginner/intermediate.

Please help I only have a month to train.

1.5 mile running tips

Answer by Dom:
Hi Rachelle,
Thanks for your 1.5 mile run question.

In one month you can't make miracles happen, but you should be able to improve on where you are at the moment. And let's keep our hopes up, you might just be able to scrape through and get under that 15 minute threshold.

Not sure how often you do the cardio kickboxing per week. I think that will go some way in improving your stamina, fitness and strength.

However, my advice would be:

1. Start running more.
2. Build your fitness through run/walks.
3. Train like hell.

Start Running More

What you need to do to get better at running is... more running.

You might be doing some running at the moment, but reading your question it looks to me like you are depending on the kickboxing to improve your running.

One of the key principles in exercise is the specificity principle. The principle that specific effort produces specific results.

So, lace on those running shoes and start doing a whole lot more running.

You should aim for at least three times per week, but given your dire situation I would highly recommend four times.

Build Your Fitness Through Run/Walks

At the moment just the 2 mile walk is enough to wear you out. Let alone do the 1.5 mile at a decent clip. We need to work on getting you to run more, but the best way to do it is through a run/walk program.

What I mean by run/walks is alternating running and walking as I do in the Beginner Running Programs.

Your walks need to be brisk walks, your runs need to be easy jogs, slow enough so you'd be able to have a conversation with someone.

This is the best way to build up an aerobic base from scratch, which is what you desperately need because you are running out of breath way too soon.

The distance you cover needs to increase over time. Also see my page about increasing mileage safely.

Train Like Hell

1.5 mile running tips
Your run/walks need to cover way more than that 3.5 miles (2 mile walk, 1.5 mile run) you currently have so much trouble with. Ideally, you'd push it up and up to 6-7 miles. That will improve your endurance over time and will make covering 3.5 miles a lot easier!

Now, I don't know your fitness level and what you are capable of, but I would imagine that your first week should look something like about week 9 or 10 of my Beginners Running Program 3.

If you want to have a real shot at improving this time and get close to that 15 minute 1.5 mile within one month, then I think you have got some real work ahead of you. I'd aim for something like: run four times a week, cardio kickboxing once a week, one day with a very long walk and one day off.

Now, with cramming all your homework into the last month before the exam, there is one very big risk - injury. So, please make sure you listen to your body throughout this month. When you get niggles or pains, take a day off rather than pushing through so you make sure you get to that police physical test starting line in one piece!

Lastly, I would recommend checking out the free e-mail series 7 Days to Pass Your 1.5 Mile Test eCourse. It details more of my thinking on what to do when preparing for the 1.5 mile test. You can subscribe to it below.

Wishing you best of luck.
Kind regards,

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