Qualifications: a 1.5 mile for 15:30 in Two Weeks. I'm NOT a Runner

by Belay

1.5 mile in 15:30

I'm not a runner at all and I failed a 1.5 mile run that's supposed to be done in 15:30. How do I get started? I am going to try out again in two weeks time.

I am applying to be a correctional officer and and a 1.5 mile 15:30 is a must to be employed for the state. Please help. Thank you.

Answer by Dominique:
Hi Belay,
Thanks for your question about running a 1.5 mile in 15:30.

Sorry to hear your first effort wasn't successful. You say you have two weeks to get ready. That's not a lot of time. I am hoping that you have an ability to re-do the test a bit further into the future as well. I think it is best I give you some advice for the short term and then for the longer term as well:

1. Two weeks until the 1.5 mile test.
2. What to do when you have more time

Two Weeks Until the 1.5 Mile Test

With only two weeks, you have to use some type of crash course approach. This is not without risks, so you do need to take care to not get injured.

1.5 mile in 15:30
Listen to your body at all times. A bit of muscle soreness is fine. Sharp pains, chest pain etc. is not.

In the short time available I would go out running 4 times per week. Given you are not a runner, you are most likely to benefit from run/walks.

I.e. rather than going out for a 10-minute run, it would be better, endurance wise, to do 5 x 4 min of running with a few minutes of walking in between.

I would concentrate two or three of your weekly run/walks on doing distance, i.e. with at least 20-30 minutes of running, more if you can. Just walk a bit more to get your breath back if you need to. But do run at least 20 minutes in those two runs.

And in one or two of your weekly runs I would concentrate on doing speed stuff, e.g. 10 x 1 min run, 1 min walk, in which the 1 min run is reasonably fast. This session should leave you exhausted by the end of the 10th interval. If you are not, then you haven't done it fast enough... :)

On the non-running days you can do some active recovery like a short walk or some cross-training, e.g. bike, swim or so. All little bits help, but rest is important as well, so have at least one rest day per week.

This could provide some improvement over the short time period. Make sure that the day before the test you rest, so you get to the run well-rested.

What to Do When You Have More Time

Suppose you do the test in two weeks' time and you are still not quite there. Don't despair. There should be another opportunity to try and qualify further away. In that case, continue the running, with a minimum of three times per week. Four is better.

1.5 mile in 15:30
Consistency is the main key to your improvement. In addition to that, gradually build the time spent running. If in one run you do 4 x 5 minutes (20 minutes), then the next time move that to 4 x 6 minutes (24 minutes), then 5 x 5 minutes (25 minutes), 4 x 7 minutes (28 minutes) and so on. Slowly build it up. And up. And up.

A small investment in your future is to get a collection of training plans that will help you get there. Here is a link to my 1.5 Mile Run Training Plan Book for your consideration.

With or without the help of my training plans, you need the consistent running. Consistency will help your fitness improve. You will build your endurance. Which means you can run faster for longer. Slowly but surely, you will get to your goal.

(Read the following with a stern voice in your head) - Given this is important for your career, I do expect sufficient willpower to keep up the running, even if it is something you really hate doing.

(Go back to a friendly voice here) - I have got all confidence in you. You can succeed. It may take some time. Two weeks is not a lot. But hopefully, in the not too distant future, you can make it to your goal of passing the 1.5 mile test in 15 minutes 30 seconds.

Best of luck.
Hope you make it.
Kind regards,

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