Running for Recruitment

by Anish
(Palakkad, Kerala, India)

I am running for an army recruitment which consists of a 5km run in 24 minutes. It will be about 1.5 months from now.
What should I do to achieve my goal?

Answer by Dominique:

Hi Anish,
Thanks for your running question.
Well, I don't know what your starting point is, e.g. are you able to run 5k at the moment and if yes, how fast do you do it or can you barely run a mile?

My general tips are:

Run Long and Slow
Start working on being able to cover that distance, preferably more. You can do this by running slowly or via a combination of running and walking.

Completely tired after 5 minutes of running, then just take a walking break for a while. Then when you have recovered, start running again.

Persist with this, you will have to build up your stamina such that you can run those 5kms easily.

Also Do Some Faster Running
5km in 24 minutes is not super fast, but it is faster than easy running for most people. So you will need to get used to running that pace and running faster than that as well.

You can do some interval running, tempo running and/or fartlek.

Every running speed will help you in a different way. A bit of an issue is that you only have six weeks to do this which is very short to condition yourself, but you need to give it all you got.

If possible, cross-train
You are in a difficult situation. You need to get fit, but there is not that much time to do it. I would almost say: make sure you run every day. But that is so dangerous, because you risk some serious running injuries if you go from hardly any running to running every day of the week.

So do as much running as you can do (4 times a week would be a good minimum), but on off-days do not sit still. Swim, walk, cycle, etc. Make sure you are active whilst giving your running muscles a break.

Take Care in Last Two Days
Make sure you take a bit of a breather the two days before your big race. A little bit of easy running is fine, but tough training should be avoided; you do not want to get to your big test with heavy legs!

I hope these general guidelines help you in achieving your goal.

Best of luck.
Kind regards,

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