Taking Time of My 1.5 Mile Run

I need to run 1.5 miles in 16 minutes or less. I currently run it in 16:10 and I am finishing that with exhaustion.

How long should it take me to get my time to under 16 minutes and not feel like I am dying?

Answer by Dominique:

Hi there,
Thanks for your running question. This 1.5 mile physical test is really causing some issues for people. You are not the first one wanting to reduce their 1.5 mile run time.

So, first of all, I would like to recommend going to the Running Training Q&A Summary Page which lists a number of questions and answers about the 1.5 mile run.

The general recipe to improve your running is to:

a) Run regularly, i.e. at least three times per week.

b) Do easy runs that increase in length (also see my Increasing Mileage Safely-page).

c) Do some faster running as well to get used to the higher intensity needed in your 1.5 mile run test.

Without knowing anything about your current exercise regime I am not going to risk any predictions on how long it should take to shave off 10 seconds of your current 1.5 mile run time.

You may already be able to run the distance within the required time, you know. I'd hazard a guess that you currently run with positive splits, i.e. you run the first half of the run faster than the second half.

In marathons, running a minute too fast in the first half, is said to cost you at least five minutes in the second half. With 1.5 miles the effect will of course not be so dramatic, but you could maybe save yourself 10 seconds by going out a little slower.

Of course, the better strategy to pass your fitness test is to not rely on guess work but on some good, solid hard work to bring down that 1.5 mile run time!

Best of luck with it.
Kind regards,

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