Taking Time off My 1.5 Mile Run

taking time off 1.5 mile

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 recommend reading through the 1.5 mile running section and studying all the answers to questions provided.

They should really help you out. Go to Training for the 1.5 Mile Run for your starting point.

You haven't provided a lot of detail on what you are currently doing, making it hard to provide targeted advice. So, read the below general advice and then compare it to your own training and make some adjustments. You only need 11 seconds, so you are already very close. No doubt, you can get there! The general approach to improving your 1.5 mile run test is to:

1. Run regularly
2. Easy runs
3. Some faster running
4. Good race strategy and race preparation
5. Bringing it all together


Consistency is so important to your running. The most important thing you can do to improve your running is to establish a regular running routine. The absolute minimum is three runs per week, in my opinion. More is better. Three runs per week is the minimum to enable improvement and to not go backwards. However, depending on your fitness and ability, you may have to increase it.


taking time off 1.5 mile
1.5 miles is a long way. Especially when you need to run it quickly. So, what we should focus on, first and foremost, is building up your endurance. Many beginner runners who are faced with the 1.5 mile test challenge, decide to make every training run a race. Not sure if that is you? Trying to run the 1.5 miles as fast as possible may be of some help when you are starting out. You build up some stamina and speed training that way, for sure. But eventually, you will stop making progress.

The better way to train is to focus on increasing your mileage and doing a lot of your training at an easy pace. Build up to running three miles easily, then four, then five. Suddenly, 1.5 miles is not such a long way anymore. Suddenly, you are able to run fast without faltering for longer. Because you have built your base.

I hazard a guess, that just by implementing the first two tips you will get to your sub-16 1.5 mile in the next two months.

By the way, check out the Increasing Mileage Safely page for tips on how to go about increasing your mileage.


Once a week, maybe twice if you are running, four / five times per week, do a faster running workout. Just to re-emphasise the previous paragraph: your easy running should be the majority of your running. Do the faster work to sharpen up your speed and to get used to the higher intensity needed in your 1.5 mile run test. A good point to start with faster running is the fartlek page.

Fartlek is Swedish for speedplay. It's a great concept and well-suited to somebody who is new to running and wants to start running faster workouts.


taking time off 1.5 mile
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.

A good way to prepare, closer to when you have to do the 1.5 mile test, is to do some goal pace workouts. A good test would be to run 6 x 400m at 10:40 min / mile speed with short rests in between. This translates to doing the 1.5 miles in 16 minutes. Really get used to what the required speed is so you can dial into it on test day.


taking time off 1.5 mile
It can be a bit overwhelming when you are trying to prepare for your 1.5 mile test. Easy running, fast running, when to do what?

To delve a little bit deeper into that topic I have created an easy and free e-mail series, that you can subscribe to below.

It provides you with extra tips and ideas on how to bring it all together. And as a special extra, I have compiled a short e-book Top 10 Runs to Supercharge Your 1.5 Mile Test Run Training, which you can get for free.

At this stage in your running journey it is a good idea to arm yourself with extra running knowledge!

Best of luck with the preparations for your test!
Kind regards,

Supercharge your 1.5 mile training! Simply subscribe to "7 Days to Pass Your 1.5 Mile Run Test" and get this e-book for free, before I change my mind...!!

1.5 Mile Test Pages You Need to Check Out

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