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Drop 2:00 off your Mile Pace

This week an Army Officer emailed me with a goal of dropping two minutes off his mile run pace.  This is not a tough goal to achieve IF you are presently running a 10:00 mile and have a goal of 8:00 mile pace.  However, as you can imagine, it gets much tougher going from 8:00 mile pace to 6:00 mile pace or faster.  But the 10:00 to 8:00 pace can actually be done in less than a few months as long as you are not new to running. 

If you are a beginner, you should always ramp up distance, pace, and intensity over a six to eight week period as described in the chart below:

 

Running Plan I - Beginner Runners

Running Plan II - Intermediate Runners

Wk

Mon

Tues

Weds

Thurs

Fri

1

1-2 mile

Bike or swim

1-2 mile

Bike or swim

1-2 mile

2

2-3 miles

Bike or swim

2-3 miles

Bike or swim

2-3 miles

3*

Bike or swim

Bike or swim

Bike or swim

Bike or swim

Bike or swim

4

3 miles

Bike or swim

3 miles

Bike or swim

3 miles

5

2 miles

3 miles

off

4 miles

2 miles

6

2-3 miles

3-4 miles

off

4-5 miles

2-3 miles


*Do not run during Week 3--bike or swim everyday for 20-30:00.  Any other NON-impact aerobics is a good replacement exercise for swimming or biking. There is a high risk of injury to beginners who run this week.

For more experienced but slower runners, going from 10 8:00 mile pace is best done with the following recommendations:

 

Wk

Mon

Tues

Weds

Thurs

Fri

Saturday

1-4

2 miles

mile at goal pace  68xs

No Running rest or PT

2 mile timed & 2 miles jog

PACE DAY 3 miles of intervals at goal pace

Long run:  4-6 miles easy pace

5-8

2 miles

mile at goal pace 4-5xs

No Running rest or PT, swim, bike

2 miles timed & 2 miles jog

PACE DAY 4 miles of intervals at goal pace

Long run: 4-6 miles easy pace

Chart explained:

On Mondays, run two miles but try for as long as you can to run at your goal pace chart progress each week on how far you were able to maintain goal pace.  The chart below will help you figure out your goal pace at the intervals recommended in this running plan:

Goal mile pace

8:00 mile

Goal mile pace

7:00 mile

Goal mile pace

6:00 mile

Intervals

mile intervals

4:00

3:30

3:00

mile intervals

2:00

1:45

1:30

1/8 mile intervals

1:00

52 seconds

45 seconds



To ace the running portion of any PFT, it is most important to learn your pace. Recognize breathing, arm swing, leg stride, foot strikes and create muscle memory of exactly how you should feel when you are running at your goal pace.  As you get into better shape, you should feel better throughout the running event. 

NOTE - one day a week - you should push the speed limit and do a series of faster than pace runs:

On Tuesdays, intervals will help you build your VO2 max and foot speed to better learn your goal pace.  On a few of the interval runs, try to run 1-2 at a faster than goal pace just to push your limit.  After each interval run, walk or slow jog for a recovery for 1-2:00.  During the second month, increase your distance but keep the pace the same.  Shoot for mile intervals at goal pace. 

Wednesday - DAY OFF - swim or rest. Do your PT exercises today as well as every other day as recommended in any of the PT articles in the Article Archive and PFT eBooks.


Thursday - 2 mile timed run / 2 mile jog.  Test yourself on Thursday, after a day off of running.  If your PFT distance is 1.5 miles or 3 miles (USN, USCG, USAF, or USMC respectively), run that distance required for your services PFT followed by a jog of the same distance.  

On Fridays, learn your PACE.  All runs no matter what the distance 1 mile, 2 mile, 3 miles, , miles etc are to be done at your goal pace. Work up to three miles of running for as long as you can at your goal pace.  Once you fall off your pace, stop, walk and recover for two minutes and continue running shorter intervals until you reach a total distance of three miles.

Saturday - Long run Saturday - 4-6 miles easy pace.  Have a nice leisurely run at slow moderate pace and stretch well after each running session.

Sunday - Day off

As you can see, the best way to get better or faster at running is to PRACTICE running.  This routine is aggressive but doable and should only take 20-40 minutes on most weekdays.  If you have any questions, feel free to email me at stew@stewsmith.com. 

 

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the StewSmith.com Fitness eBook store and the
 
Stew Smith article archive at StewSmith.com. To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at stew@stewsmith.com.

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BOOKS / eBOOKS / DVDs

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Published Books / DVDs
Complete Guide to Navy SEAL Fitness (Book / DVD)
Maximum Fitness

The Special Operations Workout

The SWAT Workout - From Recruit to SWAT Team Member
The Combat Swimmer Stroke DVD

The Pre-Habit Workout DVD
Clinic DVD for Navy SEAL PST
The FBI Special Agent Test Clinic DVD

The Complete List of Stew Smith's eBooks:

Fitness for All Levels of Fitness

The 90 Day Beginner Guide to Fitness
The Advanced Maintenance and Recovery Program

Reclaim Your Life - The Erin O'Neill Program

Veteran's Fitness - Baby Boomer and a Flat Stomach

The Busy Executive Workout Routine
The Advanced Weights / PT Workout (Fall / Winter Weight Gain Cycle)
The Perfect Pushup Workout

The TRX Workout
- Circuit Training 101 ebook

NEW Obstacle Course Race Ebook
 

The Special Forces Physical Fitness Workouts
 Combat Conditioning Workout

Navy SEAL Workout Phase 1  Beginner Weeks 1-9
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 2 - 3 - Intermediate Weeks 1-12
Navy SEAL Workout Phase 4  Grinder PT -  Four weeks before Hell Week

Navy SWCC Workout

The Army Special Forces / Ranger Workout 

The Army Air Assault School Workout

The Army Airborne Workout

USMC RECON Workout
Air Force PJ / CCT Workout

The Coast Guard Rescue Swimmer Workout

The OCS, ROTC, Service Academy, & Bootcamp Workouts

New - Army PRT and CRT
Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard OCS Workout

The USMC IST and PFT Workout
USMC OCS / TBS Workout
The Service Academy Workout (West Point, Navy, Air Force Academy)
The Navy, Air Force, Marine Corp Bootcamp Workout

The Army OCS and PFT Workout
The PFT Bible - Military / Police Standard PFT

 

The Law Enforcement Physical Fitness Test Workouts

The FBI Academy / PFT Prep Workout

The DEA Prep Workout

The FLETC Prep Workout - Ace the PEB

The State / Local Police Academy Workout

The Fire Fighter Workout
 


Seal Multi Men's Multi-Vitamin Multi-Mineral

TRX Train Like the Pros


       


Some Titles Above available in Print Softcover Format

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