General Question

CuriousLoner's avatar

What exercises can I do to decrease my 2 mile run time?

Asked by CuriousLoner (1796 points ) August 26th, 2011

I am getting very close to getting the run time I need to pass for Army PT test.I need to shave off about 40–50 seconds. I really want to pass my PT test before I ship to basic so I can be promoted. I passed the push up and sit ups as well as the online training. I know there are some people it was easy run , but I seem to struggle with it. When I first started running my 2 mile was 20:43,now couple months later last time I did it, was at 16:23. I try to push myself hard on the 2nd mile but I seem to run out of breathe and energy fast makes me mad…..Sometimes almost throw up.

I have about 25 days left, which is when I ship for basic.

What extra exercises can I do for my legs and core that will help me run faster and my endurance?

Also how many miles should I run a day? Should I run everyday?

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19 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

You need to increase your lung capacity and I would do splits where you run full out like you are being chased by a bear for one minute and then walk. Repeat 4 – 5 times and really push it on the run to where you are spent and gasping after the minute run. Do this daily and in 2 weeks you will see your distance endurance improve dramatically.

CuriousLoner's avatar

@Cruiser I will try it for sure. I plan to go to the park today. Also when I walk how long do I walk for? 30 seconds to a minute?

EDIT: Also is this something I should before or after a run? Like say if I run 3 or 4 miles is it best to do this before or after?

thebluewaffle's avatar

Run fartlek training…aka. Speedplay.
Which is basically explained above, but sprint say 50 metres, then jog 50metres, repeat so on…

Also, go out for longer runs which make the test seem short in comparison. When training for a 8 miler, I will do 10 or 12 miles (depending how I’m feeling) just so on the 8, you’re thinking its not sooooo bad.

It’s all in the mind you just have to push through.

Cruiser's avatar

@CuriousLoner One minute full on and one minute walk and if you are pushing it you will wish you could walk longer but resist that urge and just be your own drill instructor and keep going! Good luck! I might do this at a different time than your regular run or if anything after your 2 mile run.

CWOTUS's avatar

I’d add to what @Cruiser said in his excellent advice: Do hill climbs. When you’ve done those sprints uphill as fast and as long as you can (and keep improving) then a mile run on level ground will be a walk in the park.

I ran cross country in high school 40 years ago, and I still recall those hill climbs as sheer torture… and the best shape that I’ve ever been in for as long as I’ve been alive. After those practices, cross country races were an enjoyable afternoon.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Run your last 200 yds in loose sand if possible.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Take two vitamin B-12 tablets each day. Do stretching exercises for about ten minutes prior to a run. Make sure you have a good pair of running shoes… relatively new ones, since the springiness goes out of most of them after a couple of months. Practice running in spurts, alternating a steady jog with sprints… don’t do this in the actual test, just in practice. Practice breathing from your diaphragm, not just your ribcage. Run every day… each day gives you an incremental improvement. When you get to the 1 mile or 1½ mile mark and feel like you’re going to hit the wall, coordinate your breathing to your pace and slowly increase both; it will feel like you’re going to die, but once you get through the wall, it gets better. Good luck!

Kade13's avatar

In order to improve your times you need to improve your core stamina and strength in your legs. There are several ways to do this, Mixed cardio workouts are good way to improve your lung capacity quickly and will allow you to run for longer before getting out of breath.

Rowing is a simple exercise that will work on your legs and help build up stamina simultaneously, its less physically impacting than running but provides all the same benefits as you make use of the same muscle groups. Just be sure to push yourself hard.

Sprinting is a great way to build up your stamina quickly but make sure you do the sprints towards the end of your exercises, towards the end of your workout take 10–15 minutes, get on a treadmill at an incline of 4% (what i found to be the best for me but you can play with this to suit your stride), do 1 minute sprint, 1 minute walk, 1 minute jog and repeat.

and lastly, this might seem strange. Do some flat out sprint on a decline, gravity and your own momentum will force you to move quicker so set the speed of your treadmill faster than your normal speed, this will help your legs develop better response to impacts caused by running. Do this until you are ready to pass out and then slowly come to a stop.

Make sure you go through proper cool down exercises and replenish the used nutrients and proteins. A healthy shake or protein bar will help repair the small tears in your muscles that occur whenever you exercise hard.

gondwanalon's avatar

You have made a big improvement in a short time. The exercises that you have been doing seem to be working. Keep up the good work! You could also benefit by doing a twice weekly workout of 10 each of 100 to 200 yard wind sprints at a pace much faster than the 8 minutes per mile pace that you want to maintain to pass your PT test. Also a couple workouts of 4 to 6 miles at an easy to moderate pace somewhere around 9:15 to 9:45 minutes per mile pace.

There are some excellent exercises that you can do with one of those big air inflatable exercise balls. You can strengthen you core body muscles and target your hamstrings and gluteus (the major muscles that propel you forward as you run).

CuriousLoner's avatar

Thanks to everyone for the answers!

I went to park and did the interval training as suggested yesterday and today.Did mostly low mile runs and core exercises to follow.Feels pretty good, I felt like I improved a little already. I plan to do a 4 mile run moderate pace tomorrow and include the interval training at the end.

PS I have a nasty shin split on my left leg which seems to follow up to my quad kinda weird and hurts something fierce, any advice for getting rid of this?

gondwanalon's avatar

I’m sorry to hear about your shin splint injury. That is an indication that you’ve been a bit too aggressive with your training. If the pain is minor then you can continue your training at a reduced intensity until the pain decreases. It would be a good idea to take a couple of days off from running and use that time to work on your core muscles, hamstrings, glutes and calf muscles (with weights and or an exercise ball). Also you can take ibuprofen or aspirin and do ice messages on the sore area(s) to counter inflammation. Also when you run rap an ace bandage around the sore shin splint area.

CaptainHarley's avatar

Are warm-up and stretching part of your run? If not, that’s probably what caused the shin splint. Make sure that your muscles are all properly stretched before running.

CuriousLoner's avatar

@gondwanalon Ah guess I shouldn’t have run today then. I do a fairly nice pace 4 mile run, I changed my stride a little and took it easy though as to not aggravate it too much.

@CaptainHarley Of course! I’ve tried working out with no stretching once before. Never again lol

I usaully do most of the stretches we do at PT upper,mid and lower then do about 10 push ups, jumping jacks or some other light quick stuff and light jog in place to get my blood flowing and mind set geared up before I do a run or full workout.

mattbrowne's avatar

Spend 2 weeks in a region with altitudes above 6000 feet and run every day. Then come home and do your 2 mile run again. You will most likely be faster. Why?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_blood_cell

CuriousLoner's avatar

Hey everyone! Again thanks for the answers very helpful.

I have great news I was able to pass the PT test this past Thursday, 8th. I got a 15:24 on my run this time almost a whole minute off my last test. I think the interval runs helped immensely. I also switched things up with longer more sustained pace runs and days with short runs and sprints.

Also this may sound kinda crazy ,but I think it helped my push ups and sit ups as well, I did more on both of those as well!

PS Still wanting to improve though I feel as though I can still do much better!

Cruiser's avatar

Congrats @CuriousLoner job well done!! Good luck with the rest of your journey!

Avangelo's avatar

Everyone’s body reacts differently. Run in a way you feel comfortable with. For me it was actually the 5 mile runs that improved my time. This was after spending years on the edge.

CuriousLoner's avatar

This was after spending years on the edge. – What do you mean by the edge?

Avangelo's avatar

always failing a few times before i pass

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