T Nation

1.5 Mile Run

I am trying to get my 1.5 mile run time down to under eleven min, right now I can run an 11:15. What are some differnt types of training I can do to improve my run time? In the past I have used Interval training and running up hills to improve my 1.5 mile run. They have work prety well, but I always slow down towards the end of the test.

If any of you military/police/fire guys have tips on how to improve your run with out running 5 days a week let me know.

I think it was Charlie Francis(but don’t beat me up if I’m wrong on who) that said in order to improve your time over a distance it is easier to improve your time over a shorter distance and then increase the distance while maintaing you speed.

In other words, run a few smaller segments such as half miles or quarter miles at a pace that would get you under 11 minutes over 1 and a half miles, and then gradually increase the distances you are running until you meet your goal. I think you should try for a nine minute mile-and-a-half.

I’ll tell you what worked for me to get my 2 mile under 13, but just a warning, i had to push so hard i ended up being sick for weeks afterward. just killed my immune system.

so heres what i did, i was shooting for under 13 minutes. so… 12min divided by 8 laps = 1:30s per lap. well i knew i could run a lap in 1:30 i just couldn’t keep it up for 8 laps.
so day 1, run 1 lap in 1:30
day 2, run 2 laps in 3
day 3, run 3 laps in 4:30
and so on and so forth,
running is a mental game more than anything else and this is nice way to trick yourself into breaking thru walls. i did it in 14 days, approx ever y other day. and it shaved 2:30 off my run time. but it is hard and you really have to push.

last, i regret all the time i spent running because it reeeeeally hurts your lifting. if your not big on gaining mass, go ahead and do endurance running.

Perhaps you should give this a try:


It’s designed not only for military/law enforcement officers but also anyone who wants to improve their time.

Thanks for the tips guys. The stew smith artical looks awesome. Thanks for the link.

One of the tricks is to learn to run strategically. This helped me out a lot on my police test.

For example we had to do 6 laps.

lap 1 - jog
lap 2 - sprint
lap 3 - jog
lap 4 - sprint if possible or jog
lap 5 - jog
lap 6 - sprint

On flat terrain remember to stride out.
When going down hill stride as wide as possible.
When going uphill take short steps then normal.

Doing this should help you make better use of your running time.

In college, to get our 1500m times down we would run intervals at slightly faster pace than our 1500 race pace.

FOr example, if your target 1500m time was 4:30, that’s about 70sec 400m pace. So ideally you wanted to get your interval workout to the following:

600m @ 65sec 400m pace, 2.5 min rest
500m @ 65sec 400m pace, 2.5 min rest
400m @ 65sec 400m pace, 3.5 min rest
600m @ 65sec 400m pace, 2.5 min rest
500m @ 65sec 400m pace, 2.5 min rest
400m @ 65sec 400m pace, blow chunks

This was a hard workout. At the beginning of the training year, we were running at 75sec 400 pace for the whole workout. Each monthly training cycle, that would drop about 2-3 sec pace. So after about 4 months, our pace in that workout was between 60-65 sec 400m pace. We also lowered our rest intervals by about 30 sec over that time too.

Of course, this was only with one distance running workout a week. All the other workouts were sprint/jump related. So if you were to focus 1-2 workouts on this pacing workout, and another workout on a good endurance workout, then you could probably get your time down faster.

How about:

4 weeks of accumulation and 4 weeks of intensification.

Weeks 1-4 - run 6 days per week, focus on total distance run and not time.

Weeks 5-8 - interval training, focus on bringing times down.

Sound familiar?


I see alot of in depth explanations some with ALOT of running. The thing is I don’t think what your trying to do needs to be that difficult. I mean what is that just over a 7 minute mile time for 1.5 miles, and your only 15 seconds away from that.

How long have you been training for this and what exactly has your training looked like? You need to try to figure out what has worked for you and what is holding you back.

This should not be too hard. I ran the 1.5 mile a year ago at 230 lbs. in 9:28 and I despise running.

I agree with the Charlie Francis way to improve it, it’s how I’ve always thought.