T Nation

2 Miles in 16 Minutes


#1

Like the title suggests, I want to be able to run 2 miles in 16 minutes and I want to be able to do it without feeling like I'm about to die.

Right now, I can't do much better than running 16 minutes at a 5.5-6.0mph pace without feeling like I'm about to die and sucking in wind and I want to push that to 8mph. That isn't from any prior running conditioning but just running around and constantly lifting stuff at work and some of the lifting I do to develop work capacity.

What's a good way to ease into this without negatively affecting my powerlifting goals?

I'm 5'10" and weigh 180lb. It probably wouldn't hurt to lose 5 or so lbs but no more than that. I find if I get much leaner than ~12% bf (upper abs show but lower abs not visible), I start getting lethargic and my lifting suffers.

This is strictly a performance goal. I'm not trying to burn fat or build lifting work capacity, improve health, or anything like that, but I will be observing those kinds of things to see what the running does to them.

Any tips like about jogging/running form or programming or how hard I should really be pushing myself would be great.


#2

I am by no means an expert on the subject but at 204 lbs I can run a 21 min 3 mile. All you have to do is relax and keep your head up while you run as it is easier to keep constant air flow. I only run distance once a year (when I am forced to for score) but it is amazing the time you can put up when you really go for it.


#3

Hey OP, I am a Triathlon and Running coach. I think if this is a real goal of yours then you need to devote at least 2 days a week to running. Being that you are involved in a powerlifting program, I wouldn’t suggest devoting a great deal of time to true speed work. Rather I would suggest, having one day devoted to a longer run (running longer than your goal of 2 miles while at a slower pace than your goal; start off modest, it can be as small as 2.2miles and slowly increase from there on a weekly basis) and another run that you can call a speed ‘manipulation’ of sorts.

Basically use that other run to do different runs where you challenge yourself by running in that ‘uncomfortable’ zone for a matter of time. Since your running has been limited and your goal is to run 2 miles in a certain amount of time, it can initially just be geared towards a time of say 20 minutes. this can be done in different types of tempo runs, but my favorite for lifters is ‘Fartlek’ runs which is where you jog easy for a set amount of time then run hard for a set amount of time, rinse & repeat for the entirety of the amount of time.

So if your fartlek run is supposed to be 20minutes, you can start off by doing 2min. easy jog followed by 1minute of as hard as you can, jog easy for 2 minutes, 1 minute hard as you can…etc. I like the fartlek for lifters because it is the closest to actual speed work, but leaves the body not nearly as beat up as after a true speed session. And you never stop running during the fartlek, which builds capacity at the same time.

And then you can change that up as you want to, so 2 minutes easy followed by 2 minutes hard, etc. This basically is the run day that will be teaching the body how to run at or faster than your goal pace.

Obviously this is just a bit of advice, and just like the lifting game, it is all about testing things out for you as an individual, see how your body responds and adjust from there, BUT you should ABSOLUTELY be able to hit your goals. Sorry for the scattered-ness of the post and I hope at least some of this made sense, as i was writing it in a bit of a rush!


#4

I concur with what sjhutc says above. I’m former military and running a 16min 2/mile will only take you a month or 2 to get if you follow the plan he outlined above. I’d even suggest 2 “fartlek” days as he calls them, which is essentially extended intervals.

I had a quest to hit 4 miles in under 30 minutes, and this is how I accomplished it while lifting 4 days/week.

  1. One minute hard sprint, one minute slow jog for 6-8 times

  2. two minute hard sprint, two minute slow jog for 4-6 times

  3. hard as I can 20-30 minute run.

Similar to what he said above. I went from a 36 min 4 mile to sub-28 minute 4 mile in 2 months. I also ran just above a 12 minute two-mile using a similar approach.

Good luck


#5

I think I’m going into the Army myself as a direct commission under the medical branch and it’s getting really close to finishing up all the paperwork. I figured initial training and transitioning into the Army might be tough so I wanted to at least make one thing easier so that’s why I want to be able to do this no problem.


#6

Yea I wouldn’t be worried about it, there are some extremely out of shape guys who join the army or marine corps and still get through with little effort. Just be prepared for your knees to hurt for the next several years.


#7

What everyone else said is great. To add on I would go to a running shoe store and have someone fit you for a pair of good shoes. It can make a huge difference.


#8

[quote]bdocksaints75 wrote:
What everyone else said is great. To add on I would go to a running shoe store and have someone fit you for a pair of good shoes. It can make a huge difference.[/quote]

Actually, I was going the minimal footwear route. I have some Merrell minimalist shoes. I’m using these to ensure my running stride is right and develop my feet, ankles, and calves.


#9

[quote]Fletch1986 wrote:

[quote]bdocksaints75 wrote:
What everyone else said is great. To add on I would go to a running shoe store and have someone fit you for a pair of good shoes. It can make a huge difference.[/quote]

Actually, I was going the minimal footwear route. I have some Merrell minimalist shoes. I’m using these to ensure my running stride is right and develop my feet, ankles, and calves. [/quote]
Yeah I mean it’s really whatever works for you. I ran in minimal shoes for awhile and I ended up getting a stress fracture on my left foot, I don’t know if the shoes were the cause or if it was my stride or what.


#10

[quote]bdocksaints75 wrote:

[quote]Fletch1986 wrote:

[quote]bdocksaints75 wrote:
What everyone else said is great. To add on I would go to a running shoe store and have someone fit you for a pair of good shoes. It can make a huge difference.[/quote]

Actually, I was going the minimal footwear route. I have some Merrell minimalist shoes. I’m using these to ensure my running stride is right and develop my feet, ankles, and calves. [/quote]
Yeah I mean it’s really whatever works for you. I ran in minimal shoes for awhile and I ended up getting a stress fracture on my left foot, I don’t know if the shoes were the cause or if it was my stride or what. [/quote]

Where on your foot?


#11

[quote]Fletch1986 wrote:

[quote]bdocksaints75 wrote:

[quote]Fletch1986 wrote:

[quote]bdocksaints75 wrote:
What everyone else said is great. To add on I would go to a running shoe store and have someone fit you for a pair of good shoes. It can make a huge difference.[/quote]

Actually, I was going the minimal footwear route. I have some Merrell minimalist shoes. I’m using these to ensure my running stride is right and develop my feet, ankles, and calves. [/quote]
Yeah I mean it’s really whatever works for you. I ran in minimal shoes for awhile and I ended up getting a stress fracture on my left foot, I don’t know if the shoes were the cause or if it was my stride or what. [/quote]

Where on your foot?[/quote]
It was on the top right in the middle I don’t remember the exact area or what its called it was a couple years ago.


#12

I’ve ran with both and really haven’t seen a big difference in my running except my calves hurt more with my Vibrams.

That all being said, I’m not sure if you’ll be able to wear minimlist shoes in the military so you may be better off practicing in something you can wear. Food for thought, but probably majoring in the minors here.


#13

On an off note is there any strength training equipment available during training or am going to have to figure out good bw exercises to do my best to maintain my muscle and strength? I can think of good stuff except for my thoracic and lower back.


#14

In your intial training, it’ll be all work and no play…at least it should be even with a direct commission. You’ll be doing plenty of push-ups, running, rucking, etc.

Once you get into your branch training, things will be different and you should have access to all the equipment on base.


#15

[quote]johngalt191 wrote:
I am by no means an expert on the subject but at 204 lbs I can run a 21 min 3 mile. All you have to do is relax and keep your head up while you run as it is easier to keep constant air flow. I only run distance once a year (when I am forced to for score) but it is amazing the time you can put up when you really go for it.[/quote]

Dude, do have any idea how fast that is for a 204 lb guy? Thats moving! Please don’t tell me you also have big legs or I’m going to cry!


#16

I like what sjhutc has to say. I over did it and paid the price. Pick a reasonable date to hit your goal, start slow and build from there. I tried to run and lift heavy, actually that was my goal but damn, they do not want to play nice in the sandbox together.

My typical routine was this:

M- Chest, tri’s and shoulder
T- Roadwork
W- Back, bi’s and abs
T- Roadwork
F- OFF
S- Legs and roadwork
S- OFF

I found my Saturday runs were terrible in every way but there was no place to put the 3rd day I felt I needed. I still stay with that routine but cut my mileage back. Truthfully, I have no desire to do that again.


#17

[quote]doublelung84 wrote:

[quote]johngalt191 wrote:
I am by no means an expert on the subject but at 204 lbs I can run a 21 min 3 mile. All you have to do is relax and keep your head up while you run as it is easier to keep constant air flow. I only run distance once a year (when I am forced to for score) but it is amazing the time you can put up when you really go for it.[/quote]

Dude, do have any idea how fast that is for a 204 lb guy? Thats moving! Please don’t tell me you also have big legs or I’m going to cry![/quote]

Meh I guess, I only have like a 385 squat so average size I suppose. If you run in a group of guys you just pick someone a little faster than you and run with them.


#18

[quote]johngalt191 wrote:
I am by no means an expert on the subject but at 204 lbs I can run a 21 min 3 mile. All you have to do is relax and keep your head up while you run as it is easier to keep constant air flow. I only run distance once a year (when I am forced to for score) but it is amazing the time you can put up when you really go for it.[/quote]

So you only run distance once a year. 1. What do you consider distance? 2. What else do you to maintain that run time.?


#19

A 3 mile pft would be my distance running. Um I occasionally do hill sprints and the like but mostly just lots and lots of stairs at work. I guess I never really paid attention I just don’t like being last.


#20

[quote]johngalt191 wrote:
A 3 mile pft would be my distance running. Um I occasionally do hill sprints and the like but mostly just lots and lots of stairs at work. I guess I never really paid attention I just don’t like being last.[/quote]

Truth. Running is just as much a mind game as a physical game. You are capable of a lot more than you think you are.