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Advice for Cardio/Conditioning, 1.5 Mile Run Test

Hey everyone I was just wondering if I can get help/guidance for some conditioning/cardio advice. I been someone who has been avoiding cardio for the past 4 years and just mainly stuck with weightlifting. Currently I workout Monday, Tuesday , Thursday and Friday. The other days Wednesday Saturday and Sunday’s are my off days. Anyways I’m in need to start adding cardio because I have testing coming up and I need to hit 1.5 miles in 17 minutes I know doesn’t seem like much but I can only do 1.31 miles in 17 minutes. I’m really wanting to get better in the cardio area and edurance but I would hate to lose my strength since I like myself and a lot of people here love their strength gains achieved over the years. Anyways I just need advice/help when I should do cardio training or if I should just focus on cardio only and forget about weightlifting for awhile. Should I do cardio after my workouts?

Yes, doing running training after your weightlifting should work fine + no, unless you are clocking up miles & miles of running every week training for a 1.5 mile run shouldn’t hinder your weightlifting much if at all really (it might even help a bit).

So yeah, if it was me I’d go for something like:

Monday: Run 1.5 miles as fast as you can.

Tuesday: Run an easyish 2 miles at a pace a bit slower than your 1.5 mile pace (but not too much slower).

Thursday: Do 2-3 1 mile intervals with about 60-90 secs rest between ran at a pace which is at least a bit faster than your 1.5 mile pace.

Friday: Do some form of HIIT for about 10-15 mins, ie: prowler work, sprints, cycle sprints, kettlebell swings etc.

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Thanks for the advice! I will be trying this out.

Sprints. Sprints. Sprints.

Do I need to say it again? It’s my only form of cardio.

1.5 miles in 17min is literally slightly faster than walking pace so this is going to blow your mind: just go out and jog two to three miles four to five days a week. Run/walk if you have in order to keep the intensity down. There is no need for the sudden stress of speed training for a run that is going to require you to run a little faster than a shuffle.


Stay away from anything that will raise your blood pressure like alcohol, cheese, meat, and anything with a ton of sodium in it. If you can’t cut it completely then limit yourself. HIIT runs help where you walk for a minute and run as fast as you can for a minute and repeat. Changing my diet is what helped me, but I wasn’t training for anything. I run 2 miles in about 20 minutes 5-6 days a week, but I’m pacing myself.

If you want to be challenged but have some fun, get a 50lb sandbag and do runs up a set of stairs. Walk back down slowly so you don’t fall, turn around, and run as fast as you can up the steps. I did only this for a month and I could do a 300 yard sprint like it was nothing. Climbing steps is much more challenging because it has a strength as well as endurance component. The added weight of a bag just makes it more fun.

The Navy PRT included a 1.5 mile run, here is what I did to get my run time down to 9:00.

Quarter mile repeats at a fast but sustainable pace, followed by a 2:1 rest period (meaning, if the quarter took 1:20, then you rest for 2:40). This can be done on a track if you have access to one, or on a treadmill if you have one that goes 12mph+. Definitely more brutal on a track, but the treadmill still gets the results. Each workout consists of four runs.

After doing it this way a few times, start cutting the rest period until you get down to 90 seconds rest for all four rounds. That is where I saw great improvement, but recently I did this again for a physical test as part of a job interview (so to speak) and I was cutting my rest periods down incrementally until I was doing the workout with 45 second rest periods. Obviously, I’m not running world-record pace 400s, but it’s still a great way to improve your run.

Agreeing with guys above, 17 minutes for a 1.5 mile is slow as molasses. What is this testing for?

I second what boatguy said. I trained for a 1.5 mile run using 400 meter sprints and was able to get a time of 10:30 at 255 lbs. I was really happy being the heaviest guy under the 12 minute mark. What I did was 3 days per week I ran 400 meters for 2 minutes or less per round. Your starting point can be slower than this but for me it was just enough that if I pushed hard each round I’d make it. Total rounds each day I started with 4 and slowly worked up to 10. After each round I did 15 pushups and 15 situps because they were part of my test I was training for. Then I rested 3 minutes. For strength training I did my main lift and 1 accessory exercise then I went and did the 400 meter sprints. You have to back off on the weights volume but there’s no sense in quitting completely. Good luck to you.

This actually answered my same question that I just posted so maybe that thread can be a bump!

Based on the time, I would assume Customs or Border Patrol which is what I am currently starting to run for…

That initial test is 17.34 or something close to it… Once in the academy, that moves down to I think around 13 minutes to complete.

I myself do not have a track available and the tredmill feels funny to run on lol.

I have calculated the 1.5 miles from my home and although it seems short it is a tough distance for us noobs. I wish I had a track as 4 rounds would be 1 mile, easier to calculate.

My issue is, my calves tend to start locking up and cramping… How can I avoid this to effectively increase my distance? I usually try to run as far as I can before I start to walk and then I will rest for 30 seconds and then start to run again…

For me personally, I would say I have maybe a good month to practice this… I’m already far in to the process and getting closer to the run portion.

This sounds pretty good. After practicing these sprints, how did running the full 1.5 mile feel on the first try doing it?

What’s a good way to calculate 400 meters? Maybe I should try this method out so it can work on my leg power and my breath.

I already went through the initial physical exam, so the running is my next up.

What’s the test for?

You asking me or the op who made the original post?

The OP. I didn’t realize the thread was so old…

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It felt great. I got my best time ever. A rough estimate for 400 is take
400 steps. You could try finding a measuring wheel or 1 lap around a
standard track also.

So basically 400 meters would be roughly a 1/4 mile if it’s the size of a track. Shit I wish I had a damn track near my home, would make it so much easier lol.

You don’t have a high school nearby?

Nothing close by my house and now that school is in session, definitely can’t run in the mornings there.

That’s a bummer. Is your test going to be on a track? Ours were always road tests and I honestly thought it made it easier.

I’m not too sure to be honest. I don’t have the location of this exam yet neither. If it’s local I’m wondering if they’ll use the police academy at the community college which would most likely then be a track.

I’d rather have open road though. I think mentally overcoming the track is different, makes it seem more challenging to do up to 5-6 laps rather then just run straight and focus on the pace you’re running than the distance.

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