T Nation

Exercises for Improved Timed Runs?


ok, so the reason i feel this belongs in the newbie forum is because of the extreme ignorance i USED to train with. I have been training for the past 16 months, but training like an idiot i.e. focusing solely on chest/arms/back. so basically i havent trained my lower body in any way shape or form until a month ago ( when i started lurking T-Nation). To make matters worse i came equipped naturally with a pair of terrible chicken legs. I have since started squatting and dead lifting religiously but only the past month so i have a long ways to go.

this is all well and fine but heres the dilema. I-because of career choice- have 2 timed runs to perform in order to pass a physical assesment and i dont think their going to be easy.

First run: 1.5 miles. must be completed in less than 10m

Second run: 3.0 miles. must be completed in less than 21m

the cardio isnt really my problem, i can run the distances already its just that if i push the pace my legs totally go flat and i lose all strength. if i run at a pace much slower than the alloted times allow i can totally complete the runs. what are the best rep ranges and exercises to perform to allow me to put on the lower body strength to get the runs done in these times.

current stats.

6'0 @ 182lbs
Bench: 1 x 315
squat: 1 x 215
dead: 1 x 225


uhhh start running more....

and intervals. 800meters at goal speed.

what career?


Royal Canadian Mounted Police. It will be over a year before i haveto do any of the physical stuff but id like to get a jump on it.


You need to act like running is your job. Those times for those distances for a novice runner or someone who just jogs is a tough go. Is this a one time deal or is this something you have to perform routinely? The best way to run faster is to run faster. Intervals are great but if your legs are dying at mile two you have bigger fish to fry.

Your first goal should be to run three miles in 21 minutes. What is your current best time for three miles as well as the mile and a half? That will allow everyone a better assessment on where you are physically (running wise) at the moment. If you can't run a six minute mile right now you have some serious training a head of you. When is the test?


So with a years time you have plenty of time to create a running program for those goals. For once there is someone thinking about their future in advance.

I would first work on creating a base to prevent injuries. Start off lite on the mileage at first. How many miles do you run a week currently?


Depending on how much you're already running right now, I recommend building up to running 3-5 miles 5 days a week. Don't just jump into it if you're barely running right now. Since you've got a full year, build into it slowly. Also don't worry so much about the pace on your runs right now as you just want to build a abse and get some aerobic fitness.


you can run 2-3 days a week and be fine. 2 longer runs and 1 track day where you do something like 400m/800m repeats. Once every two weeks run a test and try and set a PR.


You might try Crossfit Endurance. I've never followed their training plans but people report some great progress from it and there are a load of people training to get into police academies and such like yourself doing it. You will have to put your running at a higher priority than lifting though. You can catch up with that later.


But the best way to improve running is to run. Just mind your shins and ease up speed and distance if you start getting shin splints because having to stop for weeks to let them heal or a stress fracture will be a huge setback and not worth it.


Uhh, so quick question....

I've got a friend in the RCMP DTF (drug task force) who i just asked about this thread.

he said there are two events when trying out for the RCMP:

a 20 meter shuttle run, and a 'Physical Abilities Requirement Evaluation' which is basically a 6 lap obstacle course that you need to complete in 4min and 45sec to pass. you have to sprint 1/4 mile, run some stairs, clear some obstacles, drag a dummy, and some other stuff.

not sure where you got your info from, i'd double check your sources.


hey, thanks for the replies, im currently running 3 days a week at a fairly mild pace so i guess that kindof counts as "base" building. right now im running the 1.5 mile in 13 minutes and the 3 mile in 25 minutes so i have alot of work ahead of me.

holymacaroni: yah dude as an entrance you haveto run the P.A.R.E test, the obstacle course where you run the shuttle drag a weight bag and run a push/pull machine. Depot which is the RCMP training facility in Regina has a set of "Benchmarks" that need to be achieved.those are

1.5m run under 10:45
3.0m run under 22:00
22 push-hups
6 pull-ups
Bench press 100% bodyweight

1.5m run under 9:00
3.0m run under 19:00
70 push-ups
18 pull-ups
Bench press 150% bodyweight

I still have interviews, tests and a polygraph to pass before i even go to Depot so thats why i have the time frame i do. I can already do everything to be considered a cadet of "elite" fitness except the runs so im tryin to figure out my best way to build the strength to conquer those haha.

debraD: thanks for the link

Therizza: im not the biggest track fan but ill try

balls out: i run the 1.5m run as my warm up pre workout 3-4 times a week so 4.5-6 miles a week i supose man


wow, i consider myself to be in excellent physical condition and i could not currently meet all the standards for 'elite'

OP, not to be rude, but would you mind putting up a vid of you putting up 315 on the bench?


holymacaroni: oh no worries not rude, i was thinkin about borrowing a buddies digital camera to maybe make a "hows my form" video, ill throw a bench in too i guess, theres definetly some bounce off the chest action goin on but yah, when i get around to doin it ill throw the vid up.


Can you please elaborate on this?

As for running, i'd work on fartlek.
It's a swedish running training idea (means "speed play"). Basically you take a distance and through out your running of this distance, you change the tempo one after the other.

Target distance is 5 mile run

Begin with warm up jogging at comfortable pace for 5 minutes (we'll say half a mile is covered in that time). (.5 miles covered)
Increase pace to uncomfortable (let's say 5 minute mile) and maintain for 1.5 miles. (2 miles covered)
Sprint for 10 seconds. (2 and some change covered)
Return to uncomfortable pace and maintain for half a mile. (2.5 miles covered)
Sprint for 10 seconds. (2.5 miles and some change covered)
Run at a mildly uncomfortable pace (6 minute mile) for a mile and a half (4 miles covered).
Do the remaining mile at very uncomfortable pace(4.5 minute mile) (5 miles covered).
When you reach the 5 mile mark Sprint for as long as you can at top speed (10-20 seconds).
After the sprint is over, gradually slow your speed to a very comfortable jog and cool down for 5 minutes.

This template is an example. It could vary more, or have some parts be hill sprints, etc...
Here i also based it on distance covered...you could do it with time instead if you like.

You could do a speed run on tuesdays (800 or 400 meters at target speed with 3-5 minute break in between runs).
A longer easy jog on thursdays (8 mile jogging for example and try to complete it in under an hour) to help with endurance. It's easier to run 3 miles quickly if you can run 8 miles as opposed to trying to run 3 miles quickly if you can only cover 5 miles.
And then do a fartlek run on saturdays.

Good luck.


lol, check your PM's