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Old 01-05-2011, 09:40 PM   #1
Mike Wright
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HELP! 2 mos to improve 1.5 mile run time...

Friend has 2 months to improve his 1.5 mile run time from 14ish to 12ish. What is the best way to help him? He is 32, minimal shape (average MIL guy), 5'9" / 215. He has a wide build and says, "I wasnt built to run".

Please limit responses to methods that have actually worked, not looking for a philosophical discussion. Thnx, Mike.
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:28 PM   #2
Daniel Wheeler
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Re: HELP! 2 mos to improve 1.5 mile run time...

If he doesn't do any running now, obviously starting to do literally any running will help his time.

Most of the responses you'll get will center around crossfit endurance methodology, which if he could handle, will definitely help. But I'd say a 90 min TT (todays run) is a tad excessive for a minimally fit guy trying to drop his 1.5 mi time.

My advice, and it will sound pretty silly, but I'd say getting him to just run will be a good start.

2 min and change is definitely doable though in 2 months.
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Old 01-05-2011, 10:36 PM   #3
Michael Henry
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Re: HELP! 2 mos to improve 1.5 mile run time...

I'm about 190 and I only run 3 times in 2 weeks. Maybe 4 if I feel motivated. Once a week I do either 4-6x400m repeats or 4x800m repeats. The other run is usually a time trial. Depending on the course I have, I'll see how fast I can run 3-4 miles or how far can i get in 25-35 minutes. Sometimes I use a local road race as my time trial.

I can run a sub 13:00 2 mile, ran a 5K in sub 21:00, and ran a 5-mile road race in 35:03.

Losing weight might not hurt.
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Old 01-06-2011, 06:29 AM   #4
Scott A Martin
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Re: HELP! 2 mos to improve 1.5 mile run time...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wright View Post
Friend has 2 months to improve his 1.5 mile run time from 14ish to 12ish. What is the best way to help him? He is 32, minimal shape (average MIL guy), 5'9" / 215. He has a wide build and says, "I wasnt built to run".

Please limit responses to methods that have actually worked, not looking for a philosophical discussion. Thnx, Mike.
The fastest way to get better at running is to run. For someone who used to be a good runner, doing a few interval workouts every now and again might be enough. But for someone without a running background, it's hard to avoid paying your dues and putting in some mileage. I suspect your friend falls into the latter category. Advise him to lose some weight and just have him hit the road, building up to 30 miles per week over the first two or three weeks. Make some of the runs fartleks, maybe add in the some hill sprints. Don't try to make it more complicated than it needs to be.

I joined the military as a terrible runner who had never been a decent runner. I tried everything in the world to improve while minimizing the miles I ran. CF, CFE, CF+CFE, a Rosstraining program, some interval program someone posted on this board, etc. Aside from some easy novice gains, the only way I made serious progress was to run regularly.

There is research the shows it is A LOT easier to maintain aerobic capacity than it is to build it. So it's totally possible that a few intervals a week might work for someone who already has that capacity, while proving inadequate for someone seeking to build aerobic capacity in the first place.
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Old 01-06-2011, 07:06 AM   #5
Eric Montgomery
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Re: HELP! 2 mos to improve 1.5 mile run time...

"I wasn't built to run" is usually code for "I eat whatever is in front of my and work out infrequently, yet am amazed I'm not lean and ripped." If he's going to maintain that defeatist attitude it'll be hard to help him, but I'd recommend he clean up his eating (Robb Wolf's book is a good place to start) and do something similar to CFE. Intervals in the 400-800m range a few times a week, maybe one longer run, and a few metcons a week. But don't have him jump into doing too much if he's been relatively inactive for awhile.
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Old 01-06-2011, 07:49 AM   #6
Ben Kissam
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Re: HELP! 2 mos to improve 1.5 mile run time...

Like others have said he's going to need an attitude change (well put Eric) and to start running regularly. There is no magic to it.

However, I can give some advice. Have him run trails. Tell him to just relax and set a good pace and go at that. Go for 2-3 runs like this a week and throw in an interval (aka hell) workout and he should be good. It won't take much stimulus to get him down there because it seems like he doesn't run. Also, maybe now is not the time for it, but learning POSE might be in order. It's a skill and takes time to learn but you will become 300% the runner you ever thought you could as soon as you have it down. All these things will make him enjoy running more, and make it seem like less of a chore when he has to focus on it.

Also, to get that "I'm not built to run" idea out of his head, I would highly recommend the book Born to Run. It's built around that idea and is easily the best book I've read in my entire life. (Clearly my opinion to promote it that much, but it's a great book.)
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Old 01-06-2011, 07:53 AM   #7
Brian Bedell
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Re: HELP! 2 mos to improve 1.5 mile run time...

eat less, run more; using the CFE workouts I would say. Intervals and a 1.5 miler at the end of each week or two. An 8min/mile pace for 12 minutes is not that hard and I'm not built to run either. No, seriously.
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Old 01-06-2011, 12:47 PM   #8
Dave Carpenter
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Re: HELP! 2 mos to improve 1.5 mile run time...

I think I've said those exact same words in the time leading up to (and later making excuses for) a PT test. Mostly, that was from a mentality that Eric Montgomery talks about in his post. But I finally got focused and started to make some real gains (though, I never max'd the PT test).

A couple of things worked for me --
1) runs longer than the 1.5 mile for the PT test. I started working up to 3 mile runs (and ultimately ran the Army 10-miler a couple of times). I'm sure there's some quantifiable cardiovascular reason for this, but I'm not that guy...it just allowed my brain to power up my body on the 1.5 mile exertion.

2) Intervals - on a track, sprint the straights and run at a normal pace on the curves.

Also, tell him to get a heart rate monitor and on his longer runs try and stay in the appropriate zone for him. I can certainly say that this pushed my endurance levels further as I started staying in the zone longer and needing fewer and fewer "slow down" times.

Last edited by Dave Carpenter : 01-06-2011 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 01-06-2011, 01:16 PM   #9
Rick Hardin
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Re: HELP! 2 mos to improve 1.5 mile run time...

Just to be fair some of us really were NOT built to run.

I think my arms are longer than my legs, I was built to squat, not to run.

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Old 01-06-2011, 05:28 PM   #10
Adam Alba
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Re: HELP! 2 mos to improve 1.5 mile run time...

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Originally Posted by Scott A Martin View Post
Advise him to lose some weight and just have him hit the road, building up to 30 miles per week over the first two or three weeks.
Whoa. That seems like a lot. Assuming this guy doesn't run much, putting in 30 miles a week after two weeks is a recipe for injury.

I will echo what others have said: the guy just needs to run, not too many miles, but with plenty of interval training and hills.
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