Army 1.5 Mile Run Training

Hey guys, I'm new to this forum but it sounds perfect for the kind of advice that I am looking for. I have searched this subject before but I wanted to be specific about myself and see what you guys can offer.

I'm not much of a beginner at jogging/running but I have been on and off during a 3 year period of smoking 20 a day. I tried not to let it stop me but it got to the point where I just wasn't improving my times or distance. So I gave up straight away, cold turkey and it's been 2 and a half weeks since my last cigarette so I have decided it's time to get into it more than ever.

I have recently done my medical for the army and the careers advisor told me I would have 8 weeks until my interview with him. Now this isn't anything to do with fitness, but I can guess the minimum time I have until I do the fitness test will be about 3-4 months.

Ok so let's get down to business. I am 19 years old, been running on and off for about 4 years now, but the smoking limited me to improving my time and distance. I think I was doing the 1.5 mile in around 13-14 minutes which was obviously pretty terrible. I have been for a run twice since I have given up and tonight I did it in around 12 minutes dead. I like that my time has improved already, it is really motivating. The problem is I still had to stop about 3/4 of the way round.

I understand that I could possibly still be recovering from the smoking. I just want to know if anyone has been in my situation of quitting the dirty habit, and getting back into running.

I don't really want to be one of those people who run for an hour straight, I just want to be able to run 1.5 miles in around 10 minutes so that I can definitely pass. I think it's 12 minutes 45 seconds when in selection and then if you pass you do it again and it has to be under 10 minutes and 30 seconds.

I don't mind working up to maybe half and hour of running a time but an hour is just too long and I need as much time as I can to revise the three jobs I have picked and revise the regiment I hope to join. I'm told I need to know it like the back of my hand, so I really am struggling at the moment to find the time to fit both fitness in and revising a long side my 9-5 job.

What kind of running should I do to improve my time as quickly as possible and maybe how many times a week I should run.

Also I am not a member of a gym, I had to leave my recent one as I couldn't afford it anymore and they over-charged my girlfriend and her mum so I didn't really want to get caught up in that rubbish as they are going out of business and trying to get anything they can off of remaining customers.

Thanks in advance for all your help. I'm sorry if this is a bit too much to read.



  • Hi,

    I'm not going to be much use in offering any advice but more interested in your Army application. What regiment have you chosen? Job choices?

    I'm also looking to join the Army but have been held up in the past with injuries etc. I'm probably 5-6 months away from ADSC and rapidly need to start running again. I'm off to try a 3miler tomorrow and I'll have a crack at 1.5 miles best effort, at some point this week. Just to see what my 'base' fitness is...I'm guessing pretty poor! I'll let you know my time so you can be confident that you won't be as bad as me!

    Good luck with your application anyway!


  • If you are having to stop, it means you are running too fast. Slow down a bit.

    I would aim at trying to run continuously for 2 miles. Then aim to increase your speed.

    Google for the c25k (couch to 5k) program.
  • Hey, no worries about it.


    I am hoping to get into 'The Rifles'. My number 1 job choice is Infantry, I really hope I get that one because I haven't wanted to do anything else really. My second choice was an Electrican as I have an NVQ2 in it but I regret my time at college doing it but as I had to make a choice it's something I have experience in. My third was an Engineer which was probably the closest to Electrician that I saw. But as you know, I have to learn them off by heart.

    Trust me, I am quite bad at running lol. I wouldn't even have a crack at a 3 mile run at the moment as I only complete the 1.5 maybe once a week out of 3. Sometimes I feel more up for it than others but fair play doing 3 miles. I wish I never smoked!!!

    What jobs have you chosen and what regiment are you hoping to join?

    Thanks very much mate, good luck with your application too. Hopefully if I get in, my teammates will be as nice as you! We're obviously in a similar situation.

    I'll have to reply tomorrow as I better get some sleep now. Good to talk to someone who is in the same boat though!

  • TimR wrote (see)
    If you are having to stop, it means you are running too fast. Slow down a bit.

    I would aim at trying to run continuously for 2 miles. Then aim to increase your speed.

    Google for the c25k (couch to 5k) program.


    I suppose I'll have to try running slower but sometimes I don't even feel like I'm running that fast. Thanks for the advice, I'll have to check that programme out tomorrow.

  • The Parachute Regiment is my one and only aim, the Sgt at the AFCO tried encouraging a few more suggestions out of me (probably sized up my lack of fitness) but I stuck with that one.

    From what I've seen from reading through a few threads so far is that people on here seem to have a massive wealth of knowledge. Either through years of experience or people just starting out and sharing tips and tricks. I imagine it pays to heed their advice, like Tim above...I can't imagine I'll be running too fast but I'll work on continuous running first and foremost!

    Good luck getting under 12mins on the next run!


  • If you are only prepared to run for half an hour at a time you may get a shock in training.  Apart from the entry test you will have to pass an annual fitness test whatever sort of trade you apply for so will need to stay fit.  I can't remember all the times for ages that you have to achieve but I'm sure even at 40 years old you will need to be running that distance in about 12 minutes.  Good luck.

  • Just sharing my experience - I spent 6 years in the navy and the recruit training was definitely a shock to the system. It is not a good idea to focus on just the entry requirements, as JF50 says in the post above me, there will be a lot more than that once you join.

    The military will break you down so that they can build you up again, which means they will run you to the point of exhaustion and then push you through it. If you can do it, the feeling of accomplishment is amazing but there are many highs and lows on the way.

    If I was to go through it all again, I would definitely put in the miles before joining up. Focus on slow and steady, spend plenty of time on your feet, and the speed will come in its own time. Find some hills to work on, as they are an old recruit training favourite. This will stand you in good stead and will also look good in an interview, as it will show that you are aware of what will be asked of you. Best of luck!

  • I would also advise the coach 2 5k programme. After completing that, pick up one of the 5k schedules off here, and really concentrate on making sure that you do the speed sessions that they contain. This should help you to get your time down over the shorter distance.

    Well done on giving up, and keep up the good work.

  • I'm aiming to do the Paras' 10 challenge in Colchester before long, just as something to go for. You have to carry a pack weighted with 16kg and wear high-ankle boots and achieve a time of less than 1:50 over 10 miles (not flat, either). If you wanted to actually get into the paras, you would need to do it also carrying your rifle following a week of other exhausting challenges and little sleep.

    If you have no interest in having good levels of endurance, strength and determination, I'm not surprised the recruiting officer was trying to steer you in the direction of other regiments.
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