Your tips will be greatly appreciated

Hi guys. This is my first post so go easy on me lol.

I'm in the middle of joining the Royal Navy. It's a tough career and the training is pretty intense.

I have a fitness test to pass in which I must complete a mile and a half in 11mins 13 seconds. There are times I can do it - barely. The other day I ran it non-stop at 11mins 26, though granted, I ran a bit further than the mile and a half (a handful of meters and stopped about 8-10 seconds to unlock phone to check time)

I would like to improve this eventually to around 10mins 30. But that is a bit off yet. I could have the test in around October time. So I wish to ask you for a few tips from the pros here on how to ensure I shave off those vital seconds to ensure I pass.

Keep in mind, I don;t intend to stop running after my test. I currently warm up walk a mile to my start point and run back, plus the half mile, 3 days on and one day off. I'm 23 and my area is hilly in which I train.

What should I eat the day before and on the morning to help improve performance? What can I do in the run up to the test day in order to try and shave off those seconds?

I am very grateful for all help given.

I know a mile and a half in 11 mins seems easy for most here, but now for me... crikey it's hard, BUT, I love it!

Thanks in advance image


  • You are doing really well so far, but..

    bear in mind that the fitness test is only the first step in your navy training. Once you are in you will be expected to run, run and run again over and over until you feel like you are ready to drop - and then they will expect you to get up and do it all over again.

    So perhaps, instead of focussing on your speed for the entry test, you might want to build up your endurance too. Try getting out and running for an hour at an easy pace to start with - even if you have walking breaks, it will give you an idea of how you will be feeling and help build up your confidence.

    Building up your endurance in this way will also give your fitness a boost and will help you cut down on your times for the mile and a half, especially if you can work your way up to running for an hour non-stop with some short bursts of faster running added in.

    Hope this is of some help. Best of luck!

  • +1 for Springle - if you want to run the 1.5 miles faster you need to be able to cover a longer distance at an easier pace.  And this will help you prepare for the training that comes after successfully passsing the fitness test

  • Thank you guys. My recruiter has asked me to call back when I can do it easily. I'm still in my 3 year countdown. I met him on Saturday and he asked my progress and said if I can do it in October, I could very well be sent to basic within 12 months.

    I will take your advice on board and increase my distance at an easier pace. Others have advised me that eating a banana an hour or two before will help. Someone else said a bowl of pasta with tomato sauce the night before, or some couscous, wholegrain cereal in the morning, banana before the run and an energy drink or bar on the morning.

    One other friend who was in the army told me to drink a can of redbull before the run. But I am highly unsure of this as I know redbull sends your heart rate skywards... and with running going to increase my heart rate, I don't fancy collapsing midway round the course, especially if there're puddles lol.

  • When it comes to food, what you really want is a fuel that will break down slowly and not give you stomach trouble. Use the time you have now to find your preferred fuel, and then stick with it. Don't try anything different on the day of the test or you will end up racing for the toilet!

    A carbohydrate meal the night before will keep you going, but you don't need to eat a huge dinner, just a regular healthy size of whatever you enjoy - pasta, couscous, a baked potato, it doesn't matter which. Stay hydrated, not just on the morning of the run but all the time, to keep fatigue at bay.

    As for energy drinks and bars, people are pretty divided on the value of those, especially for a short run. You would probably be better off with a banana, as long as you allow enough time for it not to make you feel queasy - running with food in the stomach is difficult for some people. Again, find what works for you.

    Finally, disregard your friends advice about the red bull - at best, your friend is misguided, at worst, downright dangerous. I don't trust anything with that much caffeine! Just keep on doing what you are doing and you won't need the red bull!

  • Thank you Springle, much appreciated. I have now planned out a 2.5 mile route which I will start as soon as I can. Your guidance won't go ignored. That and I will probably request that the redcaps chase me round the course with the dogs lol. But in all seriousness, thank you. I will keep y'all updated on my progress

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