1 1/2 mile run

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02/03/2013 at 23:01

In the next couple of weeks I'll be doing the fitness test to join the police.  I'm an older applicant so have 16 mins to do the 1 1/2 mile run.  I've been training for a while and really enjoying it but my time has been shocking, basically I'm rubbish at running.  My time has been a lot better recently and although I'm just ove ther 16 min time limit I've been thinking that the adrenalin will take over on the day. 

The last few times I've been out, however, I've really struggled and I'm getting a cram like pain in my lower legs, especially in my cool down walk.  Today I only managed 1 mile and I could hardly walk after this.

Has anyone any idea whats going on and if there are any suppliments I can take to help.  I'm now starting to really worry about the actual test so is there anything I can take on the day to give me a boost.


02/03/2013 at 23:20

How long is training for a while? How were you training? I can barely swim, as such I'd make a rubbish life guard and would never consider applying. If you knew you had to pass this test but can't even run that time why did you apply? I'm an exceptionally rubbish runner but could run a mile in 10 minutes the first time tried, I was also 3 st over weight. 

I'm not intending to sound harsh, but maybe you should've postponed application until you were in better condition? 

No training in the next couple of weeks is going to make you better, to short a time frame, if you're over weight the best thing you could do is starve yourself for two weeks, maybe knock 8-9lbs of water off.

02/03/2013 at 23:36
If you are rubbish at running how are you going to catch those criminals?
On a more serious side, what has your training plan been like over the last couple of months?
02/03/2013 at 23:37

Thanks for your reply but yeah you've been a bit harsh.  I'm not overweight, if I was I wouldn't be applying as theres a weight restriction.  I've been training since October and can run quite a long distance but not at a fast pace.  Unfortunately they arent asking us to run a long distance, if they were I'd be fine.  My problem is my speed and the pain I've been recently suffering.

I should also point out that I'm in really good condition for my age.  I do a lot of other sports - swimming, snowboarding and horse riding. 

Sorry maybe I should've made myself clearer and said I'm good at jogging but rubbish at running at speed. 

02/03/2013 at 23:53

Haha Millsy I've beemn asking myself the same question.  Lets just hope the criminals are even slower than me or the big fat police man I'm with is faster.

To be honest I didn't really have a plan.  I started off alternating between walking and jogging and eventually cut out the walking.  I can jog 6 miles comfortably but haven't tried any further yet.  Im concentrating on trying to do the 1 1/2 in 16 mins but can't get below 16 mins 30 secs.  Thing really worrying me is this pain I'm getting.  Today I only managed 1 mile and that wasn't even at speed.


03/03/2013 at 08:52

Well obviously the first thing you need to do is to sort out what's causing the pain, you may have torn a calf muscle in which case you need to stop running. Seeing a doctor would be a good idea. Seriously I can't believe that you can't get under 16 mins. for 1.5 miles, that's 10m 40sec per mile pace. I'm 63 and I can almost do that at a brisk walk interspersed with the occasional bit of gentle jogging. As you can jog 6 miles I think you need to get a feel for the kind of pace you need to sustain by cutting down on the distance and running shorter bursts at the pace you need to hold for the full 1.5, and then increase the distance as you go along. Hope this doesn't come over as being a bit harsh but I'm sure you'll be able to achieve your target.

03/03/2013 at 10:15

I can't belive that I can't get the time either as it should be easily achievable.  When I started I honestly thought it'd be easy but it isn't, for me.  I'm sure you realise that not everyone can do everything.  Not everyone can do my other hobbies yet I find them very easy.  

Yeah I'm going to go to the doctors but I don't think I've torn my calf muscles as if I had I'd be in a hell of a lot more pain.

Oh and can I point out that I'm clearly not the only person that cant achieve 1.5 miles in under 16 mins as the majority of people that do the fitness test fail and they're a hell of a lot younger than me.

What I will say is I'm more determined than ever to do it now so thanks for giving me the determination.

03/03/2013 at 23:14

Im taking it this is in running gear and not in boots and police type wear?

Some of the previous posts have been a bit harsh but in reality if the basic level is 16 minutes for a mile and a half, and your struggling to reach it perhaps you should reconsider your application at least until your fitness/ speed improves.  As well as getting the pains checked out by a doctor as this could be holding you back and potentially causing some damage.  If it came down to you and one other who were equal in all other stages of the application but they passed the fitness with flying colours this could count against you. 

Its not intended to sound harsh just food for thought.

Sixteen minutes for a mile and a half is slow in comparison to the fitness tests that the forces do, how could you be expected to catch a criminal in a short sprint wearing boots and a stab proof vest if you are struggling with this?

Edited: 03/03/2013 at 23:14
03/03/2013 at 23:41

It may sound overly critical but it's not the first time this point has been raised, however you're gonna be really screwed when you finally get in, and then find you're full of Donuts and MacDonald's all day, seems a pointless exercise to make people run 1.5 miles in 16 mins anyway. I'll bet you can't find a burglar who couldn't do it in 10 mins even carrying a telly

04/03/2013 at 11:27

it doesn't seem a very high barrier.

as others have suggested, if you can't manage it perhaps it's time for a change of career.


04/03/2013 at 11:57

lol Glad I'm not alone in my assessment! 

SheebySheebster wrote (see)

Sorry maybe I should've made myself clearer and said I'm good at jogging but rubbish at running at speed. 


10.40 m/m is a slow jog!!!!! What pace do you do your 6 miles at? 15 m/m?!?


SheebySheebster wrote (see)

  I'm sure you realise that not everyone can do everything.  Not everyone can do my other hobbies yet I find them very easy.  

Oh and can I point out that I'm clearly not the only person that cant achieve 1.5 miles in under 16 mins as the majority of people that do the fitness test fail and they're a hell of a lot younger than me.

 No, not everyone can do everything, which is why I said in my original reply that perhaps you shouldn't apply for the Police if you can't pass an easy fitness test. Would you like me to be the life guard at your local pool even though I can barely swim?

You also seem to have a very thin skin for a pig, I hope you don't start "cwrying" when some big bad nasty 10st teenager tells you to eff off...

...and then "sprints" effortlessly away from you down the road at 10.15 m/m....

04/03/2013 at 12:07

10m/m is terribly slow. 

sorry to jump on the band wagon but thats not a 'fitness test' of any sort!

my running club has people in there 60's who run our 2.4 mile loop in 15/16 mins.

who the f*ck thought 1.5 mile in under 16 mins was an acceptable fitness??

04/03/2013 at 12:14

Sheeby Sheebster, how old are your shoes and where did you get them?  The main causes of aches/pains are overtraining, poor running form and dodgy shoes.  It doesn't sound like overtraining and I would have expected poor running form to have caused issues earlier in your training.  

A trip to a proper running shop and some advice on shoes might be the solution.

You are doing the right thing in running 6 miles, rather than focussing on the 1.5 mile distance and your speed will eventually come. Come the day of the test there is a good chance that adrenaline will see you through as you aren't that far off target now.  I suspect you have a bit of a mental block about running faster - so what about trying to run small blocks (i.e. 200 to 400m) at about 9 min per mile just to get your body used to running faster?     

04/03/2013 at 22:53

In essence, I agree with stutyr.

My first thoughts when the OP were: what shoes were you wearing, and how old were they? Having started to transition to low drop shoes, I get very tight calves (like cramps) within a mile or 2. Are you certain that your shoes are OK?

Also, I know a lot of people who are scared of running hard - and as stutyr says, you can get around this by working "upwards". Push hard for shorter intervals, with similar length recovery jogs. Many people will hold out quite a bit, which is fine if you're unsure how much longer you've got to go, but you know your targets and so can push virtually to the limits.

07/03/2013 at 17:34

Find a treadmill and run for 15 minutes at a time at a steady 6 miles an hour.

Hopefully you will convince yourself you are up to the challenge.

08/03/2013 at 15:54


Don't know is this will be of any use. It covers other exercises but the run training is aimed at the mile and half. If its anything like the army we also had to run a mile and half warm up too! So concentrate on perhaps a little over the mile and half??

But if you are injured do rest! Don't come back too early and do more damage!

08/04/2013 at 16:04

Hi Sheeby.


I have only just seen this so it might be a bit late - but for anyone else I suggest looking at a free ebook called pace 6.40 - its aimed at people joining the army but gives a complete guide to getting your 1.5 mile running time to under 10 minutes... the link is http://armyfitnesstest.co.uk/pace-6-40-ebook/ 


I hope its useful - I don´t have a test but used it to get better at running. Good Luck

08/04/2013 at 17:35

Wow. That is a low barrier of fitness. Shocking. I suppose they're all super sleuths though, so even though they can't physically catch the crooks, they can deduce their identity. That must be it, right?

09/04/2013 at 11:27

I suppose PC plod is truer than we think!


I guess some comment have been harsh but if you've been training and trying I think you should be able to make it.  Follow the shoe advice others have given, stop wasting time arguing with people on here and get running.....

26/01/2016 at 14:12

I am putting in for the British Amy Reserves for the Intelligence Corps. I run my own detective and intelligence Business and am a Professor .I can do all the army exercise the rpesxsups and sit ups and again I can jog but speed running is a different ball game. I have seen a few You Tube films bought a few books from Amazon incl. : " The Art of Running Faster "  which is not that great. I need something to help my breathing, rhythm, run thoughts, focus, heel landing and all else for technique and timing...I am on course for amy offer section but still 37 seconds off... I am more of a golfer, skater and racket sports kind of person and a swimmer... even cycling... running as FAST AS YOU CAN over 1.5 miles....I am finding quite difficult. I too have heard of this Pace 6.40 Army book , an 8 week course to make you run fast......I would be very happy if anyone on here knew here to download or buy a physical copy and what are the best running books in how to run fast.... they are all full of marathon tips and equipment and stuff I do not need..I need books on technique and sensible common sense advice to run faster......if anyone knows please let me know ASAP.... Thank you very much indeed beforehand...best wishes to all. I would never be a runner if it was not for the British Army application process..... but I am enjoying the new leg muscles and my runs about.....it is different kind of fitness this.......and I am already enjoying it..but I need to do better. 

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