1.5 mile time trial training (Read 61 times)


    I have a friend who is attempting to qualify for the police academy. He has no running background and is 53 years old. Because of the very short amount of time til the test date I’m a little unsure of the best approach.

    he has failed the test two times before he finally agreed to accept some help. Next test date is March 9th. He has made large gains in the last several weeks, he can now run 5 miles at a time, albeit very slowly, ~13 minutes/mile. He missed the cutoff time by about 20 seconds on his test. Because he didn’t have very much time I have been focusing on getting him used to the exertion level and pace of 1.5 miles at 15:00. We have been doing 400m at pace followed by a walking/slow jogging lap to recover, up to 8x. Starting to incorporate 800m intervals now. We do this 2 times per week with 2 or 3 days of easy running in between. Any helpful tips? Better path? I’ve planned on continuing this till the last couple days before the test.


      Sounds reasonable.  I would stop the harder workouts at least 3 or 4 days before his test.  Keep some easy running those last few days but anything he does as far as a hard workout within about 4 days probably is going to do more harm than good.


      I would also focus on his warmup before the test.  Make sure he gets some very slow jogging in before the test and then has time to recover (5 minutes or so) before the test starts.


      Having fresh legs and being properly warmed up may give him the 20 seconds that he needs with the few weeks you have helped him already.

      Age: 50 Weight: 224 Height: 6'3" (Goal weight 195)

      Current PR's:  Mara 3:14:36* (2017); HM 1:36:13 (2017); 10K 43:59 (2014); 5K 21:12 (2016)


        Running adaptation take time and you have very little.  I think your plan is as good as any, but be prepared to modify it (for example, cut back if he regresses in the 400m repeats).


        If he's right on the edge of success there are a few others things you can do that might be worth a few seconds:

        • Loose a few pounds - 5 lbs might be worth 10 seconds
        • Try lighter shoes - Going from 11 oz shoes to 8 oz shoes might be worth another 10 seconds
        • Practice pacing - make sure he paces this as steady as possible (until the final kick) - going too fast early can easily cost a lot of time
        • If he drinks coffee, stop for 4-5 days before the tryout and then have caffeine just before the tryout
        • No alcohol the few days before the tryout
        • If possible, use a pacer for the tryout (studies show folks run faster when they are chasing someone) 

          I think the experience of having run it once already is enough for the 20 seconds.   A 1 mile Time Trial in 10 min a week before the race might be good for pacing and confidence.


          Old , Ugly and slow

            Is 53 a typo ?

            first race sept 1977 last race sept 2007


            2019  goals   1000  miles  , 190 pounds , deadlift 400 touch my toes


              I think your approach is sound and agree for a newbie the 20s should be no problem next time, he'll adapt.


                Is 53 a typo ?


                Nope, not a typo. Makes trying to help him train without over doing it much harder. Appreciate all the posts!


                  Crashed on a run today, he resists taking days off to rest and recover. At least it happened today instead of right before his test. Hopefully he can resist anything more than walking for a couple days.


                    So how did it turn out?  Did he pass the test?