Are you preparing for a military career with the US Armed Services? If so, are you ready to run your 1.5 – 3.0 mile PRT as part of your physical fitness qualifications? I’ve always hated running, and so this was the scariest part of my military application process. In this article I will give you a quick breakdown on how to prepare for a 1.5 – 3.0 mile timed run in just 4 weeks.
Most recruits are given very short notice regarding their physical fitness test as part of the military application. If this applies to you, and you have at least 4 weeks and unlimited motivation, you WILL be able to achieve your run, quite successfully by following these simple strategies.
Consider Before You Run
There are two important factors that you want to consider before taking on this challenge
- You must be physically able to do these exercises. (Check with a doctor to be sure)
- stretching, both BEFORE and AFTER working out is a must
If you do not stretch before and after working out you risk physical injury and muscle damage.
The First Week
The first week is all about getting your body and muscles used to the physical activity. We will start by tackling the distance without the endurance. Your goal should be to conquer double the distance of your required run. If your PRT is 1.5 miles, you will aim for 3, if your PRT is 3 miles, you should aim for 4-5 in the first week.
The first few days will be a simple walk, with no time limit. Make sure you stretch before you start, and keep yourself properly hydrated as you go. You can even listen to an audio ASVAB study guide to keep yourself motivated as you go. Do this 3 times the first week, alternating a rest day and walk day.
The Second Week
By this time your legs should be getting stronger and used to the distance. You should also start timing your total workout, just to keep track. You are still not looking to beat the clock. Mark your start time and alternate running and walking as follows:
First day: Run for 1 minute, walk for a minute, run for 1 minute, walk for 2 minutes, run for 1 minute, walk for 3 minutes, all the way till the end. It sounds easy but you may tire towards the end.
Next running day (after a day of rest) Run for 2 minutes at a time, then walk 2 minutes. Keep alternating running and walking.
By the end of the second week you should be able to run for 3-4 minutes, walk 3-4 minutes, and run again till you reach your distance goal.
The Third Week
By this time your legs are stronger, your lung capacity is increasing, and your endurance should be improving. In the third week your goal is to complete the ENTIRE run distance WITHOUT STOPPING TO WALK.
Mark your start time so that you can track your progress. Start out with a very slow run or even a jog. Focus on pacing yourself for the distance. In the third week your goal is to complete the entire run as a run, regardless of how long it takes. Be sure that you focus extra efforts into stretching before and after, and of course take a day or two to rest in between.
The Final Week
By the end of week 3 you should have been able to run the entire distance at a slow jog. In the fourth week of preparation you will be running for a timed distance. Be sure to stretch and hydrate well, and go for it. Keep a steady pace that you can comfortably maintain. Focus on lengthening your stride and leaning your body forward to increase your pace, and go for it.