2 Miles | How to Run Faster Over 3.2KM

Are you seeking how to run faster over 2 miles? If so, welcome to RunDreamAchieve. I am glad you have made it here. The 2 mile or 3.2km event is a highly anaerobic event. So, you need to focus on your speed development. In addition, you need to build your endurance gradually and not be in a rush. I recently created a course specifically for military members but also for civilians seeking to run faster over 2 miles. I served for just over 20 years on active duty in the US Army. So, understand what it is like to work a full-time job and try to juggle heavy training.

The Army Combat Fitness Test consists of 6 events. The last event is the 2 mile run which tests Soldiers cardiovascular endurance. I went in-depth on everything that I was taught by three of the world’s top middle to long distance running coaches in the course. One of the common mistakes military as well as civilians make is trying to get into shape too quickly. Remember, the longer the build up, the better off you are going to be. It takes the body between 3 to 4 weeks to adapt to any stress load you are placing on it.

How Long Should it Take to Do 2 Miles?

The time you will be based on how well you prepared training at or below your goal 2 mile run time. The Soldiers training for the ACFT test need to run 13:22 in order to get maximum points. In comparison, they need to run around 21 minutes in order to get the minimum, 60 points. Will the Army ACFT Embrace the Suck course help you even if you are not in the military? Absolutely. In fact, this course, although built for service members, will teach any civilian what it takes to run faster over two miles.

Air Force PT test 2022
Coach Pennington finishing as the top American and in 4th place at the 2007 California International Marathon in 2:19:35

The first step is taking at least 3 to 4 weeks and build your aerobic foundation of mileage. You don’t want to start doing tempo runs, sprints and faster long runs without first running easy. Remember, take your time with your build up. I would recommend a training build up of between 16 to 20 weeks to get this right. I would focus on adding in strides into you base building mileage. You can do these twice per week. Strides are no more than 100 meters in length.

The world record for 2 miles was set by Daniel Komen of Kenya who ran an astounding time of 7:58.61. Yes, 2 back-to-back sub-4 minute miles. In fact, he is the only man in history to have ever broken the 8-minute 2-mile barrier. The world record for women was set by Ethiopian Meseret Defar who ran a time of 8:58.58. She was also the first female to break the 9 minute barrier for the two-mile distance.

What is a Fast 2 Mile Run?

Above you have seen the fastest times ever run by a man or a woman. Of course, the term “fast” will vary from individual to individual. I think a fast 2-mile is anything under 13 minutes. You really have to be in great shape to hold 6:30 mile pace for 2 consecutive miles. Yes, there are many athletes who can run faster but there are many more just trying to get to this level. I have the same respect for an athlete who can break 8 minutes as I do for someone trying to break 16 minutes.

US Army 2 Mile Run Time

My goal with this new course is to help ensure I set military members as well as civilians up for success. I have 9:27 for the 2 mile distance, 14:18 for 5K and 2:19:35 for the marathon. Yes, I have also been beaten many times as well. No, these performances didn’t happen overnight. The same tactics I followed to run these times I cover, in detail, in the Army ACFT 2 mile course. No, you don’t have to be in the Army to succeed using this course. The same strategies taught in it are universal for running success for both military and civilians.

Can You Run 2 miles in 8 Minutes?

Yes, but it has only been achieved once in history. Daniel Komen holds the current world record for the 3.2km (2 miles) distance at 7 minutes and 58 seconds. The seconds fastest time in history was set by Ethiopian Haile Gebressalassie who ran 8:01.08. What percentage of your weekly mileage have you trained at or below your goal two mile pace in the past? Are you having problem sustaining your goal 2 mile pace? If so, you have to watch your pacing in the early stages of the race.

I always tell my athletes to focus on a negative split. So, focus on running the second mile of the race faster than the first. There is no need to go into oxygen debt and slow down drastically in the second half. In addition, it is no fun to experience this. The goal of the course is to help athletes improve their lactate tolerance.

You cannot do this by simply running easy several times a week. The world’s top middle to long distance runners make it look easy for a reason. They simply spend a higher percentage of their weekly mileage training at or far below their goal 2-mile pace. The result is they are able to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up. So, the goal here is to train for a longer period of time at your anaerobic threshold. Our anaerobic threshold is the point where lactic acid begins to accumulate at higher levels. It is running at or around 88 percent of your maximum heart rate.

2 Mile Training Plan

I have created 2-mile training plans here at RunDreamAchieve. The difference between them and the course is the course teaches you why you are doing the workouts. In addition, covers all of the aspects of what it takes to effectively cover 8 laps of the track in record time. A 2-mile training plan and especially this new course will take the guesswork out of your preparation. You will know exactly what workouts are needed in order to run your goal 2 mile time.

Again, focus first on building your base mileage before moving into 2-mile race specific training. A lot of runners get this wrong especially in the military. I saw far too many Soldiers doing sprints and ability groups runs at too fast of a pace without ever having build their base mileage first. You can’t do this in the wrong order and expect to get high returns on your time investment.

I recommend a 16-week training plan. The good news is the course has 9 modules which contain 58 lessons to set you up for success. The course concludes with a 4-month 2 mile training plan built specifically for your goal 2-mile time.

How Do I Improve My 2 Mile Run Time?

As mentioned above, build a strong base first. You then want to start working on getting your tempo run lengthened out to around 4 to 5 miles. The reason being is you are running double or over double the distance of your goal race. Remember, the longer you can spend training at your anaerobic threshold the better. That being said, you also have to pay attention to recovery. My recommendation is to to invest in a heart rate monitor. I use the Garmin 245 which helps me to focus on staying in the correct heart rate zones.

I recently created a video where I talk about the correct heart rate zones at different intensities. Below are what you want to keep in mind as your prepare for your upcoming 2-mile race. Remember, the below listed heart rate calculations are for an athlete who has a max heart rate of 170 BPM.

  • Easy: 65-74% of max HR or around 110-125BPM
  • Marathon (moderate effort): 75-84% of max HR or around 127-142BPM
  • Threshold: 85-89% of max HR or around 144-149BPM
  • Interval: 95-100% of max HR or around 161-170BPM
  • Repetitions: 105% of max HR or around 178 BPM

Focus on Speed Development

The athlete should be doing 1, vo2 max workout per week. We are running at between 100 to 105 percent of our maximum heart rate when running at vo2 max. Your vo2 max is your body’s maximum oxygen uptake. It is running so fast you can’t clear lactic acid faster than it is building up. The main reason we do workouts like this and tempo runs is to recruit more fast twitch muscle fibers. Again, we want to be more efficient when we run.

So, workouts like this will help to ensure 2-mile goal race pace feels easier and more sustainable. Easy running, by itself, will not produce this physiological adaptation. Also, you have to focus on your recovery. It is recommend to spend 2 days running easy after a hard, anaerobic-style workout.

Closing Thoughts

Would you like to keep in touch? If so, make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I make new videos there each week to help runners such as yourself get to the next level in their training and racing. I know this is a brief post and there is much more to share about how to run a faster 2 mile. Lastly, I have covered some of the key fundamentals you need to keep in mind in this post.

If you truly are determined to run a new personal best over this distance click the green button below. There is no other 2 mile running course on the internet. So, I focused on creating one in order to help both military and civilians set a new personal best over this distance. Also, this course covers critical variables of running success that can be applied to distances all the way up to the marathon. Wishing you continued success in your training and look forward to hearing about your new personal best.

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