ACFT Sprint Drag Carry | Run a Faster 2MR

Are you seeking some more tips on how to run a faster 2 mile and get through the ACFT sprint drag carry event? If so, welcome to RunDreamAchieve. I am glad you have made it here. I spent just over 20 years on active duty in the US Army. In addition, underwent a few Army Combat Fitness Test iterations prior to my retirement. So, I certainly understand the stressors of this Army physical fitness test. You have to deal with 5 different events prior to running the 2 mile event.

Pace sustainment is a major issue for many military members. I created an online running course specifically for military members aiming to run faster over the 2 mile distance. In addition, also made it perfect for civilians and other members of the military in other branches and allied forces. The ACFT sprint drag carry event is probably the most anaerobic of the events, second to the 2 mile run.

My recommendation is to pace yourself on the Army Combat Fitness Test sprint drag carry event. You won’t want to go out too aggressive, go into oxygen debt and run out of energy to get you through it.

How Far is the Sprint-Drag-Carry ACFT?

The ACFT sprint drag carry event is 25 meters in length. It would be much easier if you only had to go 25 meters. That being said, you have to sustain your effort for a total of 225 meter. The Soldier will need to do 5 laps of the 25 meter lane. So, pacing is absolutely critical. You will sprint, drag a weighted, 90-pound sled and carry 2, 40 pound kettlebell weights.

I would focus on being in the best aerobic and anaerobic shape possible to handle this event successfully. I would most certainly not recommend participating in the Army combat fitness test without any training at all. Of course, you have three choices. You can go after average, good or great results. Our military members are some of the most drive, determined and focused athletes in the world.

So, the fact that you are reading this post already tells me you are seeking excellence. You are not aiming for lukewarm results. Remember, the better shape you are in prior to the start of this test the less pain you are going to have to deal with. More importantly, you will be able to sustain your effort throughout this particular event. It is very easy to go into oxygen debt in this event due to its explosive nature. At least, with the 2 mile run you can pace yourself and it is not quite as anaerobic.

What is the Order of the Sprint-Drag-Carry?

The ACFT sprint drag carry is the 4th of the 6 events of the Army Combat Fitness Test. The order of the 5, 25 meter lane sprints are:  sprint, sled drag, laterals, kettlebells, and sprint.

What is a Sprint drag and Carry Army?

The event is really an overall test of your strength, endurance and anaerobic capacity. Also, how well you can manage very high levels of lactic acid accumulation. Running over a minimum of 8 to 20 weeks, will most certainly help you prior to starting this event. Below is the Army sprint drag carry process.

  1. The soldier must sprint 25 meters from a start line during the first 25-meter, reach down and touch the 25 meter line with their foot and hand. Then, sprint back to the start line.
  2. The soldier will pull the sled backwards during the next 25 meter. Remember, you will need to ensure the sled crosses the 25m line. You will then turn to pull the sled back until it fully crosses the start line.
  3. Next, the Soldier will need to perform laterals for 25 meters. The Soldier will touch the line with his or her foot and hand. Then, perform laterals back to the start line. Remember, the Soldier will need to face the same direction back and forth to ensure they lead with each foot. Your feet should never cross during the lateral shuttle.

Last 2 Sections

  1. The Soldier then will need to carry 2, 40-pound kettlebells. He or she will need to grasp one in each hand, run to the 25 meter line, cross the line with one foot, turn and sprint back to the start line. Also, the kettlebells cannot be dropped. If they do, the Soldier will pick them up and continue carrying them until the 25-meter shuttle is finished.
  2. The final 25-meters is the Soldier sprinting down and back. You will feel totally spent at this point due to the high amount of lactic acid build up. In addition, due to the highly anaerobic nature of the ACFT sprint drag carry event

Time stops when the Soldier crosses the start line after the final 25-meter shuttle.

How Do You Train for ACFT Sprint Drag?

The better your cardiovascular fitness is, the better prepared you are going to be for this event. I created the new Army ACFT 2 mile running course to assist with this. In addition, I share the top strategies and tactics I personally used to compete at the elite level. I am also a former member of the US Army World Class Athlete Program. So, My aim with this new online running course is to help athletes such as yourself get to the next level.

You are also more than welcome to visit our about page if you would like to know more about my background. The Army sprint-drag-carry event is highly anaerobic. As mentioned above, you won’t want to go out too aggressively in this event. The first 25-meter sprint doesn’t have to be all out. Again, you have to deal with the sled carry, laterals and kettlebell shuttles as well. So, be conservative in the early stages of the event and you will be fine.

What is the Gold Standard for ACFT?

It will be dependent on the job category your MOS or AOC falls under. For example, if you are in a “heavy” categorized job speciality then you need to focus on 70 points. Soldiers in units or career fields that are considered significant in terms of demand need to aim for 65 points. If your job is moderately demanding then 60 points is what you need to score in each event.

The minimum score you need to obtain in order to pass in each event is 60 points. The top score, obviously, is 600 points. I would most certainly aim for a perfect score as this will bring some additional promotion points. Of course, the points won’t help Commissioned Officers. That being said, always do the best you can.

How Do I Train for ACFT 2 Miles?

I always tell my athletes to focus on a longer rather than a shorter build up. Also, you need to run more often. For example, running twice per week will build general fitness. That being said, the top runners are running between 4 to 7 days a week. Of course, we all have different goals when it comes to running. Your goal may not be to qualify for the Boston marathon or get accepted into the Army World Class Athlete Program.

I created the Army ACFT 2 mile running course to help athletes follow the tactics top runner utilize. Remember, focus on a minimum of 4 weeks of easy, base mileage first. I saw far too many military members trying to run too fast without having laid a foundation first. It takes the body between 3 to 4 weeks to adapt to any stress load being placed on it. So, a build up of 12 to 20 weeks is optimal to drop significant time off of your current 1.5 (Navy & Air Force), 2 mile (Army), 3-mile (Marines) and 4 mile (Special Forces trainees) run time.

How Can I Max My 2 Mile Run?

What has been the longest tempo run you have done in the past preparing for your Army physical fitness test? 2 miles? 3? Are you even doing tempo runs regularly each week? If not, now is the time do get into the routine of doing them. The longer you can spend running at your anaerobic threshold, the better. Again, you need to fist focus on spending at least a month running easy, aerobic mileage, first. I would do 4-6x100m strides twice per week during your base-building phase.

Once you have done this, then you can start training at or below your goal race pace. The overall goal here is to improve your body’s lactate tolerance. Easy running will not produce this physiological effect. Faster, anaerobic will.

So, your tempo runs should be at least 4 miles and preferably, 5 miles in length. You are running twice the distance you are aiming to run all out. Of course, you need to first focus on doing a 2 to 3-mile tempo run prior to working your way to 4 to 5 miles. Again, it takes time to get into great shape. So, be patient with yourself.

Run Longer

Are you having problems sustaining your goal 2 mile race pace? If so, it could be due to not having run long enough and as consistently as you should. How easy do you think a 2 mile run on an ACFT is going to feel if you have extended your long run to 8 to 12 miles in length? You also need to be consistent with your mileage. Again, you are either trained or un-trained, there is no in between.

The fact that you have read this far already tells me you want success. So, focus on not only running longer but also aim at faster long runs. Faster, varied paced long runs helped me drop considerable time off my personal bests. I also go in-depth on this topic in the ACFT 2 mile course. Remember, you don’t want to do long, slow runs every single weekend.

One weekend should be an easy long run followed the next by a faster long run. Of course, you don’t want to run the entire long run fast. That being said, vary the paces up a bit and make it more challenging. I highly recommend investing in a heart rate monitor. I use the Garmin 245 regularly. It helps me to stay in the correct heart rate zones so that I am not over training.

Work On Your Speed

You should be doing 1, vo2 max workout per week. We run between 95 to 100 percent of our maximum heart rate running at this intensity. The faster we run the more fast twitch muscle fibers we recruit. The more of these we can recruit the more efficient we are going to race. In addition, the easier goal race pace is going to feel.

The reason for this is you will be running at speeds that are far more aggressive than race pace. Examples of vo2 max workouts are track intervals, fartlek workouts, hill repetitions and faster long run efforts. How often are you focusing on mental training? I ask that because the vast majority of runners fail to take this seriously. The world-class runners I trained and lived with combined both mental as well as physical training.

So, make sure you are mentally rehearing and seeing yourself performing at a high level on your ACFT. Again, you need to prepare the mind just as you prepare the body. The good news is you don’t need to spend more than 10 to 15 minutes daily doing this. The best time is when you go to bed at night or when you first get up in the morning.

Closing Thoughts

Remember, the better cardiovascular shape you are in the higher your chances of success on the Army Combat Fitness Test. The ACFT sprint drag carry is probably the toughest event aside from the 2 mile run. Pacing is absolutely essential on both of these events. So, be cautious in the early stages of these events. I would focus on a negative split in the 2 mile. So, if your goal is to break 14 minutes don’t go out any faster than 7:06 through the first mile.

I would aim on being conservative in the first mile and really go all out and run that 6:53 for the second mile. Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I create new training videos there each week to help runners such as yourself get to the next level. I hope that this post has been helpful to you. Keep in touch and leave a comment on my videos. I will respond back to you.

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