Air Force PT Chart | Tips to Run a Faster 1.5M Run

The Air Force PT chart listed below is an overall guide to see what you need to run on your 1.5 mile run. Are you seeking to drop time off of your run time and set a new personal best? Would you like to get start longer at running longer distances? If so, welcome to RunDreamAchieve. I recently created a running course called the Army ACFT Embrace the Suck 2 mile course. It is a running course built specifically for military members to run faster on their physical fitness tests.

The course is focused on the Army Combat Fitness Test 2 mile run event. That being said, the tactics and strategies I cover in the course can help military members in all branches. The Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard focus on the 1.5 mile run. The Army (2 miles) and the Marines focus on the 3 mile event. The same fundamentals apply. You have to improve your body’s lactate tolerance in order to sustain your goal race pace longer. Easy running will not produce this physiological adaptation. A common mistake I see many military members making is running too little and too slow.

In addition, not running enough. Yes, we do run during morning PT in the Army, Air Force and other branches. That being said, running once or twice per week is not enough. I would recommend focusing on a 4-week build up where you are focusing all your efforts on easy, aerobic mileage. You can add in strides twice per week during your base-building phase. Strides will help you improve your form and acceleration prior to the start of your workouts. Also, they are not long enough to build up any large amounts of lactic acid.

Air Force PT Chart 2022

The Air Force pt chart listed below will give you an overview of what types of scores and times you need in order to pass the test. My goal is to ensure that you do and run faster on your 1.5 mile run event. I have run 4.22 for the mile, 9:27 for 2 miles, 14:18 for 5K and 2:19:35 for the marathon. No, I didn’t run those times overnight. It took me many years of hard and smart training in order to do it. I was also very fortunate to have been mentored by three of the world’s top distance running coaches and experts.

  • Jack Hazen – my collegiate coach and 2012 mens and womens Olympic coach
  • Dr. Joe Vigil – mentor and world-renowned exercise physiologist
  • Lisa Rainsberger – my coach while assigned to the Army World Class Athlete Program (WCAP)
Air Force PT Chart

Air Force Physical Fitness Test 1.5 Mile Run

The same challenges facing Airman are the same that are facing Soldiers, pace sustainment. Sure, there are many military members who can sustain pace for a portion of their run. I wanted to create a course that covers all of the top tactics I was taught to ensure you are set up for success. I still see far too many military members running too easy on easy days and too hard on hard days. One of the top ways to ensure that you don’t overtraining is to consider investing in a heart rate monitor.

I use the Garmin 245 and highly recommend. It helps me to focus staying in the correct heart rate zones. Below is an example of the heart rate zones you want to focus on during your easy, moderate and hard runs.

  • 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

Yes, you may not have control of the amount of running you can do in your morning PT. Your military leaders may have you in the gym lifting weights or other exercises. That being said, you can always run a few extra miles in the morning on your own. It was not uncommon for me to get another workout in during lunch. I also ran after work while I was still in the Army.

What is the Time Required for the 1.5 Mile Run Test in the Air Force?

The above listed Air Force PT chart gives you an overview of the times you want to aim for. The new Army 2 mile course consists of 9 modules with 58 videos lessons. In addition, will conclude with a 16-week training plan to help you cover the 6 laps in record time. I didn’t see a running course online built specifically for military members. So, created a running resource to help you learn the tactics the world’s top middle to long distance runners use to succeed.

Air Force PT test 2022
MAJ (ret.) Pennington finishing in 4th place and as the top American at the 2007 California International Marathon in 2:19:35 (5:19 per mile pace for 26.2 miles)

Again, the key focus is to train at higher intensities. In addition, to factor in the importance of easy, aerobic running in order to adapt to the harder training that you are doing. Proper pacing is essential on your part. I see far too many runners going into oxygen too soon during their PT test. The root cause is improper pacing and getting too excited in the early stages of the physical fitness test. I cover some unique tactics you can use to drop time off of your 1.5 mile run time with only small changes to your routine.

Air Force 1.5 Mile Run Training Plan

Running 1.5 miles once or twice per week is not enough. You need to think outside the box here. Why do the very best runners make it look so easy? The are spending more time running than you are. More important, at higher percentages of their maximum heart rate more often. Thus, they are able to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up.

The result is they are able to able to hold their goal 1.5 mile run time paces longer. Remember, the faster you get over the 1.5 mile run distance the more confidence you’ll have for longer races. The Air Force, like the Army, has a World Class Athlete Program (WCAP). Perhaps, that is a goal of yours to get accepted into. It will be your full-time job. The Air Force WCAP standards much like the Army’s are highly competitive.

So, you will most certainly want to work on your leg speed. You need to be doing at least 1, vo2 max workout per week. We are running between 95 to 100 percent of our maximum heart rate when doing speed workouts. The key tactic here is to get your goal 1.5 mile race pace to feel easier on you. In addition, to sustain that pace for a longer period of time.

Run Longer

How much stronger do you think you’d be over 1.5 miles if you worked your way to a 10 to 12 mile long run? What has been your longest long run in the past training for the Air Force PT test? 4 miles? 6 miles? The vast majority of military members are fit but not taking this important step into account. Consistency is key. Yes, you may be doing long runs but are you doing them consistently every week?

Air Force PT chart
MAJ (ret.) Pennington being given a Vo2 max stress test at the USA Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado at 6,100 ft elevation

I teach a specific way of doing your long runs that is going to significantly help you drop time off of your run time. Again, these are not the norm. You will be learning strategies that only the best runners use. No, it will not be easy. That being said, the good news is that the body always adapts to the training.

Longer Duration Spent at the Anaerobic Threshold

The anaerobic threshold is the point where lactic acid begins to rise in the body. Running at 85 to 89 percent of max heart rate is not nor should be comfortable. Again, we are seeking to get that goal 1.5 mile run time of yours to feel more like your 5K or 10K pace instead. The only way to do this is to recruit more fast twitch muscle fibers.

Faster running such as tempo runs, hill repetitions and speed workouts are the way to do this. The more fast twitch muscle fibers you can recruit the more efficient (economical) you are going to cover the 1.5 mile distance. The goal is to get that tempo run out to around 4 to 5 miles in length.

Imagine how much easier your 1.5 mile run is going to feel if you set up your training properly. The Army ACFT 2 mile run course takes the guesswork out of your preparation. Also, provides the tools and strategies you will need to run fast all the way up to the marathon distance.

Closing Thoughts

Would you like to keep in touch? If so, make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I focus on making at least 2 new training and racing videos there each week to help athletes such as yourself make the next big leap in your training and racing.

Review the Air Force pt chart listed above, make your goal and start working toward it. Run a minimum of 4 days a week and preferably work your way to 6 to 7 days. We have 3 choices in this life. We can be average, good or great. Greatness requires far more work than we realize. Remember, the hardest working athletes don’t always get the results. Athletes focused on using leverage and working smarter, usually do. This course was built around this principle.

My wish is that you follow the fundamentals and tactics I cover in this course so that you drop significant time off of your current 1.5 mile best. I look forward to interviewing you after you complete the course and training plan and sharing your story on the RDA YouTube channel.

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