Are you seeking how to improve upon your Army 2 mile run time male standards? If so, you have made a wise decision visiting this website. I spent just over 20 years in the US Army and have dealt with both the APFT and ACFT physical fitness tests. In addition, know how difficult it can be to maintain calm under pressure while running 2 miles all out.
My role as your virtual mentor and running coach is to help you to start running faster and with more confidence. A common mistake most Soldiers are making is simply not running enough. Yes, your platoon sergeant or leader may have you run twice per week. That being said, is that really enough? The facts are you need to do more than that. More importantly, training at speeds that far exceed your Army 2 mile run time goal.
The reason being is you want to improve your body's lactate tolerance. You will not get this physiological effect by way of easy running. Yes, easy running is essential too. You still need to burn fat and build your endurance. That being said, you have to teach the body to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up. So, the only way to do that is by way of running at faster speeds.
Why Does the Army Do the 2-Mile Run?
The Army does the 2 mile run in order to test Soldiers cardiovascular endurance. We have to be ready in all weather conditions and environments. So, we have to maintain a high degree of fitness and it goes beyond just lifting weights. How fit you are cardiovascular wise will determine how fast you cover 8 laps around the track.
The new ACFT 2 mile has different requirements compared to the old APFT we used to conduct. For example, if you want 60 points (enough to pass) you need to be able to run an army 2 mile run time in 16 minutes and 36 seconds. Of course, this is for the 22-26 age group.
Do you want a maximum of 100 points and are 27-31 years old? If so, you will need to run 13:18 or faster. A common mistake I see many Soldiers making is running their 2 mile in training shoes. Please, stop doing that. I would recommend investing in a pair of racing flats. My top two recommendations are the Nike Next% or On Running Cloudboomecho shoes.LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ARMY ACFT 2 MILE COURSE
How Do You Run Faster 2 Mile Army?
You have to first focus on an easy, base building phase. The reason being is you cannot just jump into doing sprints. In addition, trying to run with a group that is simply in better anaerobic shape than you are. I saw this mistake being made many times over the years during mandatory morning PT formations. Soldiers were dropping back constantly.
A major reason for this is simply they didn't have the proper aerobic base built first. In addition, they went into oxygen too soon during these runs. The result is they were forced to slow down or even stop. I would recommend focusing on a 16-week build up with the first 3 to 4 weeks focused on easy running.
I would recommending doing 5-6x100m strides twice per week during this build up. Strides are too short to build up any lactic acid. That being said, they will help you work to work on your acceleration and form under faster efforts. In addition, you will have spent several miles or kilometers at near all-out, sprint speeds over a 4 month block of training.
So, better results will come by you having a strategic plan in place instead of rushing your fitness. I believe many Soldiers second guess themselves and go wrong due to this. Again, you cannot be in a rush nor just guess the types of workouts you need to be doing.
How Can I Improve My 2 Mile Time in the Army?
Focus on the tips within this post. Also, do intervals and work on training once per week at your Vo2 max. You will be running at between 95 to 100 percent of your maximum heart rate at this effort. No, it will not be easy. One of the greatest benefits of doing intervals and training at this intensity is it makes your 2 mile race pace feel that much more in control.
Again, you will be running much faster at Vo2 max effort as you will be during your ACFT 2MR event. Below are some examples of Vo2 max workouts for you to consider.
- 2 mile warm-up, 6x800m@10 seconds faster than goal 2 mile race pace with 1 to 2 minutes rest between reps, 1 mile cool-down
- 1 mile warm-up, 20×1 minute hard@170BPM(beats per minute if wearing HR monitor) followed by 1 minute easy jog, 1 mile cool-down
- 1 mile warm-up, 3 sets of 4x400m@goal 1 mile race pace, 1 mile cool-down
- warm-up (1 mile), 4x1mile at 20 seconds faster than goal 2 mile race pace, 1 mile cool-down
Again, the key objective here is to teach you to run more economically (efficient). Running at Vo2 max effort will make running at goal race pace to feel somewhat easier. Also, to require you to focus on relaxation under sub maximal to maximal efforts. Relaxation and maintaining forms are training variables we all can learn to master. Remember, the best sprinters, middle to long distance runners always look relaxed. Emulate and study them.
Army ACFT 2 Mile Run Tips
Invest in Your Personal Development
I have created 2-mile run training plans, running courses and offer online coaching here at rundreamachieve. My rationale behind creating these resources is to help Soldiers and civilians to start using leverage. In addition, to start using tactics that the best middle to long distance runners use. I have spend several thousands of dollars over the years on coaching and running courses myself.
We have three choices in this life. We can be average, good or great. Greatness requires far more out of us than we realize. So, investing in a training plan, running course or coach can help drastically speed up your learning. In addition, you will begin to learn strategies the top runners use so you can get similar results.
Extend the Length of Your Long Runs
How much easier would racing 2 miles during your ACFT test be if your long run was 8 to 12 miles in length? Be honest. How many Soldiers within your platoon you are putting in that kind of work? Never been much of a runner you say? How committed have you been in the past to truly be one? It took me from running from 1992 to 2007 to break the sub-2:20 marathon barrier. You need to average 5:20 per mile for 26.2 miles in order to do that.
It happened because I was relentless with my preparation. So, running longer will help you in all distances from the 2-mile to the marathon. That being said, you don't want to run long and slow every single weekend. Remember, we are aiming to run 2 miles faster. You need to think beyond the Army 2 mile run time male standards. Again, you need to run 13:00 to max out and get 100 points in this event if you are 17 to 26 years old.
Conduct Longer Tempo Runs
Tempo runs are conducted at your anaerobic threshold. Your anaerobic threshold is the point where we start to build up lactic acid while running. You are running between 86 to 88% of your maximum heart rate at this intensity. What has been the longest tempo run you have done up until this point? Have you consistently been doing this type of workout each week? If not, there are some reasons you have not been running as fast you want over the 2 mile distance.
You will be running your all out 2 mile right around your anaerobic threshold. So, it is essential that you start implementing longer tempo runs. Remember, you have to be patient in the early stages of your fitness. It will be very difficult to even do a 2 mile tempo run when you are not very anaerobically fit. It takes the body between 21 days to 4 weeks to adapt any specific stress you are placing on it. I recommend a 12 to 20 week build up to properly run a new personal best over the 2-mile distance.
The goal here is to aim to eventually lengthen your tempo run out to between 4 to 5 miles in length. The reason being is you will be doubling or slightly further than your race distance. In addition, this will improve your body's lactate tolerance over time. The Army 2 mile run time male or female standards are there to challenge you. That being said, to exceed those standards you need to be thinking like a pro runner.
JOG on Easy Days
Get beyond what pace per mile or per kilometer you are running during your easy days. Remember, the benefits of the hard training you are doing today will be seen several weeks from now. In addition, they come from the rest period.
Make sure to google the word “Supercompensation”. You can thank me later as the majority of your military leadership and peers have never heard of it. You are already a few steps of them in terms of knowledge knowing about this now.
So, what you do during the down time will dictate how successful you are going to be over the 2 mile distance. The hard workouts will test you both mentally and physically. So, make sure you are jogging on those easy days to ensure you get the highest return on your time investment. It takes the same discipline to slow down and recover as it does to get out on the track or roads and do a harder, anaerobic workout.
Faster Long Runs
An additional mistake I see both military as well as civilians making is running their long runs too slow. The best middle to long distance runners in the world run around 40 percent of their weekly mileage at higher, anaerobic efforts. It isn't just because they are Kenyans. There are runners from all parts of the world who are running world-class times. Again, it isn't about the quantity of miles or kilometers you are putting in as much as it is the quality.
Quality counts when you are aiming to run a faster Army 2MR time. I recommend doing a faster, varied paced long run one weekend followed the next by an easy, relaxed long run. Again, you want to ensure adaptation occurs. So, you can't rush the process. Below are a few examples of a varied paced long run for a Soldier seeking to break the 11 minute 2-mile barrier.
- 1 mile warm-up, 2 miles@5:45 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 1 mile@5:15, 3 miles@6:30 mile pace, 1 mile cool-down (10 miles)
- 1 mile jog warm-up, 5 miles steady@6:10 mile pace, 1 mile jog, 1 mile in 5:10, 1 mile cool-down (9 miles)
Again, the following weekend's long run needs to be slow and easy.
Watch Your Pacing
Remember, to achieve times below the army 2 mile run time male or female standards you need to watch your pacing. Is your goal to break 10 minutes for the 2 mile? Well, going out the first lap in 62 second to impress the platoon is not a wise move. Your goal is 75 seconds per lap or better. So, you don't want to go into oxygen debt too soon and pay for it in the latter stages of the event.
So, be smart in your pacing in the early stages of the run. Also, be conservative in the first 3 laps and attack the last 5 laps. Again, you want to be picking people off and running under the lap splits that you are aiming for to be successful. I have 2-mile training plans here at rundreamachieve.com for runners seeking to run anywhere from sub 9:30 to 17 minutes.
Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I vlog there each week creating new videos to help both military and civilians get to the next level in their training and racing. Lastly, make sure you are spending 10 minutes daily mentally rehearsing yourself getting across that finish line with your goal time on the clock. Mental training is commonly neglected by most runners. The best use it along with physical training to run world-class times.
Also, invest in a heart rate monitor. Heart rate monitor training will ensure that you are not running too fast on easy days. In addition, too slow on anaerobic days. I utilize the VDOT.02 coaching software with my athletes online which calculate your training paces based off your current fitness level. I recommend the Garmin 245 as you won't have to use a heart rate strap around your waist. The Garmin 245 monitors your heart rate from your wrist.
Feel free to visit the about page if you would like to know more about my military career. I hope that this post about how to exceed the army 2 mile run time male and female standards has been helpful.LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ARMY ACFT 2 MILE COURSE