Marine Workout Plan | How to Run a Faster 3 Mile

Are you seeking a new marine workout plan? If so, welcome to RunDreamAchieve. I served with many US Marines in my 20 years of active duty service in the Army. Recently, I created a new resources for military members seeking to run faster from 1.5 miles to 3 miles on their physical fitness tests. The resource is called the Army ACFT Embrace the Suck 2 mile course. Of course, it is focused on Soldiers but it is also perfect for civilians, marines, coast guardsman, sailors and airman.

The key tactic to run faster over 3 miles is to improve the body’s lactate tolerance. Easy running is still important but won’t help when it comes to racing over 3 miles. Pace sustainment is one of the biggest hurdles for military members and civilians. I have run 9:27 for 2 miles, 14:18 for 5K and 2:19:35 for the marathon. Of course, these times didn’t happen overnight. That being said, I did follow the strategies the top middle to long distance runners were using to run efficient.

How Long Do Marines Have to Run 3 Miles?

If seeking a legitimate workout plan you already know you need to run 3 miles in 28 minutes if you are a male. The ladies in the marines need to run a minimum of 31 minutes or less over 3 miles. My top recommendation is to focus first on building your easy, aerobic base mileage. The reason being is you want to strengthen the tendons, ligaments and muscles of the body. You don’t want to rush into harder, anaerobic training without first laying a strong foundation first.

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

Yes, you can add in strides twice per week during your base-building phase. Strides won’t build up any large amounts of lactic acid. So, you can do these short, 50 to 100 meter accelerations on top of your other workouts throughout your training regiments. Again, the key strategy is to sustain your goal 3-mile race pace longer. The only way to do this is to focus on your speed development. In addition, spending longer periods of time training at your anaerobic threshold.

We are running between 85 to 89 percent of our maximum heart rate when doing out tempo runs. A major mistake I saw Soldiers making is simply not consistently doing these types of workouts often enough. You need to do 1 tempo run per week and 1 vo2 max workout per week. We run between 95 to 100 percent of our maximum heart rate running at vo2 max effort. Your vo2 max is your body’s maximum oxygen uptake.

Naturally, we can only spend a few seconds to a few minutes at this intensity. The power behind these types of workouts is they will help to make your goal 3-mile race pace feel easier. Easy running will not produce this physiological adaptation. Remember, it takes between 3 to 4 weeks for the body to adapt to any stress load you are placing on it.

How Do I Train for a 3 Mile Run?

A legitimate marine workout plan has to stress the body’s energy systems of the body adequately enough. Yes, running easy is still essential too. That being said, significant drops in run times occur from heavy, anaerobic training. Athletes also drop time by having allotted sufficient time to recover between hard, anaerobic efforts. I always gave myself at least 2 days of recovery between each hard workout.

Of course, I had other times where I needed 3 days of easy running to recovery. For example, doing varied paced long runs. The majority of athletes run long, slow runs every single weekend. I dropped my marathon from 2:43:36 to 2:19:35 using on major tactic I discuss in the course. Faster long runs. No, you don’t want to run fast during your long runs every weekend. Again, the focus is to use leverage. Higher mileage is also not a a guarantee you will run a faster 3-mile time.

So, to improve your 3 miler you also should focus on faster, varied paced long runs. As mentioned above, focus on a 16-week build up. 4 months is plenty of time to properly prepare to drop significant time off of your current 3-mile personal best. Remember, the faster you run over 3 miles the more competitive you are going to be in the longer races.

How Can I Run 3 Miles without Stopping?

Running consistently over a longer period of time. Also, running more often. We all have to start somewhere. Are you out of shape? If so, there is no shame in doing a combination of jogging and walking in the early stages of your fitness build up. Are you training to join the Marines? If so, you have to get in better shape and consistency is the way to do it. The Marines run more than the Army from what I have seen in the military prior to retiring from the Army in March of 2022.

So, focus on running twice per week. Again, it takes between 21 days to 4 weeks for the body to adapt any stress load you are placing on it. The good news is the body always adapts. Your running will also become much easier as you lose unwanted pounds or kilos. So, be patient with yourself as you lead up to your all-out 3-mile effort. The Army 2 mile course that I created cover specific training methodologies that will help ensure you are set up for success.

The 4 phases of the running training plan at the conclusion of this course are…

  • Base-building phase (easy, aerobic running to build endurance)
  • 3 mile race specific phase (focusing on training at or slightly slower than anaerobic threshold)
  • Speed development phase (focusing on training at vo2 max effort)
  • Taper phase

Marine OCS Workout Plan

Are you seeking to attend OCS? You will definitely need a legitimate marine workout plan that involves more running. More importantly, spending a higher percentage of your weekly volume at or below anaerobic threshold. The world’s top middle to long distance runners train at 40 percent of their weekly volume at higher intensities. Of course, marines don’t need to run this high of a percentage of their weekly training in order to succeed.

Again, sometimes just running more mileage consistently is what most Marines need. Running once or twice per week during morning PT is not enough. We have 3 choices in this life. We can be average, good or great. Greatness requires far more out of us than we realize. It took me from running from 1992 to 2007 to qualify for the US Army World Class Athlete Program (WCAP). I enlisted in the Army in 2002 so 5 years of additional training is what got me to that prestigious unit.

I cover all of the tactics and fundamentals that 3 of the world’s top distance running coaches taught me in this course. So, if you are seeking a legitimate marine workout plan this is a course you may want to consider investing in.

How Much Running Do You Do at Marine OCS?

I would expect you going to be running around 6 days a week in Marine OCS. We ran about this much in Army OCS. The marines are even more active that we are, respectfully. So, if your goal is to attend Marine OCS you will want this course. Again, learning from the very best runners will take you out of your comfort zone. The tactics I teach are not the norm. The training methodology I teach I was taught by world-class coaches and runners.

Again, the key tactic in this course is to help the athlete improve his or her lactate tolerance. So, you sustain goal 3-mile race pace longer than your competition. Are you member of a foreign military? No problem. The course covers universal training methodologies that work. In fact, I was able to set personal bests from the mile (4.22.1) to the marathon (2:19.35) using the tactics that I teach in the course.

Closing Thoughts

Would you like to keep in touch? If so, check out and subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I focus on making a minimum of 2 new training and racing videos there for military and civilian runners. I also highly recommend adding in mental training to your 3 mile preparation. The vast majority of runners only focus on physical training and bypass mental rehearsal altogether.

The world-class runners I have trained and lived with over the years utilize both. Again, greatness requires thinking outside the box and using leverage. You need to be consistent with your preparation and tenacious when it comes to racing. Don’t try to win that 3 mile in the first mile. I would be conservative in the first half of that effort and focus on doing a negative split. So, run the second half of the race faster than the first half.

There is much more to write and will end here. My hope is that you will at least take a look at what the Army ACFT Embrace the Suck 2 mile course can offer you as a Marine. I look forward to interviewing you after you finish the course. Also, sharing your story on the RDA YouTube channel.

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