Facebook
Twitter
Email

Experts Q&A: Mosi Smith's 8-week plan of attack to get faster and improve your PT test run time

runnig_track_get_faster_500

PT365_experts_new

Q. What are some good run workouts I can do to improve my 3-mile run time? I am stuck between 20 and 21 minutes. I’d like to get down to 18 or 19 minutes.

— Marine 1st Sgt.Oranjel A. Leavy, 37

A. To achieve speed gains to get in the 18- to 19-minute range for the Marine Physical Fitness Test — or to cut your time on any run test — speed work is necessary. By that, I am referring to hurt-me-so-good interval workouts. First Sgt. Leavy needs to provide “stimulation” to the fast-twitch muscles (Type IIa, to be specific). Limiting the duration of an interval to no more than 600 meters and no less than 300 meters will ensure that he targets that group to achieve gains.

For most Marines I worked with, we went heavy, building an appropriate base to ensure they could cover the distance and greater. Several weeks out from the PFT, we would have a speed day once a week at a track or nearby piece of terrain that was accurately measured.

Start and end each workout with an easy mile at a conversational pace.

All reps are executed at goal PFT pace. A person shooting for 18 minutes for a 3-mile run, for example, would perform a 400-meter interval at or just below 90 seconds (6-minute-per-mile pace). The rest periods would be half the time it took to run the interval; or a light jog for half the distance of that previous interval. As fitness progresses, most would opt for jogging the half-distance rest period. The key is consistency.

Provided here is a sample of one of the training progressions.

Week 1

Do two sets of:

300 meters

Rest

400 meters

Rest

500 meters

Rest

600 meters

Rest

 

Week 2

Here we test to see if the runner can sustain the goal pace with another set introduced.

Do three sets of:

300 meters

Rest

400 meters

Rest

500 meters

Rest

600 meters

Rest

 

Week 3

Here we shuffle the order to break the monotony of an increasing ladder. You could perform these progressions in the form of a ladder or a pyramid to keep it fresh.

Three sets of:

600 meters

Rest

500 meters

Rest

300 meters

Rest

400 meters

Rest

 

Week 4

Move off the track and run three to five miles with a bit of speed-play (aka “fartleks”) thrown in randomly. A fartlek run builds aerobic and anaerobic endurance by alternating between faster and slower paces.

 

Week 5

Here we introduce quarters as the metric because it is pretty easy to assess whether you hit your pace upon completion of the interval. The effort level remains the same and the rest periods fall in line with the guidance previously mentioned.

Eight sets of 400 meters with rest periods between each interval

 

Week 6

Same rules apply as above. Continued assessment of personal capability to hold the goal pace through all intervals is paramount.

10 sets of 400 meters

 

Week 7

We build upon the previous weeks to reach the full mileage of the Marine PFT, and when we put the intervals together, it should make for a pretty good masterpiece on game day. If you find that goal pace easy, and/or you’re consistently running each interval below the goal pace, then signs are good that you will succeed.

12 sets of 400 meters

 

Week 8

Easy run and prep for PFT execution.

Do work!

Good luck 1st Sgt. Leavy! Keep us posted.

_____________________

mosi_150

Former Marine Capt. Mosi Smith, is the race director of the Endless Summer 6-Hour Run in Annapolis, Md., which benefits the Semper Fi Fund. Mosi is a certified coach through USA Track & Field and Road Runners Club of America and was the assistant coach of the U.S. Naval Academy marathon team. Read his full credentials here.

No Comments

Leave a Comment

Please be polite. We appreciate that.
Your email address will not be published and required fields are marked


css.php