ACFT Plank Standards & 2 Mile Tips

September 3, 2022

Are you seeking more information about the acft plank standards and aiming to run a faster 2 mile time? If so, welcome to Nutrition Geeks. I am glad you have made it here. I served over 20 years in the US Army on active duty. So, I have plenty of experience with our old APFT and the new Army combat fitness test (ACFT).

I didn't see a running resource on the internet on how to run a faster 2 mile time. So, I created the new Army ACFT Embrace the Suck 2 mile course. Of course, the acft score calcuator will calculate the acft plank standards you need to meet. Military members as well as civilians need to have a strong core and upper both strength to run fast. The faster we run the more lactic acid builds up. So, we have to train a higher percentage of our weekly mileage at paces faster than goal 2 mile race pace.

Planks, doing push ups and strength training is a part of the success principle. So, you have to follow all of the fundamentals in order to be successful at middle to long distance running. Soldiers who fall in the 45 year age group need to do a plank for 1 minute and 12 seconds to receive 60 points. Remember, you need to score 60 points on each of the 6 events in order to pass. In comparison, the same aged Soldier needs to hold the plank for 3 minutes and 20 seconds in order to score 100 points. The max score you can receive on the ACFT is 600 points.

What is the Plank Standard for the ACFT?

The acft plank standards are there to challenge you mentally and physically. That being said, far more Soldiers have problems with their cardiovascular endurance. Pace sustainment is one of the biggest hurdles military members as well as civilians deal with. So, doing planks on a regular basis will help you to maintain your form while running at sub-maximal and maximum efforts. Consistent action is key. In addition, you have to learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable.

Army ACFT
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)

Remember, the body takes between 3 to 4 weeks to adapt to any physiological stress you are placing on it. So, holding a 60 second plank when you are not in great shape is going to hurt. That being said, if you stay consistent and continue to do sets of planks on a daily basis 60 seconds will no longer be a challenge. The same goes with running fast over 2 miles. You can't run a legitimate 2 mile time by running once or twice per week. So, you have to run more and at paces that are close to or significantly faster than goal 2 mile race pace.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ARMY ACFT 2 MILE COURSE

ACFT 2 Mile Run Standards

The ACFT score calculator listed above in the blue link also provides the acft 2 mile run standards. Soldiers who fall in the 17-21 age group category need to run a 2 mile time of 13:22 to earn 100 points. Of course, times will vary based on the age of the Soldier. My top recommendation to get better at the 2 mile event is be strategic. One of the biggest mistakes I saw Soldiers making is rushing the process. You don't start doing speed workouts and hill repetitions until you first build your aerobic base mileage.

So, focus on running easy for 4 weeks. Of course, you don't have control of the PT you will be doing in the morning. Your platoon sergeants or leaders will be the ones you set that up for you. That being said, you do have control of the running you put in during lunch or after work. How consistent have you been with your mileage? Are you doing long runs every weekend? Are you running long and slow every weekend or running at varied paces that are at faster efforts? How many days a week are you running? 2? 3?

The reason you focus on base-building is to minimize injuries. In addition, strengthen the muscles, tendons and ligaments to be better prepared for faster, anaerobic training. We have 3 choices in this life. We can be average, good or great. I know you are seeking excellence otherwise you wouldn't be here reading this.

What is the Army Standard for 2-Mile Run?

The acft plank standards and acft 2 mile standards are set up via the acft score calculator. The end goal though is to improve your body's lactate tolerance. As mentioned above, pace sustainment is vital for success from the mile to the marathon distance. I cover how to do this in-depth in the new Army ACFT Embrace the Suck 2 mile running course. I discuss the same strategies and tactics I was taught to run 9:27 for the 2-mile. In addition, the fundamentals I cover helped me to run 14:18 for 5K and 2:19:35 for the marathon.

My goal with this course is to help military members to train smarter. I already know you know how to work hard. Are the hardest working athletes the ones who always get the results? No. The athletes who train smart do. Higher mileage is not always the answer either. What happens if you spend 95% of your weekly mileage running aerobically? You will be a superior long, slow runner.

The world's top runners train between 35 to 40 percent of their weekly volume at the anaerobic threshold or faster. We run between 85 to 89 percent of our maximum heart rate running at the anaerobic threshold. Anaerobic threshold is the point where lactic acid begins to rise. Remember, the faster we run the more oxygen is required. So, easy running is important but it won't improve lactate tolerance.

New Army PT Test 2 Mile Run Times

One of the top strategies I used to perform faster from the mile to the marathon was faster long runs. Again, the longer you train at speeds close to or faster than goal 2 mile race pace the better off you will be. Also, you need to make sure you are jogging on those recovery days. The real benefit of your hard training is going to come from within the rest period. The long run was the hardest workout that I did, not speed workouts or fartlek training.

Below are some examples of the types of long runs I was doing training for races from the 5K to the marathon. Of course, you don't need to run high mileage in order to run a fast 2 mile time. Quality over quantity. Again, if you are running too easy every week how is that going to help you to sustain race pace? Easy running and racing are not the same.

  • 2 miles easy, 5 miles@5:30 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 1 mile in 4:55, 6 miles@5:55 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 2 miles@5:20, 2 mile easy (22 miles)
  • 1 mile jog, 4 miles@5:20 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 1 mile in 5:00, 7 miles@6:00, 2 miles easy (17 miles)

So, the key is spending some time at very hard anaerobic efforts followed by easy, aerobic efforts. Remember, always follow a harder long run one weekend with an easy, relaxed long run the next weekend.

Closing Thoughts

Would you like to keep in touch? If so, make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. My aim is to create new videos there, weekly to help runners such as yourself get to new personal bests. How often are you visualizing yourself getting across the finish line with your goal 2 mile time? The problem with many runners is they are only doing 50% of the work. What is the other 50%? Mental training and rehearsal. I have trained and lived with world-class middle to long distance runners.

What do they do different than average runners? Are they good just because they have genetic talent? No. I have known many genetically talent who were beaten by runners with little talent but have a high work ethic. They combine both mental as well as physical training in their weekly regiment.

So, start spending 10 to 15 minutes daily during your training. Visualize yourself performing the way you want. The best time to do this is when you first wake up or when you go to bed at night. I hope this post on acft plank standards and how to run a faster 2 mile time has been helpful. Make sure to check out the resources available here designed to help you set that next personal best. Are you ready to take your 2 mile to the next level? If so, click the green button below to learn more about this new running course.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ARMY ACFT 2 MILE COURSE

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