ACFT Plank | Tips to Run a Faster 2 Mile Time

September 9, 2022

Are you seeking how to maintain your acft plank longer and run a faster 2 mile time? If so, I am glad you have arrived here to Nutrition Geeks. I served over 20 years on active duty in the US Army. So, did experience the glorious, new Army combat fitness test. The Army, in its infinite wisdom, is always changing things up. Of course, based on the terrain we operate on I do think changing from the APFT to the ACFT was a good thing. Most importantly, they left the 2 mile run event in the new physical fitness test.

The ACFT plank event is relatively simply. Hold your form as long as you can. It, like the other 5 events, are anaerobic in nature. So, you definitely want to focus on doing consistent sit ups, regular and hand release push ups. In addition, strength training once per week. I don't think runners need to spend more than once a week in the gym. Remember, focus on light weights and high reps. Medicine ball drills are also great for strengthening the abdominal muscles.

What I didn't see online was a resource for military members to improve their cardiovascular endurance. Sure, there are tips on YouTube. That being said, nothing legitimate. I decided to build the Army combat fitness 2 mile running course instead. Also, to share with you the exact strategies that helped me run at the elite level. In addition, to qualify and get accepted into the US Army World Class Athlete Program (WCAP).

ACFT Plank Requirements

The acft plank test replaced the leg tuck event. It is probably the simplest of the 6 events on the army combat fitness test. That being said, that is not to say it isn't going to challenge you. Again, the longer you hold the plank the higher you are going to score. So, do your best to get that 100 points. You will definitely want a perfect 600 points as this does come with promotion points. Of course, the Army is always changing so you never know how long that incentive will last.

I recommend reviewing the acft score calculator. It will show you the exact scores you need to hit for each event based on your age and gender. The minimum score in order to pass is 60 points in each event or a total score of 360. So, make sure you get at least this score to lesson any unneeded headaches on your part.


Army ACFT 2 Mile Run Standards

Pace sustainment is the biggest problem for most runners. We can hold race pace for a certain amount of time and then we slow down. The key tactic I teach in the new Army combat fitness 2 mile running course is how to improve your lactate tolerance effectively. Easy running is not enough. Yes, Soldier run a lot but not enough at the correct paces. Also, I saw far too many trying to rush their fitness. Furthermore, Soldiers dropping out of ability group runs.

It wasn't that they didn't have discipline or motivation. It simply was they were focusing enough energy training at the proper paces. You are not going to run a fast 2 mile running once or twice per week. We run the most in the Army during basic training and leadership schools. Regular, weekly morning PT is spent flipping tires, rope climbing, doing ruck marches and spending far too much time counting exercises.

Of course, I get why we count each exercise. That being said, I could have run a half mile to 2 miles in the time it took do all that in morning PT. So, you may not have a say in the amount of running you want to do in the morning. You do have a say in how much time you devote to running during lunch or after work.

How Fast Do You Have to Run a 2 Mile in the Army?

It really comes down to your age and gender. Again, the acft score calculator listed above will help you to easily calculate what time you need to run. I have 9:27 for 2 miles, 14:18 for 5K and 2:19:35 for the marathon. You are more than welcome to visit the about page if you'd like to know more about my racing background. The world record for men was set by Kenya's Daniel Komen who ran 7:58.61. Yes, 2, back-to-back, sub-4 minute miles. Komen is the only man to have ever broken the 8- minute 2-mile barrier.

The world record for women was set by Ethiopia's Meseret Defar who ran a time of 8:58.58. Defar was the first woman in history to break the 9-minute 2-mile barrier, respectfully. Of course, these are the fastest times ever run by a man or a woman. So, don't compare your times to theirs. It is simply to inspire you.

Your main focus early on is to spend at least 4 weeks running easy, aerobic mileage. Sure, get through the morning PT sessions the best you can. Do what you have to do as your military leadership will not have you running Monday through Friday. You will be active though which is good. Remember, it takes between 3 to 4 weeks for the body to adapt to any hard, anaerobic workout that you are doing.

Is the Army 2 Mile Run Hard?

It can be a lot less difficult if you follow the tactics I teach in the new Army combat fitness 2 mile running course. The world's top runners are running around 40 percent of the weekly mileage at faster paces. So, of course, they make it look easy for a reason. I have included a custom-built, 16-week training plan at the conclusion of the Army combat fitness 2 mile running course. The goal in doing that is to take the guess work out of your preparation.

I want you training in a new style so that you get better results by working smarter, not necessarily harder. You can be running high mileage and still never meet your time goals. So, you have to stress the energy systems of the body sufficiently. In addition, allow for sufficient time in order to adapt to the hard training that you are doing.

Focus on Your Speed

Speed work is essential to drop significant time off of your 2 mile. Also, proper pacing and running a negative split. So, aim to run the second mile faster than you run the first mile. Improper pacing is one of the biggest time destroyers out there. The vast majority of runners go out far too aggressively in the early stages of their races. The new Army combat fitness 2 mile running course will cover the top tactics the world's top runners use.

You should be doing 1, vo2 max workout per week. We are running anywhere from 95 to 105% of max heart rate at the vo2 max. The major benefit of training at this intensity is it will help to make your goal 2 mile race pace to feel easier. Also, you will slow down less than your competitors and sustain race pace longer. Also, don't run long and slow every single weekend. Start mixing up the paces of your long run. For example, below is an example of a faster long run for a 2 miler aiming to break 12 minutes.

  • 1 mile jog, 3 miles@6:30 mile pace, 1 mile jog, 1 mile in 5:40, 2 miles@6:15 mile pace, 1 mile jog (9 miles)

Always follow a faster, varied paced long run one weekend followed the next by an easy, relaxed long runs. Again, the rest period is where all of the benefits of your training are going to stem from.

Closing Thoughts

I hope that this post on how to hold your acft plank longer and run a faster 2 mile time has been helpful. I'd like to keep in touch. Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel I create new training videos there each week to help runners like yourself get to the next level. Lastly, make sure you are paying attention to mental training.

The world's top runners combine both mental imagery with physical training to get superior results. The vast majority of athletes only focus on physical training. I credit mental rehearsal in helping me to lower my 5K from 15:19 to 14:18. Also, my marathon time from 2:43:36 down to 2:19:35. So, start taking 10 minutes daily and visualize yourself performing at the level you are working toward. It has to happen in the mind before it is ever going to be achieved in real life.

The best time to do this is when you are first getting up in the morning or when you go to bed at night. See yourself passing people. Also, getting across the finish line with your goal time on the clock. You are training the subconscious mind to deliver exactly what it is you are training for. Of course, mental training is not enough. You have to combine mental as well as physical training to maximize results. More importantly, mental training will help you in the acft plank and all other events as well. Visualize success and you will obtain it.


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