Are you seeking what your run times needs to be on the ACFT score chart? If so, I am glad you have arrived here to Nutrition Geeks. I served over 20 years in the US Army retiring in March of 2022. So, do understand the complexities of the Army Combat Fitness Test (ACFT). Of course, this particular test is different compared to the older APFT where all we did was push ups, sit-ups and then the 2 mile run. That being said, my goal here is to share with you some tips and strategies that I know work.
I recently created a new resource called the Army ACFT Embrace the Suck 2 mile running course. I cover all of the top strategies I was taught by three of the world's top distance running coaches. In addition, specific tactics that helped me run 9:27 for 2 miles, 14:18 for 5K and 2:19:35 for the marathon event. Yes, these same fundamentals can work for beginners to elite level athletes. What I didn't see online was a running course specifically built for military members and civilians that revolved around the 2 mile distance.
So, decided to create this new course to help you to lower your run times on your military physical fitness tests. Of course, our US Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard run 1.5 miles. Also, our Marines run 3 miles for their fitness. So, I focused on providing the right intelligence within this course to help ensure service members in these branches can succeed too.
ACFT 2 Mile Run Time
US Soldiers will need to run a 2 mile time of 13:22 (17-21 year olds) in order to receive maximum points on the new army pt test. That being said, times are adjusted based on your age. The key strategy with this new running course is to help athletes improve their body's lactate tolerance. Pace sustainment is the biggest hindrances for many service members. I saw many Soldiers going out far too aggressive in the first few laps of the 2 mile run. The result was they went into oxygen debt and were forced to slow down.
Remember, the main tactic here is to train more strategically, not necessarily harder. There are plenty of hard working runners out there who still miss their time goals. You can run high mileage and still not drop significant time off of your 2 mile. The faster you run over 2 miles the more competitive you are going to be at longer distances. Yes, this course is also built for service members in other branches. In addition, for members of our allied military forces as well as civilians.LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ARMY ACFT 2 MILE COURSE
What is the Minimum Run Time for the ACFT?
As you can see in the above listed ACFT score chart, there are also minimum run times Soldiers can aim for. Of course, I am sure you are seeking to do better than average. Again, the key focus in running success is being consistent with your training. In addition, to be patient. Remember, it takes between 21 days to 4 weeks for the body to adapt to the hard training that you are doing.
So, you can't rush into great anaerobic fitness. It definitely takes time. The good news is that the body always adapts. The new Army ACFT 2 mile running course is comprised of 9 modules consisting of 58 videos lessons. I cover literally every topic that involves sustaining goal race pace as effectively as possible. My top recommendation is focus on a 16 to 20 week build up. Of course, you may not have a choice of the morning PT you are doing with your unit.
That being said, you are in control of putting in more running during lunch or after work. The first step is to focus on spending 4 weeks running easy, aerobic mileage. The reason is you want to ensure your muscles, tendons, heart and ligaments are well-prepared to handle the faster workouts. I would also add in strides twice per week. Strides are too short to build up any lactic acid. So, you can do these 50 to 100 meter long sprints throughout your training week.
How Do I Train for ACFT 2 Miles?
The main focus should be to improve your body's lactate tolerance. So, you want to train so that you can clear lactic acid faster than it is building up. Yes, nutrition definitely pays a major role so drinking an Herbalife shakes is a great way to replenish tired muscles. Faster, anaerobic workouts like speed training, fartlek workouts and hill repetitions will definitely fatigue your muscles. That being said, this form of training will also get your goal 2 mile race pace to feel more manageable.
Remember, the faster we run the more fast twitch muscle fibers ate recruited. The more of these we can recruit the more effective we are going to cover 1.5 miles (navy, coast guard, air force), 2 miles (army), 3 miles (marines) or 4 miles (navy seals). So, it is essential that you run more of your weekly mileage at faster paces. The world's top middle to long distance runners run between 35 to 40 percent of their weekly mileage at faster paces.
16 to 20 weeks is optimal timing to adequately prepare to drop significant time off of your current personal best. In fact, the new Army ACFT 2 mile running course concludes with a 16-week training plan built to achieve your specific goal time. Again, the longer your built up the less of a rush you are going to be to get in superior shape.
Run Faster Long Runs
The vast majority of the Soldiers I saw in Army were not doing consistent long runs let alone fast, varied paced long runs. Yes, I saw many Soldiers running during morning PT. The problem is many were simply not running consistently enough. In addition, at the proper paces so that they wouldn't have to drop out of ability group runs. No, this is not to say they were't motivated. In fact, service members are some of the most disciplined and driven individuals in the world. The Army ACFT score chart, listed above, gives you your starting point.
You only get better by stressing the energy systems of the body consistently. I was able to lower my 5K PR from 15:19 to 14:18 using this tactic. In addition, my marathon time from 2:43:36 to 2:19:35. I cover the exact way to form up your long run plan in the Army ACFT Embrace the Suck 2 mile course. You cannot run long and slow every single weekend. Yes, you will be very strong in terms of your endurance. What I don't want is for you to just be an outstanding long, slow distance runner.
Again, the goal is how can we get that goal race pace you have in mind to feel less demanding on your body? Remember, the faster you run on your physical fitness test the more competitive you are going to be at longer races. You may want to qualify for the All-Army team. Did you know the Army as well as the Air Force have a World Class Athlete Program? I was a part of the Army WCAP unit from 2007-2010. So, you running faster times may mean you can run full-time in your branch of the military. No, it will not be an easy task but it is not impossible.
Focus on Longer Tempo Runs
What has been the longest tempo run you have done in the past for your PT tests? Are you doing these consistently on a weekly basis? If not, the time to start is after you run for 4 weeks of easy base mileage. We are running between 85 to 89 percent of our maximum heart rate while running at tempo effort. Your anaerobic threshold is the point where lactic acid begins to rise in the body. The way to surpass the ACFT score chart run times is to train sufficiently at, near and far below your goal 2 mile race pace.
It is when running becomes more of labored and more of a challenge. You will need to start off doing a 2 to 3 mile tempo before you move toward a 4 to 5 mile tempo run. Remember, the body alway adapts but you do have to allot sufficient time in between harder, anaerobic workouts to see results. I always recommend to my athletes to give yourself 2 days recovery between hard workouts. Also, you should be jogging on those easy days. I trained with marathoners who could run under 5 minute mile pace for 26.2 miles (sub-2:10).
The very same athletes would run 9 to 10 minute mile pace on their easy days. So, if they can run that slow compared to their athletic capability so can you and I. The problem is far too many runners are still running too fast on easy days. In addition, too slow on harder days. My focus in creating this new running course was to ensure athletes knew how to train the proper way.
I would love to keep in touch with you. Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I create weekly training and racing videos there to help runners such as yourself get to the next level. Again, my overall goal here is to create resources that will help you surpass your racing, fitness and nutritional goals. Make sure to also start emphasizing mental training into your routine. The above listed ACFT score chart gives you your marching orders in terms of what time you need to run.
So, do more than just physical training. The vast majority of military members and civilians neglect this critical variable of running success. The world's top runners combine both mental as well as physical training to their routine. My recommendation is to take 10 minutes daily and visualize yourself performing at the level you are dreaming about.
The best times to do this is when you first get up in the morning or when you go to bed at nighttime. See yourself running relaxed, passing people and getting across that finish line with your goal time on the clock. I am looking forward to hearing about your new personal best and am certain this course can help you get there.LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ARMY ACFT 2 MILE COURSE