Army ACFT Plank Standards |Tips to Run Faster

September 9, 2022

Are you seeking how to surpass your army acft plank standards and run a faster 2 mile run time? If so, welcome to Nutrition Geeks. I am glad you have made it here. I've spent the last 30 years helping runners to run faster in the middle to long distance events. Consistent sit ups and doing hand release push ups as well as regular push ups will help you improve. The 6 events of the Army combat fitness test (ACFT) are mostly highly anaerobic events. The plank test is a challenge to the abdominal muscles.

The more lactic acid accumulation the more oxygen that is required. So, it is important to train consistently and at higher maximum heart rates. The 2 mile run is the last of the 6 events of the Army ACFT. I didn't see an online resource for military members seeking to improve their cardiovascular endurance. So, created the new Army combat fitness 2 mile running course. The course consists of 9 modules with 58 videos lessons. It also concludes with a custom-built, 16-week training plan.

So, the guesswork of how to prepare for your 2 mile is taken way. More importantly, you will know why you are doing the workouts. I highly recommend focusing first on building your aerobic mileage for at least 4 weeks. The army acft plank standards, are meant to challenge you. It is all about how long you can hold it. So, consistent sit-ups and strengthening your abdominals is essential.

ACFT Plank Score Chart

The best way to find out more about the army acft plank standards is to review the acft score calculator. The overall goal is to hold the plank longer than the plank standards listed in the calculator. As mentioned above, to prepare properly for the 2 mile, a longer build up is better than a short one. I saw far too many Soldiers, as well as civilians, rushing their fitness. Of course, as former Soldier, I know we don't always have a say in what workouts we do during morning PT.

You are not going to run a faster 2 mile time by running once or twice per week. We run the more during basic training and leadership schools. The majority of the work-week, Soldiers are doing other types of exercises as well as running. So, although you don't have a say in the amount of running you can do in the morning, you do during lunch. Also, running after work.

Runners that want to get superior results in the 2 mile event need to be running a minimum of 4 days a week. I would also highly recommend doing strides twice per week. Strides are short, 50-100 meter sprints and won't built up any significant lactic acid. So, you can do these acceleration drills on top of the other tempo runs and workouts you are doing.


What is a Passing ACFT Score?

A passing ACFT score is 360 points. The army acft plank standards are based on how long you can hold the plank. Obviously, the longer you sustain the hold the higher you are going to score. So, 60 points is the minimum score needed in each event. The maximum score is 600 points. The Army combat fitness tests consists of 6 events. The standing power throw, 3-repetition maximum deadlift, plank test, sprint drag carry, hand release push ups and concludes with the 2 mile run. Pace sustainment gives the majority of people the biggest challenge. The key fundamental that I discuss in the new Army combat fitness 2 mile running course is improving your lactate tolerance.

ACFT Plank
MAJ (ret.) Pennington finishing in 4th place and as the top American at the 2007 California International Marathon in 2:19:35

The faster you train the more you recruit fast twitch muscle fibers. The more of these we can recruit the more economical (efficient) you and I will run. Also, the better we will be able to handle clearing lactic acid. The result is we hold race pace longer and slow down less. I highly recommend investing in a heart rate monitor. I use the Garmin 245 which helps me to stay in the correct heart rate zone. It is much better to be under trained than over trained.

Army ACFT 2 Mile Run Standards

The acft score calculator mentioned above will show what 2 mile time you need to run in order to get 60 to 100 points. Proper pacing in this event is absolutely vital in order to drop significant time. Of course, you have to be in superior aerobic and anaerobic shape in order to run fast over 8 laps. That being said, focus on running a negative split. So, run the second mile faster than you run the first mile. You don't want to go out too fast, go into oxygen debt, and then be forced to slow down.

I, too, made this mistake earlier in my running career. It simply isn't worth it to get too hyped up earlier in your races. So, be smart and patient in the early stages of the 2 mile run. I have run 9:27 for the 2 mile, 14:18 for 5,000m (5k) and 2:19:35 for the marathon. So, do understand what it takes in order to run fast over these distances. I cover the exact strategies and tactics I was taught by 3 of the world's top coaches in the new course.

I also factored in the other military branches of our military. For example, our US air force, navy and coast guard run 1.5 miles. Also, the Indian army run 1600m (1.6km) and the UK army run 2 km. Service members seeking to attend Navy Seal or Special Forces training will need to run 4 miles. So, I wanted to create a running course that covers all the top tactics used by the world's top runners. Also, what I did to eventually get accepted into the US Army World Class Athlete Program (WCAP).

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

It depends on your age and gender. As mentioned above, the acft score calculator, shown above in the link will show you what time you need to run. Of course, the faster you can cover the distance, the better. Are you an enlisted Soldier? If so, you definitely want to aim for that perfect, 600 points. You will get promotion points. The optimal time frame to prepare for 2 miles is 16 to 20 weeks. So, 4 weeks of easy, aerobic running focusing on relaxed running and strides twice per week.

Once you have done that then you should start the 16-week training plan at the conclusion of the course. So, to improve the acft plank and the 2 mile run takes consistent training. More importantly, you need to train at a higher percentage of your maximum heart rate more often. Again, the faster we train the more fast twitch muscle fibers we recruit. You won't get this physiological adaptation from running easy. Easy running is still important though.

Remember, it takes between 3 to 4 weeks for the body to adapt to any stress load you are placing on it. So, the benefits of the hard training you are doing today will be seen several weeks and months from now, not days. Fitness cannot be rushed. So, be patient during your build up. Also, jog on your recovery days to ensure you allot sufficient time to adapt to the harder, anaerobic workouts you are doing.

Run Longer Tempo Runs

The longer you can spend running at your anaerobic threshold, the better. Are you doing consistent tempo runs weekly? If not, now is the time to start making it a habit. Remember, the faster you can run for 1600m to 4 miles, the more competitive you will be in longer races like the Army 10 miler. Your anaerobic threshold is the point where lactic acid begins to rise to higher levels. It is running between 85 to 89 percent of your maximum heart rate.

So, this is not leisurely effort. Again, to run faster in any race distance, you have to train at significantly faster paces. Runners need to be doing at least 1, vo2 max workout per week. Your vo2 max is your body's maximum oxygen uptake. It is running at speeds so fast you can't clear lactic acid faster than it is building up. The key tactic with training at these efforts is to make your goal race pace to feel easier. We are running between 95 to 105% of our maximum heart rate at vo2 max effort.

JOG on Recovery Days

Make sure to take recovery seriously. The real benefits of the hard training we do comes from within the rest period between hard training. I saw far too many military members as well as civilians over the years running too fast on easy days. Also, running too slow on hard days. Remember, there is only so many times you can stress the body before you get diminished returns. The only way to a hold a longer acft plank and run faster over various distances is consistent action.

We spend a ton of time training. So, anything worth doing is worth doing right the first time if at all possible. So, don't get too concerned with what pace you are running on easy days. Focus all of your attention on paces during tempo runs, faster, varied paced long runs and fartlek workouts. Disregard pace on easy days. It should be easy pace for a reason. You want to adapt to the hard workouts so you can continue to run faster and faster.

Closing Thoughts

How often are you training mentally for your 2 mile? The world's top runners combine both mental as well as physical training to produce superior results. Mental rehearsal is vital if you truly want to take your training and racing to the next level. Are you focusing all your energy on your physical preparation? If so, you are only doing 50% if the work. I credit mental training to dropping my 5K from 15:19 to 14:18. Also, my marathon from 2:43:36 to 2:19:35.

So, start spending 10 to 15 minutes daily visualizing yourself passing people and crossing the finish line in your goal time. Also, running relaxed and passing people. Mental training combined with your physical preparation will help you make massive gains in your racing.

Are you ready to take your training and racing to the next level? If so, click on the green button below to learn more about the new Army combat fitness 2 mile running course. Want to keep in touch? Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I create new training and racing videos there, weekly. I hope this post on the army acft plank standards and how to run faster over 2 miles was helpful.


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