Plank Test | Run a Faster 2 Mile Time

September 6, 2022

Are you preparing for a military plank test? If so, welcome to Nutrition Geeks. I am happy you have arrived here and hope that this post will be of assistance to you. A strong mid-section is vital if you are going to run a faster time from the mile to the marathon. The new Army combat fitness test encompasses the plank test into its list of 6 events. You may or may not be in the military. That being said, doing consistent planks on a routine basis will help to improve your running form.

I served over 20 years on active duty in the Army. So, spent a lot of time participating in regular army physical fitness tests (APFT). Prior to my retirement in March of 2022 I also did a diagnostic army combat fitness test (acft). It is a new physical fitness test recently introduced for our US Army Soldiers. I did not see an online resource for military members and civilians seeking to improve their cardiovascular endurance. So, created the Army combat fitness 2 mile running course.

I have ru 9:27 for 2 miles, 14:18 for 5K and 2:19:35 for the marathon. So, my aim with this course was to share the exact tactics that helped me to run these times. I want more military members as well as civilians dropping time off of their respective 1600m, 1.5 mile, 2 mile, 3 or 4 mile times. Of course, each military branch focused on different run distances. So, created the course to help support all military branches regardless of country you are in.

What is the Normal Time for Plank?

There are numerous experts who state that doing planks for 10 to 30 seconds is sufficient. I tend to agree with this. You can sustain a longer hold simply by doing consistent sit-ups. Soldiers on the new army combat fitness test here in the states base their scores on how long they can hold form in their plank test. The top score Soldiers can receive is 100 points in each of the 6 events. So, the maximum score is 600 points. The minimum score Soldiers need in order to pass is sixty points in each of the events.

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

Again, consistent sit ups and strength training will help you better prepare for a plank test. Also, the more you focus on strengthening your mid-section the better prepared you are going to be for middle to long distance races. The most important tactic when it comes to racing is improving the body's lactate tolerance. Easy running will most definitely improve ones' performance. That being said, it won't help you sustain race pace at a higher, anaerobic effort.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ARMY ACFT 2 MILE COURSE

How Long Can an Average Person Do a Plank?

The average individual can hold a plank for a matter of 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Again, it really is just a plank. The plant test on the army combat fitness test should be removed in my opinion like the leg tuck was. It should be replaced with sit ups as I think this is more of a challenge. That being said, the Army and its infinite wisdom likes to change its mind. I went through about 5 different uniform changes in my 20 years of active duty service. There are other branches who stay with the same uniform like the Marines, respectfully.

One thing the Army did do was make the new ACFT test challenging for Soldiers. My goal with the new Army combat fitness 2 mile course is to help military and civilians to use leverage. Pace sustainment is one of the biggest challenges that we all face as runners. How can we maintain our goal race pace longer without slowing down? I saw far too many military members as well as civilians trying to rush their fitness level.

So, you want to spend at least 4 weeks building easy, aerobic mileage first. The reason for this is you want to strengthen your muscles, ligaments and tendons for faster running. Remember, it takes between 3 to 4 weeks for the body to adapt to any stress load you are placing on it. The good news is the body always adapts. So, it is just a matter of being patient and allotting sufficient time for adaptation to occur.

Do Planks Make You Run Faster

Planks will certainly help to strengthen your mid-section. A stronger core can definitely help middle to long distance runners maintain their form while running at faster speeds. Yes, they can be very beneficial for runners. Also, doing consistent sit ups and push ups on a regular basis can also help. Strength training is just one of many variables that go into running success.

The best runners in the world run between 35 to 40 percent of their weekly mileage at the anaerobic threshold or faster. Your anaerobic threshold is when lactic acid begins to rise to higher levels. So, it is running between 85 to 89% of your maximum heart rate. I highly recommend investing in a heart rate monitor. I use the Garmin 245 which helps me to stay in the proper heart rate zones while I am running. It is much better to be under trained than over training. I cover this concept in-depth in the new Army combat fitness 2 mile running course.

What has been the longest tempo run you have done in the past preparing for your military physical fitness tests? 2 or 3 miles? I would recommend working to lengthen this out to around 5 miles or 8 kilometers. Of course, you need to first adapt to a 2-mile tempo run before you can move to 3, 4 or 5 miles. Again, patience is key. That being said, the longer you can spend running at your anaerobic threshold the better. Also, it will help to make your goal race pace to feel that much easier.

Do Planks Increase Running Stamina?

Running at 85 percent or higher of your maximum heart rate will improve stamina. Planks or undergoing a plank test will help strengthen your mid-section. So, a legitimate training plan should focus on both strength training as well as proper workouts. The new Army combat fitness 2 mile running course consists of 9 modules. In addition, 58 video lessons and concludes with a 16-week training plan built for your specific race distance.

I cover all of the tactics and strategies I was taught to run fast from the mile (4:22) to the marathon (2:19:35). My goal is to help share the fundamentals that will ensure you get similar or better results than I achieved. The key to dropping time on any military physical fitness tests is improving your body's lactate tolerance. So, you need to train to ensure that you can clear lactic acid faster than it is building up.

How Can I Improve My 2 Mile Time in the Army?

Run more mileage but monitor the percentage of your mileage you are running at or below goal 2 mile race pace. The vast majority of runners are not running enough quality mileage. Sure, you can run higher mileage. What happens if it is conducted too slow? You will become a superior long, slow distance runner. So, the key methodology discussed in the new Army combat fitness 2 mile running course is leverage. How can we get better results for the 1600m to 4-mile (special forces, navy seals etc.) distance by training smarter.

I already know you know how to work hard. Do the hardest working runners running the most mileage always get the best results? No. The athletes focused on smarter training tactics do. How often are you incorporating mental training into your training regiment? Do you spend time daily mentally rehearsing yourself getting across the finish line with your goal 2 mile time on the clock? If you are only focused on physical training you are only doing 50% of the work.

The world's top middle to long distance runners combine both mental as well as physical training to produce world-class results. I discuss this in-depth in the new army combat fitness 2 mile running course. So, start spending 10 minutes daily visualizing yourself running relaxed and passing people. It has to happen in the mind first before it is ever going to become reality in real life.

Run Faster Long Runs

Again, ever military branch has their own run distance. The US Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard run 1.5 miles. British armed forces members run the same distance. The Indian Army run 1600m or 1.6km. Our US Marines run 3 miles and elite Troops such as our Special Forces and Navy Seals will run 4 miles. That being said, running faster, varied paced long runs is vital to drop significant time. You don't want to run long and slow every single weekend.

So, sprinkle some faster running into your long runs. I cover exactly how to do this in the new running course. I was able to do drop my 5K from 15:19 to 14:18 using this tactic. In addition, lowered my 10 mile best from 55:32 to 50:54. Also, my marathon time from 2:43:36 to 2:19:35. No, it didn't happen overnight but this strategy works whether you are training for the 1600m, 4-mile or marathon distance.

Speed work is also vital as the mile to 4 mile distance are highly anaerobic events. You should be doing 1, vo2 max workout per week. Again, the acft plank test is just one of 6 events you will deal with if you are a US Soldier. The majority of the events are explosive and anaerobic in nature. So, you want to be working on your leg speed and training at higher heart rates. We are running anywhere from 95 to 105% of our max heart rate at the vo2 max effort. Your vo2 max is your body's maximum oxygen uptake.

Closing Thoughts

Make sure you are jogging on recovery days as well. The real benefits of your hard training come from within the rest period after your hard training. Would you like to keep in touch? If so, make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I am committed to creating at least 2 new videos there each week to help runners like yourself get to the next level.

I hope that this post on how to improve on your plank test and 2 mile run has been helpful to you.In addition, look forward to interviewing you on how this new running course helped you.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ARMY ACFT 2 MILE COURSE

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