Decrease 1.5 mile time

Discussion in 'Everything Else' started by Karl, Oct 12, 2019.

  1. Karl

    Karl Double-Digit Post Count

    One of my firefighters got accepted to detail on to a ashville interagency hotshot crew in North Carolina. They are a crew that weighs the fit to work standards heavily(1.5 mile in 10.5 minutes, 25 pushups in 1 minute, 50 situps in 1 minute, for him 4 chin ups). The ihc I spent most of my career on did not weigh much into this, but we did do it. For me the mile and a half was mental toughness if in good shape.

    Back to my firefighter, I've been working with him for a year getting ready. He's a 6'3" played tackle at a juco kind of build, and a young 24. Hes been doing s&s, now q&d, deadlifting, pullups , running nose breathing pace, and weekly sprints. He has his easy nose breath pace down to 1030 ish, from 1445 a year ago.

    He is getting nervouse about the mile and a half that he hasn't passed yet at 5200 feet elevation. Do any of you runners have some advice? He has until January 5th to get there.
  2. offwidth

    offwidth More than 5000 posts


    What's this gentleman's aerobic base like? What is he doing for LED running? How many hours per week is he logging running?
  3. Hasbro

    Hasbro Triple-Digit Post Count

    Is he training at 5200 ft? If he is and is able to do a 10:30ish 1.5 mile time with easy nose breathing then I would say he’s got it licked. If it were me I wouldn’t focus on the nose breathing. It’s fine for slow pace but when the pace ramps up I’ve never been able to get enough air like that. My best times came with sucking air at whatever rate my body naturally wanted it. Have him do a test run at altitude just breathing naturally. I think he’ll do fine as long as he doesn’t train hard all the way up to the test date. I would stop training altogether at least 3 days out.
    Oscar likes this.
  4. psmith

    psmith Double-Digit Post Count

    Following this thread with considerable interest. My own professional background and major training objectives are pretty similar to OP's trainee, though my limiting factor for quite a while now has been a tibial bone stress injury that pops up when I try to increase base volume.

    Anyway, presumably the 10:30 nose-breathing pace is for mile splits rather than 1.5 mile. This is just spitballing, but maybe throw in some mid-distance ("glycolytic") repeats at 400m-800m once or twice a week about six weeks out from the test date, shooting for goal pace or slightly faster and about a 1:1 work:rest ratio (I take this from Mike Prevost's running guide) and keeping total volume approximately constant. One rule of thumb is to work up to twice the test distance in intervals (so 12 x 400m or 8x600m or 6x800m)--might be a bit ambitious, I'll probably use it in my own training as an upper bound. This is about what I'm going to do this offseason, injuries permitting.
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  5. Karl

    Karl Double-Digit Post Count

    He was doing maybe 12 miles a week of LED during fire season. We've been busy doing prescribed burn work for the last 3 weeks, so I havent been giving them 1 hour of PT. He's just starting Q&D too.
  6. J Petersen

    J Petersen SFG1/SFB Certified Instructor

  7. Tim Randolph

    Tim Randolph Double-Digit Post Count

    LukeV likes this.
  8. offwidth

    offwidth More than 5000 posts

    Gotta agree with @Tim Randolph on this one. 12 miles a week of LED is not near enough work to build a sound base...
    Tim Randolph likes this.
  9. Karl

    Karl Double-Digit Post Count

    I guess that is a valid point. I just never keep track of how many miles we hike with weight for work too. Some weeks it 2-3, or like this week I bet these guys have 50 miles on in 7 days.

    Once prescribed burn season is done we'll up the miles.
    Tim Randolph and offwidth like this.
  10. offwidth

    offwidth More than 5000 posts

    Well... that also is a valid point. Hiking with weight (what the tactical minded folks like to call rucking), especially up hills and over uneven terrain is in itself 'training'. Those miles add up. What is important for LED work is doing it in the right HR zone.

    Lately, I have been recommending to anyone interested, to read Training for the Uphill Athlete: House| Johnston | Jornet

    It's a very comprehensive (yet accessible) and enlightening work that is geared to mountain runners, and skimo.
  11. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    For running distance, and 1.5 miles is that, I highly recommend Jack Daniel’s “Running Formula”.

    Losing weight is a big help for distance running.

    Bro Mo and LukeV like this.
  12. Tim Randolph

    Tim Randolph Double-Digit Post Count

    I 100% second this. “Uphill Athlete” is the best book I have ever read on endurance training. This has so much more information and science than Maffetone and much more generally applicable than books focused on training for road races. Highly recommended.
  13. Karl

    Karl Double-Digit Post Count

    Thank you everyone! I have uphill athelete coming and the other articles on my reading list.

    This one of the many reasons I like this forum, different perspectives and goals get shared. The old interweb has all the info, but how many rabbit trails would I go down before I got it widdled down to this list.
    Tim Randolph and offwidth like this.
  14. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    With only a couple months, I wouldn't spend much time on the aerobic base anymore. I would focus on VO² intervals and threshold runs.

    1-2 times per week, run 4-800m repeats at whatever current pace is for his best 1.5mi pace. If he currently tests it in 10::30, then pace is 7min mile (3::30/800m, 1::45/400m, etc). Run a total session volume of 2-3 miles. I wouldn't rest longer than a 1-200m walk (~1-3min). A session I like is to run is 700m, walk 100m, repeat for a total of 5 repeats.

    Two separate times per week, run 20-30min about 10% slower at threshold pace or zone 4 heart rate.

    The last couple weeks, maybe run 200m repeats slightly faster than his best pace and walk the 200m back to start. Only run 1-2mi total for the session, but you could do those pretty frequently like 4-5 times per week.
    Aaronlifts99, LukeV and J Petersen like this.
  15. offwidth

    offwidth More than 5000 posts

    @Bro Mo makes a good observation; one that I had missed in the OP. This guy really doesn't have a lot of time until his testing. While I don't think he should abandon LED work, he should start doing interval training along the lines in Bro Mo's post above.
    Use the LED as recovery.
  16. mprevost

    mprevost More than 500 posts

    I was in charge of the remedial fitness program at the Naval Academy and trained hundreds of Midshipmen for the 1.5 mile run, situps and pushups. This is the program we settled on. The program worked very well. This is a link to a shareable PDF on google drive. Let me know if you have any questions.

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  17. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    @mprevost, very nice - easy to understand, warnings about common mistakes, and good guidelines on pacing. Thanks for sharing.

    mprevost likes this.
  18. Karl

    Karl Double-Digit Post Count

    So reading through most of the articles and @mprevost last posting, thebig thing we havent been doing is intervals and tempo runs. The sprints he does one a week have been close to full recovery. He is going to see some time on the treadmill, that or I need to go put out some paint marks on the county road.

    This is all really doable, thanks for the help everyone. He can do all the other required standards fine, it's just the mile and a half.

    I had him training to meet the riggers of the job as a hotshot crewmember, not training for the "fit to work" test. He's ready to pack around 40-60lbs of weight all day while swinging a handtool or running a chainsaw constructing fireline, and be able to hike to and from the fire, which could be many miles and 1500' higher.

    Lesson learned.
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  19. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    @Karl, in "Running Formula", Professor Jack Daniels takes a slightly different approach than @mprevost to tempo runs. He has you use about the same pace, roughly 30 seconds/mile slower than 5k race pace, but he has you go on a single tempo run for 20 minutes. Whatever distance you cover, you cover. I was a 20-minutes-and-change 5k runner, which is about 6:30/mile, so I'd do my tempo runs over a 3-mile course at 6:55/mile and finish in 20:45. Good to have mile markers on your course or another way to determine pacing.

    It worked great for me - tempo runs were the missing thing in my training, and I set a lifetime 5k PR at age 45 after reading the Daniels' book and following its guidance.

    Karl likes this.
  20. mprevost

    mprevost More than 500 posts

    If there is one piece of advice I could give runners it is to keep the "easy" runs easy, so the "hard" runs can be hard. The most common mistake is to run the easy runs too hard and the hard runs too easy. Everything converges on the mushy middle, which is less productive.

    Of course, if you are not training for performance, but instead are training for health, there is not much reason to do much hard running at all.
    jmcli and offwidth like this.

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