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I've been running casually for about 3 years. I joined the Army and need to improve my run time by a minute per mile. Currently I'm running a 10 minute mile and need to get to a 9 minute mile within 2 months. I run about 12-15 mile per week.

I'm not sure if this goal is too aggressive and would welcome any advice, also what a reasonable time line would be if I am being too ambitious.

I should also state that I am a 35yr old female, my best run time was 7:42 minutes per mile before I broke my pelvis a year and a half ago. I started running again about six months ago and encountered some tendon problems because I was training too hard... I want my peak run time back! I have been running again for about six weeks (pain free) and received the ok from my doctor to start adding speed work to my routine. I want to do this the right way with the most effective results, as my career depends on my fitness level.




Hi Dianne

I'm ex-military, so I remember the fitness tests!

You didn't mention the distance of your fitness test, but I assume it's 1 mile.

It sounds like you're already in decent shape for this test. I would suggest focusing on speed with 2 interval sessions per week. Run at your target pace for as long as you can, then jog (walk if you have to) for a few minutes until you can return to your target pace. Alternate like that as necessary for at least 20 minutes. Each week, add a minute to your target-pace time untill you can hold it for 9 minutes. This sounds 100% do-able to me as long as you prevent injury!

One more thought: Try to train where you'll be tested. Familiarity with the testing environment will really help reduce your stress on test day.


I hope you don't mind me contacting you! But I saw that you were looking to improve, so I wanted to share!! I am currently working with a truly inspirational organisation that has helped me improve my times dramatically and would love to share it with anyone who is interested in becoming more successful!! It is not strictly speaking "sports psychology" but the program does explore the mind-body complex and working through limitations with amazing results.


I think this is a very ambitious goal to have, but obtainable if you work hard everyday and never give up. You just have to be consistent with your workouts and always push yourself. I guess that's just all talk because when it comes down to it, it's harder than it sounds. Good luck though..

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