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I am not a runner, except when my job requires. Well, my job requires it (military)--I have a fitness test coming up in 3 months. I am trying to train to run a very short distance, 1.5 miles, as fast as possible.

Assume I have a fairly decent aerobic capacity (I bike very regularly, and yes, I know they aren't the same!). At this point I am leg, not lung limited.

How should I approach this? I don't really want to run any more than I have to to get good for just the 1.5 miles (my knees suck).

Any help greatly appreciated...

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Well, you kind of contradict yourself in your post - you don't want to run anymore than you have to but you want to do your run the fastest that you can. Anyway, since you aren't a "runner", I'm not goin to give you a specific schedule, a simple outline should just be to run longer distances for the first 2 months as much as you can, then the last month, add "speedwork" twice a week, and then taper the last week before your test (soften the load)
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To be clear, it is a mandatory fitness test. I have to run, I wouldn't if I had a choice. As it is a test, there are minimums I need to run--the faster I run, the better I score, the better I score, the less I get yelled at.

So, I want to do the best I can without being a runner who does this stuff all year.

So, what constitutes mileage and speedwork? What mileage should I start at, where should I shoot for, and at what intensities? I am too much of a newb to know what is meant by speedwork, so any explanantion would be helpful.
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How bad are the knees? Can you run everyday?..every other day? How far before the pain? Have you had a doc take a look? Recent injury? Are you treating them somehow? Supplements?

If your knees are bad and you've got no intention of keeping up a running regime, it's going to be a pity to start a running regime and then dump it in 12-weeks. Like most lifetime runners, I hear about "bad knees" and see it as a broad brush for 101 different aches and twangs people might get, but there's probably only a couple real issues with knees that are going to prevent a person from being a runner. And the difficulty with the case you bring here is 12-weeks is probably going to be maybe just enough time to start getting some real steps forward in strengthening your quads to stabilize your knee or getting some supplements that'll help with lubricating inside there or learning the surfaces/shoes/conditions that you might be able to run and be okay. All in all, it's a tall order to work your way out of some knee probs and into a running program at the drop of a hat.

But if all you're looking for is to have the fitness to run 1.5-miles and that's it, period. Then I'd say to stick to the cycling. Up your mileage and time on the bike each week over the next 12-weeks. Try to ride everyday and get a decent fitness level going. Then come the run-test, you'll have the stamina to run 1.5-miles (it really ain't that far) and ice your knees for the evening. :shrug:
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