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I know I'm an id**t for this, but I procrastinated and now I'm desperate.
I need to take a physical abilities test in less than a week and a half from now and I need to be able to run 1-1/2 miles in less than 13 minutes. I am currently at about a 9minute mile, but i'm vey out of breath at that point. I am not in horrible shape, but I am not my best for sure.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated as this is something that will potentially affect my career goals. PLEASE HELP!


Well, not a lot of time- But the distance isn't super long.

You didn't include anything whatsoever about yourself, so it's not that easy to figure out a running program, especially one that has such a short deadline...

off the top of my head- Start with nutrition.

Cut out everything fast food, and drink water all the time. If you're thirsty, then you're not drinking enough water. You should pee clear except when you wake up in the morning.

Don't overdue it, though.

Chicken breasts and pastas work good for giving short-term energy while running. Stay away from sugars and other simple carbs, because while they load into your system quickly they leave just as fast.

If you smoke, stop.

Get proper footwear, preferrably measured to your feet at a running store where they will look at your foot composition (i.e. your arch profile)

Go pick up "Galloway's book on running 2nd edition" if you can find it.

Lots of good tips in there.

As for a training program for a week and a half: I don't think you can do anything in a week and a half to substantially improve your time, but you can increase your cardio fitness a LITTLE bit.

Granted, the only experience I have is from running a couple of million miles in the Marine Corps, but this was my pre-PFT running program for a 3 mile run (i.e. 5k)

Day 1: Splits. Run for 8 minutes at an easily maintained pace to warm up and loosen your muscles. At 8:01, increase pace to 80% of running flat out as fast as you can and hold it there for 4 minutes. (it's going to hurt)
At the end of 4 minutes, dial it WAY down to a jog and rest for 4 minutes. Don't walk if you can bear it. repeat the fast/slow three more times, for a total of 4. At the end SLOW jog for 8 minutes to cool down, and hydrate.

Yep, you're probably going to fall over and die while doing this, but it will take minutes off your runs.

Day 2: Rest or crosstraining

Day 3: Run at a comfortable pace for 25 minutes.

Day 4: Rest or crosstraining

Day 5: Go to track, interval training. Warm up, 5 minute jog.
Run 400 yards at a full sprint, 8 times. Jog for 200 yards +/- inbetween sprints. Jog 5 minutes to cool down.

Day 6: OFF

Day 7: Run 4 miles

Anyhow, the biggest thing for you is going to be the NEVER SAY DIE attitude when you go do your test.

Go out at a good pace, but not some macho LOOK AT ME RUN FAST OMG pace.

Keep a fast but reasonable pace throughout, if you're running in a group see who is obviously a runner and stay in behind them as long as you can.

People that go out like a rocket to show off burn out quickly, and get passed.

Anyhow, good luck- But if you're going out for a job that requires you to be physically fit you're going to have to get more on the ball, because I'm assuming you're trying to be a Firefighter, Police Officer or in the Military.

All of those have Physical Fitness as a cornerstone to their profession.

(Well, I know a lot of fat cops, but INITIALLY it's a cornerstone)


Thanks, those are some good tips, i'll have to just go for it.

A little more detail about me is that i'm not a smoker, i'm in my late 20's. I have to run 1-1/2 miles in a week from now in about 12 minutes. I've always been in good running shape my whole life (although the last 2 years haven't been kind to me and i've put on about 30lbs, still only at 179 though), but never have been a full-on hard-core runner (except in jr high). and i'm eating good and drinking lots of water right now.
yesterday i tested myself and failed miserably. i did 1 mile in 8:25, and my body and legs were fine, no pain or anything (thanks partly to the good pair of running shoes i just bought). my leg muscles felt like they had plenty left in them, but my lungs felt like they were going to explode.
so i guess my new question is:

"How do I quickly build lung/heart stamina in less than 2 weeks?"


get on an elliptical, set it for a difficult setting, and go for 20-30 minutes if you can make it that long.

Run in a shallow pool with your arms down at a 45 degree angle with your palms against the water for resistance

Are you able to postpone whatever it is you're doing?


Wow - some excellent tips for getting into running shape in a short amount of time. I printed your post - Thanks