During the U.S. Army PT (physical training) test, your running speed and the number of situps and pushups you can complete in a set time is recorded. Your gender, age and military branch will determine how fast you will need to run to pass the test. Passing the test ensures that you are able to remain a soldier, so it is important that you work on your running speed and endurance on a regular basis.
Army Physical Fitness Running Requirements
In the U.S. Army, a soldier must meet minimum speed requirements to prove that he is healthy and fit enough to stay in the service. The minimum requirements change depending on how old you are and your gender. Females ages 17 to 21 must complete a two-mile run in 19 minutes and 42 seconds, while female soldiers ages 22 to 26 must complete the run in 20 minutes and 32 seconds, for example. Male soldiers aged 17 to 21 years must complete the two-mile run in 15 minutes and 54 seconds. Males ages 22 to 26 must complete the same run in 16 minutes and 35 seconds. Regular training can increase your speed so you meet these requirements.
To build endurance and speed, the army suggests that soldiers practice the "60-120," a circuit system used in basic training. The 60-120 means that the soldier sprints for 60 seconds and then walks for 120 seconds. This process is repeated eight times. It is important to do a warm-up exercise and stretches before starting a 60-120 routine. A proper warm-up includes doing jumping jacks or a light jog for 15 minutes and the overhead arm pull, rear lunge, extend and flex, thigh stretch, and the single-leg over to stretch out your major muscle groups. End the exercise time with a proper cool-down of light jogging and stretching.
The release run is a good way to build endurance and is often used in basic training. Start by running at a pace that isn't too strenuous for your fitness level. Keep running for 15 minutes. Don't worry about distance, time is what is important with this exercise. Next, turn around and run as fast as you can back to your starting point. Really push your limits on the way back. You may want to time yourself on the way back so that you can check to make sure your speed is improving as the weeks progress.
If you ever did drills for a sports team or in physical fitness class in school, then shuttle runs will be very familiar to you. The army promotes shuttle runs as a good way to build your endurance. To do a shuttle run, place one wooden block five yards, one 10 yards and one 15 yards away from your starting point. Run to the first block, pick it up, run back to your starting point and set the block down. Then, run to the next block, pick it up and take it to the starting point. Repeat with the block that is 15 yards away. Once you reach the starting line for the last time, you will have run 60 yards.
Since 1998 Alina McKee has written for dozens of traditional and online beauty, fashion, health and parenting publications including Pregnancy.org, Mama Health and Real Beauty. As a professional artist, her articles about these subjects have been used in magazines and websites around the globe. McKee has a diploma in fine art from Stratford Art School.