There are 2 ways in which you can view the 2.4km run. 1) Enjoy the challenge of beating your time with every attempt of the run OR 2) panic every time that 6 month mark rolls around and hope that you aren’t one of the people who has to come to attention on morning parade when your name is called out for failing the 2.4km run, AGAIN.
The simplest method we use to improve your 2.4km time is by conducting interval training with the main focus being on your split times. To determine the split times you must break the 2.4km down into certain distances. Eg. 6x400m, 3x800m or 2x1200m. (for a breakdown of split times please ref table below) Say you are currently running a 10:00min 2.4km, if we break the 2.4 down into 400m increments then your split times would be 1:40 (6 x 1:40 = 10:00). Now, pretend your goal is to go from 10:00 down to 9:30 then your split times would need to be 1:35 for every 400m.
Putting this information into training will require you to figure out the exact 2.4km time you are aiming for. For the purpose of this article we’ll use a current 2.4km time of 12:00 with the aim to get 11:00. It’s important to understand that going from 12:00 to 11:00 is a big jump so you should ensure to take small progress steps over time. Eg. 12:00 to 11:30 then 11:30 to 11:00. In order to run a 2.4km time of 11:30 your split times will need to be 1:55 for every 400m. To train for this using the 6x400m interval training method you’ll have to first account for fatigue. You may be able to run your 400m intervals at 1:55 but when it comes to running the entire 2.4km it will be hard for you to maintain 1:55 split times as you won’t be resting. So your aim should be to run your 400m intervals at an even faster pace to account for the fatigue. At the gym we get our members to aim for interval times that are 5 seconds faster than their required split times. Eg 12:00 2.4km will be 1:55 split times every 400m so your interval training times should be 1:50 for every 400m. This will account for fatigue. Let’s put this into a training session.
6x400m with 2 minutes rest between each interval with a goal of running each 400m in 1:50.
VARIATIONS OF THE METHOD
This method can also be used with 800m split times and interval training. We like to use a 10 second buffer with 800m intervals to allow for fatigue. Eg 11:30 2.4km will be 3:50 split times for every 800m and 800m interval training time will be 3:40. Let’s put this into a training session.
3x800m with 3 minutes rest between each interval with a goal of running each 800m in 3:40.
We can also use this method with 1200m split times and interval training. We’ll use a 15 second buffer with 1200m intervals to account for fatigue. Eg. 11:30 2.4km will be a 5:45 split time at the 1200m mark (half way). And for the 1200m interval training you should aim to be getting 5:30. A training session would look like this. 2x1200m with 4 minutes rest between each interval with the goal of running each 1200m in 5:30.
By running your intervals at a faster pace it will not only condition your body to handle the faster pace but will also help you understand what it’s like to run at a faster pace and know that when the time comes for you to conduct your 2.4km fitness test you’ll be able to kick your body into gear and look forward to your new personal best.
TRAINING PLAN EXAMPLES
Below is a weekly training suggestion for a novice runner that includes 2 interval training sessions and 1 longer distance jog:
Monday - 8x400m
Wednesday - 3x1200m
Friday - 30-45min jog
A slightly more advanced weekly training suggestion could look like this:
Monday - 6x400m
Wednesday - 3x800m
Friday - 30min jog
As with all training it’s important to conduct a full warm up and adequate cool down so that your body is ready for the next running session and you reduce the likelihood of an injury. Shin splints is a common occurrence so ensure you have adequate footwear and seek expert advice if symptoms arise. You can read more on training with shin splints here.
If you would like more advice on improving your running for the ADF then please feel free to get in touch with The Barracks Gym.
Michael and Carly both have walked the path you are about to take and are commited to help you get started with your training for a successful enlistment with free tips and articles.