The 2.4km run is often the most dreaded portion of the individual physical proficiency test (IPPT). It is a test used by the Singapore Armed Forces to gauge a soldier’s physical capabilities. It aims to assess a soldier’s cardiovascular output over a distance that will push one’s anaerobic energy system.
If you are reading this article, it is probably because your IPPT window is closing, and you are looking for the cheat code to help you pass your IPPT. Do all these and you will be on your way to ace your 2.4km run.
Assess, Then Plan Your 2.4km
Just like any workout, it is important to understand your current physical ability and the remaining time left before your IPPT. Once you have assessed your physical levels then you can start setting realistic goals for yourself.
For example, if I’m running at a pace of 5 min/km and I’d like to decrease my pace to 4 min/km, I will have to achieve a decrease in pace as weeks go by. Planning is important as you will need to spread your training across 7 days which incorporates long runs, intervals, speed training as well and strength training.
I’ll bet that you don’t have much time left to train and that’s why you’re reading this. Fret not. Even in 4 short weeks, you can aim to cut your time to meet your IPPT goals. Carrying on reading to find out.
Pace It, Don’t Rush It
If you cannot find the stamina to read any further at least remember this point. It is vital to run at a pace that is manageable throughout the 2.4km run such that you do not take breaks in between. Running fast with a short burst of energy is less efficient than running at a slower and more manageable pace throughout. Remember it was the turtle who was consistent and the hare that hopped.
Stop Running 2.4km To Train For Your 2.4km
If you are training for a 2.4km run, stop running a 2.4km run for every training session. A 2.4km is physically draining and if you were to train 3 times a week, you would not have enough time to recover between each session. Instead incorporate different types of training into your workout like interval runs, endurance runs, hill training, and speed workouts.
Incorporate Interval Running
Interval running can be performed by running a certain distance in a specific time and then resting in a ratio of 1:1. Intervals are meant to train your aerobic and anaerobic systems. Training your aerobic system will increase your endurance as well as your cardiovascular system. While training your anaerobic system improves your max speed as well as the power generated by your muscles during your run. This is how you can carve interval sessions to improve your pace:
|Intended 2.4km time (mm:ss)||Pace Required (min/km)||Distance & Count||Timing for each count(mm:ss)||Work Rest Ratio|
|11:30||4:47||400m x 8||1:55||1:1.5|
|10:00||4:10||800m x 6||3:20||1:1.25|
The bare minimum for your distance and lap count is 400m x 6, You should not go below this number and to determine your upper limit, you are significantly unable to meet your lap times by more than 5s. In such a case either reduce your distance or reduce your lap count but nothing below 400m x 6. Lastly, the goal is to hit a work-rest ratio of 1:1.
Introduce More Endurance Runs
Endurance runs help to improve your cardiovascular capabilities. Endurance runs help build up your slow-twitch muscle fibres (also known as type 1 muscle fibres), increasing fatigue resistance. You could run at your zone 2 on one training day which helps to boost your cardiovascular and respiratory systems by making it stronger and more efficient.
On another training day, a run at zone 3 will benefit runners by helping them build strength and muscle memory. As you progress during your training, your endurance distance can slowly increase.
Practise Hill Training
Besides improvement to your cardiovascular abilities hill training helps to improve your strength in various lower limb muscle groups as you drive your leg into the ground to propel yourself forward. Hill training helps to improve your overall form. It forces you to create the mind-muscle connection in your head to shorten your strides causing you to lend on the ball of your feet instead of heel striking.
Always Perform Strength Training
Strength training as its name implies is helpful for runners to build up strength in their muscles, joints, and tissues. A common mistake is to conduct your strength training like that of a bodybuilder when it should be a plan like that of an athlete which requires an individual to often carry lesser weights with more reps. These exercises are often targeted towards the quads, hamstrings, calves, and glutes.
Read More: What Is Considered Exercise?
Cross Training To Keep You Sane
The whole idea of cross-training is to create variety and prevent monotony in your workouts. Each type of training has a different intensity, and each offers a core benefit that sticks out, interval training prominently trains your cardiovascular capabilities while endurance runs are great to increase your muscle fatigue resistance. Varying your workouts helps you build a body ready to battle the 2.4km run. Cross-training also involves the use of incorporating strength training into your workout plan as well as less joint-intensive exercises like swimming and cycling.
Recovery Is The Key To Success
Just like the 3Rs of reuse, reduce and recycle, recovery is ignored by a vast majority. If you are unable to find the time or energy in the week to go for a recovery run, time should still be allocated to perform stretches or to use a foam roll and give your body an excellent massage. The most vital component of recovery that is overlooked is getting enough sleep. When you sleep your body is healing itself by reducing your stress hormone cortisol level to allow growth hormones to facilitate the rebuilding of injured tissues
We Improved Our Runs In 4 Weeks
Acing a 2.4km run is no easy feat that can be done by average Joes with just a week’s worth of training. It takes consistent effort over a minimum period of 4 weeks for one to achieve success. However, if you have made it to the end of the article and your IPPT is imminent, then remember that pace is king, and rushing is rubbish.