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Can't seem to pass the PAT run


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  • Can't seem to pass the PAT run

    Hey everyone!

    Not sure where to put this, let me know if here is wrong.

    I tested a couple months ago after really sticking with my training, and was unable to pass the running portion of my test (by a minute 15). I went back this past weekend, after a couple more months of training (because we are allowed 2 re-tests), and still couldn't get it (I don't know my time, but it was similar to before)...does anyone have advice? I have asked professional runners, friends, Google, but maybe I just haven't found the right advice for me.

    We need to do 1.5 miles in 14:46. I am female, but the standards are the same for both genders. Some people think that's tough, some thinks it's "cruising" and perfectly easy, but to each their own. I am not overweight and my legs are powerful, but the breathing and propelling forward/stride is what's getting me. I could do squats all day.

    It's frustrating because people see me not passing it twice as "not wanting it enough" or "not trying hard", but that's not the case. This is my dream, my passion, my future; I am just not a runner.

    Any and all advice is welcome!
    Last edited by alex_jay; 06-10-2014, 06:45 PM.

  • #2
    You are not training properly.

    I am an old man with poor circulation and given 6 months of hard work I have no doubt I could pass the 1.5 run (for YOUR age group)-------technically I can WALK the 1.5 miles and pass in my age group.

    Originally posted by alex_jay View Post

    This is my dream, my passion, my future; I am just not a runner.
    If this ^^^^^^ is true, you will hire a trainer, find someone in your area to help you train, or otherwise make it happen

    Failing to pass a PAT falls TOTALLY on the candidate. It is simply not training hard enough. A PAT is designed to test for the MINIMUM physical endurance needed for the job duties and can normally be PASSED by a reasonably fit person
    My new word for the day is FOCUS, when someone irritates you tell them to FOCUS


    • #3
      I'm fat and out of shape, and I did an "obstacle course" PAT and passed with 3:20 out of 5:30 allowed... if I had to do a mile and a half I'm not sure I would have made it
      Former Police Officer (Injured LOD)
      USAF VETERAN 2004-2012
      "The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day."-LTC Grossman
      Emergency Services Dispatcher, APG MD


      • #4
        You gotta do sprint work and mix in longer runs also. What you eat is also very important gotta give your body the right fuel.


        • #5
          I am not a runner either. It took me about 3.5 years to go from never having run a mile in my entire life to running a marathon, and I still hate running. I am not the fastest runner (that's the nice thing about long distance running - you don't have to be), but after consistent training I am at a point where I can pass the PAT without worry. Around here there is one standard for both genders and all ages. It takes time and training.

          There are many factors to running well: how you train, nutrition, proper running shoes, form. Us non-runners have to become very efficient at all of these to do well. How often are you running? What distances are you running? Where are you running? Have you been properly fitted for shoes?
          "Respect is earned. Honesty is appreciated. Trust is gained. Loyalty is returned."


          • #6

            I posted some stuff in there that WILL help if you stick to it. Its probably not that you aren't training hard enough, you just aren't training correctly. You can not increase running speed/distance by simply running more. You have GOT to work the dreaded evil cousin of aerobic exercise -- the ANAEROBIC exercise. Nobody likes to do it because to truly exercise your anaerobic fitness, you will throw up. At least the first few times. You will think you are having a heart attack the first few times. I hate running, but I could still go out and run 5 miles. But I could not pass a 1.5 mile PAT. No matter how much I ran, I couldn't get any better. Finally, a trainer gave me the same advice I am giving you, about 3 weeks before my PAT. In just 3 weeks, I went from a 17 minute 1.5 to a 13.32. Just by doing a crushing anaerobic workout every other day.


            • #7
              I am sorry and don't mean to be harsh but not being able to run 1.5 miles in 14 minutes after training is not promising.

              A large part of the game is mental, you wouldn't believe how badly your lungs can burn and your legs can hurt and you can keep the same pace. If you don't have the mental toughness to push yourself around a mile and a half you might not be cut for the job.


              • #8
                Originally posted by okgr2056 View Post
                I am sorry and don't mean to be harsh but not being able to run 1.5 miles in 14 minutes after training is not promising.

                A large part of the game is mental, you wouldn't believe how badly your lungs can burn and your legs can hurt and you can keep the same pace. If you don't have the mental toughness to push yourself around a mile and a half you might not be cut for the job.
                Definitely agree with this statement. Some people don't seem to have the mental toughness to push their body. Your body can do a lot more than you think. Former athletes definitely seem to have the edge in this department from what I've noticed.


                • #9
                  Honestly though, as in the military, how many times will a cop need to actually HAVE to run a full 1.5 miler... that's why I like the obstacle course, it has a sprint in it which more closely resembles a cop's job
                  Former Police Officer (Injured LOD)
                  USAF VETERAN 2004-2012
                  "The sheep pretend the wolf will never come, but the sheepdog lives for that day."-LTC Grossman
                  Emergency Services Dispatcher, APG MD


                  • #10
                    Can you please post your workouts? I can give you an idea of areas to work from there. I ran in college on scholarship and ran in multiple national level races. I also coached HS track for three years.
                    The biggest issue that I saw while taking part in Police testing was typically not that people weren't training enough, it is that they were not training properly OR that they quit on themselves mentally during the test.
                    Again, please post your workouts or PM them to me and I can definitely give you advice.


                    • #11
                      The 1.5 was always my downfall as well. Train on the surface where you would take the test (high school track) to get your pace down. Check out Stew Smith's workouts.
                      Spec Ops Prep - List of Articles - Research One Stop Shop This list will keep you busy for quite some time learning what you can about a future profession you are considering.  Do yourself a favor and learn more about the process, the preparation required, and the job itself - then don't even talk to a recruiter until

                      It was recommended to me by someone here and it helped me a lot. You want to get to where you can pass the 1.5 with time to spare.

                      I assume your doing the Cooper test which also consists of pushups, situps and 300 meter run. Those events if you do them before the 1.5, will take some air out of you. You want to be able to pass the 1.5 with time to spare. Stick to it, the 1.5 is nothing.


                      • #12
                        I've never been a "good" runner. I've never had a problem with the 1.5 mile, but I've never been fast.

                        At one time, I was training for a 10K (6.2 mi), and I had only ever run a 5K. Surprisingly what helped me the most was NOT running. It was doing circuit training, HIIT, Crossfit, whatever you want to call it. All the same idea. High intensity workouts that often included short runs (400 m) and body weight exercises. I was only going for an actual RUN twice a week. The 10K felt great, and I think it even helps psychologically. Those workouts suck so much that running feels like resting.

                        What I would NOT suggest is going on long runs 5 times a week or something. Your likely to just end up with shin splints. Check out some of these, especially some of the ones that incorporate some short runs.
                        You can use those to get ideas and build your own workouts according to what equipment you have available to you. For instance, if you don't have access to a rowing machine, that can be replaced with a 400 m run.

                        Trust me, if you are not unreasonably overweight and don't have some kind of medical condition, you can absolutely pass the run with time to spare. You're just not getting something. It's hard to say what it is, but I think once you figure it out you can definitely pass the run.

                        Also keep in mind, there will probably be longer runs in the academy. You need to get to a point where running is no longer your Achilles heel.


                        • #13
                          Obviously everyone on here has different ideas and suggestions for you on how to train and ultimately choosing one method is up to you, if you'd like to train like a distance runner for this, this is your best bet:
                          How you should move forward really depends upon how much time you have until your next test. If you have a significant amount of time before testing again (6+ weeks) I would highly suggest that you spend the next few weeks 'building a base'. That sounds exactly as boring as it is but without it, all of the 'anaerobic' work that everyone on here suggests will be of little use.
                          Start with short runs based solely on time. If you focus on distance during the base building phase you will begin to push yourself too hard every day. During the base phase runs should be a mixture of 15-35 minute runs 3-6 days per week (5 days is perfect, putting off days between/ after longer days)
                          Example: S-25 M-Off T-15 W-25 Th-Off Fri-30 Sat- 20 (Times should increase by 5 minutes every other week)
                          Pace should be just hard enough that you cannot maintain a conversation. In other words, you are breathing hard BUT you can still easily continue running even after you've completed your run for the day. I know everyone wants to go gangbusters but it is vital that you go at an easy pace for this, both for fitness and injury prevention.
                          Use this base phase for minimally 2 weeks but 4-6 weeks is ideal.
                          After you've successfully built an aerobic base you should move on to the fun stuff. This is where balanced training begins.
                          Three basic runs that you should do weekly are an easy run (essentially bringing back the base building type run) of 30-45 minutes, a tempo run, and track or speed work.
                          Easy (or Long Slow Distance)- Keep that easy pace, these are still very important for maintaining your base as well as allowing your body to recover
                          Tempo Run- This can be one of two things, Either a medium length run (20-30 minutes) at a faster pace OR a slightly longer run (30-40 minutes) Where you vary your pace while running a normal route. Typical rate for these pick ups is 4 minutes easy pace to 1 minute fast pace (3:2, 5:1 are others).
                          Track work- This has the most grey area of all of these. While some people will disagree with this (both in the coaching community and out) I highly suggest that you start with longer repeats (1000 meters at 30 seconds slower than your approx mile and a half pace would be perfect.) For 1k repeats, do 3 or 4 with 3-5 minutes of walking or jogging rest in between. Use this workout for at least two weeks. Then move to 5-6 800's (two laps) at slightly faster than your goal pace, so just below 5:00. This pace may seem easy but the goal is to train your body to run that pace consistently. (If you can run ALL repeats at a faster pace, I suggest you go for it but consistency is important here.)
                          If you'd still like to get faster you can move to 400's in future weeks. Pace should be around 2:00-2:15. You should do minimally 6 but the more the merrier. When I was training hard I rarely did 400 m or shorter repeats consistently. Maybe one week per month when I wanted to mix it up.
                          So a sample week may look like this:
                          S- LSD 40 minute M- Tempo 25 Minutes T- Off W- Track Work: 4 1000's in 6:15 Th- LSD 30 mins F- Tempo 30 min Sat- Off
                          Again, this is all a sample. IF you were to use this I promise you will get well below 15 minutes but it really depends upon what kind of training your committed to taking on. Commitment and consistency are everything in distance training.
                          I am in no way saying this is a magic pill or even the best way to train, I have found myself doing more crossfit style workout as I have gotten older but that is because I naturally do not have any issues with the runs.
                          This template can be followed by anyone who wants to increase their PT times, train for a race, or simply improve their cardio.
                          Disclaimer: I respect all other opinions and do not find mine to be any better, but I do have experience in this area.


                          • #14
                            Practice running
                            5 Years


                            • #15
                              It is more about testing the ability to push yourself than run 1.5 miles.

                              My father was an officer and got in a fight with no back-up on the way and had to wrestle over a firearm for 12 minutes. Thankfully he was in very good shape and had the ability to outlast the other guy. The mile and a half run tests that ability to push yourself for long periods of time and test whether you will be able to survive and win that 12 minute fight.


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