In the Bourne Identity Jason Bourne explains that he, “can run flat out for half a mile before his hands start shaking.” I don’t know about you but I found this pretty badass. For one thing the idea of knowing exactly what your capacity is seemed pretty cool to me and more than that a balls-out half mile run (805 meters) is a pretty significant feat!
If you’re interested in training for more than looks; maybe you work (or would like to work) in law enforcement or the military, maybe you’re a combat athlete, maybe you just want to be confident defending yourself and your loved ones - whatever it is, knowing you have the capacity to run flat out for half a mile is a pretty great goal. And let’s be serious, if it’s good enough for Jason Bourne it’s probably good enough for us!
So how do you build a Bourne-esque running capacity? The way I see it you have two options:
Enroll in a government sponsored super-soldier program and spend the next [classified] number of years being trained as the ultimate killing machine.
Follow the running program listed below.
Obviously the state sponsored super soldier program is the way to go but since it might take you a couple weeks to get through the recruitment paperwork maybe we could start with the following plan and take it from there? Ok cool!
The following program is going to be pretty simple! There are two main aspects to your half mile run that we need to focus on
Intermediate-Fast Twitch Endurance: This is a 11a fast twitch muscle fibre that is associated with sprinting but also has the capacity to function aerobically.
Half Mile Specific Endurance: Exactly what it sounds like, working on the pace and fitness we need for our specific goal.
Knowing the pieces we need to fit into our plan here’s how we’re going to move forward: you’re going to have a three day per week plan with the following training sessions:
Fast Twitch Endurance: This is going to be a hill sprint workout. To start you’re going to find a hill that take you between 30 and 40 seconds to sprint up. You’ll warm up then sprint the hill to the top and immediately stop and walk back down before sprinting it again. You’ll repeat this (with no breaks) until one of two things happen. One, you finish 10 sprints. Two, you either have to slow your sprint before you reach the top or you feel something bad is about to happen (usually this means you’re feeling pukey.)
If you managed to get 10 sprints: congratulations! You’ve just graduated to the next level.
There are three levels to the hill sprint program and once you’ve gotten to 10 sprints at
The hardest level that’s where you’ll stay and simply work on getting faster and/or walking down the hill a bit quicker. These three levels are:
30-40 second sprints
40-50 second sprints
50-60 second sprints
Simple enough right? These aren’t super long workouts obviously so the key is to make sure you’re pushing yourself as hard as you can!
Half Mile Endurance: This training session is going to be an interval run which you can do on the street or on a track - all you’ll need is a stop watch. You’re going to start each workout with a warm up jog and then get into the following progression:
Week 1: 1 minute hard, 1 minute light jog x 6
Week 2: 1 minute hard, 1 minute light x 8
Week 3: 1.5 minutes hard, 1 minute light x 6
Week 4: 1.5 minutes hard, 1 minute light x 8
Week 5: 2 minutes hard, 1 minute light x 6
Week 6: 2 minutes hard, 1 minute light x 8
That’s it! Once you’ve gone through the entire program you can start again just at a faster pace.
Recovery: This is an easy one. You’ve got two options for the third day which you can choose from or combine together. The options are:
A very easy 25-30 minute recovery jog. This is done at a pace you could hold a conversation at.
30+ minutes of stretching or yoga
I assume I don’t need to explain why recovery is so important but if you’re wondering here’s the short version: you don’t get better while you train and you don’t get better from training - you only improve when you recover from the stress training puts you under. This is why it’s important not, even though it can be tempting sometimes, to skip the “easy” days.
Feel free to hit one, or both, of these in the same day if you’re feeling up to it. The important thing is you make sure you’re doing what you need to to feel good!
So there you have it! The last question you might be wondering is when you should test your half mile run and the best answer is: when you feel like it.
There are going to be days where you wake up and just feel like you’ve “got it”. When that happens you have 100% freedom to go out and give your half mile run your best shot - let me know how it goes!