Over here in Singapore, guys not only have to serve a 2-year compulsory military service, but they also need to follow that up with annual training for the next 10 years. Part of that annual training includes a physical test known as the Individual Physical Proficiency Test (aka the IPPT).

The IPPT consists of 5 stations like chin-ups and sit-ups, but the one that kicks my ass every time is the 2.4km run. I can pretty much ace all the other stations, but the run is where I always falter. I mean, the last time I completed that run within the passing time is when I was still a teenager.

The passing time gets more lenient as you get older, but it seems like my lack of stamina is always one step ahead of it. I’m currently running more regularly in my free time and that has helped me from that slump in fitness in my late 20s, but I’m still behind.

As you can see, I’m never quite fit enough

People always tell me that it’s a shame that I can’t just pass the test and avoid all this. And when I tell them that it’s the 2.4km run that kills me, the advice they give is invariably the same:

“Oh that’s easy. You just have to run faster!”

Like… thanks, Captain Obvious! Why didn’t I think of that myself?

You’d think that maybe someone could give me some constructive advice like “take more medium-sized strides instead of fewer long strides” or “train your core muscles”, but no… they always just tell me to run faster.


Someone hook me up with Lance Armstrong’s doctor!


About Drew

I love videogames, movies, my wife and my dog (in no particular order).

13 responses »

  1. Mitzie Mee says:

    Ouch! That’s tough. What happens if you do not pass the test?

  2. zezil says:

    Wow. I’m sorry but somehow, I find this required tests, AWESOME!
    Best wishes to you. 🙂

  3. The Secretary says:

    hmm. its all about breathing when your running. At least that is what helps me. If I moderate my breathing when I am running, I can last a bit. Though it takes practice and concentration, it does help.
    Have you tried some endurance training? You can either add weights to your ankles and wrists, or buy that parachute that attaches to you. (I suggest the small weights if you don’t want to look stupid with a parachute flapping behind you)
    Or, if it is allowed, do a walk jog? A fast paced walk with bursts of running should train your body well enough to know how to regulate breathing.

    Now just so you know, this has not been scientifically proven, but it helped me when I had to run in high school, and now days when I am running after my niece when she takes my keys and makes a mad dash through the park to ensure I don’t take her home.

    Good luck and chin up! Somehow, your running will get better.

  4. How about, have you tried running faster? And by that, have you tried out some interval training. Kind of like the what “The Secratary” said but don’t walk at all, keep a normal speed but with some sprints mixed in. If you run on a track that is marked with distance makes it easier. Ex: your 2.4km is a 1.5 mile run for me. So I would run 3/4 mile regular than increase my speed to about 75% max speed (% based on what an all out sprint for you would be)for 1/4 mile then recover by going a little below normal speed for 1/4 mile then bust out the last 1/4 in a good 90% energy sprint.

    After a few sessions like that increase the distance you would have elevated speed for but always make sure you end your run in a higher effort run.

  5. I’ve always admired this about Singapore. They’re pretty hard on their young. I can’t run. It hurts too much. Or maybe it’s just that I hate running (and I don’t have anyone telling me that I need t run). Though I wish I could run in case the zombie apocalypse really is coming.

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