Fitness Preparation For the Florida Police Academy

I have received similar emails from two young men under 22 years of age; both young men seeking fitness preparation information for military and law enforcement occupations. The problem with many younger (and older) Americans is that the current fitness/health conditions they maintain are not good enough to ensure success at a military boot camp or a law enforcement training academy. Their emails specifically address their very common issues.

Question From Future Police Officer:

“I am a beginner – I have never run trying to get to a specific time. This is my second week training – my goal is to reach 1.5 miles in 14:30. On the track, I power walk one lap then run the next lap. I figured if I did it this way I would not injure myself. After about six times out running every other lap I am down to 15:28 for 1.5 miles. What is the quickest way that I can get down to a 14:30.”


Striving for and not reaching minimum physical standards should not be an option. Both the law enforcement and military created physical standards for a reason – your life or your buddy’s life may depend on your physical ability/fitness level.

You can eliminate some stress of military and police indoctrination training just by showing up in above average physical condition. Otherwise, you will be forced to spend so many extra hours training (or in such physical pain and soreness) that it will take the focus away from learning to shoot to other job specific skills.

To the Future Police Officer:

You are going about your beginning running program the right way. By not doing too much, too fast, too often, you will save yourself from certain injury. However, you must have a plan that will build you up so your goal will be faster than a 14:30 1.5 mile run. Usually, a good minimum standard for the 1.5 mile run is closer to 10:30 (or a 7:00/mile pace).

In fact, the women at the US Naval Academy have to run under 12:30 for the 1.5 mile run or they fail the test – that is an 8:00 / mile pace. Consider a 14:30 a passing grade but it is a “D” average – or below average.

In closing, set your goals a little higher when attempting to serve your country. The military and law enforcement is not just a pay check. They are honorable professions that may require the “average” person to fight for his/her life one day. You can do it with proper training and skills. Having a sound fitness foundation enables you to be a better protector of our country.

Article by Stew Smith