Sunday, October 18, 2015

Crush the Run on Your Next Military Physical Fitness Test

(Mo Farah and Galen Rupp go 1-2 in the 2012 Olympic 10k. Many years, thousands of miles, lots of heartache and self-doubt proceed Olympic victory. You don't need to do any of that to run your best 1.5 mile PT test.)

Two years ago I was overweight, out of shape and had developed permanent plantar fasciitis in both feet. This didn't happen overnight, over one month or one year. For ten years, my times had slipped little by little until I was running nearly three minutes slower. And I was caught in a vicious cycle. Unable to run much because of the pain in my feet I got heavier. The extra weight added more stress to my injured feet and made them even less able to sustain the impact of running; more pounds-->less running-->more pounds-->less running, etc.  

Thanks to some good orthotics I approached my most recent fitness test with some ability to run and a few months to train. From October 2014 until my fitness test in Jan 2015 I followed the program detailed below. Being fat and injured forced me to think about training in a different way. When I was 20 years old and a college cross-country runner I could have fixed my problem by running 60-80 miles a week with intervals, hills and strength training. That was untenable for lots of reasons. The program below worked for me and I think it could work for a lot of other military folks looking to do better on their 1.5-3.0 mile run (Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines). It's simple and efficient but it's not "easy". Running focused workouts that are typically less than 30 minutes a couple times a week will give you all the boost you need to crush your next physical fitness run.