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It is Special Ops, not Average Ops

Running Distance vs. Timed Run Fitness Test

People often ask about my saying I use with the Heroes of Tomorrow organization — Train to Compete — Not Just Survive. I have been using this one for years — even when I went through training. I've found that there is a big difference in going through life merely surviving and trying to compete at everything you do.

My first experience was when I was about to run a marathon — My goal was to just finish and finish under 4 hours (I was in survival mode). I noticed some gentlemen loosening up probably 50lbs lighter than I was, likely from Kenyan descent and their goal was not like mine. They were getting ready to beat a personal best — compete with each other and try to drop a minute off of their best time. They were in Competition Mode!

I realized my chances for finishing the race were much less than these marathon runners and my pace would likely put me at the half way point when they finished! I realized that day I cannot strive for minimum standards to get by and that competing was ONE way to never think about quitting. And it works!

That is what I came up with: Train to Compete — Not Just Survive and I use it today when I work with or speak to young athletes seeking Special Ops careers.

The minimum standards will never produce the type of Special Operator that are now operating all over the world doing amazing things. Only strive for the maximums and if you are not in the top of the class in something — try harder. We all have our strengths and weaknesses so you are not going to win everything, but you can strive to be in the above average 10% pack on your team /​ training programs.

Going into any Spec Ops or ANY regular military /​ police /​ fire fighting training program barely able to pass the minimum standards and you are going to hate life for many weeks, IF you last that long without failing or getting injured.

Do yourself a favor — train hard NOW and do not think that bootcamp will get you in shape for Special Ops training. Use bootcamp as a taper and push yourself no matter what you do because our Special Operations Community is Special — not average. That is why they call it Special Ops.

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Military PFT Prep Military Workouts Special Operations Fitness Marine Corps Special Operations Running and Cardio Marine Corps Workouts Army Workouts Navy Workouts Air Force Workouts Coast Guard Workouts Stew Smith

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Contributor

Stew Smith works as a presenter and editorial board member with the Tactical Strength and Conditioning program of the National Strength and Conditioning Association and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). He has also written hundreds of articles on Military.com's Fitness Center that focus on a variety of fitness, nutritional, and tactical issues military members face throughout their career.

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