Big Cardio Workout Mix

2nd Lt. Ryan Dunne, a member of the Air Force World Class Athlete Program, tries for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Swim Team during the Olympic Trials in Omaha, Nebraska, on July 1, 2016. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

Two of the favorite workouts this week accomplished by many of the local special ops candidates were mirror imaged twin workouts called the Run-Swim-Run and the Swim-Run-Swim. The recommendation is to spread these two workouts into two of the days of the week, for instance, Tuesday / Thursday. Or just pick one of the workouts. The recommendation is to pick the workout that will challenge your weakness the most. Here are the specifics of the workouts:

Cardio Workout #1

Run – Swim – Run: With the run and leg PT, swim with fins, this is considered a leg / cardio day.

Run #1: Run 3 miles - stop every half mile and do 20 squats / 10 lunges per leg

Swim #1: swim 1500m or 30 min with fins - whichever comes first.

Run #2: 3 miles steady pace (time either first or 2nd 1.5 mile distance)

We typically call this workout above our cardio leg day, however, if you want to do a maintenance lift workout, here is a way to add a weight workout later in the day that takes about 20-30 minutes.

Optional Lift PM

Warmup 5min / stretch

Repeat 3 times:

  • Squats 10
  • Dead lift 10
  • Leg Press 10
  • Farmer walk up / down a flight of stairs 5x with 40-50lbs DB in one hand or do step ups on a bench for 10 steps up per leg.

Cardio Workout #2

Swim – Run – Swim: This workout is also considered a cardio / leg day with the hill runs, sprints, leg PT, and swims with fins.

Swim #1 - Swim 1500m or 30 min with fins - whichever comes first. The goal here is to swim a steady pace, but if in a 25m pool, each lap can be done in 1 minute max. The ultimate goal is to finish the 1500m in under 25 minutes when you are fast enough, but if you are fairly new to swimming with fins, try to keep it at 30 laps in 30 minutes (1 lap / minute) at a minimum standard.

Run - Total 5 miles of hills, sprints, mixing with 200 squats throughout the run as desired. This is a local hill that takes 2 miles to get to. It is a ¼ mile hill up and a ¼ mile hill down. Only do 2 hills but start to mix in sets of squats on the top and the bottom of the hill, then complete the 200 repetitions of squats on the run intervals back to start (2 miles). But arrange the 5-mile run however you desire as it is dependent upon your facilities and running area. You could even simulate the above on a treadmill if you must.

Swim #2 – Swim 500m freestyle at 6-8 strokes / breath, then 500m CSS timed or a stroke of your choice, the last bit of the swim can be a 500m or 10 min tread cooldown.

Note – both of these workouts are great ways to build your cardio base as well as your leg endurance for these types of events. However, be smart and make sure you hydrate well and get your electrolytes. Many of the group were starting to get bilateral leg cramps during the second swim and had to cut short the swim to focus on hydration and electrolyte replacement.

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