Workout of the Week: Running Workout (Goal Pace, Intervals, Hills)

An Airman runs in the Courage, Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Respect challenge obstacle course on Ramstein Air Base, Germany (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Devin M. Rumbaugh)

Most running plans will progressively build you up by steadily increasing running mileage (volume) each week until the goal distance is achieved. Perhaps you need a running plan for a 5km, 10km, or marathon distance runs or maybe you just need a good running foundation in order to prepare for a variety of military schools.

No matter what branch of service you enter, you will be running at basic training/boot camp. For some, this running is significantly more than they have ever done. For many who run regularly, running at basic will not be challenging. In fact, those conditioned runners may feel out of shape after basic training. Regardless, running should be practiced prior to joining the military, especially if you are seeking advanced follow-on training in any of the special ops training programs available in all services.

Here is a good mix of many types of running workouts we typically do two days a week.  The other 3-4 running days will vary depending upon the goals of the person.  One will be a ruck. One run will be longer steady distance run. And the 5 or 6th run can a combination of what you need to work on the most (timed runs – 1.5, 2, 3, 4, or 5 mile distances).

Warmup with light stretch after for 3-5 minutes. 1 mile warmup jog or 10 min bike Run 2 miles fast (this one can be shorter or longer depending on the level of fitness of the runner.

Intervals at GOAL PACE:  Goal pace means to run 400m at the pace you need to meet your timed run goal.  For instance, if you want a 9 minutes 1.5 mile run you will need to run a 6 minute mile, 3 minute half mile, or a 90 seconds 400m (1/4 mile). Repeat 4 times 400m goal pace for mile 200m walk *or 10 min Tabata interval on bike – If you need a break from running, replace with a non-impact cardio activity but push yourself with a 20 second sprint / 10 sec easy for 10 minutes.

Speed Intervals: If you have some juice left, try adding some sprints to the running workout with short recovery walks in between. Repeat 8 times 200m fast run - walk 100m *or 10 min Tabata interval on elliptical / rower - *or 10 min Tabata interval on bike – If you need a break from running, replace with a non-impact cardio activity but push yourself with a 20 second sprint / 10 sec easy for 10 minutes.

For Speed intervals, you can make one day more of a hill or bleacher run day where you sprint up the hill / stairs and walk/jog down for multiple sets. We typically have a hill that takes about 45-60 seconds to sprint up. Depending on the branch of service you seek or if you are into running triathlons, here is a swimming workout for both with fins and without fins to top off the leg / running workouts above.

Cooldown with swimming workout.  Focus on technique and working the lungs and legs a little more. Swim 500m without fins – If you are seeking Navy Special Ops programs, practice the Combat Swimmer Stroke, but it is fine to work in some freestyle as well for conditioning and CSS for technique.

With fins: Repeat 10 times Swim 25m dolphin kicks underwater Swim 25m flutterkicks on back Swim 500m with fins

Grand finale:  Tread water 10 minutes without using your hands. Try 5 minutes with fins and 5 minutes without fins.  This also loosens up the legs and hips from running workouts above as well.



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