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So, I've been training for my PFT for almost a month now, and I've seen some really good improvement in pushups and situps (although I'm not where I want to be yet), but the run is killing me. I've been trying to run 3 times a week, so that I have time to recover, but I haven't been able to really increase my time or distance.

 

The problem now is that I feel like I'm starting to get shin splints, so I'm going to take 3-4 days off. I've gotten some good advice on how to train, but I just can't run long/fast enough yet without being on the verge of injury. I know it's pathetic, but I haven't done any running/cardio in probably around 5 years. I used to work out a lot, but I never did cardio. it was all lifting 5 days a week.

 

So, my plan is to take the next week and do low impact cardio (biking, swimming, elliptical, etc) and work on some leg exercises, especially calf exercises.

 

Does anybody here have any advice on how I might still be able to run 2 miles in a decent time within about a month? I guess if all else fails, I can just continue to shoot for maxing my pushups and situps and just do the best I can on the run.

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I still get shin splints running 3 days a week after just a couple month break. But there are ways to get better at running without actually running. Like using the rower.

 

Have you ever heard of CrossFit? Look into their program. The learning curve can be steep, but the rewards are worth it. You can improve your run times, and overall fitness capacity, in an efficient manner.

 

If you are able to start running pain free, I recommend more variety in run types. Just don't always go out on a "run" -- mix things up. Run shorter distances faster. Longer distances slower. I can write more later but I have to get to work.

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I'm currently Infantry and when I have a PT test coming up I use the 160th SOAR training program. It works and works pretty quick. Speed is all about interval runs every other run.

 

 

APFT Improvement

 

Push-up and sit-up improvement-

Find the maximum number of repetitions, that you are able to perform in one minute for push-ups and sit-ups. Do this once a week. Once you find your max, subtract ten. Three times a week perform that number of repetitions for three sets with one-minute rest in between sets. Example: your max set is 40 push-ups/sit-ups. Subtract ten. You would do three sets of 30 with a minute rest in-between sets for a total of 90 repetitions. After a week, find your max again for one minute. This is your new starting point.

 

2-mile run improvement-

Interval training- Start with a known quarter mile distance (most Posts and schools have a quarter mile track) with a w/stop watch. Divide the time you want to run one mile in by four. This will be your target work/fast lap pace. The interval will be one work/fast lap to one slow lap. Example: your target is a six-minute mile, this divided by four would be 1 ½ minutes. Your work/fast lap pace would be 1 ½ minutes. Therefore, the workout would be one work/fast quarter-mile lap with one slow recovery lap. Do this for a total of four work/fast quarter-mile laps and four rest laps. On the slow lap, it’s alright to walk but try to do a slow jog. Once you can consistently stay at your target lap pace decrease the distance on your rest lap. Continue this over a period of time until your running at least one mile at you’re target pace.

 

The APFT is a crucial event for success at Green Platoon. Do a diagnostic APFT and do these workouts for a month then do another APFT. You will see an improvement.

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How bad are you? Some people are better runners than others. On my best day with running 5 times a week I could only run a 13:50. With a normal workout it's more like 14:30-15:30. So I just max pushups and situps and end up with a 275-290 area test.

 

If its for your packet you want above a 270, 300 is great but realistically few people achieve that.

 

If you can max everything and just get a 80% run than its fine, 80 or less on everything looks like a lack of effort. After you get in it won't matter all that much. Looks good to be a stud but as long as you pass few people will care and your OER doesn't reflect your score.

 

I would say by Army standards, running 3 times a week is not that strenuous, it's fairly regular so if your looking to improve I would do four or five the month before your PT test. If your getting shin splints mix it up. 2 miles one day, bike the next day, rest, 4 miles the next, rest, sprints. Or something like that, just get the cardio in and a couple of those cardio days should be running, the other days you can sprint, or jump rope, or swim, or whatever. I would discourage elipticals and those bike machines you sit back in. If it doesn't suck as much as running, than its probably not as good a workout.

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Thanks guys. Yeah, it's for my packet. I am going to continue working out and improving after my packet as well, but I just want to try and see what I can do to get my numbers before the board. It's more frustrating than anything. I WANT to keep running farther/faster, but I don't want to risk an injury that would put me out for a week or two. I've heard of crossfit, I'll definitly look into it.

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You can get better at running without running. And without killing your shins. And it can be more fun and varied. Take a look at CrossFit and see what you think. It can have a steep learning curve, but you get fitness rewards while climbing that curve.

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Follow all the advice above and make sure you are getting adequate recovery time and strech your calves several times a day. If your calves are tight the little musles on the front of your shins (tibialis) have to work extra hard to over power them to run.

 

For getting faster 2mi times consider adding tabata sprints to your workout. The standard is 20 work, 10 rest but for sprints I modify that to 20/15. Get a flat straight running surface. Sprint all out for 20 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds. Repeat 8 times. There are some good tabata timer apps out there to help out. Do this once a week after a good warm up and cool down afterwards. Once you feel good do the work out twice with a 10-15 minute jog/walk in between.

 

Consider this as well:

 

Go to a good running store that has a certified Pediatrist. They will analyze your step to determine which type of support your body needs (pronation). Try some shoes that match your body type. Most stores of this caliber will have some treadmills in the back. Get on it and run .5 mile in the different pairs of shoes you like. Pick the ones that offer the support you need and are the most comfortable. When the support goes out (usually around 400-500 miles) get a new pair.

 

I did this several years ago and my shin/knee/lower back pains went away. I still buy the same shoes (Brooks Trace 7s) to this day. I run 30-40 miles a week pain free.

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I'm currently Infantry and when I have a PT test coming up I use the 160th SOAR training program. It works and works pretty quick. Speed is all about interval runs every other run.

 

2-mile run improvement-

Interval training- Start with a known quarter mile distance (most Posts and schools have a quarter mile track) with a w/stop watch. Divide the time you want to run one mile in by four. This will be your target work/fast lap pace. The interval will be one work/fast lap to one slow lap. Example: your target is a six-minute mile, this divided by four would be 1 ½ minutes. Your work/fast lap pace would be 1 ½ minutes. Therefore, the workout would be one work/fast quarter-mile lap with one slow recovery lap. Do this for a total of four work/fast quarter-mile laps and four rest laps. On the slow lap, it’s alright to walk but try to do a slow jog. Once you can consistently stay at your target lap pace decrease the distance on your rest lap. Continue this over a period of time until your running at least one mile at you’re target pace.

 

Use this, but make sure you are working for the fast laps and not slacking off. I went from 16 minutes to 14 minutes in 3 weeks this way. Just going out and jogging really wont improve your time.

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Run on your forefeet. You'll be amazed how natural the stride is and the amount of stress that is taken off of your knees and joints. (I.E don't let your heels hit the ground; use your calves as shock absorbers)

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I agree with the sprinting, interval training, and crossfit. Also, you can swim, bike, row in between the days that you run. They are low impact, but will help build your aerobic base allowing you to run further/faster without getting your heart rate too high.

 

Cut back on the alcohol/vices, and hydrate/ eat healthy.

 

I'm not the best runner, but what worked for me was getting great shoes (I like Nike's and Asics), running 3-5 days a week, jump rope, drop sets, crossfit, swimming/biking inbetween, and interval training, as much as my body can handle. You have to push yourself !! Music helps motivate on runs and workouts.

 

Oh! Lose as much weight as you can, Im a stocky guy at 5'8" 180lbs, because I lifted heavy weights my whole life and it makes running/pushups/situps more difficult than they should be. When I was 145lbs and 5% bodyfat I ran like a gazelle. My .02

 

Running websites are good too. Lean slightly forward, keep shoulders down/relaxed, breath with your stomach, not chest, and find a stride thats comfortable for you.

 

Maybe join a running or cycling club to help keep yourself motivated, and give you faster people to pace with. Also, if you have a smartphone, download time runner (or a similar app) it uses gps to give you accurate run times, and you can do interval training without a treadmill.

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whats killing your time, are you out of breath or are your muscles fatigued? Make sure you stretch a lot after every run and hydrate. I was running a 12 minute mile and shaved it down to 7 minutes in a few months. Other things might help your run time but nothing prepares you to run like....running

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whats killing your time, are you out of breath or are your muscles fatigued? Make sure you stretch a lot after every run and hydrate. I was running a 12 minute mile and shaved it down to 7 minutes in a few months. Other things might help your run time but nothing prepares you to run like....running

 

What would you do for each situation?

 

Muscle fatigue- Sprinting, explosive from flat feet to on your toes with weight and eat healthy!

 

Out of breath- Running, swimming, biking and eat healthy!

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Im at a 8 mile with a 1630 two mile. My problem is breath. Not muscle fatique. I have to get it to 1318 to get 100 points. Its so close but i just cant improve. Ive been trying one daybill do a mile at a fast pace and then the next day ill do the full two at a pace thats as fast as i can go to be able to complete the full two. It seems to work so far for now but it lowering my time ever so slowly

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^^^ stew smith has some real good articles. You would be suprised at how you can push your body past what you think. Train if your hurt, NOT INJURED. You should be able to tell if your hurt or injured, hurt is a mental block that you can push past. Hydration is key also, if your not hydrated you wont be able to perform to your maximum ability. Get your body used to the two miles, even if you have to jog the second one it will still help your performance. Also stretching is very important, that will help lower your time quite a bit. Control your breathing while you run, in through the nose and out the mouth. You can also lean foward so that your almost falling and your legs catch up to stop you from falling, that helped get my time down quite a bit. When you can get a perfect score while sick, your more than ready for the test.

 

http://rescueathlete.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=259:w4-m12&catid=51:monday-blog&Itemid=575

 

I follow the daily workouts on that website. Its a bit extreme for the pft but once in awhile a good run pops up.

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300 Jim Jones Spartan Workout

 

25x Pull-up +

50x Deadlift @ 135# +

50x Push-up +

50x Box Jump @ 24" box +

50x Floor Wiper @ 135# (one-count) +

50x KB Clean and Press @ 36# (KB must touch floor between reps) +

25x Pull-up

 

300 reps total, completed as fast as possible, without resting. 15:12 is the time to beat.

 

There a lot of good articles on the site about mental, as well as physical, training. Lots of climbers, endurance, and professional athletes use these guys.

 

http://www.gymjones....dge/article/23/

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did a random test today to see where i'm at. scored a 233 pt score. almost there... gotta keep working at it.

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For shin splint avoidance, throw some 400-800 meter backwards segments. Just run backwards. Preferably uphill.

 

To stave off the burning-lung late run time dropoff, start swimming. Do not focus on speed... focus on increasing the number of strokes you can take with your head down and your face in the water before you need to turn for a breath. Try three, then five, then seven, then nine, etc. Train your body to use the O2 it's getting in the most efficient manner possible and you'll find that it doesn't take long to run faster and farther. I shaved a full minute off my run in the first four weeks of regular swimming.

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Alright, well I took a little bit of everybody's advice and took a PT test at the recruiting office. I have really improved in the past couple of months, but I only scored a 230. I did 61 pushups, 61 situps, and a 15:30 run. I actually really impressed myself with the run, as that's faster than I've ever run 2 miles when timing myself. Actually it's about 1:15 faster than my best time.

 

The nice thing is that I have almost a month before the battalion board, and almost 2 months before the USAREC board so I can still improve and submit an update. However, I don't know if I should just continue what I was doing for training, or start a program like P90X. Here's what I have been doing for the past month or so.

 

Monday, Wednesday and Friday:

Morning: 30 minutes of cardio (bike or elliptical),

Evening: Run (Monday: 30 minutes (about 3-4 miles), Wednesday: Interval sprint running, Friday: 2 mile timed run), 100 pushups program (http://hundredpushups.com/), max set of situps

 

Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday:

Morning: 30 minutes of cardio,

Evening: 30 minutes of cardio, 5 max sets of situps with flutter kicks in between, and 1 max set of pushups.

 

I was thinking about starting P90X, but now I'm actually thinking I'll just stick to only pushups, situps, running and cardio since that's what's on the APFT. I think that P90X will get me in really good shape overall, but I'm not sure if I'll see as big of improvements on my pushups or situps with the program.

 

What do you all think?

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So, I've increased a bit since my PT test. Should I take it again before the battalion board with an updated score, or just before the USAREC board? I mean, will a 10-15 point difference mean much at battalion (I know it will for USAREC)?

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Why not do it twice? Once before battalion board and then again before USAREC.

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