Distance Running Lessons Learned in the Military

Distance Running Lessons Learned in the Military


Before the Army - Many years ago I enlisted in the Army.  Before that time I ran track, wrested and had had never ran 5 miles.  In high school when we did conditioning I would sneak in a walk when I was out of sight of the coach.  The Army taught me how to run and push through the mental barriers.


Army Training - The second week of basic training our Drill Sergeants decided to take us on a five-mile run.  We were forced to run as a group, there are no quitters, no one is a star, and no one is left behind.   The only rule was you need to lift your legs and jog.  The Army has it down to a science on how to push an assortment of guys, with different fitness levels, to complete a five-mile run, and push through that mental block of temporary pain.  


Running is Mental - there is a concept that is running (jogging) all mental.  Below is how my body reacts to a 60 min Jog

  1. First 10 minutes I feel good, but I am running real slow
  2. From min 10-30 my calves tighten up, legs get tight, and mentally I feel ready to quit
  3. Somewhere between 30 – 45 minutes the pain dissipates
  4. 45-60+ I speed up an can run for several hours at this point

I see this all the time in the gym.  Someone get on the treadmill and runs hard for 5 to 10 min.  Then they get off due to exhaustion.  Jogging is simple. All you need to do is find your optimal training zone. How I set my pace is I can’t hold a conversation without losing my breath, then I am running too fast.  


Try some of these techniques, and in no time, you’ll be running 5 miles unbroken.

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