#1 Don’t take training too seriously. If you lose the enjoyment in what you are doing than make the time during your day to do what you love. If you are not running enough than take 30 minutes after work and get in a few miles that you wanted to do in the AM that you may not have had the time for.
#2 Don’t wait for your team, squad or platoon leader to form up a running plan. Ask him or her if you can take charge and take the team out for a run yourself.
#3 Focus on your objectives, not what others want for you. It is YOUR goal, your time and your investment so use it wisely and remember you are the one in control to make the next big jump in your training. If all you are doing is strength work and cross-fit than find a time in your day to put in some miles. There are 24 hours in a day, plenty of time to do it.
#4 Read, Read, Read - I read everything I can get my hands on about training, new physiology studies, personal development. Powerful, positive energy is what you will need when training to be a better runner. It isn’t easy so find something positive that will uplift you during the week. I know how stressful military work weeks are and you have to keep your mind occupied. I have suggested a few of the books I recommend on rundreamachieve.com under the ‘training resources’ page. If you are going to get any book for motivation I highly recommend ‘Outliers’. The details of that book are listed on my site.
#5 Run slowly on recovery days and challenge your bodies systems on the hard days. Don’t make the mistake of trying to be a hero in practice just because your battle buddy is running far too hard for your liking. Listen to your body, monitor how you feel, notice the tension in your shoulders, face, arms etc and change your physiology, relax yourself. You, by listening to your body and not trying to get into the morning motivation hoopla, will be the one outrunning your counterparts when it counts.
#6 Don’t be afraid to make suggestions. I know the drill. If you think the PT session is too boring, wasting too much time than say something. Suggest a fartlek or progression run or ask your superior if you can run around the perimeter of your training area. You are no less of a team player if you are working out to better yourself. As a leader I would admire someone who wants to challenge themselves and if they are busting their tail I would respect that. The fact that you are working out is what is important. Have you felt like you are stuck doing the same routine? Try to change it, all they can do is say no.…than you run during lunch or after work.
#7 Be honest with yourself. To improve your 2-mile time. Pull ups and how many front back go’s you are doing is not going to get the job done. Period. I hate doing push ups with a passion but do them out of necessity. If you want to be a better runner, make the sacrifice and follow your path
#8 I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again-practice what pace you want to run at during your PT test. If 14.00 is your goal time than get on the track, run a lap at 1.45, than relax, than back into it…1.45, than relax and repeat. 10.00? 75 second quarters is the goal so practice that pace. It isn’t that more Soldiers or other service members could run a time like that. They can. They simply haven’t practiced enough at that particular pace often enough. Running 2–4 miles on tuesday and friday at 8–10 minute pace is not going to cut it. Running for fitness is one thing, running to improve a time trialed test is a whole different animal.
#9 Do something you KNOW your team members are NOT doing. Run during the weekend, put a long run in on sunday. You will not only motivate yourself, you will motivate your team and there is power in that. The more you get into this routine the faster you will totally DESTROY your old 2-mile personal best and possibly get other members of your team asking you how you did it. I was getting up at 2am during our field problems last year training for the 2011 Monumental Indianapolis Marathon. I still think it was crazy but I didn’t lose sight of my goal. It is not fun when you are fighting for your dream and still have responsibilities but keep in mind the value and lessons you will gain from wanting do the truly hard things in life.
#10 Think up larger goals for yourself. Try to get in the best possible shape you can get in and try out for your post running team. I was on the Fort Carson running teams for a few years before I ever got a sniff from the WCAP program. Set a goal and make the necessary action to obtain it. I have a buddy who just ran a 59.47 10-miler at 6200ft at Fort Carson who wrote me this week stating he wants to run 55.00 and possibly make the All-Army Team. My response, “It is possible, you will have to work ridiculously hard, but it is obtainable”. I am not going to downplay the level of commitment it takes to even make the All-Army Team. It is tough but the Soldier’s that qualify are no different than you. What they most certainly do is train FAR more often. You have the same potential as well.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post. Please feel free to leave a comment. I hope this was helpful. Please send me your feedback as to what areas of training you are would like written about. Any area I can assist you with.