Nathan Pennington's Archive:

Nathan Pennington

CPT Nate Pennington has been running for 20 years. He was a member of the prestigious US Army World Class Athlete Program at Fort Carson, Colorado from 2007-2010 specializing in the Marathon. He earned a 2008 US Olympic Trials standard taking 4th overall and top American at the 2007 California International Marathon in 2.19.35.

A 11-year active duty Medical Service Corps Officer, Nate brings his passion for coaching, fitness and personal development to his blog at to assist military members and his civilian counterparts to achieve their personal fitness goals.

How To Dominate Sub 2 Hour Half Marathon Training

  • February 15, 2013
  • Running & Cardio
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sub 2 hour half marathonHalf marathon training consists of much more then running a few miles during the military work week.

You have to truly want it if you are to make waves in your fitness levels.

The military is comprised of some of the brightest minds and fittest individuals in the world.

We aren’t lacking in the initiative department.


We all want success but successful running takes more then wanting.

There are no short cuts in this sport and I know far too many service members are self-​​sabotaging themselves into believing they don’t have what it to takes to run their specific 2-​​mile goal time or 5K to marathon performance goals.

I am here to tell you, you do have what it takes but you had better be willing to make the sacrifice to better your life and your fitness to earn a breakthrough.

Road Racing in Afghanistan — What is Truly Important

  • September 13, 2012
  • Running & Cardio
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Road Racing in Afghanistan

It has been a long time since I have posted here at’s ‘Daily PT’.

I have been deployed to Afghanistan for the past 4 months and am en route home (currently in Manas, Krysgstan).

I wrote my new post, Racing in Afganistan –A Humbling Experience while here thinking over the 5K I ran in while at Bagram Air Base in Bagram, Afghanistan a few days ago.

My posts on my website are usually educational and ‘how to’s but wanted to share with you all my thoughts more in a diary style. I hope some of you can take something from it.

Attack Your Two-​​Mile — Workouts That Work

Army Two-Miler

Service members are always trying to improve something that they are doing.

We’re determined and am sure, if we aren’t, there has been an NCO or Officer who has helped bring that quality out of us.

Running is a great sport. Far too many people sell themselves short when it comes to running.

I am not fast enough. I don’t have enough talent. Well, I never have been a good runner. Who is telling you that?

Four Helpful Tips To Destroy Your 2-​​Mile Time

Army 2 Mile Run

The 3200m (or two-​​mile) run was my main event when I was in high school. I began running the event as a freshman running 11.30 the first time I attempted it as a 15-​​year old who knew no better.

I had no idea what I was doing. How to run, break the race up or if I was even able to finish the distance.

My brother was a shot put and discus thrower and talked me into trying out for the track and field team and 20 years later I still credit him for guiding me into the sport.

I was able to lower the time down to 9.46 with not a lot of mileage but a great deal of speed and trial and error along the way.

3 Ideas to Take Your Physical Training Test from No-​​Go to Hero Status

PT Running Tips

I had a conversation with a fellow Soldier today about the Kenyans. We had a stress shoot (you all know what I am talking about!).

If you don’t it is pretty much a smoke session to test how you shoot when tired. Flipping tires and logs while running for long periods of time will do the job.

Well, knowing I had to represent the Daily PT community, I layed it on the line and received the fastest completion time for the Battalion.

I won’t go into details as to why we were having a stress shoot, that is a whole other story, but my teammates got fired up about the effort so running came up.

Listen, the Kenyans are good but there are countless other Americans, Europeans and other runners from around the world who succeed at running.

Think Long Term | A Few Tips for More Confident Running

  • February 11, 2012
  • Running & Cardio
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Running Tips

There needs to be a long-​​term approach to preparing for PT tests in the Army. I don’t know how things are done in the other branches, but as a Soldier, in a predominately all male unit, testosterone and being ‘hooah’ is of high quantity during PT.

What are you doing the other hours of the day to better your running. Do you want to run a 14.00 2-​​mile? 13:00? 10:00?

Is having your buddy screaming at you ‘lets go!’ for a 15 minute early morning run or running at a pace far too fast or too slow really doing you any good? I am sure there are some of you out there who hear what I am saying.

10 Simple Tips to Make You Stand Out | Running Simplified

Running Simplified

#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.

How to Train for a Marathon | A Military Perspective

  • January 25, 2012
  • Running & Cardio
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It doesn’t matter what time you can run for the distance, the fact that anyone takes the initiative to run one is a champion, period. The marathon is tough, regardless if you have a set time and have trained hard for it or if this will be your first.  I wanted to write a detailed post on some key strategies that can assist you in attacking the classic 26.2 mile distance. I have had a love-​​hate relationship with this race since I began running marathons back in 2002. I ran the 2002 New York City Marathon as a part of an Armed Forces Team that was running for Lung Cancer Research. We were to start in last place, wait for every runner to cross the start line and then, and only then, were permitted to start the race. What happened then, running out of fuel and not hydrating properly, is something that I have dealt with even to this day. Has it happened to you? If it has, you have landed on the right post.

A Proven Training Technique That WILL Get You Racing Results

  • January 24, 2012
  • Running & Cardio
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I spent the day doing military land navigation, than did a 9 mile ruck march (ok, 8.6 miles) back. It was a long day but I kept asking myself on the march home, “what is a training tool I could write about that would really help someone improve”. If you have a goal in mind, if you are military, I touched on this in my last post ‘5 Battle Hardened Ways to Drastically Drop your 2-​​Mile PT Test Time’, than training at your goal race pace is a tool you have to implement. If you have a set time goal in mind. What must you do to run at that pace? I try to keep in mind that visitors to this site may not be runners at all but simply eager to improve their race times.


Focus on what race you want to run, what time goal you have and practice running at that pace.  We all have goals. I am speaking more on time goals but if you have a fitness goal in mind or simply just to go out, have fun, and run a 10K or marathon with no time goal in mind, more power to you. I applaud you. That is something I have longed to do for sometime. Racing, competing and being a serious athlete sometimes takes you away from the pure enjoyment of the sport. As I have grew older (oh how I wish it was the other way around) I have learned to keep the same mindset for training but to relax more.  Your race pace is going to be the most likely effort you can hold for the duration of your chosen distance without going too anaerobic.

5 Battle Hardened Ways to Drop Your 2-​​Mile PT Test Time

Servicemembers are already athletes as it is. Running is one of the best activities you can do for your body. You can keep your heart rate up and burn roughly 100–115 calories per mile. The greatest benefit is it keeps your body burning a higher calorie number for a few hours even after you are done with your workout. What I don’t see enough of, at least in the Army, as it pertains to preparing for the PT test, is enough running. Running does become easier and you can learn to enjoy it, if it is part of the PT test you dread. I see many Soldiers who, obviously, have the ability to drop a great deal of time off their 2-​​mile run time but the majority of their time is spent lifting weights and running far too slow to gain any real benefit to prepare for an all-​​out 2-​​mile run. I am a huge advocate for weight lifting and the benefits that come from it. Weights should be incorporated into your exercise plan to maintain a balanced training regiment but lifting for an hour and jogging for a mile and a half every morning is not going to bring your run time down. Here are a few tips I suggest you try.