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  • Need physical help/advice

    Ok so some of you may remember me. Last december I got turned down for a job with Mesa after making into the very last step of the hiring process. Looking back, this was the best thing that could have happened to me. Since then I've gone back to university, and I'll have my degree by the end of may. I also took this opportunity to physically condition myself better for the academy, and now it's time to take another crack at what I want to do with my life.

    I've gone from "yay 21 pushups" to "damn, only 55", similar results in every field. Gained 20% lean body mass, lost 3 inches off my waist, all good times.

    I still can't run 1.5 miles without stopping to walk.

    Running is my weakest area by far, and it just seems like no matter what I do, my cardiovascular endurance doesnt increase. I can go farther each time without stopping, but I usually stop around the same TIME as running (ie, my legs are stronger, I go farther in each 'stride', but I run out of juice after a set amount of time).

    Any advice that you all could give me in how to develop my running/jogging would be exceptionally appreciated.

  • #2
    Two simple things that I found helped me a lot in gradual increases in speed/distance:

    1. When you are running, focus some thought on landing heel/toe and then (don't laugh at me here, I'm serious, and it really helped!) try to put down a lighter bouncier step. Same amount of exertion, but more distance covered faster.

    2. Try speeding up the last 300 feet, then speed up a bit more the last 200 feet, and then sprint the last 100 feet. Finishing with this extra push allows you to finish strongly!


    "It's a game of cat and mouse. It's a game of hide and seek. Albeit games with deadly consequences. Like most games-the better you know the rules, the more likely you are to win."


    • #3
      Congrats on the effort, it obviously paying off.

      One thing I learned is that if you're about to stop, simiply slow down, almost like a very small light jog but do not come to a halt, this is so that your body can get a small rest but will keep you going. The idea is to keep your body, namely your lungs from tiring out and having to readjust.

      Also, do you smoke?


      • #4
        Work on your breathing too. A few times a day when you're sitting around doing nothing, take some deep breaths and hold them for a few seconds. Based on what you've said about gaining strength and larger strides, I'm guessing it's your lung capacity that's slowing you.

        Another thing to do: Try doing sprint workouts twice a week instead of running x number of miles every day. "Fart licks" (no laughing :P) are a good one. Sprint for 10 seconds, jog for 20, sprint for 15, jog for 20, sprint for 20, jog for 20, sprint for 15, jog for 20, etc until you get back down to sprinting for 10. I did those in high school for cross country and they're just as important to gain distance.

        Hope this helps.


        • #5
          Nope don't smoke. Thanks for the advice guys, I appreciate it


          • #6
            Originally posted by MesaHopeful
            Any advice that you all could give me in how to develop my running/jogging would be exceptionally appreciated.
            At what pace are you currently running, I mean how many minutes does it take to run a mile?

            You might be running too fast. To build the endurance you’re talking about you're going to want to do the long slow runs, it’s all about pacing. If you’re new to running try a 10-11 minute mile it might be a good starting pace. It should feel like a jog and might feel slow but that’s okay that’s how endurance is built. Once you get warmed up and comfortable you really should be able to carry on a simple conversation fairly easily. If you have access to a treadmill you could try a short run on that set to something like 5.5-6 so you can feel what I’m talking about. With this kind of endurance training you will see rapid gains and you will be able to quickly increase distance and pace. That's one good thing about endurance training, initial gains are measure week by week, not the month by month strength training is.

            The web is loaded with articles on running, plans, and guides for beginners as well as advanced (most are pretty good). Here is a couch to 5K (3.2 miles), meaning it’s designed to take a person from the couch and prepare them for a 5K.

            Just browse around and find one that looks like it would fit. Just remember you get the gains from exercise when resting not working out, so always make sure rest days are incorporated. Overtraining injuries are never fun. Good luck.
            Last edited by itnstalln; 03-30-2007, 05:19 PM.


            • #7
              I have been a federal fitness instructor for a number of years and I have trained a thousand recruits on how to run the fitness tests.

              Here is teh biggest factor for each and every poor runner. Don't stop!

              Quit making it ok fo ryourself to stop, slow the heck down or whatever you gotta do to finish the full distance. Then start stretching the distance out, if you need to run 1.5 mile in the test then you should be able to run 2 to 2.5 at about the same pace as you think you will run the 1.5. You will actually run it faster than you plan to fromt eh adrenaline.

              Most folks have a bigger mental hangup about running than physical, hundreds of cadets have told me while we were running that they could not breath . . . you know the answer to that.

              (if you can tell me you can't breath, you are breathing.)

              Try interval training. Run slow then faster then faster then faster then slower then slower then slower and reapeat till you build your endurance.


              • #8
                Well I stared with getting winded at half a mile. I run miles and miles now no problem. So its doable.

                When you set a goal just get to were you do it without walking and build on that.
                If you have to slow jog to the point that a walk is like a 2 and your at a 2.5 thats great. The slow jog is the slowest you should go. The mental part was always the hardest for me. Make sure you have some good tunes that you switch up routinly and run where there is good scenery. Nothing more boring than a damn tread mill or a track. I started running downtown in the city and I love seeing everythign and the scenery is always diferent so my mind is occupied.

                Lastly running buddies are always a great motivator. Good luck!


                • #9
                  Speed Drills

                  If you are still wanting to increase your physical stamina, try running hills. Eric Dickerson, Walter Payton and Marcus Allen...all NFL great running backs all swear by...running hills...created explosive speed, increased thier power in the legs and greatly enhanced thier cardio capacity.

                  Once you do it for awhile, use a weighted vest to increase your body weight which will portray wearing duty gear and push your cardio and legs to the limit,

                  Then when your body is taxed to the limit, take weights out accordingly, continue onto, hit a plateau, take weights....continue on....

                  this should be done 2-3 times a week and done till failure...road work the other 3 days schedule permitting and one day of rest.

                  As well, develop yourself a standard running rte...use light poles as markers (144 feet apart) speed at 3-4 light poles....jog for 3-4 light poles....walk for 3-4 light poles....repeat as necessary until you complete 1.5 m run increases cardio without burning you out.

                  Learn about Vo2 max---

                  Last edited by Thumbshark; 04-03-2007, 02:27 AM. Reason: more info


                  • #10
                    All great running advice. I'd also suggest finding out the details of some of the exercises they do in the academy during either physical training or defensive tactics. I'm a pretty good runner, I can keep up an 8 minute mile for about 4 miles and max out at about 6 miles. However.... once again I'm gingerly walking around my house with every muscle aching from defensive tactics class (ours are 2 hours/day).

                    Some examples: squats (back straight, squat till fingers touch heels)- hundreds of them. Push-ups, regular and "reverse" (start in down position, raise up, lower back down on 5 count, repeat). Jumping jacks- obvious, but lots of them, in unison. "Burpees"-- start in a crouch (hands on floor like in a push up), kick legs back into push-up position, quickly return to crouch (tuck knees back under body) and stand. That's one. Repeat, a lot.

                    Those are some we do and these things work legs and cardio like running (cause we do them fast) but they also build all around muscle and core strength which you will need. Consider adding some body weight exercises like these into your routine.


                    • #11
                      BIAlaw is dead on. I'm definitely not build for speed and have never been a super strong runner but the only way I ever improved was to punish myself. If you aren't running at least 3 times a week for 20 mins or more, you're not going to see any really good results.

                      Set realistic goals and push yourself to go past them. Before I started going for the physical I couldn't do 1.5 miles. I run 5-8 at least twice a week now.

                      Good job on the other stuff though. Bet you feel a hundred times better!


                      • #12
                        My 2 cents

                        That is interesting you can do pushups with ease, but struggle with the run. I am just the opposite. I can run all day, but if I can do the required 33 pushups for my agility test this Saturday, I will be pleasantly surprised.

                        I would have to echo much of the advice given thus far. Sprinting short distances towards the tail end of your run will improve your endurance. And, it sounds simplistic, but gradually build onto to your run distances. Run 1/2 mile, this week, extend to a full mile next week, and 1.5 a couple of weeks later, with at least one day of rest in-between to let your joints recover.


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