Interval training can make you really fast, and prepared for your selection evals, but mind your conditioning. If you have a significant number of miles on your legs and want faster eval times, or just want to be a faster runner, then suffer through this workout and seriously watch yourself improve! If you have a training buddy, even better.
I found this article on specialtactics.com, however, I was once subject to the very cadre mentioned. What is said about the cadres Gardner and Pope, though very true what is written about them, I don’t think can be fully understood by a single article like this: because those guys were punishers! I can remember all of those workouts. It’s punishment like the ones given by Gardner and Pope that gives pith to the old saying “an ounce of prevention equals a pound of cure”; another reason to be well prepared for these schools. There was one Gardner run I remember when one of our teammates didn’t raise his arm and call aloud “Rock!”. Because of his oversight, one of our teammates subsequently tripped, fell, and cut up his leg. Gardner got pissed! He dropped the man who didn’t call out “Rock!”, made him do push-ups, had us run circles around him, and gave us all a lecture. After we were back on the road, we all were introduced to what it meant to be in the fast group. That man, by the way, had to carry that probably 8 lb. piece of concrete with him absolutely everywhere for the remainder of Indoc.
Below is the article posted by Nathaniel Morison as well as the track workout produced by MSgt Adam Pope. Your track is either imperial or metric in length, but definitely find out! Your times will reflect the difference.
Interval Training for Speed
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By Nathaniel Morison
Are you trying desperately to increase your speed? Well, to be honest, I am no running guru but i know what works. Back when I went through selection we followed the following running schedule:
MONDAY — Evaluation Run Day
TUESDAY — Long Slow Distance (LSD)
WEDNESDAY — Off
THURSDAY — Intervals (track workout)
FRIDAY — LSD
SATURDAY — Fartlek or Indian Run
SUNDAY — Off
This was a very effective schedule. As for run distance and times, The Eval standard was a 7-minute mile pace, no slower or you failed! The distance increased every week of course. As memory serves me, we started at 1.5 miles for the Eval and at the end of selection we were tested at 6 miles (or 42 min or less to pass). I was not a fast runner by any means and the interval training we did was great, but I found out later that by reversing the way we did it would more than double the effectiveness! For those who want the full skinny, here it is.
MONDAY — This Eval was simply an all out effort: do or die.
TUESDAY — This was LSD, which varied. In the beginning it was only 3-4 miles, toward the end we were running 10+ miles. We would often use time instead of distance, running for 30, 40, 50, 60 minutes and so on. LSDs were also subject to the instructor that day. If he liked to run fast, well, you had to keep up. Other days were better. I will never forget one instructor, John Gardner, showing up one day with a ruck on and thinking it was going to be an easy LSD day. That lasted until someone pissed him off and he then picked up the pace!!! The point here is sometimes it’s good to push a little harder from time-to-time.
WEDNESDAY — Off
*THURSDAY — Intervals started with long intervals and ended with short ones.
FRIDAY — An LSD always longer than Tuesday’s.
SATURDAY — A fartlek of sorts. While running at an 8-9 minute pace we would sprint to the front of the formation, or do orbits, at a sprint’s pace.
SUNDAY — Off.
When I graduated from selection and was whisked into the pipeline I was still in for a few lessons. The first one was from the US Army Combat Diver School in Key West. I was able to keep up a 6:30 pace for miles with no problem. But in Key West you started every run with a slow walk that turned into a jog, that went into an all out sprint once we passed the gate! I remember thinking that was going to end eventually. It didn’t! Sure it slowed up a bit because the instructor had to stay in sight of the student, but that wasn’t much in the way of reducing the pace. I held my own. Some days I was in front, some days I was in the middle. I was never in the rear thought! Dive school taught me to run HARD! When we got back to Lackland AFB, Adam Pope had been hard at work to devise a running program from hell. The interval day was amazingly effective. The first day we tried it, none of us could finish it! Eventually we did finish it once or twice. On every evaluation after we started that program we dropped our times by alarming numbers for well-seasoned runners. Some as much as 30-seconds in a week! My personal best was a three mile run with the following times: mile 1, 5:03; mile 2, 5:30; mile 3, 5:35. Below is a synopsis of the brutal program. I warn you though, DO NOT attempt this program if you are not a well-seasoned runner! This program will make or break you!
Jog nice and easy for a half mile then stretch out about 5-min
440s, 6 (or 4) x :75 seconds (jog a 220, walk a 220, restart)
880s, 4 (or 2) x 2:45-3:00 (walk a 440 and restart)
1 Mile, 2 (or 1) x 6:30-6:40 (walk 440, restart)
REST, 5 minute
2 Mile, 1x 8-8:15 pace i.e., cool down
Walk and control breathing until your heart rate goes below 100 BPM. Stretch. Rehydration is essential. Try to eat a high carbohydrate snack as soon as your stomach can tolerate it. Eat a high protein and high carbohydrate meal as soon as feasible.
Comrades, if you are an experienced runner, try this out and watch your times dissolve! Enjoy!
(Image courtesy of www.military.com)