Author Topic: From "Disheartened" to Hopeful...  (Read 2320 times)

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Offline Jessie

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From "Disheartened" to Hopeful...
« on: August 30, 2011, 01:54:02 PM »
Well as I've been saying for the past year or two, I REALLY need to pass my PT Test. It's gotten to the point that I'm scared for my career (work for the NG as a DA Civilian but my job is dependant on me staying in the Guard). I've been running the past few weeks and I'm still stuck at 9:30 miles. In order to pass, I need a MINIMUM of 8:30 miles for my 2MR (17:00 2MR is minimum for my age group). So here I am, looking for advice....again.

What I've been doing is running 2 miles every Tuesday and Thursday and 1 mile every Wednesday and Friday, with a minimum of a 1 mile walk. Here's the biggest "NO NO," I have been slacking off Saturday through Monday. The problem there is that we have been spending our weekends out of town, at my in-laws. Monday is the hardest because my wife is leaving first thing in the morning and leaving me to watch my son until late that evening. After which, it's time to pack bags and head home for a late night return home. What I think I'm going to start doing is taking his stroller with us and (at least on Monday), taking him for stroll for a mile or two.

I realize that this came off as sort of a rant but I felt like I had to put it out there and ask for some feedback/motivation because, as the subject line gives away, I'm getting a bit disheartened with this whole PT thing!  :shrug:
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011, 10:25:21 AM by Jessie »

Offline keetedw

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Re: Disheartened...
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2011, 03:21:27 PM »
I think this is mostly going to depend on how long you have before you have to pass this test.  If it's just a couple weeks, I think it's going to be mostly luck and some sense of self preservation that pushes you to run faster.  If you've got a bit of time (a couple months or more), you've got a better chance.

Your best bet is to mix strength training with running.  If your muscles can get more efficient, then your running will be more efficient.  But, that's going to require a mix of strength and, ideally, interval training (walk, run, jog, sprint, jog, run, jog, etc.).  You don't have to run 2 miles to train for two miles, just get your body used to working efficiently and the distance will take care of itself.

If you can keep up a program like Crossfit or some other strength training program, do that as you normally would.  Add in the running, but try to not overdo it.  It'll be counterproductive if you add weight training and try to maintain running 1-2 miles a day if you just wind up injured or entirely overworked.  Taking a day off is ok, but consistency is going to be key.  Don't try to do it all at once, start slow, work up aggressively, but listen to your body.  Pain is a great indicator of you meeting your thresholds.

These are just my opinions/suggestions...take them or leave them of course, but looking at your training regimen, it needs strength training. 
 

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Offline z_randy

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Re: Disheartened...
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2011, 04:38:06 PM »
Keet has great suggestions.  Cutting a minute off your mile pace is not easy but I think you can do it.  One thing that will help is the day your qualifying run is you will have adrenaline on your side.
Like Keet asked when is the test?  You can set up a plan on www.runnerworld.com.  Put in the time you want to hit, the day of the run and how much you run a week and it will work out a plan for you.
Some simple "tricks" to improve your speed:
- lean forward.  Sounds stupid but many people run perfectly upright or even lean back.  Just take your whole torso down thru your hips and kind of fall forward when you run. You'll be using your body and gravity to help you go faster.
- When you run try not to run heel to toe.  meaning putting your heal down first.  That's kind of like putting the brakes on every time you take a step.  You should land midfoot or even on the balls of your feet.
- take shorter, quicker strides.  Sounds weird but the longer the stride the more you are landing on your heel.  If you do the lean forward and keep your feet landing beneath you and increase the turnover you will get faster.  Smaller steps forward and higher back kicks.  Sounds strange to take smaller steps to get faster but the smaller steps will help you increase the turnover which will get you faster.



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Offline Jessie

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Re: Disheartened...
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2011, 04:57:50 PM »
HOPEFULLY, the next PT Test I will have to take will be in November. We are supposed to attempt every every drill (once a month) if we haven't passed but we shouldn't have the oppurtunity this month or the next. The entire unit will be taking their yearly test in November so that's my goal. Should be November 6th.

Thank you both for the tips, I'm definitely going to keep them in mind and I'm checking out runnersworld right now!

Offline Jessie

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Re: Disheartened...
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2011, 05:03:35 PM »
CORRECTION: it's www.runnersworld.com - If you knock off the s, it's basically a runners search engine, haha.

Offline Jessie

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Re: Disheartened...
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2011, 05:19:48 PM »
For the experienced runners. Thoughts on this program? My thought was, if I train for a 5K (roughly 3.2 miles), than I should do just fine when the 2MR comes along. Anyone agree or disagree with this logic? Also, what if I were to do strength training on the "rest days." If not on my legs, than I still need to work on push-ups and sit-ups (the other 2 events of the PT test).

Offline Big daddy Eis

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Re: Disheartened...
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2011, 06:06:05 PM »
Randy and Keet both make valid points.  If it were me, i would try to get some of your runs to be longer than 2 miles, say 3 (or even the 5K training plan).  Just like weight training where you want to keep increasing your weight to get stronger, if you slowly increase your distance, you will run more efficiently at slower speeds.  Also try to incorporate some hill or speed workouts in.  Like Keet aid, weight training / CrossFit will help, and Randy has excellent points on form.  You will need at least one day of rest though.  If you do not rest, than your body is essentially breaking down, and not able to recover.  I have seen an Article before on a progressive way to increase all PT scores, and will I look for it for you.  I have used it, and it works.  It is mainly geared for maxing the PT Test, but with some tweaking, it can be used to pass the PT test.  To start it, you will need to now what your current PT scores would be for pushups, sit-ups, and the 2 mile run.

*** MODIFIED***

Not the articles I was looking for, but some good content.  BTW, which age group are you in.

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/14245/how_to_max_the_us_army_physical_fitness.html?cat=5

http://fitnessprogramsonline.com/how-to-max-out-the-army-physical-fitness-test/

Offline Big daddy Eis

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Re: Disheartened...
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2011, 06:13:18 PM »
here are a few more links with specific training plans for each event of the APFT.  I am not sure if you are tracking, but next year there is a very real probability of the Army (to include Reserve and National Guard) will go to the PRT which consists of 5 events.

Offline z_randy

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Re: Disheartened...
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2011, 09:24:02 PM »
Sorry about the missing S.  Doing the 5K plan will definitely help. I've also found personally that mental is like 80% of running.  If you don't want to be there your run will suck.  If you are thinking how miserable you are you will keep slowing down more and more.  Even if physically you can do it if you have it in your head you can't your body will follow.
Keith makes a good point also about hills.  They suck doing them but they really help on a flat course.  I assume your test will be on a track?
And going the longer distance will help you be ready for the shorter.  Then you can go full out the shorter distance.  Last year when I was training for the marathon I ran a 5K race and set a personal best on a hot miserable day.  I was training to run a 9 minute mile for the marathon. I did a 7:30 mile in the 5K.  I've never run that fast in a race.  Not sure how I did it!  I have to assume it was the distance training allowed me to open it up more for the short distance



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Offline Big daddy Eis

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Re: Disheartened...
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2011, 09:36:29 PM »
  I assume your test will be on a track?


it depends on the unit, but most t tests that i have seen, the run is conducted on streets, but that is on a base also.  Not sure how Reserve and National Guard do it.

Offline Jessie

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Re: Disheartened...
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2011, 09:58:38 PM »
We use everything from high school, to parking lots, to local parks and everything in between. What's nice about where I'm living/working is that I work on a National Guard Training Site that has a 1/2M track with some nice hills, a flat 1/4M round track, treadmills at the gym, and the town itself has a 12 mile walk/run/bike trail open to the public. So the options are there, it's just making myself use them.

Offline z_randy

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Re: Disheartened...
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2011, 10:10:20 PM »
If you can run outside do that to get used to running like you would on your test.  Better workout then the treadmill.  Use the treadmill if there's bad weather.  It can also be used to get your technique down.
Try some speed drills also.  On your run, pick spots were you will pick up the pace.  Say between telephone poles.  Run that faster then drop back down to your usual speed.  On those spots where you pick up the speed try to do it at the 8:30 pace you need. so you can feel how fast that is.



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Offline Big daddy Eis

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Re: Disheartened...
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2011, 10:30:23 PM »
it seems like you have everything there that you need to train.  telephone poles are awesome.  another thing that i read is at the end of a couple of your runs each week, work some telephone poles in.  start with 2-3 iterations, and build from there, then taper down to finish your run.  as big as fort hood and killeen is, i wish we had a run, bike, rural route.  My runs are al a combination of 4 lane roads, grass shoulders / fields, and sidewalks.  Unfortunately no hills.  good luck with it, make sure to keep us posted on your progress

Offline Big daddy Eis

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Re: Disheartened...
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2011, 10:37:59 PM »
like Randy was just saying:

Offline Bill

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Re: Disheartened...
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2011, 08:03:25 AM »
Have you ever thought of weighting yourself while you're running?  You can get weight bands to add 5 - 10 to as much as you want to your body weight for your runs.  If you run the 2 miles in 9 and change while weighing 10-20 pounds more, the loss of a minute should be easy.  We used to use this principle in hockey with weight skates.  Wear the skates and try to maintain or get back up to your normal average time/speed then without them you freakin fly.


 



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