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  • Writer's pictureTodd Handler

Running for Special Forces: Building Endurance for Selection and Training

Updated: Jul 6, 2023


Alright, so you wanna join the special forces, huh?


You must already know that physical fitness is a big freakin' deal for that line of work.


You gotta be ready to haul ass through long-distance runs, rucksack marches, obstacle courses, and all kinds of hardcore tactical drills.


And let's not forget, you need to have the mental toughness to push through it all. That's where running comes in, my dude.


Running is the OG way to build the kind of endurance that'll make you a lean, mean, special forces machine. You'll be ready to tackle any challenge that comes your way during selection or in the field. But why is running so important?


Let's break it down.


First off, running is a full-body workout that engages all of your major muscle groups, from your quads and calves to your abs and upper body.


It's also a killer cardio exercise that gets your heart pumping and your lungs working overtime. This means that running is a great way to improve your overall fitness and build the kind of physical stamina that special forces soldiers need to perform at their best.


But running isn't just about building physical endurance. It's also about developing the mental toughness and discipline that are essential for special forces soldiers.


Running requires a lot of mental focus and motivation, especially when you're pushing yourself to run faster, longer, or up hills. By training yourself to push through these mental barriers, you'll be better prepared to handle the mental stress and challenges that come with special forces selection and missions.


Now, let's talk about how to use running to level up your special forces game.


There are a ton of different running methods out there, but we're gonna focus on two of the most effective ones: fartlek and interval training.


Fartlek training involves alternating between fast and slow running paces over varied terrain, while interval training involves alternating between high-intensity sprints and low-intensity recovery periods. Both of these methods are great for building endurance, increasing your running speed, and improving your overall fitness.


But before you hit the pavement, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, make sure you have the right running shoes. Not all running shoes are created equal, and you'll want to invest in a pair that's designed specifically for the kind of running you'll be doing.


Second, make sure you're fueling your body with the right nutrients and staying hydrated. Running can be tough on your body, and you'll want to make sure you're giving it the fuel it needs to perform at its best.


Finally, make sure you're taking care of your body with proper injury prevention and recovery techniques. This includes stretching, foam rolling, and getting enough rest.


By incorporating running into your special forces training regimen, you'll be well on your way to building the kind of endurance and mental toughness that'll make you a force to be reckoned with.


Stay tuned for the rest of this article, where we'll dive deeper into the specific methods and tips you can use to crush those runs like a boss. Let's go, fam!


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Different Methods Of Running Training For Special Force


Running is a fundamental aspect of special forces training, and there are many different methods of running training that can help soldiers build the physical and mental endurance they need to succeed. Here are some running exercises that can help improve your performance:


Fartlek: Fartlek is a Swedish word that means "speed play." This type of training involves varying the intensity and pace of your run, incorporating short bursts of sprinting followed by periods of slower recovery. For example, you might sprint for 30 seconds, jog for 60 seconds, and then repeat the cycle. Fartlek training can help build speed, endurance, and mental toughness.


Interval Training: Interval training involves alternating between periods of high-intensity running and periods of rest or low-intensity running. This type of training can help improve running performance by building speed and endurance. For example, you might run at maximum effort for 30 seconds, followed by 30 seconds of recovery, and then repeat the cycle. Interval training can be customized to fit your individual needs and fitness level.


Hill Repeats: Hill repeats are a type of training that involves running up a steep hill at maximum effort and then jogging or walking back down for recovery. This type of training can help build strength, endurance, and improve running form. Hill repeats are particularly useful for special forces soldiers, who may encounter steep terrain during their missions.


Long-Distance Running: Long-distance running is an essential component of special forces training. Soldiers must be able to run for extended periods without rest, sometimes carrying heavy equipment. Gradually increasing your long-distance runs can help build endurance and mental toughness. Start with shorter runs and gradually increase your distance over time.


Sprint Intervals: Sprint intervals involve running at maximum effort for short periods, followed by recovery periods. For example, you might sprint for 20 seconds, followed by 40 seconds of recovery, and then repeat the cycle. Sprint intervals can help build speed and power, and improve your anaerobic fitness.


Incorporating a variety of running exercises into your training regimen can help improve your speed, endurance, strength, and mental toughness. By gradually increasing your distance, varying your intensity, and incorporating hill repeats and sprint intervals, you can better prepare yourself for the physical and mental demands of special forces training and missions.



How To Train For Special Forces With Running


Running can be an effective way to prepare for the physical demands of special forces training, but it's important to train properly to avoid injury and maximize performance. Here are some tips on how to train for special forces with running:


For Beginners: If you're new to running, it's important to start slow and gradually increase your mileage and intensity. A good way to start is with a run-walk program where you alternate between running and walking. For example, start with 1 minute of running followed by 1-2 minutes of walking and gradually increase the running intervals as you feel comfortable.


It's also important to warm up properly before each run and cool down afterwards to prevent injury. A good warm-up routine can include jogging or walking for a few minutes, followed by dynamic stretching exercises such as leg swings and lunges. A cool-down routine can include walking or light jogging followed by static stretching exercises such as hamstring stretches and quad stretches.


In addition to proper warm-up and cool-down routines, nutrition is also important for successful running training. Eating a balanced diet with adequate protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats can help fuel your workouts and aid in recovery.


For Advanced Runners: If you're an experienced runner looking to improve your performance, there are several techniques you can incorporate into your training program. Interval training involves running at high intensity for a set period of time followed by a period of rest or low intensity. Hill repeats involve running up a hill at high intensity and then jogging or walking down for recovery.


Other techniques to improve performance include tempo runs, where you run at a steady, challenging pace for a set distance or time, and plyometric exercises, which involve explosive movements such as jumping and hopping.



Sample Training Program:

Here is a sample training program for beginner and intermediate runners:



Beginner:

Week 1-2:


Day 1: Run/walk for 20 minutes (1 min run, 2 min walk)


Day 2: Rest


Day 3: Run/walk for 25 minutes (1 min run, 1 min walk)


Day 4: Rest


Day 5: Run/walk for 30 minutes (2 min run, 1 min walk)


Day 6: Rest


Day 7: Rest



Intermediate:

Week 1-2:


Day 1: 3-mile tempo run at a moderate pace


Day 2: Rest


Day 3: 4x400m intervals with 1 minute rest between each interval


Day 4: Rest


Day 5: 4-mile run with hill repeats (5-6 hills)


Day 6: Rest


Day 7: 5-mile run at a comfortable pace


Remember to listen to your body and adjust your training program as necessary. With proper training and dedication, running can be a valuable tool in preparing for special forces training.


The Importance Of Building Endurance For Special Forces


Special forces training is known for its grueling physical and mental demands. Endurance is one of the most important factors for success in this type of training. Endurance is the ability to keep going, even when the going gets tough. This is exactly what is required in special forces training. Building endurance through running is one of the most effective ways to prepare for this challenge.


Running helps build endurance in a number of ways.


It increases cardiovascular fitness, strengthens muscles, and improves mental toughness. This is why running is such an important part of special forces training. Special forces soldiers must be able to run long distances, carry heavy loads, and complete intense physical tasks without giving up.


Endurance training is also important for overall physical and mental health.


Running helps improve cardiovascular health, strengthens bones, and reduces the risk of many chronic diseases. It also helps reduce stress and anxiety, which is important for mental health.


Developing mental toughness is also crucial for success in special forces training.


Mental toughness is the ability to stay focused, stay positive, and keep going even when things get tough. Running can help develop mental toughness by pushing you to your limits and helping you learn to push through the pain and discomfort.


Many special forces soldiers credit running with helping them succeed in training and missions. Running is an integral part of special forces training programs, and soldiers who are successful in these programs often have a strong foundation in running and endurance training. By building endurance through running, you can improve your overall performance in special forces training and beyond.



Choosing The Right Running Shoes For Special Forces


Running shoes are a critical piece of equipment for anyone serious about running, especially for those training for special forces selection. Choosing the right shoes can make a big difference in comfort, performance, and injury prevention.


There are several types of running shoes, each designed for specific foot types and running styles.



Minimalist shoes are lightweight, with minimal support and cushioning, and are designed for a natural foot strike.


Stability shoes provide support for runners who overpronate, or roll their feet inward when they run.


Cushioned shoes offer more padding and shock absorption, making them ideal for runners with high arches or those who need extra cushioning.



When selecting running shoes for special forces training, consider factors such as durability, breathability, and grip. Look for shoes with good traction and grip, especially if you'll be running on uneven or slippery terrain. Shoes with good breathability can help keep your feet cool and dry, which can prevent blisters and other foot injuries.


It's also important to choose shoes that fit well and feel comfortable. Try on shoes later in the day, when your feet are at their largest, and wear socks that you would typically wear while running. Walk around and run in the shoes to get a feel for how they fit and perform. And don't forget to replace your shoes periodically, as they will wear out over time and lose their support and cushioning.



Running Nutrition For Special Forces


Proper nutrition is a critical aspect of any training program, especially for those in special forces.


The right nutrition can fuel your body for running and help you perform at your best during training and missions. It's important to consume a balanced diet that includes a variety of macronutrients, including carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.


Carbohydrates are the body's primary source of fuel for running and other physical activities. It's important to consume enough carbohydrates to support your training and help you maintain energy levels throughout the day. Good sources of carbohydrates include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.


Protein is essential for building and repairing muscles, which is especially important for those in special forces who engage in rigorous physical activity. Good sources of protein include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, and tofu.


Fats are also important for running and other physical activities, as they provide a source of sustained energy. Good sources of healthy fats include nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive oil. It's important to consume a variety of fats and to limit intake of saturated and trans fats.


In addition to macronutrients, it's important to stay hydrated during running and special forces training. Proper hydration can help maintain energy levels and prevent dehydration, which can lead to decreased performance and other health risks. It's recommended to drink water regularly throughout the day, especially before, during, and after running and training sessions.


There are also supplements and foods that can support running and special forces training. For example, caffeine has been shown to improve endurance and mental alertness.


Other supplements that may be beneficial include beta-alanine, creatine, and nitric oxide boosters. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements to ensure they are safe and appropriate for your individual needs.




Injury Prevention And Treatment For Special Forces Runners


Injury prevention and treatment are crucial for any runner, but it is especially important for special forces soldiers who rely on their bodies to perform at their peak during training and missions.


Some of the most common injuries that special forces runners may face include shin splints, runner's knee, and Achilles tendonitis.


To prevent these injuries, it is important to properly train, stretch, and incorporate rest and recovery days into your running program. Gradually increasing mileage and intensity can also help prevent injuries. Additionally, wearing proper shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning can reduce the risk of injury.


If an injury does occur, it is important to seek medical attention and follow a treatment plan to ensure a full recovery. Treatment may include rest, physical therapy, and in some cases, surgery. Ignoring or pushing through an injury can lead to further damage and a longer recovery time.


Many special forces soldiers have overcome injuries and continued to excel in training and missions. By taking proper precautions to prevent injuries and seeking treatment when necessary, you can increase your chances of staying healthy and performing at your best.




So What Sir


Running is a vital component of special forces training and selection.


It helps build physical and mental endurance, improves cardiovascular fitness, and prepares soldiers for the physical demands of special forces missions.


Whether you're a beginner or an advanced runner, incorporating running into your training program can help improve your overall performance.


Remember to focus on proper training techniques, nutrition, and injury prevention to ensure success in special forces selection and training.


So, get out there and start running – your future as a special forces soldier depends on it!

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