Running can be a controversial subject. Some swear by running; others have nothing good to say about it. I do not have a Ph.D. in physiology or science, but running has been a major part of my life and career, and I can attest to the fact that you can receive great joy from it, not only because of the physical benefits but also because of the peace of mind that you can get from it.
For SEALS at BUDIS, running is practically a daily ritual. Men have been made and men have been broken by excruciating runs during SEAL training. Each SEAL team runs three times a week, and almost everyone runs on their own during the other days of the week. Of course, when you are training for an op (operation1 mission) you usually do not have time to yourself. As a Navy SEAL, I have fond memories and also bitter memories of running during my training at BUDIS. I’ve always enjoyed heading out to an empty, tourist-free beach and running as the sun sets. I pick a nice, steady pace, and as the sun goes down I feel my worries and concerns leaving along with it. There is nothing quite like it. What a great way to get away from it all and relieve some tension. Then there are the bitter memories of running during SEAL training. Our physi- cal training leader, Instructor Jared, had just finished exercising us to death and was standing up front, ready to take us out for a run. After a grueling session, this guy hadn’t even broken a sweat! Whenever Instructor Jared ran us, we knew it was going to be a death march. He may not have been the fastest instructor at BUDIS, but his stamina was unbelievable. I would rather run behind the fastest instructor on a long road run, than have to run behind an instructor who runs up and down sand berms and through soft sand. Sure enough-that’s where Instructor Jared took us. He never broke stride-not even in the softest sands!
Instructor Jared also usually had the biggest goon squad. The goon squad is the unfortunate group of runners who fall behind the leader, usually lagging about 30 to 60 yards back (varying on each instructor’s current mood). Instructor Jared would put us through grueling runs, hoping to create a big goon squad. The goon squad is given a warning to catch up-or else. If they don’t catch up, they get hammered with more and more intensive exercise. It is not uncommon to see someone pass out or drop from fatigue, just trying to keep up with the team. This is where I learned to dig deep down inside myself to accomplish things I’d never known I was capable of doing. If you have never included running in your training program, or if you have not been running in a long time, I recommend starting out very slowly to prevent shin splints and stress fractures. I also recommend running at the end of your workout, since your muscles will be good and warm, even if they are a little tired from exercising. This is the best time for growth-and you will not have to run a long distance to get the same effect. Try to add variety to your running, to spice it up a little. Like anything done over and over again, running can become very boring if you aIways do it on the same course and in the same manner.
I recommend running long distances on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, go to a nearby track and do wind sprints.(A “wind sprint” is short-distance running, going back and forth from one designated spot to another, an all-out burst of running as fast as you can.)’ Another great way to work on speed, strength, and stamina is by doing sprints uphill. This is an awesome workout! I know because I had to do hundreds of sprints up soft sand dunes during BUDIS training. The goal is to work on both speed and endurance. By following this program, you will achieve both.
I realize that most people dislike sprints, but by ordering this workout program you have proven that you are not just anyone. You are someone who’s ready to push yourself to the limit to achieve a rock-hard body. By doing sprints you train the muscle fibers in your legs to react quickly. This will generate greater development and improve your body’s speed in short-burst situations. Your legs are made up of fast twitch fibers and slow twitch fibers. By running long distances, you work the slow twitch fibers. Include wind sprints once a week to work the fast twitch fibers. Sprints will improve the overall development of your legs. Be creative and make running enjoyable. Once your running or sprint session is finished, spend a little time stretching out. I’m not talking about a marathon stretch session-just a couple of minutes of stretching will help you prevent injuries and improve flexibility.