Q: I'm in the the army reserve and we have a physical training test and the only problem I have is my 2 mile run. I think that it's a mental thing when I run. How could I prepare myself for this run so that I could stay up? I don't run that much and when I do it has to be short distance. I know I need to run more. I just need running advice to start me off. How to prepare myself before the test? - K.C. (1/2/04)
A: As you can tell from our website, it's all about how bad you want it, baby. Problems between the ears are often the hardest problems to deal with for runners. Not to trivialize your issue, but your situation is probably one of the easiest scenarios I have been submitted in all of my years in responding to someone with a motivational issue. You might try putting this thought into your head just before your test: You are standing on a street corner in downtown Baghdad and you notice some jerk on foot carrying a locked and loaded RPG heading to what is about to become one seriously hot LZ (that is, of course, unless you get your sorry ass moving) about 3.2 clicks straight down the road ahead of you. You know exactly what he has in mind. Only you can stop him. Youíre the only one who can. He sees you and starts to run. You know that youíve got a full two miles before he is in range of our fully loaded troop transports. What do you do?
Answer: The first thing you DONíT do is panic. You know you suck at running. Fortunately, Mr. RPG doesnít know that. You notice he is running pretty fastÖand you suspect he's going to tire soon. You are going to bet on the possibility that you can run faster mad than he can scared, so you donít panic when he starts out too fast. In fact, that's exactly what you want. You sit back, keep him in view and wait for him to tire because you are going to run the second mile faster than the first mile. You can do that because you are one lean fighting machine, baby! So while he's using up all his energy carrying that RPG, you are biding your time for the second mile, where heís going to come to papa.
Bruce has taught me the importance of anger as a motivator when The Truth comes a calling. It can work for you, too. If you need more, just pretend it's Osama Bin Laden.
Now, about getting you ready physically. Since I have no idea what kind of shape you are in, you just need to prepare yourself for covering the distance. Based on what you have told me, your goal should simply be to finish. You should be able to do that or this country has some serious screening criteria for accepting someone into the military in the first place. Go to a track and try to work yourself up to 8 laps without stopping. Try four one day. Then, five the next. You get the idea... If you donít have a track, find a course and know what two miles is. Optimally, you can practice at the same place that you will be doing the test, just to know what it looks and feels like come game day. Like I said, if you have time, work yourself up to two miles. To help with your speed, do a "speed work out." That is, start by running one mile. Stop and rest for five minutes. Then, run another mile. Try to do your second one faster than the first. To help your endurance, it's a good idea to run farther than the distance you are training for. To do this, you will need to slow your pace. Try to run non-stop for 2.5 to 3 miles. If you can run farther than the distance you are training for, you will be confident you can finish come game day. Finally, hills are always a good idea for strength. One day per week, you should dedicate some running exclusively to hills. If you can find a hill or an incline, run up it. Effort is more important than pace. Why? Because when you get on the flats, it feels so much easier. Find an incline and try to work yourself up to six consecutive 90 second intervals. You rest as you jog back down to the bottom to do your next interval. Hope this helps. Let us know how it goes. Good luck. The Rage (1/4/04)
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|10kTruth.com is a place for runners who have the attitude to train harder and smarter, who want to race faster and stronger, to better their race times and lower the chance of injury. The Rage and Manciata answer running and training questions with their own unique insight and spew. You'll also find running advice and inspirational quotes by sports legends and others who epitomize the spirit of 10k Truth.|