If you’re looking for a way to add variety to your running, leg endurance, and muscle endurance training days, check out the gym and cardio workouts that help you make running more enjoyable. little more difficult.

These are challenging when done in a single day, but as you progress you can mix and match these workouts until you’re ready to do the full column in one. single day of activity (all that is indicated):

Squat Pyramid 1-10 with 100 meter running warm-up

This classic warm-up is a great way to prepare for running and leg exercise reps. This is what this section looks like:

• 1 squat, 100 meter jog (no sprint) and mix in some dynamic stretching, as desired, for 10 to 20 meters each set. • 2 squats, run 100 meters and continue dynamic stretching. • 3 squats, jog 100 meters.

Keep going until you get to set 10. This totals 55 squats and 1,000 yards of jogging, mixed with some dynamic stretching. If you feel hot after 5-6 sets, you can move on to the rest of the workout, especially if you think 55 squats is more than you are capable of on your first attempt.

Timed race from 1 to 1.5 miles:

See what your fast pace goal can be for one to 1.5 miles. This is a good check of 50% for the Marine Corps three-mile timed run tests, two miles for the Army tests, and a good one mile to 1.5 miles for the actual test navy, air force and coast guard.

Based on your career goals, gauge where your pace is over 50% of your timed running distance. Do you think you can maintain that pace for the remaining 50% of the timed race?

Running Resistance

This section aims to make the race harder than necessary. This can be done with hills and stairs as mentioned below, but you can also add weight (rucking) or soft sand for extra running difficulty. Depending on the availability of hills, stairs or bleachers, you can opt for weight or sand. You can also max out the incline on a treadmill or elliptical machine for the same benefits.

Run hills, bleachers, stairs or stepper with weights for 20 minutes. Rest or stretch as needed.

Execution intervals

In this next section, focus on race pace goals for your timed runs over 400-800 meter runs. See if you can cover 1.5 to 2 miles total distance, broken down into these intervals:

Repeat four times. • Run 800 meters at goal pace • 20 squats • 20 lunges per leg

Added leg calisthenics allows muscular endurance to work the legs while you rest your lungs. As you work to run faster with timed running events, you’ll find that the main challenge will be on your lungs and legs. Work them with this type of leg workout and PT to get the results you’re looking for.

After completing the above sections, take some time to stretch and calm down. Often a swim immediately afterwards is a great way to cool off, especially in the summer. For recruits considering jobs that involve diving and swimming, end the day above the leg with a swim session with fins. This is not only recommended, but should become standard when preparing your legs for the rigors of swimming with large scuba fins.

Complete your leg day with a swim with fins or a ruck, followed by a quick refresher on mobility and flexibility. Depending on your career goals and current weaknesses, consider one of the following options for completing any milestone day. Alternating between rucking and swimming with fins every two weeks is an option if you need to prepare for both.

These can be done in separate workouts:

Navy objectives: Top Off Leg day with finswimming

• swim a 500 meter warm up or a 10 minute run

• Swim 1,500 meters (or more) with fins

Army or Marine Corps Goals: Top Off Leg Day with Ruck

• Ruck three miles to save time (practice paces for walking, brisk walking, brisk shuffle). This rucking drill is a good way to develop pacing strategies for longer distance rucking events. You may find that knowing your walking pace (15 minutes per mile), brisk walking pace (13-14 minutes per mile), and fast walking pace (10-12 minutes per mile) will come in handy when you need to catch your breath, but still take the time. Of course, you always have to pick up the pace to finish the long rucks strong.


It’s a great way to cool off after a game or all of the training sections above. Take your time and don’t skip the cool down and stretch or massage section as it can make a big difference in how you feel tomorrow.

Repeat twice. • Row, bike, elliptical or swim five minutes. • Foam roller and/or stretch five minutes.

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author Certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Visit her Fitness e-book store if you are looking to start a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle. Send your fitness questions to [email protected]

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