Running Programming for Marine Corps
I'm currently a Marine Corps Officer Candidate, and I developed a borderline stress fracture in my shin about 6 weeks ago from forcing the issue on my running.
Last summer, I went to OCS with a 3-mile time of 22:55 and left with a time of 21:55. My training last year consisted of bodyweight circuits, 4-5 mile beach, hill, and trail runs 2-3 days a week, and one day of intervals a week.
After OCS, I did strength training and no running for 6 months, and then I started CrossFiting in January. The trainer at my CrossFit affiliate suggested I jog about 3-5 miles at a conversational pace 2-3 days a week in the afternoons. Perhaps I didn't follow it enough, but I soon discovered that run time was really bad. One day I found that after a few months of CrossFiting, I ran a 26 min 3-mile time.
This is when I began to force the issue. I CrossFited about 4 days a week, and I would run in the afternoons M-W-F. I switched off between between workout A- running 200 meter intervals and workout B - running 4-6 mile hill/beach runs. My body was having a tough time recovering, so I slept about 9-10 hours a day, including a daily nap after CrossFiting in the morning. And, I would take contrast showers.
I was feeling the effects of overtraining, and shin problem that had been bothering me returned and I tried to run through the pain because I had no choice, as I was set to return to the second half of OCS in July.
Now, I just did a month or so of SS because I couldn't do anything high impact. In June, I'm going to return to CrossFiting, and I'm going to start taking up martial arts 2-3 nights a week.
I know this is a long post, but I am clueless as to how I should program my running. As a Marine, I have to be capable of easily running 5-7 miles. However, I'm not concerned with elite times. My 3-mile time was hovering in the mid-23 min range before I got injured. It probably would have been mid-22 min had I rested more before the time trial.
I'm sure if I only dedicated my time to running, whether I did LSD or intervals, my time would improve. But, I have a small frame so I can't sacrifice strength, and I have a delicate balance because I'm CrossFiting and am going to add on martial arts training on top of that. I am also going to take up mountain climbing. Would that be able to replace a LSD day, like on a Saturday?
I know there are resources like crossfitendurance, but I have had recovery issues with adding on running to my crossfiting, so I would appreciate any input on the most efficient way to improve my 3-6 mile running ability. I would be happy if I were able to run a 3-mile time in the 20-21 min range.
1. Short interval running is basically like a CF metcon or heavy lifting for what it does to the body. Basically, it burns out your CNS and muscles as much as the aforementioned would.
If we take this into account, you were doing like 5-6 "CF workouts" per week.. which is okay but not that great if you're not conditioned to handle that type of load. Burnout can be easy since sprinting is fairly high intensity as you know.
2. I assume you want to improve your 3 mile time. This is going to take specific work + maybe an interval day.
3. You need to get your priorities straight. Unless you have the best genetics in the world (which I assume you don't), you probably won't be able to handle CF + martial arts + mountain climbing + specific work for 3 mile run. You just can't. You have to decide what you want to do (more like pick 2 of them... 3 will be extremely hard).
If you can't recover from CF + interval/LSD I don't see how you're going to even add something on top of that -- if CF down to like 1-2 days a week, interval once, run 3 mi 1-2 times (fast.. LSD isn't going to work to bring up speed) PLUS something on top of that. Uh, maybe if it was only once or twice a week at most. Then you'd still have to be taking your naps, getting 9+ hours of sleep, have your diet optimalized and probably take a bunch of supplements like fish oil, BCAAs, etc. and even then... heh
You could use the Crossfit Endurance website. This is specific added training for endurance athletes like yourself and used in conjunction with regular CF wod's. Just an idea though.
Crossfitting will give you what you need for GPP and as an OCS Candidate you need to focus on that as well as more running to get better with your times. I can't give you a program for running as im actually constructing one right now that works into CF.
I say dump the martial arts and the Starting Strength and focus on CF for GPP and running more to improve your times.
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