Join Date: Jul 2008
Andrew, thanks again for passing that along, the decathlon training really impressed me, and I like the structure very much, but I just don't think I'm ready to jump into it. I've been slowly and cautiously recovering from my injury since June, and I'm just starting to be able to run without pain now, so I think it's going to be a while before I can run 12 miles a week. That I've found that the sprint work definitely puts a different kind of stress on my tibia than just pace running. This is why I'm trying to find a way to take the best parts of multiple programs and combine them.
The biggest barrier for me with this test is definitely the run, and then the pullups. As you can see, my pushups and situps are close to where they need to be, so I'm confident that some focused work on pacing myself through the 2 minutes will improve my totals. The run, however, has always been my weak point. I don't know if I'm just out of gas by the end of the test, or if I'm overly anxious and so I come out to fast early in the run only to crap out before the end, but I consistently have trouble with the run. The pullups are giving me trouble because it seems that simply doing more sets of pullups is not increasing my one set max.
Fatigue/weakness, my legs hurt when I run like they do when I'm pounding out sets of air squats. Logic says my legs are too weak, but I have a max squat of 315, so I feel like I should have the strength to run. The swim gets me too, my quads are screaming at me by the end of the swim, and during the run, my quads hurt so bad I think it actually slows me down. Pushups, triceps always wear out first, pullups, grip seems to go before my biceps do, and for situps, I just can't seem to go any faster. My left tibia is my achilles heel, if I'm going to get injured (stress fractures) that's where it happens first.
Systemically, I think I tend to feel locked in to a training program, so I ignore my body when I'm starting to feel run down and I push on through as scheduled. This is probably why I become overtrained repeatedly. I'm not doing stupid shit like 3 WODs a day (Robb stopped me from that 2 years ago), and I'm not training 7 days a week anymore. My most recent issues arose when I chose a program, and then adhered to that program, to the letter, never skipped a workout, never took it easy, never took a day off. I seem to have a harder time recovering from running workouts than PT or lifting.
I have terrible running form, and I'm working on cleaning that up. The only instruction I've had was at the CF Running and Endurance Cert, but I never learned POSE then, and I still can't do it now. I've been trying to run barefoot for over a year now though, and I'm still heel striking, so it's definitely something I need to focus on.
As for swimming, I've never had formal instruction, but I've been fortunate enough to have a few SEALs take some time to actually show me how I should swim. My technique is good enough that the test administrators have never criticized or corrected me, but I'm still constantly trying to improve my technique and I use Total Immersion as my guide to work on rolling to breathe and keeping my body level.
I've been doing weighted pullups occasionally, but the programs I've tried to improve my numbers in the past have been ones like "Drop and give me a 100" where you do sets of pushups throughout the day, or pushup and pullup ladders. I tried tabata pushups and pullups, and it did very little to improve my 2 minute max. I'll try some progressive loading for the weight. In the past, when I added weight I was still trying to get more reps, so even if I was doing weighted pullups, the weight stayed the same week after week (25# vest), but I was focused on increasing reps. I think I'll give a linear progression a shot with increasing the weight each week instead of trying to increase the reps.
I'm going to keep my timeframe flexible. Last time I started a program to prepare for the PST and BUD/S, I gave myself one year, and as I drew close to that one year mark (August), I should've backed off, but I stayed on the program and tried to press through, which obviously was a mistake, and I ended up injuring myself in June. In a perfect world with unicorns and hookers with hearts, I'd like to hit these numbers by March/April. But I think it's more important that I focus on staying healthy, so I'd say conservatively I'd like to be ready by the summer, but I'm open to pushing that back if circumstances require adjustments.
The tricky thing I have to keep in mind is that I'm not just preparing for the PST. Just being able to swim a fast 500, pound out pushups, situps, and pullups in short time intevals, and sprint a mile and half isn't enough. That's the entrance requirements, but I need to build a base of fitness where I'll be able to run 6-10 miles a day, run an obstacle course daily, do an hour of PT at a time, log PT, carrying boats, and go for 1-2 mile swims over a 6 month period. So, I'm going to need to have some strength work, and I'll need to have some long distance work in addition to the PST distances.
If you or anyone have a better idea, I'm completely open to it, but my plan was to take the physical training guide from the SEAL/SWCC website, and just tweak it so that the distance increases were smaller increments, and I thought I'd try to alternate PT workouts and strength workouts. Josh Everett also made the recommendation that every 4th week, I take off from running and row the running workouts instead, that way I'd minimize the pounding and hopefully avoid stress fractures. I was thinking about making that every 3rd week though just to err on the side of caution.
I really just want to do it right this time. I'm tired of screwing up, I'm tired of getting injured, and I'm fed up with repeatedly dipping into overtraining. I've literally lost years to injuries and recovering from poor programming. I'm ready to overhaul and start from scratch.