Worried about running...

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by richardsm, Apr 16, 2016.

  1. richardsm

    richardsm New Member

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    Hello everyone - I was accepted into USNA and I have questions about plebe summer. I know there have been many forums on this, but I wanted to confirm and receive advice about running in particular.

    I have never been a runner. I am female and a swimmer, and lift weights. I can do more than 80 pushups and 110 sit-ups under two minutes, and am currently working on my pull-ups (only 3 pull-ups at the moment). However, I am not a runner. Miraculously, I was appointed with a 9:21 mile, most likely because I maxed out on the other tests in the CFA, and because I excelled in academics - but a 9:21 mile was achieved through self-training for two weeks before NASS (in other words, instead of building muscle, I ran a lot and went on a diet).

    Since then I have forced myself to run in the morning, but because of my schedule, I switched to interval running for 15 minutes (sprinting, then jogging slowly, sprinting, etc) instead of cardio for 30-60 minutes. In about 7 weeks I will be going to I-day. Should I return to the dieting and focus on improving my running, or should I continue building muscle?

    I also heard about running groups - a 9:21 mile was my fastest record so far. I am assuming that I would have to be in the last running group, but what is the distribution of runners at USNA? Are most people fast, slow, or moderate? Where would I place? Also, would it be shameful to be slow? I will improve but I can only improve so much in a little more than 2 months. I am hoping to be at around 8:30 mile pace - if I do achieve this, which running group would I place then?

    Thank you so much.
     
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  2. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    http://www.stewsmith.com/linkpages/sixweekrunningplan.htm

    LT Stew Smith was a USNA company officer renowned for getting mids "motivated" about reaching their fitness goals. He has gone on to great success with his personal fitness business. Browse his website.

    Work on the run. You do not want to be struggling and anxious about that at the start of PS. Build up to times you are confident you can achieve, but also continue with routines helping with your upper body strength. Push-ups, work up to a lot, and do more, several times a day.

    That's just my two cents from having observed "plebes with challenges" both as a USNA BattO and sponsor family.
     
  3. murfthesurf

    murfthesurf DS - USNA 2020

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    Congratulations on the Appointment !

    BTW, great handle.... analogous to "Richard Sims" , LOL !

    You sound sharp, most 18-19 year olds have no clue who "Richard Sims" was/is !!

    Most Plebes worry about having to swim!

    You, maxed out everything except the Mile!? You sound tough as you chose the Pull-ups over the Arm Hang!? Yikes !

    How was the 40 yd. shuttle time?

    First off, any thoughts about adding your name to the Class of 2020 Appointment Thread?
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2016
  4. Next Generation

    Next Generation Member

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    By my count you've got more like 10 weeks to I-Day, so don't panic. You've got this!

    I'm concerned with what you're saying about running and going on a diet. If you are even close on your weight, I would say do watch closely what you eat, and back off with the weight lifting. Core strength is great for running, but bulk does not help. Switch out white pastas and breads for whole-grain carbs (you will naturally eat less due to the change in flavor!). Eating NO refined sugar, just fruits for desserts, will allow you to naturally change the way you eat and benefit the way you run.

    Take your weight and bulk seriously. Our DD's weight triggered a measurement form for AFA, and her bulked-up measurements did her in. If you're a weightlifter, guy or gal, you want to make sure your weight is under on I-Day so you don't trigger negative consequences. But you are on this nice and early, so my guess is your weight will come down and your speed will increase as it does, and you'll be in great shape by I-Day!
     
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  5. forumjunkie

    forumjunkie Member

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    Swimming Who would have thought....True story, Got a text from my Mid last summer. He took his final swimming class during summer Block so he could focus on it. Got a text one day "today is the best day of my academy experience, just passed my final swim test, now I know I can Graduate!"

    Telling this to a friend, a retired cost guard Col. "Hey I almost didn't pass, and I was at the, in the Coast Guard academy, talk about embarrassing"

    Note: my son says he messed up by barely passing the initial test, wished he had failed it and gotten remedial help from the get go.
     
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  6. NavyMom19

    NavyMom19 Member

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    just some words of wisdom and encouragement about running...do your best..take it slow and make sure you get yourself a good pair of running shoes and run on pavement not the HS track! Pavement is where you will run/chop at USNA so to keep from getting the shin splints the first few weeks..best to get use to the pavement now.
     
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  7. Next Generation

    Next Generation Member

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    Excellent point! There are many running stores now that have an indoor track where sales associates can evaluate your gait and fit you with the perfect shoes for your body and running style. DD ended up with a pair of Brooks that are ugly as sin but super comfortable on trails and pavement both. Good shoes, especially for pavement running, are essential for avoiding shin splints, especially for those who aren't featherweights.
     
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  8. AlexT

    AlexT Banned

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    All excellent points. Shin splints really are the issue that you need to work to avoid. Start modest and build your distance with time. Mine got a little too aggressive and already had shin splints when reporting to her SA.
     
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  9. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    9:21 mile is going to make a tough Plebe Summer. You need to get this down to 8 minutes. The only thing that will get you better at running is running. Go talk to a high school cross country coach and set up a plan. If you don't have a coach to work with look for a local running club. Also get fitted for shoes at a running store. They can recommend plans, running groups and even ways to prevent shin splints. As far as weight and bulking... Are you over the weight limit? I doubt you have bulk that is slowly you down.
     
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  10. richardsm

    richardsm New Member

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    Thank you for all the advice and concern. I am 5'5" and 141 lbs. I did hear that, for running, losing weight will definitely help, which is why I lost weight before taking the CFA and held off on lifting. So, should I be doing this again (should I stop lifting weights)? Also, does this mean that a 9 minute mile is the slowest group? Thank you again.
     
  11. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    Slimming down can help but none of us on this forum know your frame, body fat, etc. Sure carrying extra weight will slow you down. Carrying muscle mass can hurt some if they aren't in shape. I highly doubt with those numbers that your muscle mass is the issue. A healthy lean meat, low carb, low sugar diet will help anyone drop weight. You need to workout, focus on core muscles and running. I am not trying to be mean or insulting, but plain and simple, with a a 9:21 mile you need to get in shape. Not 2 weeks of training for a CFA, but 10 solid weeks of working out or Plebe Summer will be much harder than it has to be. You will be in the slowest running group and at this pace you will not be passing the PRT. Not passing the PRT can add huge stress to a Mid and you will be tested each semester. Not passing the PRT can lead to separation in some cases. Look up USNA PRT scores and body fat %. Give yourself an honest assessment of where you stand and get to it. If you put the work in, you will see an improvement. Good luck.
     
  12. forumjunkie

    forumjunkie Member

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    I am only going by my observations mind you.

    My son had a much harder time with PT when he was lifting for football. The main things you will be doing at Plebe summer are running, push ups, and front leaning rest(push up without the push) and sit ups. We had this discussion about Younger brother and Mid declared weight lifting would not help, my daughter has gotten into lifting this year and her weight jumped 15 lbs, and she is always starving because she has so much muscle to feed. You are just creating more weight and bulk to haul around and push or/ pull up. Remember Muscle is a lot heavier than fat.

    My family are not runners either but Mid did PT last year with cross country team and learned tricks that he then taught to Sis, made an amazing difference, Don't really know what they are but that is the right direction to explore. I was able to observe his body was distinctly different that leave, all whipcord muscle, no bulk.

    You will lose weight during plebe summer happens to almost everyone .
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2016
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  13. forumjunkie

    forumjunkie Member

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    Find someone to run with "sometimes it's difficult to keep momentum when it's you, that you are following" :groupwave:
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2016
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  14. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    Excellent advice here to focus on skills needed for PS - work on those things. Endurance and the ability to sustain repeated workouts and heightened physical activity during the day will be key. It will be hard enough in the heat, humidity and general stress-filled atmosphere.

    Listen to Hoops and others - you do not want to be the mid who is always struggling to pass the PRT, 4 years, once a semester. If you don't pass on the first try, your precious time will be siphoned off to be part of the remedial squad, which just adds stress. It will also make your name known for the wrong reasons.

    Set your mind to going to PS lean and mean, confident in your ability to at least be in the middle group of runners, over any surface. Be smart about it, get a routine set up, work up to it.

    Be able to pump out endless sit-ups and push-ups - by practicing them. Do them every time you have 10 minutes, any time of the day, in addition to your set workout times. Once school is over, get up early and get a workout done before eating - I know it's tough for your age group. Then, since you've worked up to it, do more during the day.

    The peace of mind will be priceless. Give yourself the gift of "I've got this."

    You don't have to be a jackrabbit (trust me, all those who ran track in HS will handle that), but be someone who can reliably keep up with the main body of the group, and be fit and hardened enough that you won't be "on chit" for shin splints, muscle strains or other issues.

    I was a swimmer in HS and college, an occasional runner, and the summer before I went to OCS in September, I focused on workouts that trained the muscle groups I would need to run - so I visited the track coaches and got a workout routine from them, after talking about what my goals were. We also talked about running form and proper shoes, stretching, etc.

    I did maintenance workouts for sit-ups, push-ups, etc. The other thing I did, two hours after dinner, was skip rope on our concrete driveway, gradually working up from endurance and speed workouts on the rubber gym floor, to the wooden gym floor, to the pavement. I did this all incrementally. This pool rat had not ever treated her knees, hips and feet this way, much less gotten sweaty and sucked in bugs during humid workouts, so that was an important part of the training. My body shape changed, leaned up, and I started to know what I could push for, just like I used to do in the pool. There were good days and bad days, but I gained the confidence and skills I needed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2016
  15. ahs67

    ahs67 Member

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    My mid actually gained weight during Plebe summer. He is a runner though and there was a significant reduction in the amount of miles he was accustomed to running and an increase in the amount of gummy bears consumed. All is well now.
    Check out a local running store if you have one in your area. They often have groups of novice runners who get together several times a week with the goal of running a first 5k for example. If it's not too late, talk to the track coach at your school and see if you can tag along for some runs or workouts with the team. Just going for runs is great but to increase your speed you need to incorporate some interval runs on the track or fartleks. Running hills are great for this too. Again, your track coach at your school will be able to guide you through this.
     
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  16. forumjunkie

    forumjunkie Member

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    Meant to address your question "would it be shameful to be slow" Young lady you have already accomplished an incredible feat in securing an appointment! I will leave it to the others to quote numbers and statistics, but put shame out of your vocabulary! You are already a Winner. What you are striving for now is to make this whole experience more bearable and avoid a show stopping injury.

    One of the first jokes you will hear is "do you know what they call the Mid with the lowest GPA/ or could substitute slowest runner that graduates USNA" ..................................."Ensign"
     
  17. forumjunkie

    forumjunkie Member

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    Not too many folks out there that can say Plebe summer is a significant reduction in miles run per day!
     
  18. socalfan

    socalfan Member

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    Can I ask the reasoning behind suggesting a workout before eating? Hard to fuel yourself to make improvements without any fuel source. If we are talking weight loss, yes if you eat sugars/carbs that will be burned first but I don't see the harm in a protein shake or a good protein based breakfast. Unless you are saying they do PT there on an empty stomach and they need to get used to it?
     
  19. Capt MJ

    Capt MJ Member

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    :)
    PEP. I-Day plus 1. 0530 or thereabouts. First workout of the day during Plebe Summer. Also, less to throw up if things get grueling, especially for sit-ups and other fun things. Breakfast happens later, unless things have changed. Welcome to the military.

    Most military bases, you see many people getting their workouts in before sunup. Military gyms usually open around 0500. My favorite pre-dawn workouts: running out to the beach and back at Hickam in Hawaii, or up and around the helo pad at Camp Smith in HI (astounding view), and many other places around the world. In HI, I would roll out early, dress in PT gear, grab my prepped uniform in a hangar and gym bag, head to the Hickam gym, drink some water in the car. Run a few miles, lift some weights, cool down on the elliptical, stretch, shower and prep for work there. Drink water and eat protein/fiber bars and a banana or apple on the way to work. Depending on my duty assignment at the time, I was at my desk sometime between 0600 and 0715. The more senior I became, the less likely I was to be able to get in noontime PT, because of meetings, crises, whatever. As family life got more complicated, after-work PT was replaced by errands. So, early AM PT became a habit, for stress management and to ensure solid PRT grades. Though I am no longer active duty, I still do my PT first thing, at least major cardio, maintenance sit-ups, push-ups, pull-ups. Then breakfast. Weights later on now.

    As a BattO at USNA, after my run, I would be walking our dogs at Hospital Point, or around Farragut Field, regardless of weather, and see mids out in the dawn running an Outer or an Inner, as well as the Supe, Commandant and other staff and faculty.

    I recommend rolling out early and getting into the habit of disciplining the body into early activity, starting a few weeks before I-Day - because that is one painful reality on I-Day +1. And for those not used to the humidity and on West Coast time, triple whammy.

    In an ideal world, PT before breakfast may not make nutritional sense. This is one of the first adjustments in the military world.

    My recommendation was meant with kindness, as a small step toward softening what will be an abrupt transition.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2016
  20. socalfan

    socalfan Member

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    I wasn't questioning the sincerity just the logic. I enjoyed the vivid stories, thank you for sharing. I think the first care package I will send will be protein bars. I would definitely struggle with that. I don't have a military background but I do have an endurance athlete background and even on early race days (and training days) something was eaten prior.
     

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