Sunday, July 23, 2017

5 Secrets to Running Quickly Without Pain

While I am a pretty athletic guy, and I'm not afraid to try some seriously difficult strength exercises, I've never been good at quickly running long distances. I usually did well on my 1.5-mile run because I could sprint for 3-4 laps and then just held on until I crossed the finish line. Although this worked, it wasn't fun and I found myself physically drained once the PT test was over with.

So, after doing this a couple of times, I decided to change my running equipment. I switched from regular running trainers to the Nike Free shoes, which helped a little, but didn't do much for my chronic running injuries (mostly shin splints). After a bit more research, I decided to try minimalist shoes (specifically the Vibram Bikila LS). While these shoes allowed me set my fastest run time (11:24), and helped me get rid of my chronic running injuries, it only slightly reduced how tired I felt after I was done running.

As I do with all my difficult problems, I started buying books to research a solution. After reading about the the ChiPose, and Evolution running techniques, as well as some running and endurance physiology theory, (1,2) I managed to assemble five changes to my training that have helped me complete the running portion of my PT test without feeling tired afterwards.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

New Post are Coming Soon!

So some of you may have noticed that this site hasn't been updated in a while. Don't worry, I'm not dead. I was just caught up in a deployment, PCS, and retirement, all within a few years of each other. But I now have some spare time to dedicate to new posts, so keep checking back. And if you have any post suggestions, please email them to me at

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Sunday, November 2, 2014

The PT Test: 17 More Ways to Destroy Your 1.5-Mile Run

Here are 17 tips I've come across during my basic running training research that can help you run your fastest 1.5-mile time.
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Sunday, August 10, 2014

The PT Test: 6 Ways to Quickly Get Max Points for Your Waist Measurement

(This post was updated on 10 August 2014.)

Believe it or not, the waist measurement is probably the easiest component of the PT test to max out. Why? Because the waist measurement is actually an overall measurement of your health and the USAF has set the bar pretty low. Also, improving your health (and dropping inches from your waist) is remarkably easy to do (trust me).

This is good news because the waist measurement also gives you the second largest block of points (up to 20 points). Generally, men have to have a waist circumference of 35 inches or less to get max points; women have to have 31.5 inches or less.
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Saturday, August 9, 2014

Improving Your Running Form: Posture

(This is an excerpt from my upcoming Natural Running Guide.)

Good running form starts with good posture. Posture describes the “three natural curves” of the spine. For running, good posture describes your body making a straight line from your head, shoulders, pelvis, and ankles.

If you don’t utilize good running posture it becomes very difficult for you to efficiently use elastic recoil (described in another post). This is because a kinked posture forces your muscles to work harder to keep your body from collapsing, preventing you from reusing much of your running momentum.
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My New Natural Running Guide

One of my biggest complaints with the USAF's PT program is that no one actually teaches you how to run. Consequently, many people use poor running form and economy, making running a very exhausting and painful experience (I know it was for me). However, once you actually learn how to run, your running experience radically changes. Not only do you start to run much faster with fewer injuries, but you may even like running (this may sound impossible to many of you, but I promise, it's a very real possibility).

Because there are so few running clinics out there, I decided to create a guide based on my research and struggles with improving my own running form. Although the guide is still several months away from completion, I will start to post excerpts on my blog.

Below is my introduction and screen shots of a couple of pages. As always, I would love to hear your feedback!
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Monday, June 23, 2014

Should the Waist Measurement be Part of the USAF PT Test?

(This post was actually adapted from a paper I wrote for an English class that I thought would be an interesting topic for this blog. Just keep in mind that this my personal opinion and does not reflect the opinions of the USAF in any way, shape, or form.)

Every year, the US Air Force (USAF) spends billions of dollars both training and retaining its military members. (1) To make sure that these well-trained members are physically fit enough to accomplish their jobs, it also created a bi-annual physical fitness test. This test includes two strength components (the push-up and sit-up), an aerobic component (the 1.5-mile run), and a body fatness component (the waist measurement). 

If someone fails this PT test too many times, they are seen as unfit and are very likely to get kicked out of the military. So, obviously, if you want to stay in the Air Force, you must consistently pass your PT test.

But there's something strange in the USAF PT test: The waist measurement. The strength and aerobic components seem like a valid way to measure physical fitness, but the body fat component seems a bit out of place. What does the size of my waist have to do with my ability to be "fit-to-fight"?
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