T Nation

Joining The Forces, Training Plans?


Hi, well after I finish College I will be thinking of joing either the RAF or Marines in the UK.

I have been researching about what I need to be able to do in order to be ble to get in.

The RAF states you need to be ble to do 1.5 miles in under 12 Mins 12 Secs. but for my age group (18) theyrecommend that I should be able to do it in 10-11 mins.

The Marines is a bit more hard core as you have to do a 2.5-3 day Potrential Royal Marine Commandos test which involves cardio and gym tests, Im not sure sure about the gym side but you need to be able to do 3 miles in under 22.5 mintues for that...

I have been thinking about joing the forces for a long time and would really like to do it, I would preffer to go into the Marines as a soldier. But the only thing that makes me think is that my cardio isn't that good. I had asthma as a kid and I think my lung capacity is a bit smallerthan the average.
If I were to join the RAF I would go in as a Firefighter/Gunner.

I havebeen doig gym work for a year on/off, i ijnured by back for 1/2 months so Im getting back into it now and have been running, I managed to do 1.5 miles in 9 minutes I think it was so Im improving, Im startig the Guerilla Cardio this week as I read it can improve your VO2 Max a fair bit so hopefully that will help...


You won't get anywhere near the Marines with asthma or any ailment, also your eyesight must be 20 - 20. You might have more luck getting into the Paras. Not that the training isn't as hard. For prep for Marines / Paras start running regularly at least 3-6 mts before. The amount of running you do (in boots) will make you glad you got ready for it. The 30 week Commando course is a right bastard, similary the Paras training is also tough as hell. Going out on the moors in a boiler suit with a binbag and trying to skin and cook a rabbit with frozen hands is about the lowlight of it, freezing your ass off.


I read on the site before that you must not have had asthma within 4 years of it, I havent had problems at all since I was about 12, so hopefully it will be ok.

The para's sound good aswell, I'll have to look into it, Im going to the forces career place tommorow so I will try to Find all out I can.

At the moment I have been running for a while and I was thinking about doing this Cardio Routine for a while...

  1. Guerilla Cardio - 6 Weeks (as it says I think)

  2. 1.5 Miles in quickest time under 12 Mins (Few Weeks)

  3. 3 Miles in quikest time under 22.5 Mins.

  4. After this I will do longer distances over time.

This would start with a good base improving my V02 max by a bit, then doing the 1.5 miles will help to do the pre RAF thing, the 3 miler will help do the pre Marines thing, then doing longer distances will help overll. In theory it will work, apparwently after all the interviews it can take about a year to apply and get in in some cases so I have a while to work on it.



For the Paras..have a look here


and here


and about Asthma..


and some training before you apply



You may be more succussful if you can comfortably do at least the following before you report for selections:

  • 3 mile run in sneakers < 20 min (target 18 min)

  • 80+ Pushups < 2 min

  • 80+ Situps < 2 min

  • 20+ Pullups or Chinups < 2 min (deadhang)

  • 10km (6.2 mile) run in sneakers < 45 min

  • swim 200+ meters in open water wearing sweatshirt, jeans and boots using any stroke without rest (no time, most kids can't swim 50 meters)

  • tread water 2+ minutes wearing sweatshirt, jeans and boots

  • swim underwater the width of the pool with eyes open

It would be best if you could do it all within an 8 hour period. There will be additional stress and agility type tests but this is probably a good guide to the minimum conditioning you can do as a civilian to be prepared.

Overnight backpacking trips will help you get used to carrying a 50 - 100+ pound load on your back as well.

Agility and flexibility training will help prevent you from washing out due to injury. Attitude is everything.

Good Luck


Well I went to the forces place and won't be able to get in for 3 years because of an asthma precription a year ago I didnt even use, my mum used to make me get them just in case even though I didn't need them.

I used to have asthma when I was young but no roblem since I was 12, but it's down to the prescriptions (not used but it doesn't matter to them)...

Im tryinng to get around it but it donest look to hopefull at the minute. On the otherside I can have more time to get ready so I will have the best chance to pass.

Im pretty gutted but thats life so I'll train up and come back stronger. I can still get quite a few jobs I liked and wanted to do previously with my qualifcications, so thats good.