T Nation

Police-Need to Run 8 Miles!

so it occurs to me as i went about to post this that a question about running doesnt technically fit into any of the categories on here. didnt we used to have “building a better body”?

anyhow…my goal is to go into law enforcement. most likely will start local and try and transfer to federal. i just took the written/agility test on friday, and passed.

one of the officers mentioned that he used to teach the academy class a couple of years ago and by the end of the 6 month academy, he was charting 10 mile courses for the cadets to run.

i have not been running as i should have for the past couple of months, so im basically starting at “suck ass”. my goal is to arrive at the academy being able to run at least 8 miles. if i can get to 10 by the time i get there, great, but i feel like if i can do at least 8, then ill be able to get to that 10 by the end of the academy.

now, i realize there are people that run marathons and such, and although that is 26.2 miles, they arent doing it every day. i am anticipating running every day in the academy, m-f, for 6 months.

i figured that i should chart out a course of progress for myself, and this is what ive got:

august, september, october, november.

-get to an easy 2mi by the end of august
-get to an easy 4mi by the end of september
-easy 6mi by end of october
-easy 8mi by end of november

i have no included july, because we’re more than halfway through it. also, i have not included december because i have finals and college graduation, etc- it will be enough that month just to maintain the 8mi.

also, my plan is to run every day, m-f.

another thing to note is that each time ive decided to lean out a little, ive always stopped halfway. i start to feel small and all this, and i want to turn around and put the weight back on.

i realize this is probably going to be a problem with all of the running that i plan on doing to prepare, as well as while im in the academy. i suppose ill have to suck it up, and up until the academy, try and eat enough to not lose too much weight, and then in the academy just let the chips fall where they may, and put the weight back on afterwards.

any tips, suggestions, etc.

Ughh, be careful about running every day like that. Your knees are gonna be shot. Just make sure you put in some sprint work and hill runs too.

(that’s my newbie dime store advice anyways)

I’ve clocked in anywhere between 20 to 30 miles per week for the past 5 years. During those years, I’ve still managed to put on about 40lbs of lean mass. I don’t necessarily do it because I like to, but it’s sort of a job requirement. I frankly don’t see why the hell the academy would want you to be able to run 8 miles.

There’s absolutely no practical advantage in being able to do that. If you can hack it for ~5 miles at a slow pace, then the distance after that really becomes a matter of how long you can stand the pain from your feet. It should be based on how fast you can run a shorter distance.

Anyway, you’re going to have to get used to the idea of losing mass. Also, adding more mass so that you end up losing less is only going to make it that much harder for you to be able to run that much in the first place. There’s no win-win scenario here. My advice is to get your running form/technique down to minimize the pain to your feet, ankles, and knees. It all comes down to having the heart to hang on.

From another post on the forum about military training. The listed ruining progression in the second post looked good to me. It is a
nine week progression from 6 miles/week to 16miles/week.

Note the third week off. I think allowing your body to slowly acclimate to the continues impact of running most days of the week will be a key point.
http://www.T-Nation.com/tmagnum/readTopic.do?id=1636915

Getting to the multi mile running distance I would use a beginning 5K walk/run program.

Wow, 8 miles seems kind of excessive to me as well. They obviously don’t have a maintenance program of any sort. I don’t know how many fat chief Wiggums I’ve seen walking around my area. I doubt most of them can run 100 meters.

Do what you gotta do to get through academy and then you can train the correct way.

I have been in law enforcement for 17 years and have never had to chase anyone over several hundred yards.

Distance training for police work is pointless. Everything we do is hard and fast. You go from sitting idle in your police car to a 40- 400 yard dash and then may have to fight. I base my enrgy systems work on this type of scenario.

Sprints of varying distances followed by heavy bag work, or med ball throws, complexes, etc… Most incidents are over in 1-3 minutes and that is what you need to train for. Also try sprints and the other above listed work with an X-vest or some type of weight vest which simulates the amount of weight you carry in full uniform.

Good luck with academy and holler if you have any questions.

Not in law enforcement but the comments of those that are seem right on: a long run seems pointless as it’s nothing like what you’ll be doing on the job. That said, you’ve got to get through the long run in training.

I’m a triathlete half the year and have had good success improving running on just THREE runs a week, which I’d recommend given that you have a good amount of time to prep (many people run marathons with less prep!) Build up slowly, get your distance comfortably down first and THEN worry about speed (in this respect I have to respectfully disagree with the poster who recommended sprints as you build your distance). A 10% increase in total distance per week is generally considered optimal and safe.

Other training days make sure you are doing plenty of flexibility stuff for ankles, hips, and hamstrings, as well as lots of ab/core exercises, some upper body work to keep yourself strong, and light leg work to keep yourself healthy, balanced and strong.

Once you’re on the job, I’d say "Jaj’ above has the right idea: train for anaerobic power and speed and for getting squirrelly perps cuffed in a hurry.

thanks for the replies everyone.

i definitely agree that the 10miles ill eventually have to do in the academy is ridiculous, and really has no practical application…to anything.

that being said, like it or not, i was told that it will be in there, so i want to be prepared for it.

also, the suggestions for training after the academy are right in line with what i am thinking. my gym actually has many different size heavy bags, 120, 180, 200, 300, as well as many speed bags. i have already starting whaling on those heavy bags after the running.

again, thanks.

Flameout…?

[quote]dez6485 wrote:
so it occurs to me as i went about to post this that a question about running doesnt technically fit into any of the categories on here. didnt we used to have “building a better body”?

anyhow…my goal is to go into law enforcement. most likely will start local and try and transfer to federal. i just took the written/agility test on friday, and passed.

one of the officers mentioned that he used to teach the academy class a couple of years ago and by the end of the 6 month academy, he was charting 10 mile courses for the cadets to run.

i have not been running as i should have for the past couple of months, so im basically starting at “suck ass”. my goal is to arrive at the academy being able to run at least 8 miles. if i can get to 10 by the time i get there, great, but i feel like if i can do at least 8, then ill be able to get to that 10 by the end of the academy.

now, i realize there are people that run marathons and such, and although that is 26.2 miles, they arent doing it every day. i am anticipating running every day in the academy, m-f, for 6 months.

i figured that i should chart out a course of progress for myself, and this is what ive got:

august, september, october, november.

-get to an easy 2mi by the end of august
-get to an easy 4mi by the end of september
-easy 6mi by end of october
-easy 8mi by end of november

i have no included july, because we’re more than halfway through it. also, i have not included december because i have finals and college graduation, etc- it will be enough that month just to maintain the 8mi.

also, my plan is to run every day, m-f.

another thing to note is that each time ive decided to lean out a little, ive always stopped halfway. i start to feel small and all this, and i want to turn around and put the weight back on.

i realize this is probably going to be a problem with all of the running that i plan on doing to prepare, as well as while im in the academy. i suppose ill have to suck it up, and up until the academy, try and eat enough to not lose too much weight, and then in the academy just let the chips fall where they may, and put the weight back on afterwards.

any tips, suggestions, etc.[/quote]

Hey Bro,
Have you been applying for lots of agencies lately? You stated that you want to go Federal LE. I am working in Fed/LE now for a long time. PM me for some information. By the way, I still am using your workout that you gave me for deadlifts over a year ago. I have made some great strides with it too.

I spent my freshman year of college at a military academy and we went on 5-6 mile runs…generally if you have to march in any sort of formation, the actually running ends up beign the easy part…its your knees that suffer from having to run slower than normal.

You’ll probably increase quicker than 2 miles per month. The first few weeks will be hardest, but once you adjust to running, your body will explode with progress for a little while, just like a newb in the weight room.

Go all ten miles. Start at a pace you like and run until you just can’t. Walk until you catch your breath and do it again. and again. and again until you hit 10 miles.

As you go, you’ll run for farther distances until you are running the whole thing. Then bring your speed up.

I’ve found that method best for long distance improvement.

Mix some days up with other forms of cardio too. Sprints, bleachers, jump roping etc. They will help with your lung capacity and oxygen optimization.

Be sure to drink plenty of water.

Stay on it and you should have no problem meeting your goal by the time you go to the academy.

Eat big and your lifts will probably improve with your new and improved cardio vascular system too.

Invest in some glucosamine/chondroiten. That much running so frequently can’t be anything but hell on your joints.

[quote]sillybubba74 wrote:
Wow, 8 miles seems kind of excessive to me as well. They obviously don’t have a maintenance program of any sort. I don’t know how many fat chief Wiggums I’ve seen walking around my area. I doubt most of them can run 100 meters.[/quote]

no shit.

Most agencies won’t make you run past 5 miles in the academy at any given time. That would be the minimum towards the end of your time nearing graduation. Some academies such as the U.S. Border Patrol and many State Police academies are known for being extremelly physically challenging.

With most law enforcement agencies in the nation be it federal or state and local do not aggressively maintain a physical standard once you graduate and leave. Some will have yearly or semi-annual tests that are manditory pass/fail.

There is a very good picture that circulates among most police institutions be it in the academy or in magazines that shows the yard in San Quenten Penititionary, California. A dozen gang bangers that are furiously working out with thier shirts off in the hot sun, and are big as shit. The caption says “They didn’t miss a workout today…Did You!?”

This may sound wierd, but doing the Tabata Method can help train your aerobic and anaerobic energy systems, which is beneficial when it comes to running long distances like that.

You can read more about it here: http://www.T-Nation.com/readArticle.do?id=490160

However, don’t train Tabata all the time. Your main goal is to run 10 miles, so use Tabata as an integral but supplementary exercise.

If you really want to be the best possible policeman, go see your Army or Air Force recruiter as soon as possible. It Did. It worked. During 4 years of Air Force Police, and was able to take more courses from the U of Maryland(Criminology), Institute of Applied Sciences(criminialistics), U of California(Police Sciences), Army Provost Marshall General, US Bureau of Prisons and the list goes on and on. It has been 40+ years, and my work is still in demand.

I’m trying to get on with the Fire Department, and I know they run in the academy in addition to their crossfit style PT, so I know how you feel. I hate running, and I’m not looking forward to it. However, I do want to come prepared.

In my opinion, your body adapts better when you make the transition gradually, so I would recommend that you start off with 3 days of running a week, and gradually work it up to five. Less shock will mean less strength/muscle loss. I’m willing to bet that a lot of the guys you go through the academy with will not start off in good shape, and you will not start out with eight mile runs.