Posted on Dec 15, 2016
PFC Unit Supply Specialist
30K
42
36
6
6
0
A bit of background information: I'm a 30 year old female who enlisted to the IL Army National Guard in September. Prior to enlistment, I was informed by my Recruiter that I didn't have to worry too much about my running abilities since I will have time to work on it prior to BCT (I don't ship until late Feb). I've been training to increase my endurance and stamina and not focusing too much on speed. The last time APFT was administered, I did 1 mile in 13 minutes (back in July when I first started running, it took me close to 20 minutes). I know I'm improving, but last weekend, I was informed that my ship date may be pushed back if I don't pass the minimum running time for OPAT. I could only do 21 shuttles but am required to do 36. The running portion is the only part I've had problems with.

I wanted to know if the OPAT is now also a requirement to ship to BCT on top of passing the APFT. I also wanted to know if anyone have any advices on how to improve one's running speed within a short period of time?

Thank you for all the help.
Posted in these groups: Illinois ARNGP542 APFTRunning_logo Running
Avatar_feed
Responses: 19
CPT Physical Therapist
5
5
0
Edited >1 y ago
Don't focus on super long runs anymore. Those runs throw off your pace, which is a big issue if you're not an experienced runner. Honestly I rarely do a 2 mile run before the PT test. I do a lot of 200m, 800m, or 1 mile repeats. Something like 200m in x amount of time followed by a minute break, then repeat. Or 800m repeats with a 2 minute break in between. Shorter distances mean you'll keep a faster pace. Doing the repeats for extended periods of time will also build some endurance (at least enough for the 2 mile run which is the grand scheme of things doesn't require a ton of endurance). From an injury prevention perspective I've also found that my form is much better on shorter runs which leads to fewer injuries. On long runs my form turns to crap and my legs feel beat the hell up. I'm reaching a point in my life where I don't have much free time and my body takes longer to heal so I need to keep my workouts efficient and injury free.

I would also suggest practicing the turnaround on the shuttle run. Your endurance might be an issue, but if you aren't used to doing a shuttle around your turnaround technique is probably inefficient as well. Watch some YouTube videos on technique. If you get that down I guarantee you will improve your time. Good luck!
(5)
Comment
(0)
PFC Unit Supply Specialist
PFC (Join to see)
>1 y
CPT (Join to see), I've been doing squats and cycling to build up leg muscles, and doing 1 - 1.5 mile runs when I'm training for the running. I definitely need work on the shuttle. I find that I get tired and out of breath very easily because I'm sprinting right away and don't have time to pace myself. I'll take your advise and look at some YouTube videos. Thank you so much for the advise, Sir.
(1)
Reply
(0)
SGT Fire Team Leader
SGT (Join to see)
>1 y
I always heard that swimming was best if you have a pool is good for cardio and the injury prone sir, even if your unit refuses to follow whats written on the 3349. Though as a physical therapist you probably have a better handle on what can help with the injury prone than I.
(1)
Reply
(0)
CPT Physical Therapist
CPT (Join to see)
>1 y
SGT (Join to see) - Swimming can be great. I tried adding some in as cross training, but it didn't stick. I'm a crappy swimmer though. One of these days I'll give it another ago. I definitely don't think running is the be all, end all of fitness by any means. I know a guy who has crap knees who does 90-120 minutes of jiu jitsu 4-5 times a week and he's in phenomenal shape. The only time of the year he runs is for the PT test (he's a nurse practitioner and doesn't exactly have to stick to regular PT schedule).
(0)
Reply
(0)
SGT Fire Team Leader
SGT (Join to see)
>1 y
I would be very inclined to your assessment sir. I know people in the guard who smoke APFTs and only run during the APFT. I've also belonged to units where it came down from higher that we ran to much (everyday). I also know that you don't need a full hour to get in a good workout, and on other days you need more. But the Army has its routine.
(0)
Reply
(0)
Avatar_small
SGM Erik Marquez
4
4
0
Edited >1 y ago
PFC (Join to see) APFT is a local requirement and likley done in your best interest. OPAT is a new mandatory requirement that Im just getting into researching..so my info may not be accurate.

From some of my TRADOC research...
"Once fully approved the OPAT will be required for all new Soldiers joining the Army, and all Soldiers switching MOS from a low physical demand job to a higher physical demand job."

That said.. OPAT is required best I can tell before you can ship to Basic Training it is a gate, no pass no ship.. and from the heart... I think that is right and good. I do not say that to be mean or spiteful...But having had to work with way to many unfit SM over the years that never should have been in the various MOS's they were to begin with and would have been better off had they been told that at the beginning, not as they struggled in the job later, not as they are getting involuntarily separated. While being told NO is hard..getting "fired" later is harder.
Train, get assistance, get a mentor, check your diet, train.... Notice I said train, not work out.. too very differnt things. Training is working out, but working out very often is not training.
(4)
Comment
(0)
PFC Unit Supply Specialist
PFC (Join to see)
>1 y
SGM Erik Marquez , thank you for the information. I have been working out to pass APFT, but I was unaware of the OPAT, so it was a shock when I first heard about it. I will be changing my mindset to training rather than just working out. I fully agree that anyone joining the Army should pass their specific MOS' standards. I just wish I was told of the new requirements since it will affect how one trains during off time.
(0)
Reply
(0)
SGM Erik Marquez
SGM Erik Marquez
>1 y
PFC (Join to see) - OPAT was a concept, then a program, but not yet implemented while they trained folks and got the needed equipment into place.. The actual implementation date was a fluid thing I think until just recently. So your recruiter knew it was "going to be a thing" but perhaps not when.
(1)
Reply
(0)
Avatar_small
SFC Kenneth Hunnell
3
3
0
If no medical issues, run as if some one abducted your child. You will win
(3)
Comment
(0)
PFC Unit Supply Specialist
PFC (Join to see)
>1 y
SFC Kenneth Hunnell, you have me laughing here... but in all seriousness, that's not a bad idea. No medical issues, just a complete newbie when it comes to running. I don't have a child, but I'll try envisioning that my husband or nephews are in danger, and see how well I do. I will be going to the community center this afternoon and using their indoor running track. I almost cannot wait to try that technique!
(0)
Reply
(0)
SFC Kenneth Hunnell
SFC Kenneth Hunnell
>1 y
Let me know how it works for youPFC (Join to see) -
(0)
Reply
(0)
SFC Kenneth Hunnell
SFC Kenneth Hunnell
>1 y
PFC (Join to see) - I talked a 36yr. Old into passing the APFT using that mind set. Either you want it or you don't.
I keep telling soldier's that I am 21
(0)
Reply
(0)
Avatar_small

Join nearly 2 million former and current members of the US military, just like you.

close