Want to Get Into SEALs and Run a Half Marathon

by Kody B.

I'm currently in 9th grade and have been running every day except Sunday for about 3 or 4 months now. I am wanting to get a SEAL Contract and get into BUD/S after college. I have been running 5 miles a day. Do you think that is a good distance for a ninth grader? And if so how long do you think it would take to train for a half marathon?

running tips

Answer by Dom:

Hi there,
Thank you for your running training questions.

Five miles a day is a good distance for anyone, regardless of age.

I don't think you'll find many ninth graders doing that kind of mileage consistently.

You are stating different goals, i.e. the SEALs and a half marathon. For both you'll need excellent fitness, but the SEALs requirements are more focused on intensity and overall body strength, rather than just being able to run long.

Now, I probably don't have to tell you this, but I'd look into the specific requirements for SEALs and BUD/S and work out whether what you are currently doing is preparing you optimally for that.

It's not just the running, I imagine. You might find that you need to split your focus between endurance and strength. That could mean a little less running and a little more time spent in the weight room.

Regardless of that, in order to keep your body alert and not get too used to what you are doing, you should aim for some variety in your training.
You have built up a good base with the consistent running over the last three or four months. Now it is time to introduce some tempo running and interval running to the mix and also make sure you have a weekly long run.

A more varied schedule could look like something like this:

Mon: Intervals (e.g. 8-12 x 400m or 6-8 x 800m or 4-6 x 1k etc.)

Tue: Easy run 3-4 miles or Cross-train (weights or swim or bike or other cross-training activity)

Wed: Tempo Run (e.g. 3 x 10 min tempo with 5 min jog)

Thu: Easy run 3-4 miles or Cross-train

Fri: Easy Run 3-4 miles or Cross-train

Sat: Long Run 8 miles

Sun: Rest

Just an example of course, you can set this up however you want it. But the variety will help you improve your running way more than doing the same old 5 miles day in, day out.

Additionally, this will provide some space in your schedule to work on the skills required for the SEALs (provided you aren't already doing this).

To answer your last question: how long will it take to get ready for a half marathon? I think that just finishing a half marathon can be done pretty soon. You are probably only about two months away from it.

The only real requirement is that you start doing a weekly long run and bring it up to a reasonable length. 10 miles is an absolute, absolute minimum, but I am way more comfortable when people have done a number of runs in the 10-15 miles range.

Of course, this is provided your body can handle the additional workload of the long run, you are still young. You should really build up the running carefully and see what you can handle.

Listening to your body is key as I explain on my increasing mileage safely page.

Best of luck.
Hope this helps.
Kind regards,

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