How To Prepare For The Army Run

Running season is in full swing. Some of us have taken on some HUGE challenges and tackled their first half marathon, triathlon, Ironman etc. It’s really impressive to see. Let’s look at 3 things you can implement that will get you to crush the Army Run this year.

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

Having developed my runners legs while in the infantry, I realized I was half decent at it and have since done a bunch of half marathons and triathlons. This year, I’ve decided to take on the Commander’s Challenge at the annual Canadian Army Run this September.

The Commander’s Challenge is a 26.5km distance and will officially be the furthest I’ve ever run, in one shot, to date. Ultimately, my goal is to finally run a marathon next summer and progress to my post Afghanistan goal of completing the Ironman before I’m 40.

The burning question is- HOW DOES ONE PREPARE?

Let me list off a few of my strategies and then you can hopefully get some inspiration as well.

FIRST – Do some math

How far is your distance? In my case I’m going to be running 26.5km. This means that I need to build to at least 26.5km of running per week but ideally add 15-20% to that and make it a nice round 35km per week of volume.

Ok, how do I break this up?

I like to do 1 long run of 15km, 1 x 10km, 1 x 5km and then some high intensity 1-2km interval work (Fartleks).

I’ve built up to this. As a general rule, do not add more than 10% of your total weekly volume per week. Here’s my example:

I started at 20km per week, therefore the next week I bumped it up to 22km. Make sense?

This is to safeguard your soft tissue from too much stress, too soon. Your body needs to adapt and running is really hard on your body.

SECOND – Find a buddy

Look, I can’t harp on this point enough. Having shared goals and a training buddy makes you significantly more likely to achieve them.

“But Dave, I can’t find anyone to go for a run with me…:(”

TRY HARDER – Ok, that’s harsh. Here’s a solution for ya. Download this APP and add me as a running buddy. Voila!

I may not be literally running next to you but now you’re at least accountable to someone else and can shit talk me when you beat my 5km time!

THIRD – Manage your soft tissue

When I was starting out, I wish there was a way to know how to get rid of shin splints and prevent tight calves from hindering my progress.

Well, that’s why I wrote my book, The Nimble Warrior, that deals with just that. Also, check out one of my last posts on “How To Fix Shin Splints

Get a foam roller and a lacrosse ball and get to work. The smallest bit of discomfort can lead to a season ending injury. Don’t let it happen. Start making those pain faces!


Train Hard, Fight Easy

Dave is a retired infantry officer and Afghanistan war veteran. He’s the creator of the HRD2KILL training program that was built on the principles that got him from not being able to get out of bed to competing in the Crossfit Open, Spartan Races and the Montreal Gaelic Athletics Association. You can find more mobility based exercises in his new book, “The Nimble Warrior”, now available on Apple Books and Amazon or tune into his new HRD2KILL Podcast

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