just got this question from a SGPT athlete:
“For tough endurance events. I’ll use Kokoro as an example. It’s a fifty hour event. You can’t train 50 hours in a row several times to get ready.
Can you tell me how to train the right way to get ready for long endurance events?
TIP #1 PROGRESSIONS
Start out small and work your way up. One of the ways I used to train endurance for BUDS was to ride my bike long distance. I started out with 1 hour and worked my way up to 8 to 10 hours in a day. Over the years I expanded that to a 160 mile ride in 20 hours, a 298 mile ride in 40 hours and a 337 mile ride in 66 hours (8 hours sleep). So even an old man can ride and train hard for endurance.
Mountaineers use the same concept where they climb many smaller mountains before they go for something bigger.
Here is an example of how many SGPT athletes use smaller events for training to leap frog to larger events.
Start with GR light (6 hours). Train to get ready and know all of the requirements. Put forth your best effort and kick butt.
Then progress to GR Tough (12 hours) – then do the Heavy (24 hours) — rinse and repeat
There are now athletes that are doing the Heavy, Tough and Light (42 hours) all in the same weekend to get the coveted HTL patch. Some have done it more than once.
Many athletes are using the Tough and Heavy to train for Kokoro (50 hours). There are athletes that have done Kokoro more than once.
I would recommend doing both the HTL and Kokoro to get ready for BUDS Hell Week (120 hours with less than an hour of sleep).
Check out Breaking BUD/S: How Regular Guys Can Become Navy SEALs as it is good book that will give you an inside glimpse into what is going on in Navy SEAL training.
TIP #2 INJURIES
Realize when you are in a little pain and feeling bad vs you are really hurt and need to take a time out. During BUDS Hell Week I would have ran on a broken leg if I had to and they would have had to cart me off the course with an oxygen mask on my face. That said here is a good example. I recently went on a multi-day mountain bike trip. My IT band tightened up so much that I could not stand on my foot. I realized it was not worth it and had to stop. That was a good decision.
Question: What socks do they issue the guys in BUDS training?
They are issued Darn Tough Merino Wool micro crew socks.
I have a few pairs myself and have not been able to destroy them despite several trail run half marathons.
I still add an extra dab of Body glide or vaseline to my toes as a back up measure to prevent blisters.
TIP #3 Collapse Time
Don’t look at the fact that you have 40 hours left to go. Only think about the next event in front of you. The way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.
Question: Coach, how did you make it through two Hell Weeks? I took it one hour at a time and just tried to make it to the next meal. I thought about quitting but never had the balls to step forward and ring the bell. They say to “never make a decision at night”. Meaning dont try to quit at night. That is when most guys quit.
In BUDS we went 5 days with only about an hour of sleep (120 hours). At the end of all of that I could still stand and could barely walk but I could have gone to the 6th day if needed.
Want to train hard for long periods? Slowly work your way up to 2 workouts a day. Then 3 workouts a day. Eventually you can build yourself up to do the SGPT depletion workouts listed below that you can try and use as a method for training.