Running Goals for BUD/S Training

buds beach runWe get questions every week from athletes looking to improve their performance before they ship off to Special Forces, Army Ranger school or BUDS. We all want to be at the top of our game so every small tip can help.

Check out this question that we received yesterday on SEALgrinderPT Facebook (we answer questions there daily).

from Rob Smith: I’m currently running 30 miles a week. I’m leaving for buds in 4 months. What should be my mile per week goal before I leave?

Thanks for the question Rob. If I were shipping off to BUDS in the near future – here is how I would train (having been through BUDS twice and made many training mistakes).

I would have a hard half marathon trail run (hilly) and sandy beach run under my belt. I made a mistake my first time in BUDS and underestimated that I would have to run long distance. I thought 4 to 6 miles and that was all. I was wrong. I had to run 10 miles in the sand during third phase and my body was hurting.

Question: How is a good book where can I learn more about what to expect at BUDS training?

Check out the book Breaking BUD/S: How Regular Guys Can Become Navy SEALs.

This will give you a good glimpse of what it is like in the day to day grind.

I was training at the Navy base in San Diego (going to BUDS in 8 weeks) and promptly got shin splints and was scratching my head why? I looked back at my journal and had been training hard and running miles 5 times a week around the base. I looked down and saw that my running shoes were pretty worn out. I took a week off and got new running shoes.

I felt a ton better as I eased back into it after taking a much needed rest. My beat up running shoes were also contributing to the problem as they were not giving me any cushion. I also mixed up my runs and got on the beach and off the asphalt as much as I could.

Question: What is a good basic pair of running shoes that I can use to train with?

Check out the Nike Free Running Shoe.

These are a good all around shoe that will not break the bank and will give you good value dollar for dollar.

Another thing that I did the second time through BUDS is that I rode my bike a ton to help with my endurance. This helped reduce my time pounding the pavement with runs. It also helped build my hip flexors and hamstrings and got my mind tuned in to long slow endurance events like I would have at BUDS.

The big thing I would do today would be to add in more rucking, rowing on a C2 rower (think 30 minutes, 1 hour on a rower) and also pulling a sled. Rowing and sled pulls are great for recovery and still continue to build your endurance.

BUDS Training Running Schedule #1

Weeks # 1 and 2
2 miles, at 8:30 pace
6 miles for week

Week # 3
No running.*

Week # 4
3 miles
9 miles

Weeks # 5, 6
2/3/4/2 miles
11 miles

Weeks # 7, 8, 9
4/4/5/3 miles
16 miles

  • Take week 3 off to rest and recover leg muscles as there is a high risk of stress fractures

Stew Smith talks about running in boots at BUDS

If you take a look at the BUDS warning order you will see that 30 miles is suggested in Running Schedule 2 (after a seven week build up). So 30 miles is good as long as you have a good base of mileage. Louie Simmons at Westside Barbell ask this question “How high can you build a pyramid? It can only be built as high as its base”. Meaning you need to have a good strong base to build your training on. So get out there and work hard on endurance but do it smart and mix it up.

Question: I have a question regarding minor injuries such as sprained ankles, runners knee, or anything else that is painful but not completely debilitating. I know in BUDs, candidates are encouraged to ‘tough it up and suck it up,’ but do you know of any tricks or tips at overcoming such ailments?

I would train in a new pair of running shoes that are not worn out to help prevent shin splints. Check out the tips and videos above.

Question: I have a quick question about runner’s knee, when you feel pain/soreness around your upper kneecap. During selection you would push through, but what about in training? Should I ease off or keep at it?
I spent some time on the seal/swcc website, and I have begun to incorporate the stretches and hip strengthening they recommend from the knee pain video under training-injury prevention.

Answer: Are you currently seeing a doctor? If you are on a mission you push through. If you are training you stop and get it fixed.

Question: I would like to know how much I should be running in order to be in shape for BUD/S. My current time per mile is 6:30-7-15 minutes.

Answer: Your first two weeks would be 2 miles a day 3 times weekly for 6 miles total for the week.

Question: I am currently a senior in High School,joining the Navy and trying to get an SO contract and everything. Already choosing my job (I know you need a job before cause BUDS is a challenge program), and work 2 jobs. I workout usually every night for about an hour and a half and run once every 4 days. Typically 4 miles and just increase a quarter of a mile every time. Is it bad for my health to workout and run while working 2 jobs and attending school. I go to bed around 12. But I dont wanna fall behind and want my PST scores to be awesome. Thanks for your time its greatly appreciated and your stuff helps me so much.

Answer: You need to drop one of the jobs so that you can focus more on your training and recovery. If you work too much you will be stressed out and lack of sleep can lead to poor gains. You can also follow our daily workouts as we have running and scheduled rest days.

Question: Coach Brad,
How many miles should I be running? I’m going to prep in December, my weekly mile average is between 20-25 miles? I’m active duty working on naval aviation. Diego

Answer: Follow the run schedule above and best of luck and skill to you, Diego.

Question: How do I find out more info about the Navy SEALs? Check out the website here:

Related Articles:
How to Prepare for BUDS training
What is the best running shoe for BUDS training?

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