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Old 02-21-2008, 01:09 PM   #1
Mike Breslin
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Programming advice for Marine OCS

Hello Folks,

I am returning to the second half of Marine OCS this summer. Let me start by saying that the physical portion of OCS favors strong runners, which I most decidedly am not.

I've spent much of the last two years trying to improve both running and Crossfit, with mixed results. The WOD as posted hasn't worked for me to improve my running times. Every other aspect of my fitness improved, always coupled with a huge drop off in middle distance running performance.

After experimenting with a myriad of combinations, I started this year with a template based on the Austere program that Glassman and Wade Rutland designed for the Canadian Infantry school. This is a 5 on, 2 off program. I also am using a Runners World 8K running plan, which I do M,W,F. The Austere program is especially convenient because I am taking 6 college classes and my wife and I have two babies under the age of two. I have a pullup bar, a weight vest, 195lbs of weights, 2 35lb. KBs and two 25lb DBs, so I can do most of the workouts with minimal modifications.

I am pleased with the results, but I am about to come to the end of the program. I am trying to determine how to proceed. OCS this time around will involve a lot of running with gear, boots, and a rifle over rugged terrain, as well as long fast conditioning hikes.

My tentative plan is to restart the Austere program but to do a majority of the metcons in boots and gear, starting slowly at first and building up. I need to avoid lower extremity injuries as much as possible.

I have included a copy of both the Austere program, and my workout log. I am looking for any comments criticisms for improving upon my work in order to best prepare for success this summer. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Mike Breslin
Attached Files
File Type: doc BreslinOCSPlan.doc (105.0 KB, 699 views)
File Type: pdf AustereGroupProgram_schedule-Aug.pdf (223.7 KB, 521 views)
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Old 02-21-2008, 04:00 PM   #2
Reginald C. Scott
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Re: Programming advice for Marine OCS

Mike your program is solid but you have to put you mind in to it. You are trying to be an officer of Marines. My advice would be ask your self if the pain is worth it then do it. Marines do not make excuses only solutions!
I would get my workouts in early in the AM while everyone is sleep then there no worries. But you need to make you feet hard i would add in a few Hikes and ruck runs. At least one a week. Also look at you running shoes if you are getting shin pain you need to change your shoes.
Good Luck
Semper Fi
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Old 02-21-2008, 08:44 PM   #3
Benjamin Murphy
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Re: Programming advice for Marine OCS

You need to run a heck of alot more my friend. Still incorporate crossfit of course, but every wod that does not include a run.. needs to have a run tacked on the end of it. There are people talking about running ultras and stuff on low milage, and I'm very interested to hear more about exactly what they are doing, but to be safe... I'd run alot more. On your 3 mile runs you aren't even hitting 21:00 which is the minimum for marines if I remember correctly.

Personally, I separate my crossfit and my running/swimming program. On days my crossfit WOD happens to have a run in it.. well I guess I'm running a little extra.. not going to kill me. I regard my running and swimming program as sports specific, and sometimes skill practice. I toyed with combining the programs, but it got a little silly, and I was compromising on too many things that crossfit gets exactly right. So I just have 2 workouts per day, first one being crossfit, then something more running/swimming-centric later on in the day. I've found that if you can avoid overtraining, they compliment one another very well, crossfit makes you run faster and run training makes your CF scores come down. So... RUN MORE!

Another alternative, if you only have time for one workout per day, is for you to check out Rord's WODs over at http://www.navyseals.com/crossfit-workout-day (WFS). They tend to incorporate substantially more running than the wods here at the main site, because of all the running endured at BUD/S. Either adding running to your WOD or following Rord's program will have you good to go for OCS.

Hooyah!
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Old 02-21-2008, 09:03 PM   #4
Benjamin Murphy
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Re: Programming advice for Marine OCS

I guess I wasn't done on this thread yet. Personally, here's the small version of what that sports specific program I mentioned in my last post is:

I do 2 timed runs a month: a 10k on the second friday and a 5k on the 4th friday. Then I set a goal for pacing on my next timed run, and work on interval pace runs until the next timed run, to test if I can keep that pace for the entire distance. If I meet my goal pace, I will set a new goal for next month's run and program pace runs accordingly. I don't generally all out sprint in my sports specific run training, that's what the 400s and 800s in my CF workouts are for (which are crucial for running faster, but I have found the amount of sprinting in CF-type workouts to be sufficient for me so far in my training as a runner). The missing piece for me was pace runs and how they relate to bringing down your 10k and 5k. It's not rocket surgery, but there's a lot of programming out there, just have to pick something that works and actually do it.

And yes, when you have to do murph on the same day as your long run you might be running alot.

But it's not going to kill you.
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:07 AM   #5
Chris Robinson
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Re: Programming advice for Marine OCS

Mike,

First off, I went through OCS in 2005. If you ever have any questions feel free to PM me.

Now, about your training, here's my advice. From now until the end of OCS encompasses roughly 4 1/2 months (3 months until you report + 6 weeks at OCS). That's an incredibly short time in the world of fitness. As such, I suggest taking those 3 months and focus solely on OCS preparation. Doing well physcially at OCS, particularly Srs., requires proficiency in four key areas:
1) PFT
2) Running in boots and utes
3) Humps
4) Muscular endurance

Running is your weakness so you need to focus on it. The key is getting the most out of every workout. Don't waste your time running without a purpose. Make one day a speed workout, one day a tempo workout, one day a distance workout (get to where you can run 5 miles at 8:00/mile), and one day a recovery day where you run in boots and utes. Be sure to include hills into at least one of your days. That's obviously very simplified, so if you have more specific questions let me know.

Humps are pretty much self-explanatory: Throw 30-40lbs. in a pack, put on your boots, and start walking.

Muscular endurance: the possibilities here are endless

As far as mixing everything together, I would recommend you build your training around your running program because that is your weak link. Improve your running, maintain your endurance, get used to running in boots and you'll be good to go.

Semper Fi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Murphy View Post
On your 3 mile runs you aren't even hitting 21:00 which is the minimum for marines if I remember correctly.
No. The minimum 3 mile run time for a male officer candidate is 24:00.
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:38 AM   #6
Benjamin Murphy
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Re: Programming advice for Marine OCS

I stand corrected. Seems as if I confused the minimum time for a male with the perfect time for a female. Perfect time on the 3 mile is considered to be 18:00 for the male enlisted marine, 28:00 to be the maximum.. are the officers held to a higher standard for "perfection" as well, Chris? If scored the same with the same weight per :10 over 18:00 as the enlisted test, it would give a 10 minute window between perfection and faliure, which would mean a 14:00 3 mile. That's pretty dang fast. If they are different, are the scoring mechanics for the officer test anywhere for reference? Thank you for the input.
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:54 AM   #7
Mike Breslin
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Re: Programming advice for Marine OCS

Thanks for the advice so far. Ben, a perfect PFT score for a male Marine is an 18:00 3 mile, 20 pullups, and 100 crunches. The standard for a perfect is the same for officer or enlisted, although you are right that officers are expected to perform at a high level. I believe that the average score for a graduating OCS class is somewhere in the high 280s, low 290s.
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Old 02-22-2008, 09:51 AM   #8
Chris Robinson
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Re: Programming advice for Marine OCS

Ben, as Mike said, the perfect PFT score is the same for officer and enlisted:
Males: 18:00 (or less) 3 mile, 20 Pull-ups, 100 crunches
Females: 21:00 (or less) 3 mile, 70 second flexed-arm hang, 100 crunches
* The scoring is the same for both officer and enlisted as well

The difference between officer and enlisted is the minimums:
MALES
enlisted:
- age 17-26: 28:00 3 mile, 3 pull-ups, 50 crunches
- age 27-39: 29:00 3 mile, 3 pull-ups, 45 crunches
- age 40-45: 30:00 3 mile, 3 pull-ups, 45 crunches
- age 46+: 33:00 3 mile, 3 pull-ups, 40 crunches
officer: 24:00 3 mile, 10 pull-ups, 80 crunches

FEMALES
enlisted:
- age 17-26: 31:00 3 mile, 15 sec, 50 crunches
- age 27-39: 32:00 3 mile, 15 sec, 45 crunches
- age 40-45: 33:00 3 mile, 15 sec, 45 crunches
- age 46+: 36:00 3 mile, 15 sec, 40 crunches
officer: 28:00 3 mile, 50 second flexed-arm hang, 80 crunches

Also, the PFT classifications for enlisted Marines are as follows:
- age 17-26: 1st - 225, 2nd - 175, 3rd - 125
- age 27-39: 1st - 200, 2nd - 150, 3rd - 110
- age 40-45: 1st - 175, 2nd - 125, 3rd - 88
- age 46+: 1st - 150, 2nd - 100, 3rd - 65

Furthermore, the minimum score to apply to OCS is 225.

Finally, I went to OCS in 2006, not 2005. Apparently my attention to detail was lacking.
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Old 02-22-2008, 05:30 PM   #9
Jake Dent
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Re: Programming advice for Marine OCS

Just as an interesting note:
I've been in for about 8 years. I started enlisted infantry and am now officer.

With the start of the war I have noticed an interesting dynamic happen with the PT standards. It used to be that running was #1. Pft score trumped all. In recent years the Corps has realized that just because you can run an 18 min PFT doesn't mean you can do what's required of you in combat. I have seen a drastic downturn in the importance of PFT scores. Many units now are incorperating crossfit type workouts, and in fact some of the crossfit "creators" had their hands in this transformation.

IMO, crossfit is the best thing you can do with some extra running, especially sprints. I went to OCS running a 284, with about a 20:40 runtime if I remember correctly. The PT was pretty tough, but I made it fine and never fell out of anything.

Just as another note- at The Basic School you'll be surprised at the acceptable PFT scores there. You work 10-16 hour days (average of 12 probably) with homework for 6 months and you never have time to run. Many guys were crossing the finish line at 22 min and not a word was said. However, fall out of a hike or fail the E-course and stand the F by!
It's all about combat conditioning now, and rightly so IMO.
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Old 02-22-2008, 05:32 PM   #10
Jake Dent
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Re: Programming advice for Marine OCS

Quote:
The difference between officer and enlisted is the minimums:
MALES
enlisted:
- age 17-26: 28:00 3 mile, 3 pull-ups, 50 crunches
- age 27-39: 29:00 3 mile, 3 pull-ups, 45 crunches
- age 40-45: 30:00 3 mile, 3 pull-ups, 45 crunches
- age 46+: 33:00 3 mile, 3 pull-ups, 40 crunches
officer: 24:00 3 mile, 10 pull-ups, 80 crunches
Not sure where you got this from, but it's not true. Minimums are the same across the board unless you are older, then the minimun changes slightly.
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