As you are preparing to get ready for Selection, we post our daily Physical Preparation workouts which should help you prepare for the get you as ready as you can be when you begin your journey into one of the US’ Special Operations units. We always push the distance running, rucking and building upper body strength because at least one of those three elements will be involved in just about every major training event you’ll experience.

But on occasion, it is a good idea to change up your workouts to vary things a bit. And we’ve also posted an occasional workout designed to increase your speed. And when I’ve posted those, I’ve gotten emails asking why am I pushing the importance of endurance events constantly and then wanting the candidates to increase their short-area speed? It is a good, legitimate question and I’ll give you the best answer that I know. Through experience, I’ve found that the sprints and speed work that we work into our PT prep really helps out with your distance running and the explosion that you’ll gain from these workouts will definitely help with those rucking muscles.

I’ve looked into what some of the college and NFL teams use to help their players build up their speed. And it will come in handy. Much of the plays that you see on the field mimic what you’ll experience at times. A very fast dash of a short duration, wearing a lot of kit. If you’re ever in a serious situation, you’ll probably have to move short distances with all of your gear on to move from Point A to Point B very quickly.  And there may come a time when you’ll have to sprint into a dangerous situation to grab a wounded buddy and his gear and get him out of harm’s way.

Speed Doesn’t Just Happen: When training for speed an important thing to remember is that speed and agility just don’t happen. Very few people are natural speed merchants. I was more akin to the tortoise. So, for the vast majority of troops or in their case, players, it is something that has to be developed and done correctly to get marked improvements in your times. I never really understood the correct way of training for it until coming across it somewhat by accident.

It wasn’t until I had been in the military for several years when I came across some football players preparing themselves for the fall season, working out on their own with a strength and conditioning coach. Not wanting to interrupt their training workout, I spoke with the coach after they were done, who explained that the benefits of what he was teaching the football players would also be quite beneficial to us in Special Operations.

The keys, he said for developing speed was just two main things to focus on. Stride Rate and Stride Length. Stride Rate is simply the speed that you put your arms and legs through a sprint sequence. Stride Length is the amount of ground you cover between each stride. Combined, once these keys are mastered is the increase in speed.

Here is a sample workout to try, do this occasionally, and you’ll probably notice an increase in your short area speed, but also it should benefit your long-distance running and with the rucking.