PJFT - Convert sprinter to distance

IB8

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Hi all,

how’s it going? I posted in my introduction that I have a problem nobody’s really talked about. I sprint short distance and am great at it, however I made the decision recently to join the Navy.

I’ve looked at the entry requirements, and saw what for me is a long distance run. My diet is fine and disciplined and I know how to eat right, but the conversion is what’s getting me. Does anybody have any recommendations for the training? I’m currently just running 2.4KM and cutting down my time slowly, but I wanted to know if there was anything about my situation I could take advantage of. I always do a sprint finish at the end, somehow even at the end that’s easier for me than keeping the distance running up. On the day I will only do that in the 10:00 solo run if I have energy though, I won’t rush the 12:30 warmup.

Take care and stay safe, and I look forward to your responses!
 

thirdtry

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The running PJFT has been changed now to a circuit called the vPJFT. However still need the good running ability including the BFT (2x 1.5 miles) and longer runs up to 8+ miles if you can.

If you're a competitive sprinter then you have a huge advantage that your anaerobic threshold should be really high, so probably just need to start focusing on putting more miles in the legs and building that aerobic endurance machine.
 

Johnny_Anonie

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Hi,

We are really fortunate to have some real fitness fanatics on the forum. Hopefully some of them will see this and offer some guidance. Much like recruit training, it’s important your plan is progressive and moves in the right direction.

Two methods that really helped me in the past were interval/Fartlek training and hill sprints. They both formed integral elements of my personal phys. I found these helped improve my endurance and my ability to maintain a strong pace. I’ve attached a link below which may explain the benefits it a bit better. Something else I did, with regards to running, was I added a “recovery run” into my weekly programme. This was timed and not distance measured. I kept the pace fairly easy but I ran for 60-90 minutes. I always found this session helped build stamina without blowing myself out.

Good luck!

https://www.runnersworld.com/advanced/a20790169/the-lost-art-of-fartlek/
 
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IB8

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Sounds good, I’ll keep up the work and include the recovery run in there. A long time ago I used to do these but back then I wasn’t sprinting. You’re right my anaerobic tolerance is ridiculously high, it’s aerobics I need work on. I can do sub 10 1.5mile pace for a few laps, but keeping it up is a real challenge. I’m getting there though.

The plan is definitely progressive, that’s how I’ve been training for ages. The same thing over and over never works, your body needs a change in challenge. I’ll look into the intervals and fartleks as well sounds great.

Thanks for all the advice! Even just the posts here were informative. This is a great forum already!
 

thirdtry

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Sounds good, I’ll keep up the work and include the recovery run in there. A long time ago I used to do these but back then I wasn’t sprinting. You’re right my anaerobic tolerance is ridiculously high, it’s aerobics I need work on. I can do sub 10 1.5mile pace for a few laps, but keeping it up is a real challenge. I’m getting there though.

The plan is definitely progressive, that’s how I’ve been training for ages. The same thing over and over never works, your body needs a change in challenge. I’ll look into the intervals and fartleks as well sounds great.

Thanks for all the advice! Even just the posts here were informative. This is a great forum already!
Look up the 80/20 rule. Generally summarised it means 80% slow mileage (really genuinely SLOW DOWN - my slow miles are at 10:30m/m pace) and 20% speedwork (your sprints). Ross Edgley describes it as "cruise or kill mode" like a shark that swims gracefully until it's time to eat then goes all in.

Doing 80/20 since April saw my BFT time go from 09:05 to 08:30 which is fairly respectable at 97kg haha, and get up to doing weekly half-marathons between June and August. I don't want to knacker my knees so now don't go further than 10 miles in any one run but it was a good running summer!

Also a big advocate of heavy strength training. You will no doubt already have great fast-twitch muscle fibres in your legs, but strength work also strengthens bones and tendons which allow you to go further and harder with less probability of injury.
 

ALDL9RM

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Look up the 80/20 rule. Generally summarised it means 80% slow mileage (really genuinely SLOW DOWN - my slow miles are at 10:30m/m pace) and 20% speedwork (your sprints). Ross Edgley describes it as "cruise or kill mode" like a shark that swims gracefully until it's time to eat then goes all in.

Doing 80/20 since April saw my BFT time go from 09:05 to 08:30 which is fairly respectable at 97kg haha, and get up to doing weekly half-marathons between June and August. I don't want to knacker my knees so now don't go further than 10 miles in any one run but it was a good running summer!
Interesting to see that you’ve had such a result from running at that pace, I didn’t realise that 80/20 meant going quite that ‘slow’! Is that based off of HR or just how it feels for you?
 

thirdtry

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Interesting to see that you’ve had such a result from running at that pace, I didn’t realise that 80/20 meant going quite that ‘slow’! Is that based off of HR or just how it feels for you?
I go off RPE so try to keep to RPE 5 or lower. (Relative Perceived Effort, scored out of 10).

In theory I'm still going too fast. An RM mate preparing for Selection started 80/20 at roughly the same time going off heart rate and trying to stay in "HR Zone 2" the whole time, and found that he actually had to run at 12 minute miles to stay in Zone 2! But he's the one laughing now as he's smashing out 10 miles in an hour, put up an 8 minute BFT on strava the other day.

So actually should be going even slower but I just can't bring myself to slow down that much.
 

RCTJ0012

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An RM mate preparing for Selection started 80/20 at roughly the same time going off heart rate and trying to stay in "HR Zone 2" the whole time, and found that he actually had to run at 12 minute miles to stay in Zone 2!
I'm currently trying out 80/20 running and my first run in zone 2 was incredibly slow, almost to the point of walking fast. I did some more research and figured out my threshold pace and what percentage of that threshold pace I need to be in to hit each zone. A problem I had was that my heart rate would hit 138 and that's zone 3 for me, so I would have to walk because I literally can't run any slower.

I've converted the zones to paces now so hopefully it won't be as slow because no joke, I could walk faster than I was "running". I guess I'll see how my performance is soon.
 

ALDL9RM

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I go off RPE so try to keep to RPE 5 or lower. (Relative Perceived Effort, scored out of 10).

In theory I'm still going too fast. An RM mate preparing for Selection started 80/20 at roughly the same time going off heart rate and trying to stay in "HR Zone 2" the whole time, and found that he actually had to run at 12 minute miles to stay in Zone 2! But he's the one laughing now as he's smashing out 10 miles in an hour, put up an 8 minute BFT on strava the other day.

So actually should be going even slower but I just can't bring myself to slow down that much.
8 minutes! Definitely something I’m going to try and implement then, just have to figure out the right pace for my runs
 

Aerial

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I go off RPE so try to keep to RPE 5 or lower. (Relative Perceived Effort, scored out of 10).

In theory I'm still going too fast. An RM mate preparing for Selection started 80/20 at roughly the same time going off heart rate and trying to stay in "HR Zone 2" the whole time, and found that he actually had to run at 12 minute miles to stay in Zone 2! But he's the one laughing now as he's smashing out 10 miles in an hour, put up an 8 minute BFT on strava the other day.

So actually should be going even slower but I just can't bring myself to slow down that much.
Does the 80/20 principle apply to distance covered or time spent running? I believe that it works, but I have the same problem as you in that I just can't bring myself to slow down / haven't got the time to bang out massive long runs at 12 minute miles.
 

thirdtry

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Does the 80/20 principle apply to distance covered or time spent running? I believe that it works, but I have the same problem as you in that I just can't bring myself to slow down / haven't got the time to bang out massive long runs at 12 minute miles.
I do it as physical mileage, although time would probably work well.

I think there's several of us on here now that are quite scientific with our approach to phys. But that said, I wouldn't get so scientific as to worry about time vs distance for 80/20. I'd argue that any slow mileage is better than none, and likewise any speedwork is better than none.

About 2 months of my summer running improvement was closer to 60/40 than 80/20 because I was doing Tempo Runs (threshold runs) and sprints sessions every week around my 2 or 3 longer slow runs. Now my only speedwork is Mondays, alternating a timed 5k and a sprints session each week. Not bothered with BFT the last month because sprints or best effort 5ks are more than adequate to measure fitness until I get a new start date and start doing BFTs again
 

Chelonian

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I think there's several of us on here now that are quite scientific with our approach to phys. But that said, I wouldn't get so scientific as to worry about time vs distance for 80/20.
Agreed. Metrics are genuinely useful but the difficult bit is interpreting the data sensibly.
 
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