The Wall: A Distance Runner’s Perspective on Mental Toughness

By Kristen Schafer Let’s talk about Mental Toughness and running. If you’ve ever trained for a running event then you have probably heard of it before. At the Boston Marathon it is known as “heartbreak hill”, at the 25k national road racing championships it’s called “the green monster”, at the biggest road race in the U.S., Bloomsday, it’s called “Doomsday hill”, but most runners just … Continue reading The Wall: A Distance Runner’s Perspective on Mental Toughness

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Oct. 26, 2004 U.S. Marines from the 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, run to a building after detonating explosives to open a gate during a mission in Ramadi in Anbar province, Iraq.

The 7-Week OCS Prep Progressive Running Program

This program is designed to get you comfortable with longer runs, while also building the speed you’ll need to crush a 3-mile PFT or sprint through an obstacle course. We’ll test your PFT time twice, once at the end of the 3rd week, and again at the end of the 7th week. If you find it difficult to push yourself, try to time this program around … Continue reading The 7-Week OCS Prep Progressive Running Program

Tale of the Tape: A Cheap, Easy Way To Prevent Blisters

The most common injuries at OCS which derail candidates’ performance are shin splints and foot blisters. A combination of excessive running and marching, sweaty or wet feet, and adjusting to combat boots lead to the perfect storm for blisters. Luckily there seems to be real progress made by science on solving this issue–pioneered by Standford scientists who work with runners covering over a marathon per … Continue reading Tale of the Tape: A Cheap, Easy Way To Prevent Blisters

What’s the Best OCS Workout for Me?

Candidate Question I’m a rising sophomore in the NROTC program in addition to being an applicant for PLC as well (not currently on scholarship). This summer, one of my goals has been to gain around five pounds, while not losing any cardio. I’ve been doing a powerlifting program 3x per week and am just starting to use creatine. With this being said, I also want … Continue reading What’s the Best OCS Workout for Me?

Packing List Discussion: “Go-Fasters,” or “Running Shoes”

Candidate’s Question Two questions about the packing list: Is there a specific brand of running shoes they want us to bring to OCS? Is it really necessary to bring two pairs of go-fasters to PLC Juniors or seniors considering they are both only six week segments? Answer First, very moto use of the term “go-fasters.” No need to use that OCS-specific word for “running shoes” … Continue reading Packing List Discussion: “Go-Fasters,” or “Running Shoes”

Interview With A Dropped Candidate

Candidate X did well at OCS physically, but ended up dropping with a new appreciation for his own strengths and weaknesses. He has graciously accepted an invitation to conduct an interview with the OCS blog as he prepares for another run at the grueling course. How far into OCS did you get? While I wasn’t able to successfully complete USMC OCS by our end date in … Continue reading Interview With A Dropped Candidate

Attention, New Runners! One Quick Fix for a Side Stitch

Exercise Related Transient Abdominal pain (ETAP) It’s a “stitch” or side pains. Or side cramp. You’re running and then get an intense pain seemingly next to your diaphragm. Who knows why it happens. Doesn’t matter. Get Rid of It In the moment: stop running, breathe heavily and bend over and touch your toes. This is supposedly a very fast technique to “turn off” the side stitch. … Continue reading Attention, New Runners! One Quick Fix for a Side Stitch

The Ultimate OCS Preparation Workout

Candidates, this is my recommended pre-OCS workout. I would do you a disservice if I only laid out a formula to follow. Instead, I’m going to show the process I worked through to generate this plan, so that you can copy the process and get a personalized workout for yourself. First: Rank Your Goals First, I ranked my workout goals: OCS-specific type activities Run for … Continue reading The Ultimate OCS Preparation Workout

Use the 10-20-30 Training Concept to Run Faster by Running Less

Hate running? Want Less Train and More Gain? It sounds like a late-night commercial gimmick, but according to recent scientific studies, you can improve health and aerobic performance with less training. Work Smarter, Not Harder They say it’s easy to work hard, but hard to work smart. This is especially true of the community known as “Jarheads” or “Leathernecks”. So how would you increase your … Continue reading Use the 10-20-30 Training Concept to Run Faster by Running Less

Great Pre-OCS Workout: Fartlek

Fartlek is a word that translates into “speed play”.  The basic concept of this system is to train the body using different intervals of rest and speed.  Normal Fartlek sessions tend to consist of about 3 to 4 miles, running about ¼ mile or more then resting before doing it again.  The course you are going to familiarize yourself with at OCS is a twisted representation of this concept.

This is a great example of a Fartlek course you can do on your own time in preparation for OCS. Feel free to mix in other exercises found on this site.

The OCS course will consist of running to pre-marked exercise stations along Quantico trails.  Each station is marked with a specific exercise and number of repetitions.  The repetitions increase as you progress through training.  Below is an example of exercises to include in your own Fartlek course, as well as, some recommended distances to space them out.

Each station should have approximately 400m to ½ mile between them.  Each exercise should count between 10-20 repetitions.

Box Jumps

Pull -Ups

Crunches

Wide arm push-ups

Continue your workout