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FREE Spec Ops Level Running Program eBook

Stew smith

Running Plans to Help YOU Get TO and THROUGH any Tactical Profession
(Special Ops Level Selections too!)

FREE eBook with

Buy Anything and the Spec Ops Running Plan ($9.97) at and use this RUNNINGPLAN coupon code and the Special Ops Running Program is FREE!

Before Your Start....Beware!

Before you go and start this running plan, you will want to first understand a few things.  THIS IS NOT A BEGINNER RUNNING PLAN.  You need to have a decent foundation of running of 15 miles per week before attempting this PROGRESSIVE running plan.  This plan will progress each week by 10-15% and will incorporate running and rucking. If you are not up to progressing up to 30-35 miles a week in a 24 week cycle, consider this FREE program below that is a 20 mile a week FLAT program than focuses primarily on increasing pace and speed versus also adding volume each week.

Running Program to Get YOU TO and THROUGH Selection (20 miles / week) 

For You Under 10 miles a Week - But Trying to Build Timed Run Pace and Goal Pace on Longer Runs...

Build up to the above distances using the program below OR cut the miles in half of the above running workouts every day. 

Running Plan I - Build up to a 5K run!

Beginner Running Chart for people seeking to start an exercise plan and need to lose 20+ lbs:  (always start run workout with a quick 5:00 walk / light leg stretch).  I highly recommend the RUN / WALK method as you are learning to run.

 Each Run in this plan is to be done THREE times a week

Week 1

Walk 20-30 minutes / stretching entire body daily  (monitor weight loss*)

Week 2

Run 1:00 / Walk 1-2:00 for 20-30 minutes

Week 3

Run 1:00 / Walk 1:00 for 30 minutes (listen body as injuries occur this week**)

Week 4

3 Sets of Run 1:30 / Walk 1:30 | 3 Sets of Run 2:00 / Walk 1:00

Week 5

3 Sets of Run 2:30 / Walk 1:00 | 3 Sets of Run 2:00 / Walk 30 seconds

Week 6

4 Sets of Run 3:00 / Walk 1:30

Week 7

Run 1 mile / try non-stop / walk 1 mile fast

Week 8

Run / walk combo 2.5 miles  (from weeks 8-10 – try to run as much as you can)

Week 9

Run / walk combo 2.75 miles


Run / walk combo 3 miles


Running Plan II - Intermediate Runners - Build up to 6 miles / 10K run: ( Timed Runs as well)

After starting a running plan, often people get injured after continuing past the 3 mile run point.  Add some non impact aerobic options in the plan of the week to help alleviate future pains.  Running Form - Evolution of Running 









1-2 mile

Bike or swim

1-2 mile

Bike or swim

1-2 miles

1-2 mile


2-3 miles

Bike or swim

2-3 miles

Bike or swim

2-3 miles

2-3 miles


3 miles

Bike or swim

3 miles

Bike or swim

3 miles

3 miles


2 miles

3 miles


4 miles

4 miles

5 miles


2-3 miles

6 miles


4-5 miles


 6 miles


3 miles

4 miles

5 miles



10 k


 Types of Running Form

Types of Running - Consider making the miles above a combination of steady paced running, goal mile pace running, intervals, and mixing in some sprints too. See the Evolution of Running Forms - Find Yours. 

Mix in a few goal mile pace workouts as well.

** As  you progress with the above running workouts, add in leg workouts with short fast interval runs to total a 4 mile workout: 

Option #1 Option #2 Option #3

Run 1 mile warmup
Repeat 8 times
Run 400m at goal pace
rest with 10 squats
and 10 lunges / leg

Run 1 mile cooldown / stretch

Run 1 mile at goal pace
Repeat 4 times
Run 800m at goal pace
rest with 20 squats
10 / lunges per leg

Run 1 mile cooldown

Run or bike 5 minutes
Repeat 4-6 times
Run or bike 5 minutes
Leg press - 10-20 reps
Wood chopper Squats 20
½ squats - 20
WC Lunges 10/leg
side step squats - 20

Running - Here are some things I learned along the way:

1 - Get good shoes - Running is tough on you - why make it harder on your feet, shins, knees, etc.  I found Brooks Beast to be helpful with 200+ lb runners historically, though I have tried others that were fine too. (UK Gear, Under Armour, Nike, etc). 

2 - Learn HOW to Run - Most people just run and do fine with their natural gait, but some people do not. Here is something I learned a while ago and wrote an article on the Evolution of Running as over the last 35 years different styles have been created.  Do you Chi, Pose, Mid foot, heel roll, barefoot run? Can you hear yourself running? 

3 - Learn HOW to Breathe - Personally, I have found that inhales for 2-3 steps and exhale for 2-3 steps keeps you on a nice in/out rhythm that will help you keep the heart rate lower while you push harder. Inhaling through the nose and out through the mouth is not only a good idea in cold air, it is helpful year round. See the book the Oxygen Advantage by Patrick McKeown to better understand why / how that works. 

4 - AVOID Caffeine Prior to Running Races (timed runs) - When the goal is to run fast and push a high heart rate to crush a fitness test of 1.5,2,3, or 4 mile distances as in the tactical professions, the last thing you need is to do is artificially jack up your heart rate. Unfortunately, this recommendation is written in blood as people die from overstimulation.  

5 - Strength Training and Running Faster - Sure you can work on your sprint / agility speed when lifting heavy (legs), but if you are trying to increase running distance and goal pace speed for timed runs (1.5-4 miles distances), you will do neither well if done together. Take some time off the heavy lifts if your goal is to get faster timed runs for selection PT tests that require 6 minute mile pace to be considered good. But you can still do leg workouts but with body weight as the thing you are working on is cardio endurance and muscle stamina.  Mix in squats, lunges, hills, and/or soft sand to work the lungs and the legs so they will be better at building up to and maintaining a faster pace for longer distances. 

6 - Variety is the Key for Tactical Athletes - Unless you are focused on a specific sport that requires explosive speed, medium or long distances, you may want to consider doing a variety of running to help you with keeping a moderate amount of miles that challenge all energy systems. Here is my cycle that also breaks up the monotony of just running during running cycles:

Monday - 400m goal pace intervals mixed with upper body PT (3-4 miles total)
Tuesday - Easy pace warmup, hill fast runs, spring / jogs with leg PT (6 miles total distances)
Wednesday - 800m goal pace intervals mixed with upper body PT (3-4 miles total)
Thursday - Mobility Day - Bike, stretch, foam roll, massage tools
Friday - Beach Run with leg PT (3-4 miles)
Saturday - Longer run, Endurance Course, O Course Running with Upper body PT / Lift afterwards. (usually 5-7 miles)
Sunday - Sometimes I will do an early AM ruck for 4-5 miles, but usually this is a rest day from running. 

This is my Spring / Summer cycle that typically puts me in the 25-30 miles per week range. Sometimes we boost to 35 miles but we do not stay there for long. 

7 - Logical Progressions - YOU have to progress gently into running. You cannot start off on Day 1 with a 5 mile run out of no where. Well - you can but typically this comes with some overuse injuries. Remember someone's workout is someone else's warmup - make sure you build up over time.  A good progression is 10-15% in time or miles added per week until you get to your goal distance, time, speed, etc. 

8 - Sprinting As You Age - Sprinting in my teens and twenties was fun to push your 100% of your abilities. However, if you want to avoid pulling something (hamstring, hip muscles, calves / achilles) avoid 100% speed effort as you age.  Now, after 40 years old, 80% is my new 100% and I do not pull muscles anymore as it seems I cannot warmup enough to push full 100% sprinting. 

9 - Stretch / Mobility Work - Do DAILY!  You need to stretch often and this can be a mix of static stretches or dynamic stretches but move your joints around often throughout the day - especially if you run in the morning and sit on your butt the rest of the day. 

10 - Finally - Find Softer Ground - I made it a point to get new shoes, and do most of the running on softer than concrete ground:  grass, dirt, sand, and turf. This helps tremendously well for making the impact of running a little less of a pounding. 

Running Plans - All books and ebooks at contain some form of progressive running plan and some with rucking depending on your goals.  But here are some links to running:

Special Ops Running / Rucking Plan (advanced)


Complete List of Books and eBooks Specifically Designed For Your Tactical Profession Goals

Who Is The Tactical Fitness Coach / Author Stew Smith?

 I'm the former Navy SEAL that military recruits and special ops candidates go to for books, ebooks and online coaching to prepare themselves to get to and through intense tactical assessment and selection programs and qualify for service in their chosen tactical profession.  See More at

We Have Answers For Beginners to Advanced Spec Ops Level Training Programs (see below)

Fitness for Beginners - Get Started for Free!

Most people who enter the recruiters' offices are seeking regular military jobs and on the beginner spectrum of fitness. Please consider the following before joining the military:

- Run - Learn how to run and get in shape to run 2-3 miles without stopping.  See beginner / intermediate running plan.  But, you may need to start off with just walking depending on your fitness level. If you played sports that had a little bit of running in it (football) or no running in it like swimming, you need to practice running regularly to get over the growing pains accompanied with impact cardio like running and rucking. To do well on timed runs, you need to practice that distance at a goal pace. Learn about GOAL PACE Running. 

- Calisthenics - You will be doing calisthenics not only throughout the day in basic training, but as a fitness test as well.  Get used to exercises like pushups, crunches, plank poses, pullups, squats, and lunges to work the entire body.  If you need some ideas, see the programs below that address all the physical fitness challenges you will see in preparation, testing, and basic training and beyond. The Boot camp, PFT, Bible, and Cals and Cardio are all encompassing workouts that will prepare you for the challenges of Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard basic training and fitness tests as well. The Army and Marine Corps will require more challenging workouts and fitness testing.  See links of the books below to see more details of the Combat Fitness Test you must be able to accomplish when you join. 


DO NOT RELY ON THE MILITARY TO GET YOU INTO SHAPE AT BASIC TRAINING.  You will get into better shape for sure during your training if you arrive in lower fitness form, but you need to arrive with a foundation of physical fitness that is specific to your future job in the military / fitness tests / training. If you show up out of shape, you could end up failing standards or injuring yourself causing longer delays or removal from training altogether. 

For You Special Candidates (Get in Shape LONG Before You Join) 

High Intermediate Military / Advanced Spec Ops
Building Programming:

Other EBOOKS (Special Ops– Most of my programs tend to focus on getting TO and THROUGH a specific tactical training program.  So you may see a mix of all the seasons in some of these books, but if you are training long term, you can take advantage of Seasonal Periodization and save yourself some of the over-use, long term pains that tend to follow many of the tactical preparations - especially on the spec ops level of training. 

Start training today with workouts that focus on the specifics of getting to and through tactical profession training from firefighter, police, swat, military to special ops. We have programs to help you get TO and THROUGH training. 


Lifting Cycle Programs For Those Who Need a Strength Focus

You may have seen my Winter Lift Cycle that I discuss in the Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization article as well as have our actual lift programs we have done over the years in the following books.


It is not all just calisthenics and cardio at Stew Smith Fitness

Tactical Fitness, Tactical Strength, Navy SEAL Weight Training Workout, Weight Vest Workout,  Stew Smith's Fall Winter Cycle, Warrior Workout #2Maximum Fitness

These programs as well as my online coaching programs have Winter Lift Cycles in them as part of our Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization System. But, do not get these lift cycles confused with ACTUAL strength / power lifting programs, these are strength / power programs that also have a focus on cardio fitness maintenance BECAUSE you need to be good at all the elements of fitness and develop into an all-round Tactical Athlete.   

Get Weekly Unpublished Workouts Tested and Evaluated by local Stew Smith Training programs. 

Stew Smith Fitness Membership – You have access to years of workouts for both beginner / intermediate and advanced / special ops levels of fitness. Each week you will receive new and unpublished workouts being tested by Navy SEAL veteran / Stew Smith CSCS and his local group of future tactical professionals in both basic training and advanced spec ops training programming. The latest videos, articles, and other programming will be part of the weekly data feed to members as well. We go through the Seasonal Tactical Fitness Periodization program one week at a time.

Join the Online PT CLUB:
One On One Coaching with Stew Smith

If You Need a More Personalized Approach to Fit Your Needs, Goals, Time per Day, Days per week, Facilities, Abilities, etc...Try Online Coaching

Questions?  Just email me at

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