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Getting Better and Runs and Swims (PST related)

Stew Smith BUDS navy seal preparation pst pst stew smith swimming


If you are coming from a strength and power background or new to training, you may find the speed and endurance requirements challenging if you want to get good enough scores to ace the PST.  Typically, good goals to have for the 500yd CSS swim is between 8-8:30 and a 1.5 mile run at the end of the PST should be in the low 9 minute zone or sub 9 minutes.  Those scores will help you get TO the training as long as  your PT scores are also above average.

Here is what I have my guys do once they have figured out the stroke and have the ability to swim a 50m CSS in 50 seconds (but cannot maintain that pace for 500yds).

The 50-50 Workout:

Warmup with 500yds swim - any stroke - personally I like to mix some freestyle and CSS with this one but the goal is to use the 500yd as a legitimate WARMUP.  One day, this distance will "just be a warmup" to you and will have big time psychological benefits to your anxiety and performance in an official PST. 

THEN - Do the 50-50:

Repeat 10 times
Swim freestyle fast / hard for 50m
Swim CSS at goal pace for 50m
(rest here if you need to but not for long - the goal is to progress to where you can "rest" with your goal pace).  That is when you know you are getting in swimming shape.

We do this 5-6 times a week.  You have to swim 1500m a day if you want to get in shape for swim 500m fast.  THEN - you have to start getting good at swimming 1-2 miles with SCUBA fins if you want to progress to a level to actually make it THROUGH BUD/S. 

Most people who are not used to swimming just need to get into swimming shape (and learn an efficient stroke).  See common errors for CSS swimming.

For Running Goal Pace at the 1.5 mile run

Learn your goal pace!  If you think running 1.5 miles is long distance and cannot maintain a fast pace for more than a lap or two, you need to practice getting in running shape for that pace.  For instance:

Warmup with a 1 mile run - easy pace (stretch)

Repeat 8-10 times
400m run at goal pace
- rest with stretching or another PT exercises (situps, pushups, squats, lunges)
for a minute or less.

If your goal is a 9 minute 1.5 mile run - or 6 minute mile pace - you need to hit all of these 400m runs at 90 seconds.  No slower / no faster.  Commit this pace to your memory - know how it feels to breath, stride, arm swing, etc when at that pace.  You should be able to start a race and within 100m know you are on pace to hit your goal.  Where most people screw up on this event (and swimming too) is they start off way too fast, fall off their goal pace, and wind up way slower than their goal pace.  

More info on Goal Pace Running

THEN you have to start getting good at 4 mile timed runs if  you want to progress to a level to get THROUGH BUD/S. 

Check out this video / workout link for more details: 

 Workout Link Referenced in the above video:

 Some more links to get TO and THROUGH BUD/S

Learn how to put it all together - PST CLINIC - Getting TO the TRAINING:


Getting THROUGH BUD/S requires much more: 

See what is "good enough" - PST Type Scores:

Now how about your durability - strength numbers:



Who is Stew Smith? Coach, Trainer, Author, PodcasterI'm the former Navy SEAL that 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

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