Learn to run like a Special Forces Operator / Navy Seal: all about Long Slow Distance

You are running for a while, or you have followed a run schedule and you can run 10km smoothly. Perhaps you've been training for a career in the military, police, fire department of you want to prepare for a ruthless Special Forces pipelike like BUDS ( Navy Seal Training) Then the time has come to learn to run like a US Navy Seal! We'll tell you all you need to know about Low Slow Distance training.

soldiers running

LSD for runner's high

Als the name suggest LSD training is low in intensity and long in the distance. That's why you need to check that your speed is not too high. LSD workouts build endurance and make you recover from high-intensity sessions. To see whether your pace is right, you can use the TALK test. This means you should be able to speak comfortably in short sentences whilst you are jogging, taking breaths between each sentence. If you are unable to talk, your pace is to fast, and if you can talk continuously, your speed is too slow.

The focus on an LSD workout is always on duration instead of intensity. At least 40 minutes of running or swimming is a minimun. Someone just starting, who is unable to run for 40 minutes will scale to 20 minutes, an experienced runner will run for 90 minutes in a single session. A goal to work towards is to run comfortably 12 to 16km without quitting.

We advise having an LSD session once a week. These sessions will prepare your joints and your muscles to deliver exertion for long periods. Just as in any other workout schedule we advise to start with a realistic number of km's to run and each week gradually increase mileage with a maximum of 10% increment.

Start 2 run

A goal for everyone who wants to be tactical fit is to run 16km or 10 miles smoothly. Some experienced runners can run double the amount, and if that is your goal that is perfect. In our experience, it is not an advantage to be able to run more than 16km when you want to apply for Special Forces. 


With LSD training it is an advisable choice to vary in terrain. Run-on plains, uphill, asphalt, pavements, grass, sand or even snow. Plan before you start running a route which gives you a lot of change in terrain. Getting yourself to know the different kinds of terrain will improve your general condition. Each landscape has its own advantages but remember, no terrain is the best , and too much of the same is never a smart idea.

Did this article make you enthusiastic about starting your running workout? Or made you want to be tactical fit? Feel free to contact us to help you with your running routine. This article can also be found in dutch on our Taktikal Fitness HQ website


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