Most running injuries are due to “over use” from running too much, i.e. too fast, too far, or too often. See Chapter 12: Training and Sports Related Injuries for more information about injuries. The following table shows the incidence of various running injuries that were reported by male runners in a recent survey (Adapted from Running Injury-Free By Joe Ellis with Joe Henderson, Rodale Press, 1994).

If you train sensibly there is no reason why you should not be able run injury-free. Should you get injured, information on how to go about seeking treatment for training related injuries is provided in Chapter 12

As a SEAL you are required to be a swimmer. Swimming is an excellent exercise for overall fitness; aerobic endurance, power, strength, and flexibility are all enhanced by swim training. It is generally gentle on the joints and provides excellent cross training for running and other gravity-intensive forms of exercise by providing load-bearing joint rest. However, training must be specific for the anticipated operational environment, including cold water acclimatization.

This section will give you the tools to improve your swimming skills, thus enhancing your fitness for combat swimmer missions. You must primarily train for endurance while preserving the significant power and strength required by other phases of SEAL operations. This section includes information on competitive swimming strokes and pool training, but it is important to emphasize that most training for SEAL combat swimmer operations should consist of open water swims with fins. Open water training is essential for SEALs as a part of a comprehensive training program under the general principle of “specificity of training”. Surf and high sea state swimming provides specific training for potential operational situations by increasing your sense of timing and confidence.

Open Water Gear In the pure sense the only gear required is a set of trunks. Look at the gear list for the UDT swimmers at Omaha Beach in 1944. It did not even include fins and masks. However, today there are some significant gear issues. Goggles are necessary for any real swim training. Operational and open water swimming requires more gear. There are specific training aids that help develop strength and technique in pool training. Swimming is still an inexpensive sport with respect to gear; a complete set of the most expensive training gear for pool training will not cost over $100. Wet Suits Open water swimming may require thermal protection for safety. Males in particular may be susceptible to hypothermia and the first symptom in an open water swimmer may be unconsciousness from cardiac arrhythmia. Thermal protection in swimmers means a wet suit worn over an anti-chafing shirt. Wet suits designed for open water swimming are generally of a Farmer John design with the arms free for stroking. In all but the coldest water, a 1/8” wet suit is best for surface swimming. Unlike diving, there is no need to factor in the loss of insulation due to compression of the neoprene with depth. However, this is not true for the combat swimmer operations that may entail prolonged periods in the water.

Anti-chafing shirts are generally made of nylon without elastic properties. Worn under the wet suit, the nylon shirt allows arm strokes and head rotation without getting chafing from the wet suit. If you don’t use anti-chafe shirts, then this would not matter. Hood, Gloves and Booties ” Good open water swimming hoods allow the head to be turned with minimal chafing. Thermal protection is not as good with the neck exposed. A good hood preserves a great deal of the swimmer’s heat. ” Gloves may have webbed fingers to allow sidestroke pulling to be more efficient. They work great for freestyle, too. Neoprene web gloves are popular and work like paddles. ” Thin 1/8” booties without soles maximize the power delivered by the swimmer’s legs to the fins.

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