Gotta Run: A timely self-defense seminar and a Navy Seal workout

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 22, 2022

The topic of self-defense, especially for women, has become a highly discussed topic with the recent killing of Eliza Fletcher who went out for a 4 a.m. run and did not return. Fletcher was a teacher and mother of two when abducted in her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. Her body was found later after she was forced into a dark-colored vehicle. At least six female runners and one female golfer playing alone have been killed in recent years.

The dangers women face while simply exercising outside are in the spotlight again and locally the Salisbury Rowan Runners and Sidekick Karate are offering a self-defense seminar and training session on Nov. 5. The event will be held at Sidekick Karate at 520 South Main Street from 10 a.m.-noon. There is no charge and both men and women are welcome. You do not have to be a walker or runner to attend. A limited number of spots are available. Please reserve yours by emailing me at

Most runners, at least at one time or another, want to train to get faster. Working to get faster is hard and often painful, but commitment to a good plan is usually successful. Training to get faster almost always pays off relative to the amount of time and effort invested.

I used to read Runner’s World religiously and other related magazines until it seemed they were recycling the same ideas over and over and just titling them differently. It remains my belief that runners in general used to train harder and push themselves more. Yes, it is a different time, but we all want to be good at something and what is better than any benefit to your physical and mental health?

Last week, I ran across what a Navy Seal teaches to his trainees when they must break very fast mile times, particularly when a lot of them are large men. Usually the bigger the body, the harder it is to run fast. Navy Seals have to train for a 1.5-mile time trial clocking of 9 minutes, that’s 6 minutes per mile. Here is what Navy Seal trainer Stew Smith says: This is a workout for conditioned athletes, so dial yours back to something doable and in line with your abilities but keep with the basic plan. I am going to do this once a week.

Warm up with the following — Keep going up the ladder until you reach set 10.

  • 1 squat, jog 100 meters
  • 2 squats, jog 100 meters
  • 3 squats, jog 100 meters

Then repeat the below workout four times:

  • Run 400 or 800 meters at goal pace. If you choose, you can do the squats and lunges every other set.
  • Squats: 20
  • Lunges: 10 per leg
  • Stretch as needed but at minimum rest between sets

You could begin with four 400-meter runs and do the squats and lunges every other set. Then work your way up.

After you complete the middle segment, finish the full pyramid that you started with and use it as a way to push a faster run pace for shorter distances. The final section looks like this:

  • 10 squats, run 200 meters fast. You aren’t sprinting but running faster than your goal pace.
  • 9 squats, run 200 meters
  • 8 squats, run 200 meters

Keep going to one squat and a total of 10 x 200-meter runs.

This workout will be most easily accomplished on a track. 100 meters is one quarter of the track, 200 is about half the track and 400 is one complete lap. Of course, the secret to this workout is the squats and lunges. You are waking up leg muscles while stretching them out as well.

Look for this coming weekend’s two races, Saturday’s St. Matthews 5K on Oct. 29 and Sunday’s Spooky Sprint at Salisbury Community Park on Oct. 30 at