EDRE | How it Relates To Running

October 26, 2022

An EDRE in the military permits commanders to evaluate a military unit’s capability to deploy on very short notice and to achieve its wartime goals. How does this apply to your overall fitness and racing preparation? You have to use military precision to achieve your own personal mission and goals. You are either trained or untrained. There is no in between. I served over 20 years in the Army on active duty. So, did experience what it was like to participate in an edre.

You have to be very focused, organized and communication among your team members is essential. Also, equipment check and safety are also important. It reminds me a lot of preparing for middle to long distance running. How prepared do you truly want to be for your particular running event? Are you training for the Army ACFT? If so, you may want to check out the new Army combat fitness 2 mile running course I created.

I didn't see an online resource for military members seeking to improve their cardiovascular endurance. So, I decided to create one. I am a former member of the US Army World Class Athlete Program and have run 9:27 for 2 miles. In addition, 14:18 for 5K and 2:19:35 for the marathon. Cardiovascular fitness preparation is much like an edre, you have to be organized in what you are doing. An edre involves communication among members of a unit as well. The same goes for the athlete and his or her coach.

What Does EDRE stand for Military?

EDRE stands for emergency deployment readiness exercise.Units are usually given 18-24 hours to prepare their logistical assets to deploy on a moments notice. The overall goal of an edre exercise is to lower the amount of time it takes to deploy. In addition, to achieve the highest amount of benefits from training. An EDRE is also known as a unannounced, fast-deployment exercise which is created to determine how alert a unit is to deploy their personnel and equipment to a location dealing with an emergency.


How long is an EDRE?

As mentioned above, an EDRE is usually around 18 hours in length. So, unit teams, commanders and personnel must all be working in unison to get everything in order in a small amount of time. I created this website not only for civilians but also for military members. Our military as well as foreign, allied military members need to be in great cardiovascular fitness to be prepared for an emergency deployment readiness exercise. Remember, the fitter you are the stronger you will be mentally as well.

A military EDRE will test a military members mental and physical capabilities. So, it is a good idea to be in the best possible shape before you participate in one of these exercises. Running is a great way to do this. That being said, you have to train properly and not be in a rush. I created the new Army ACFT 2 mile running course to help military members from around the world improve their cardiovascular fitness. Pace sustainment is a major issue I saw for military members in my 20 years of active duty service in the US Army.

I always recommend a longer build up rather than a shorter one when it comes to running a faster 2 mile time. Remember, the faster you can cover 2 miles the more competitive you will be over the longer race distances as well. I also created training plans from the mile to marathon distances to help assist athletes such as yourself.

EDRE Army Acronym

Emergency deployment readiness exercise. Readiness is everything whether you are a military member or a civilian. You are either trained or you are untrained, there is no in between. My goal as a fitness expert is to help both civilians as well as military maximize their results. Again, an EDRE is going to test a units personnels' organizational ability but also its forces physical and mental fitness as well.

So, utilizing a legitimate running plan is one major way of getting in the best possible shape. I knew each military branch has their own physical fitness test run distance. For example, the Indian Army runs 1600m, the US Navy runs 1.5 miles and the US Marines run 3 miles, to name a few.

I share everything I know about the middle to long distance running in the new Army ACFT 2 mile running course. In addition, some tactics and strategies that I guarantee most of your units members are not using.

What is the 2 Mile Run Time for the Army?

It will depend on the age of the military member. The new Army Combat Fitness Test challenges US Army Soldiers in 6 different events. Of course, you may not be in the Army. Perhaps, you are in another branch of the US military or a member of another allied military branch. The good news is the new ACFT Army 2 mile running course can help you as well. My aim with the course was to build a resource that would give clues to military members of how the world's top runners train.

MAJ (ret.) Pennington finishing in 4th place and top American at the 2007 California International Marathon in 2:19:35 (3:18 per kilometer for 42.2 kilometers)

I was very fortunate to have been coached by 3 of the world's top distance running coaches. I credit their expertise and knowledge to helping me run 9:27 for 2 miles, 14:18 for 5K and 2:19:35 for the marathon. In addition, assisting me to earn a 2008 USA Olympic Trials qualifying time in the marathon. I didn't see an online running course available to military members. So, decided to create this course to help military members, firefighters, police, civilians and elite military forces to maximize their cardio fitness.


How Do Military Train for Running?

The military, in my experience, do run around 1 to 3 miles 2 to 3 times per week. That being said, a common problem for many military members is pace sustainment. Troops are not running enough and not spending sufficient time training long enough at their anaerobic threshold. Your lactate threshold is running between 85 to 89 percent of your maximum heart rate. Remember, the end goal of the Army ACFT running course is to improve the athlete's lactate tolerance.

So, we want to train you to sustain goal race pace longer and more effectively. In addition, to train the body to clear lactic acid faster than it is building up. Physiological adaptation takes between 3 to 4 weeks to occur. So, you can't be in a rush. My advice is to spend between 4 to 6 weeks running easy, relaxed mileage running around 65-74% of your maximum heart rate. I also recommend investing in a heart rate monitor. I use the Garmin 245 regularly. It helps me to stay at the proper heart rate zones without over training.

How Many Miles Do You Have to Run in the Military?

The better question I would ask you is how badly do you want success? What is your overall? Is it to lose weight, run a 2-mile in under 12 minutes or compete at the Army 10 miler? Mileage is important but quality of that mileage matters most. In addition, ensuring you are jogging on easy days to ensure adaptation occurs. I saw far too many military members trying to run too fast, too soon.

Again, proper planning just like with an EDRE exercise is key in order to succeed. You need to be prepared for the unexpected. The good news is most military members are aware of when they have an upcoming physical fitness test, unlike with an emergency deployment readiness exercise. So, to run a fast 1.5 (Navy & Air Force), 2 mile (US Army), 3 mile (US Marines) to 4 mile (Navy Seal/Special Forces candidates) you need to focus on speed development.

Military members should be doing at least 1 Vo2 max workouts per week. We run between 95 to 100 percent of our maximum heart rate running at this effort. Examples of vo2 max workouts are speed intervals on the track or roads, hill repetitions and fartlek running. Your vo2 max is your body's maximum oxygen carrying capacity. You can improve this ability by faster, anaerobic training.

Top Pro Tips To Run Faster in The Military

Start doing faster long runs. I teach in my running courses and training plans the importance of faster, varied paced long runs. Of course, doing longer, slow long runs every other weekend is also vital for success. That being said, far too many runners run too aerobically every single weekend during their long runs. The key to improve stamina and strength on your military physical fitness test (PFT) is improving ones' lactate clearance ability.

Easy running does not produce this physiological effect but faster running will. Long runs of between 7 to 12 miles in length will make any military member dangerous on their physical fitness test. One major reason is simply most military members are running these types of distances.

Yes, military members are fit but most don't run 5 to 7 days a week. Again, are you interested in being average, good or great? The majority of military members I knew were interested in excellence. So, I know you know how to work hard. The time is now to start training smart so that you start dropping significant time off of your run times. In addition, improve your cardiovascular fitness the right way.

What A Varied Paced Long Run Looks Like

Below are some examples of the types of long runs I was doing prior to running 2:19:35 for the marathon (5:19 mile pace for 26.2 miles). Remember, you don't need to run this far for a 1600m to 4 mile military physical fitness test. I simply want to show you what a varied paced long run looks like.

  • 2 mile jog, 5 miles@5:35 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 1 mile in 4:55, 7 miles@6:05 mile pace, 2 miles easy, 1 mile in 5:10, 1 mile jog cool-down (21 miles)
  • 1 mile jog, 10 miles@5:30 mile pace, 2 mile jog, 2 miles@5:20 mile pace, 5 miles@6:45 mile pace, 2 mile jog cool-down (22 miles)

Remember, always follow a faster long run the following week with an easy, relaxed long run. Again, adaptation is essential when it comes to running performance. I usually ran between 8 to 9:30 mile pace on my easy, relaxed long runs. I also trained with elite Kenyan marathoners who could run under 2:10 for the marathon (sub-5 minute mile pace for 26.2 miles) who run similar paces on their easy long runs. So, if they can slow down so can you.

Longer Tempo Runs

Military members should be, after they have spent at least 4 weeks of building their base mileage, doing 1 tempo run per week. Tempo runs are spending running at your lactate threshold. Your anaerobic threshold is the point where lactic acid begins to build up in the body.

We race right around our AT effort. So, it vital to spend longer periods of time running at this intensity. Again, this is running at between 85 to 89 percent of your max heart rate.

What has been the longest tempo run you have done in the past for your military physical fitness test? 2 miles? 3? I would focus on working your way to 4 to 6 miles in length. Again, this will take time and a longer build up of between 16 to 20 weeks is sufficient for most military members to get terrific results. Army races will test your ability to sustain race paces. Tempo runs will improve your ability to do exactly that.

Closing Thoughts

How much time are you mentally training for your military races and physical fitness tests? You have to train the mind just as you do the body for these events. So, start visualizing yourself getting across the finish line with your goal time on the clock.

It doesn't take more than 10 minutes daily to do this. The best time to do this is when you first get up in the morning or when going to bed at night. Also, pay attention to your muscle tension throughout the week during your workouts. Make sure to subscribe to the RunDreamAchieve YouTube channel. I create new training and racing videos there each week to help athletes like you yield new personal bests.

Remember, the most relaxed athlete usually performs the best. Muscle tension will inhibit athletic performance. So, continue to work on keeping your muscles relaxed even at sub-maximal and maximal efforts. Lastly, make sure you are practicing hydration during your long runs. You may have a goal of running further than 1600m to 4 miles and desire to compete in longer races. So, take in more fluids and calories during those long runs.

I hope this article has been helpful to you. Be sure to check out the new Army ACFT 2 mile running course and our other running resources. My hope is that they will help you drop significant time and help you be as prepared for the unexpected EDRE exercise.


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