Ready Set Go
Long days on the job can be physically demanding, which is why maintaining an overall level of strength and fitness is important. For corrections officers though, sometimes a burst of energy is needed in order to respond quickly to any number of situations. Whether it’s a fast sprint over a short distance or the endurance to finish 1.5 miles in a reasonable amount of time, the ability to meet the physical fitness standards required for a variety of demanding careers — including law enforcement and corrections — depends not just on strength or swiftness, but on mental fortitude and discipline.
To help you train for and maintain the athletic prowess needed to execute the duties of your position, the following tools and tips can help you train for the 300 m sprint that is required to graduate from the Academy.
How can I improve my Running time?
First begin by establishing your current running capabilities. You should learn what pace works best for you, paying particular attention to your breathing, leg stride, foot strikes and arm swing. Focusing on your form will help you create muscle memory, which will allow you to avoid injury and improve timing and endurance even as you begin to run faster over longer distances. Don’t forget to land gently on your mid to forefoot while leaning slightly forward at the ankles. Keep your jaw relaxed and your elbows at 90 degrees, with your arms lightly swinging back and forth in time with the opposite leg.
“The truth is, conflict cannot always be avoided or contained.”
Start with a Program
The key to improving your run time for short sprints involves a training program that combines strength training with variable sprint distances. You will want to keep your distances under 600 meters when training for the sprint, and make sure to start at a moderate pace before increasing your speed. In addition, make sure to set aside four days a week for training, and alternate between weights and runs to maintain balance and increase strength, speed and stamina.
The above routine will provide you with the fundamental building blocks to improve your sprint time and increase your muscle strength. When you begin your fitness routine, make sure you maintain the proper form and always start slowly
Make sure to watch your technique, paying special attention to your posture. Also, don’t forget to stretch before and after your workout and stay hydrated. Finally, it is essential that you make time to rest between workouts. Use the off time to give your body a rest, or cross train with yoga, swimming, or other core-strengthening activities.
While training and experience can help you act quickly and decisively, the truth is conflict cannot always be avoided or contained. If your de-escalation efforts are not working and you feel unsafe, stop, leave, and call for help. Your safety and the safety of your colleagues is tantamount. You cannot always prevent violence, but with proper preparation, many situations can be quickly and safely resolved.
* Make sure to consult a physician before embarking on any diet or fitness routine!