Sweat without the Blood and Tears

Small groups of airmen at 67 bases participated in a pilot program to improve airmen’s run times and reduce injury as they prepare for physical fitness testing. The three-stage program focused on evaluating an individual’s run, then steadily improving the person’s technique, endurance, and performance over time. “They are seeing results and seeing themselves get better. That was the whole idea behind this, to start off easy and progress into harder stages,” said Karl Leonard, 97th Medical Group exercise physiologist at Altus AFB, Okla., in a Nov. 5 base release. According to Leonard, running is one of the most frequent causes of injury across the force. “The overall goal of the study is to maximize performance and reduce injury,” he explained. Among the 14 airmen involved at Altus, 45 percent improved their 1.5-mile run time, according to the release. The Air Force will collate scores from across the force to decide whether to eventually implement the program service-wide. (Altus report by SrA. Kenneth Norman)