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    Running is repeatedly mentioned as being the best way of getting fit, but I find I struggle to do much more than 30mins before injuries start to set in. Recovery is pretty quick afterwards however, but the injuries remain.

    On the other hand I can jump on my bike, stop at 80+%MHR for four/five hours, absolutely take myself to my limit, but don't pick up injuries meaning I train again the next day and the next day and the.....

    Obviously you've got to run to pass the PFT/RAFFA/etc, and running is the best training for running, but is there anyway to minimise the amount of running in training?

    Running=high impact aerobic activity.
    Cycling/swimming/rowing=low impact aerobic activity.

    Ideally you should do both, regularly. The RAF 'fit to lead' training programme is a good example of a well balanced exercise regimen combining circuit training, high impact aerobic and low impact aerobic activities.
    This builds muscle, aerobic endurance and stamina.

    So in answer to your question, running alone is not that great an idea for fitness prep/build up. You need a well balanced, varied and regularly maintained exercise schedule, which is progressive and allows time for you to recover.

    Is running really that great?

    Yes and no. If you are a marathon runner and you go out and jog for 15 mins it probably won't do a lot of good. But if you are a marathon runner that can't do 5 press-up, then doing 5 press-ups will be more useful to you than the guy that does free weights at the gym, can bench-press five times his weight, but he just can't stand up because he is top heavy.

    In short what I am saying is, no single training programme/exercise is the definitive answer to all life's fitness problems. You need to find a good, varied programme which benefits you the most.

    The best way to do this is to talk to a PTI, get assessed on your aerobic and strength levels.
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