A change of pace: Grissom makes improvements to track

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Courtney Dotson-Essett
  • 434th ARW

The Air Force physical fitness assessment is an annual part of life for all members. Some love it, while others dread it. Some people have their favorite components, preferring sit-ups to push-ups or vice-versa.

No matter how one feels about the test, everyone must take and pass it. Grissom officials recently made some updates to the track to help members train more effectively and pass the cardio portion of the test with ease.

Some of the changes include a re-coating of the recycled rubber surface as well as re-doing distance markers.

“The track itself had suffered a lot of wear and tear, so we had the track resurfaced.” said Dustin Fulkerson, 434th Force Support Squadron exercise physiologist.

“Resurfacing helps with the cushioning of a person’s foot striking the ground. Anytime you can do that, it assists with preventing injuries by providing a soft surface to run on,” he added.

Additions to the track were made for individual training as well.

“Specifically, we re-created the existing distances that we test on,” Fulkerson said. “The mile and one-half start and finish and the two-kilometer marks remain the same.”

The one-hundred-meter distance marks that were added around the track for interval training allows runners to monitor where they start and stop.

A dedicated space for the twenty-meter beep test, or hammer test, was added on the asphalt that is adjacent to the track, near where the rubber tires are lined up.

While the test is one that would be conducted inside, this addition provides supplemental training space for members.

“We simply placed those markers out there for people to practice,” said Fulkerson. “They can start the audio and could actually run a training event there, and it doesn’t require them to use gym space to do that.”

Fulkerson believes these updates to the track will create a better testing and conditioning experience for members.

“Now that the member can see one hundred-meter distances, this will assist with any kind of pace work or interval training that they would do,” Fulkerson said. “Now they can run sprints and figure out their pace for certain distances that they really didn’t know before.”

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.

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