As a poolee you are going to be doing many IST’s, but during boot camp and throughout your USMC career, you will be doing PFT’s which your score goes on your permanent record and is factored into your promotions. IST’s are not used in the real Marine Corps.
The main difference between the two is that an IST has a 1.5 mile run while the PFT has a 3 mile run. The pull-ups and crunches remain the same. No matter how much IST’s are stressed prior to boot camp by your recruiters, it is in each of yours best interest to bang out a few PFT’s to see where you stand and to build your confidence prior to shipping to boot camp.
–Do not make the mistake of doubling your 1.5 mile run time and then assume this is what your 3 mile run time will be. You need to time your 3 mile run to get an accurate run time.
–Do not rely on your recruiter to get you to take an IST or PFT. You can do this on your own and you don’t need to be enlisted to do these simple things.
–If you only run when forced to such as during poolee functions, then you may want to think about the tone you are setting for your future. It is very important you try to run on your own.
–If running comes easy for you, then you have no business doing IST’s unless forced to, so step up your game.
–You will have to pass an IST your first week of boot camp to advance in your training.
–Don’t rely on boot camp or the Marines to get you into shape. You are setting yourself up for disaster when you do this, plus it doesn’t speak well of your mindset.
–If you cannot pass a simple IST within a month of you shipping out, then hopefully your recruiter does the right thing and moves your ship date back or kicks your ass out of the DEP.
–Average run time for Marines for a 3 mile run time is between 20-22 minutes. 18 minutes is perfect and 28 is barely passing. Your 1.5 mile run time needs to be between 10-11 minutes and you have no reason to not be able to run this 1.5 mile run in under 13+ minutes.
–If you suck at running and if it doesn’t come easy for you, then don’t worry about trying to be an 18 minute three miler and don’t worry about running longer distances then three miles. You have to master the basics before moving on to the next phase.
The “30” minute run time is a perfect way to prepare yourself if you are a beginner runner and this is the concept used in boot camp. This means you want to be able to run for 30 non stop minutes at any pace and the distance you run doesn’t matter. Once you can do this with ease, then you shoot for set distances and or more controlled pace and you get your times and go from there.
If you are a good or elite runner, then you should know how to go about in your training as far as running goes. Good or bad runner, just remember that during boot camp you run very little as in maybe 7-8 times during the three months and your runs begin at 1.5 miles and work up to 3 miles. You do not run fast or uphill or anything crazy like that, so make sure you clearly understand that running during boot camp is not something to be feared.
Be sure to read the “Running” page in this site for more info and advice about running.