New Years Navy SEAL Challenge

Vince Matteo made a New Years Navy SEAL Challenge, which basically is the US Navy SEAL Fitness Test, with a few modification for triathletes; swimming freestyle and not the combat swimmer stroke & longer breaks allowed.

And I did it today.

First part was swimming 500 yards. Since absolutely noone outside the USA knows what the fuck a yard is, let alone have access to a 25 yard pool, I decided I’d just use my local 50 m pool and do a 500 m test. About 10% extra never hurt anyone.

Then as many push-ups, sit-ups and pull-ups as possible in 2 minutes each. For the pull-ups I ended up using a kid sized steel soccer goal, it was the best I could find close to home. The “bar” was a 7-8 cm cross-section square steel bar, and I had to bend my knees 90º to avoid touching the ground. Suboptimal. (That’s my excuse for not doing very well at this.)

Finally a 2.4 km run on an out-and-back course. I did add a short 9 minute warm-up loop first.


  • 500 m in 8’33” (PASSED, max time 12’30”)
  • 45 push-ups (PASSED, min 42)
  • 35 sit-ups (FAILED, min 52)
  • Only 6 pull-ups (FAILED purely because of the bar, of course. Min 8)
  • 2.4 km in 10’00”, 4’10”/km (PASSED, max time 11’30”)

I wasn’t completely switched on in my head for the swim test, so I didn’t hurt as much as I should have, so probably 10-20 seconds lost on that account.

Never doing push-ups, sit-ups or pull-ups means they hurt a lot, and I’m not very good at it at all. This is something I want to improve.

Anyway, the run was good, I did pretty well and paced myself well, given that I never run that fast in training this time of the year, except when I do strides. So I’m happy with it. Would’ve liked to be faster, but I’m not, not yet. And that’s OK.

I was worried about breathing that hard in the cold air—it was about 3ºC—as I have a history of being susceptible to upper respiratory infections when I do that. To minimize the chances I walked/jogged the 300 m straight home after the test, and did a 30 minute cool-down on the turbo-trainer instead.

So I learned that I should add some training for this, just so I can do it again in 4-6 weeks and see an improvement — perhaps even pass, just to have something fun to do. And I need one of those pull-up bars you place in a doorway for this.

Ending 2011 on a high note, getting 4 sessions done in a day. Hooray! Or should I say Hoorah‽