After many years of running myself into the ground in high school, it wasn't until college that I realized how to properly condition. There is a trend amongst the natives that when you do conditioning, whether it be running, Prowler sprints/pushes, hill sprints, weight training circuits or whatever your poison YOU MUST STOP JUST SHY OF DEATH. This is the manly thing to do, right? No pain, no gain! No brain, all pain! (And subpar results!) You don't have to go all out - you don't have to fall to the ground, gasping for breath. It makes a good picture or YouTube video but what type of person trains for the camera?
It may take you a few months of beatings to get your bearings, in the beginning this is going to happen. It's common especially if you are playing catch up for years of sitting on your ass, lifting weights and claiming to be "in-shape". Conditioning work needs to be consistent - it needs to be hard - but it needn't leave you two breaths short of Valhalla.
I like to use this as a guide line: if I can push the Prowler for 10, 40 yard sprints (with 90lbs) on my street with 1 minute rest between sprints - I am good to go. This is done 3 days/week and doesn't leave me too taxed to live life or too taxed to make gains on my lifting. Yes, getting there required work. However you must choose how to measure things for yourself, your goals and your current fitness level.
If you consider yourself in poor shape, I strongly recommend doing some easy, steady state cardio. Again, no need to go all out on this; 3-4 days of 30 minute "easy" conditioning will allow you to recover better from your lifting, allow you to handle your training better AND give you a broader conditioning base to build upon. So while not sexy, easy conditioning, smart, progressive weight training and consistent mobility work goes along way no matter what your training goals.
Is it fun to do ridiculous tests every so often? Of course, but there is a point where one becomes a conditioning queen rather than a king. You need to choose what crown you are going to wear. Sprint to the fight or run long distance away from it.
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