A Couple Questions (Rucking & more)

LeftFootRightFoot

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I've searched these questions so forgive me if they're repetitive as the search function coded into forums is...less than stellar.

I went for a ruck tonight with my Garmin and mechanically speaking, I have a hard time walking faster than 4.3 mph. It wasn't due to fatigue or anything like that as I measured it right at the beginning of my hump and my walking sprint was right around there. For the record I'm 5'10''. I tried short, fast, choppy steps and striding it out and I had slightly better results with striding it out, but to go any faster becomes a weird hybrid of walking and running to the point where my body tells me to just start jogging. My first question is, do you guys have any advice to help increase my max walking speed, physically speaking? Do you guys just hang out in that weird run/walk/shuffle for your ridiculous times? I'm hustling out barely sub 40 5ks with intermittent running which I know needs work, but I feel like being able to walk faster would be a huge benefit to my time and my joints. For you animals out there, is your walking speed about the same and you just shuffle 75% of the time because that's kind of the strategy I see myself having to work to as well.

For fellow Marines I have an additional question. My current PFT is 215 because last year I had to run mine with a terrible stomach flu while I was significantly dehydrated and sporting a low grade fever, but hey, sometimes you just have to eat it. Can I start a package with that current score, or will they look at me as some useless, weak, Marine right off the bat despite my record of 275-285 and religious 300 CFT? Currently I figured I'd just save red tape time and wait until I've earned a halfway reputable PFT score back to apply, but if some of you guys have experience that dictates they check your history and can recognize a current outlier, I'd love to save some time.

As always, thanks for your input, gents.
 

Ooh-Rah

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How heavy is your pack, and what are you putting in it for weight?
<please don't say sandbags>
<please don't say sandbags>
<please don't say sandbags>
 

Renholder

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What's wrong with sandbags? I use a bunch of cobblestones wrapped in towels.
 

LeftFootRightFoot

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The weight distribution is just significantly different and unrealistic. It's not a huge deal, but carrying gear you'd actually use is the preferred packing list. Sandbags are actually harder to carry because you're condensing the weight to one spot instead of distributing it around the pack evenly and it sucks.
 

Devildoc

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<rant on> First, never say "stomach flu." There is no such thing. You had a GI bug; the flu attacks the respiratory system and not the GI. <rant off>

Second, it seems your ruck weight is good. I am a shorty, 5'8", so my stride isn't really long. I had to "lower my body" and open my stride and do the shuffle-jog thing. I find that swinging my arms help, too.
 

LeftFootRightFoot

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<rant on> First, never say "stomach flu." There is no such thing. You had a GI bug; the flu attacks the respiratory system and not the GI. <rant off>

Second, it seems your ruck weight is good. I am a shorty, 5'8", so my stride isn't really long. I had to "lower my body" and open my stride and do the shuffle-jog thing. I find that swinging my arms help, too.
Would you describe it as a combination between a weird glide and powerwalking to the bathroom after shitting your pants? Doing that I can get a little faster, but that's around the point where my body feels like jogging is more efficient. Do you think I feel that way simply because that style of movement is unnatural or because I just need to develop the muscles for that specific movement more because right now I feel like run/walking is more efficient for longer humps.

215 sucks. Get better.
Agreed, thanks.
 

Devildoc

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Would you describe it as a combination between a weird glide and powerwalking to the bathroom after shitting your pants? Doing that I can get a little faster, but that's around the point where my body feels like jogging is more efficient. Do you think I feel that way simply because that style of movement is unnatural or because I just need to develop the muscles for that specific movement more because right now I feel like run/walking is more efficient for longer humps.
Good questions. To me it feels unnatural, but once I get my arms swinging and get into a rhythm, I am good to go (well, was good to go, I am out now). The combo powerwalking/glide thing is a good description. Call it "powerglide" and you can market it. Once you feel the 'need' to jog it's usually a sign that in that area you need more practice and experience with it, more endurance. When I had to ruck for time I would jog down hills only. Running with a ruck is a recipe for disaster. Some like the whole "powerglide" for a few minutes, jog for, say, two, but again, I think you can get hurt faster, but dudes have been very successful with that method.
 

LeftFootRightFoot

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Good questions. To me it feels unnatural, but once I get my arms swinging and get into a rhythm, I am good to go (well, was good to go, I am out now). The combo powerwalking/glide thing is a good description. Call it "powerglide" and you can market it. Once you feel the 'need' to jog it's usually a sign that in that area you need more practice and experience with it, more endurance. When I had to ruck for time I would jog down hills only. Running with a ruck is a recipe for disaster. Some like the whole "powerglide" for a few minutes, jog for, say, two, but again, I think you can get hurt faster, but dudes have been very successful with that method.
I appreciate the input, and rucking is definitely an activity I respect for its injury potential; hence why I was so keen on getting walking speed advice vs. running speed advice. I'll just keep at it and keep experimenting. I absolutely need more time under load regardless so I'm sure it will have much to teach me during the coming months.
 

DocIllinois

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While I have no interest in doing a SOF 'selection', I've done some serious ruck time on deployment and training. In training this has been both timed/distance rucks, and events where you go as far as you can, as fast as you can, until someone tells you to stop. Fast average of 12-13 min/ mile on flat or mildly undulating terrain.


FWIW:

To go faster, take more steps or longer strides; there's no magic bullet there. Individual physiology usually favors one technique over another.

Find someone else to regularly train with, ideally someone who can walk faster than you with a pack on.

Stay within 45-55 lbs. or less ruck weight in training. Anything heavier than that and you're looking at overuse injuries. You'll be getting plenty of the heavy duty stuff in the future.

Running with a ruck on is stupid, unless your element is in hasty retrograde under fire.

Use all of the exterior straps to tighten up your pack, getting the weight as close to your body as possible. Also, heavier items will ideally go nearer the top. This may not be possible/ practical outside of training.

Good luck!
 

LeftFootRightFoot

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Thanks for all the advice, gents. I just got done with another 5k and shaved 70 seconds off which I'd say isn't too shabby for 4-5 days off. I started working on the "powerglide" but quickly moved to a "trot" where I essentially tried to imitate a running motion while keeping one foot on the ground at all times in a heel-toe movement.

I think I'll focus on developing my endurance and technique with this trot until I can get down to 35:00 for a 5k and then work on turning my power walk into the "powerglide" so I can stay fast while resting from the trot once I see my progress slowing down.

I think I'm going to stick with 5k workouts mostly for now as I develop my technique and a basic rucking foundation that way if I'm screwing something up, hopefully I'll feel it before it can do any damage. I can see myself moving to a 10k workout relatively soon as I'm already shrugging off the 5ks pretty easily afterwards, so what do you guys think? Should I spend some more time working on my technique, speed, and rhythm, or are 10ks just double the opportunity to work on all of that?

I'm experienced enough to tell the difference between pain and injury, but at the same time I have a hard time quitting when I should sometimes. Then again, I think we all get caught up in the challenge from time to time and need to recognize training is used to get stronger, not to smash yourself against the rocks to see what breaks first, you or the challenge.

Anyway gents I just wanted to get some follow up advice and let you know I appreciate the effective advice.
 

TLDR20

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4.3MPH comes out to just under a 15 min mile. Being able to sustain that pace for long distances will carry you a long way in a SOF selection course. Normally that is the standard.
 

buzzkill.0621

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Yes that will get you within standards, but I really don't think they're looking for guys that are just in standards. Now for the events that aren't just ruck from Point A to Point B in X amount of time that would be a good speed to be at.

4.3MPH comes out to just under a 15 min mile. Being able to sustain that pace for long distances will carry you a long way in a SOF selection course. Normally that is the standard.
 

Derdang

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If you can ruck under 2hrs and 30min pace for 12 miles you'll be fine. So shoot for under that. If you can't walk that pace then you're going to need to shuffle. Try to come up with a routine like minute on and minute off of running/ walking. For your package you want everything to look good, your trying to stand out in A&S. Hopefully your following a program to help guide you and ballance your fitness out. You obviously know this but there is more then just rucking at A&S. You may only get one chance so if it's your dream make sure you have no regrets while preparing for this. Last thing I'll say is to enjoy life.
 

LeftFootRightFoot

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Thanks for the advice. The support means a lot. It's always nice to have a hard time for a goal as well because that constant, worrying, question of, "Am I good enough?" can become poisonous from time to time. I talked to a buddy who finished but wasn't selected about a routine and he gave the advice of, "All you need to develop is your ruck, run, swim, and heart - with heart being the only one that matters," so I'm just trying to keep my workouts painful.
 

Derdang

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Hmmmm. I feel like we're involing in the military where we don't just thrash ourselves as hard as possible everyday. You have you train smart now of days. You got train accordingly to being able to make improvements while staying healthy. If you break yourself down to hard everyday you'll be broken or A&S will be what injures you. You need to train smart, eat healthy, do mobility, and recover. Im not saying dont go hard but be smart about it. With what I've read so far is you're going to be broken off instead of being at your peak physical readiness for A&S. I also feel MARSOC is hurting for more COOs and CSOs so if you play your cards right there's a good chance you can make it. You also have to be thinking about surving A&S physically. So being healthy is just as important as being in shape.
 

LeftFootRightFoot

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Absolutely I get where you're coming from. That's why I've been so keen on rucking advice. As far as making workouts painful I'm more referring to muscle pain, not joint pain. Stuff like sprints up hills, taking on lunges 1/4 mile at a time, and high rep sets of abs that just push me mentally as much as possible. I try to put in a lot of intensity coupled with a lot of rest days in between for muscle groups to balance it out.
 
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