Alternate Rucking Advice

TheKicker

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Howdy:

I understand from my research here that SFAS rucking is on a lot of sand, and that obviously the best way to train for that is (you guessed it) in sand. Unfortunately, here in the Alamo City of the great state of Texas, there is not a speck of sand. We have rock hard dirt with bushes and rocks all over (hardly anything resembling sand). The closest thing I have found to actual sand is a local middle school running track that is made out of a real fine gravel (about or less than .5 cm in general). Would this be sufficient for preparation training? And if not, is there any way I could change my loadout (adjust my pack, wear different footwear, etc) to more closely replicate the way sand slows/ complicates rucking? Not to mention that its a flat track, with no incline, just gravel.

Also, as mentioned before, I had the meniscus in my knees repaired around 10 years ago. Are there any tips y'll would have as to how to prevent further damage? I've been rucking around my campus on the asphalt, but I figured I should get some insider knowledge on the matter to prevent something from going wrong pertaining specifically to the knees.

Thanks everyone for your comments, I appreciate all feedback.

-TheKicker
 

Diamondback 2/2

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Don't worry about training in sand as much as conditioning your body to keeping good pace with weight and toughing up your feet. Get off the hardball (pavement) as much as possible, and train in varying terrain, while keeping good pace times. If your from San Antonio, there are literally hundreds of areas close by to do this. Keep the weight down, and focus on pace time.

As for the SFAS prep stuff, a few long tabbers will be along shortly.
 

Devildoc

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Rucking specific and not SFAS related, to get good at rucking, you need to just do it (with apologies and a royalty check to Nike). Start with a low amount of weight, and ruck everywhere you can...hills, flats, soft ground, hard ground. Just don't run with a ruck.
 

x SF med

the Troll
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Ok... good on you for focusing on a goal - SFAS, but shame on you for focusing on 'sand' as a terrain feature for .......RUCKING. :hmm::wall:

^^^that's the what.

Below is the why.

Ruck... until you are tired, and keep going, then keep going some more. Train up to the previous sentence - hard ball, swamps, prairie grass, mesquite, thick brush, flat ground, up hills, down hills, across hills, wet, dry cold, hot, humid, slogging through snow... just friggin get used to the big green tick sucking at your soul for days, weeks on end. After an Airborne insertion- your LPC's (Leather Personnel Carriers) are your main mode of travel, and you have a single carry on that must stay with you - your ruck. Being able to convey that nylon life sucking monkey on your back anywhere is your key to life, it has all of the stuff life is made of - bullets, socks, water, food, shelter, communications...

Get it? It's a lifesaving skill that requires practice, it's not just a test at SFAS, your life-the lives of your brothers- the lives of others- WILL depend on it should you get to a Team.

Now, pull your boots over your swollen feet, roll into the shoulder straps, do the turtle, climb the tree to stand, and get on the azimuth to your next ORP. (Should you get to SFAS, or the Q, or a Team, this last sentence will make perfect sense to you)
 

Etype

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I would also say distance and pace is more important than weight. In my experience, your body can recover from those two stimuli much more effectively than it can from slogging along with excessive weight.

With a heavy pack, you're going to hit the point of diminishing return rather quickly and put a lot of stress on bones and ligaments.

If you find yourself with some sort of white tissue damage (tendonitis, fascitis, etc.) or stress fractures, you'll lose a lot of your progress while you are waiting for it to heal.
 

Gunz

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@TheKicker you just got a 120lb ruck full of the best advice you could get.

If you have the time and the means to travel, you should do so and train in some of the different environments suggested above. Take a few weekend trips. You've got some rugged, mountainous terrain west of you in Big Bend National Park; And east of Houston you'll find forest and swampland.
 

TheKicker

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That is one of the good things about SA, there's hills everywhere as far as the eye can see. Thanks for the insightful responses, I'll definitely keep them in mind for training and preparation. I'm already tucking with ~70lbs of PVC pipes filled with sand, and sealed. Based on your recomendations, I'll cut it down a notch and focus more on the speed. I did the Boy Scouts a forever ago, so having a heavy pack on me for a week or two hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains is something I'm very familiar with, so I feel I can adapt fairly well. Would there happen to be a progress thread or board, Where guys discuss how they're coming along? If there is, I'd appreciates kick in the right direction.
 

Diamondback 2/2

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That is one of the good things about SA, there's hills everywhere as far as the eye can see. Thanks for the insightful responses, I'll definitely keep them in mind for training and preparation. I'm already tucking with ~70lbs of PVC pipes filled with sand, and sealed. Based on your recomendations, I'll cut it down a notch and focus more on the speed. I did the Boy Scouts a forever ago, so having a heavy pack on me for a week or two hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains is something I'm very familiar with, so I feel I can adapt fairly well. Would there happen to be a progress thread or board, Where guys discuss how they're coming along? If there is, I'd appreciates kick in the right direction.

Your training weight needs to be much lighter. 40-55lbs with focus on pace time. You really need to be around 14 minutes a mile, consecutive at distances of 10-15 miles. Under 10 miles you want to push for 13 minutes a mile pace, keep in mind you want to do this without running or shuffling. Just a fast long gated walk, stretching out your gate is key.

Good luck
 
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