Goruck question

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dawg69
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Goruck question

Post by dawg69 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:02 pm

I've been lurking here for quite a while and have noticed that quite a few of you have participated in the Goruck challenge. In fact this is where I first heard about it. I've signed up for my first challenge in June and have a question as to footwear. I've recently come to really appreciate wearing minimalist type shoes for exercise and activity, particularly the New Balance Minimus series. I've always had leg issues (shin splints in particular) when running and since switching to these shoes, the issues are gone. I can now run with no leg problems. My question is for those who have done a GRC. What shoes have you used? I've heard that minimalist type shoes are a bad idea, but I'm afraid if I go with a regular shoe that I might have leg problems. Does anyone have any insight into this? Thanks.

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Re: Goruck question

Post by ODA 226 » Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:43 am

If you wear anything other than good boots with good ankle support, you will get hurt.

Also, there's a HUGE difference between rucking and running! Just because you can run, doesn't mean you are prepared to ruck. I've seen hundreds of SF Candidates go to Mackall thinking that because they worked out in the gym 24/7 and hitting the treadmill for months, last less than 2-3 days before tapping out.

Get out and start walking with a 30 pound ruck for 3-4 miles a day and gradually work your way up to 60 pounds for 12 miles in under 3 hours.

If you do this, you'll be fine.
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Mikeyboy
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Re: Goruck question

Post by Mikeyboy » Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:28 pm

+1 to what ODA said. I never did the Goruck challenge, but I know a few long distance hikers who tried minimalist shoes and suffer anything from Shin Splints, Plantar Fasciitis, or other injury. I know minimalist shoes work wonders for runners or for casual wear for those with foot problems, but when you add pack weight and intense activity your feet need support.

However, I am not a fan of Army boots like ODA said. 8" to 10" boots are a bitch to do rigorous PT in. They add weight to your feet and legs, making you work harder, your feet will sweat a lot , and contrary to their purpose they are not the most comfortable things to have on your feet when walking tons of miles. My advice is to get lightweight, mid height, hiking boots (4" to 6"), or if you have strong ankles and this is not your first rodeo, get cross trainer sneakers or trail runners. Seems most folks who do GoRuck Challenge are wearing sneakers in the videos.
Last edited by Mikeyboy on Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

2005RedTJ
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Re: Goruck question

Post by 2005RedTJ » Thu Feb 06, 2014 3:32 pm

I wore Merell Moab Mids in the one I participated in as well as the one I shadowed Friday night. I'm out on participating due to an elbow injury right this minute but I'm on track to do a Light, another Challenge, and a Heavy by the end of this year.

Ankle support is a really good thing when you're putting in 20-ish miles with a 40-pound ruck on. Even more so when you're helping your team haul a 400+ pound log for miles. I've seen very little actual running during an event, just some jogging to meet time hacks your team may be cutting it close on. They are just now implementing PT tests for Heavy and Selection that include a timed run (without your ruck), not for Challenge and Light.

We had one guy wear the Vibram Five Fingers to one event and he was hating life by the end. You will end up wet, dirty, muddy, climbing through creeks and stuff so think about sturdy clothes as well as footwear.

Like ODA said - rucking isn't the same as running. Humping weight for miles is a whole different animal. It gets even more interesting when the guy in charge makes you exercise all the time with your ruck on and breaks are few and far between. But I can guarantee you one thing - no matter how much pain you go through, you'll finish with the biggest smile you've ever had. Then you'll want to do it again. Once the soreness wears off, lol.

dawg69
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Re: Goruck question

Post by dawg69 » Sat Feb 08, 2014 11:28 pm

Thanks for the advise guys. I'll probably be keeping an eye out for some good trail shoes. I don't think I can do the whole boot thing due to the weight. I have to wear boots all day at work and do whatever I can not to wear them any other time.

While we're on the subject, do you have any other advise for training or the GRC its self?

2005RedTJ
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Re: Goruck question

Post by 2005RedTJ » Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:15 am

dawg69 wrote:Thanks for the advise guys. I'll probably be keeping an eye out for some good trail shoes. I don't think I can do the whole boot thing due to the weight. I have to wear boots all day at work and do whatever I can not to wear them any other time.

While we're on the subject, do you have any other advise for training or the GRC its self?
As ODA said, get used to rucking a lot. Need to be able to put in 20 miles without any issues. Don't give yourself many breaks due to the fact you won't get many during the event. Work on doing a lot of pushups with your ruck on, also bear crawls, crab walks, low crawls, lunges, and squats. For crab walks make sure to reverse your ruck on to your chest but put it "crooked" so it's over one shoulder instead of directly backward as it'll choke you if it's under your chin. Practice fireman's carries with your friends.

Work on picking things up when training and carrying them for long distances, we did 20-ish pound rocks, and logs from a broken log fence. When you find a set of stairs, sprint them up and back down. Once you are signed up get on the Facebook page for the event and start talking strategy with the others who are in your class. The faster the team "gels" and starts working as a team the easier the event is on everyone. When things are sucking for you, just know that they are sucking just as bad for everyone else. The Welcome Party portion will end, just go with it.

And the one best piece of advice that I figured out and I have since heard even from some of the GORUCK legends like Mark Webb - Stop giving a damn, don't worry about how much longer or how much further you've got to go. Get out of your own head and just work on doing what's required RIGHT NOW. Setting and keeping short-term goals is a lot better than worrying about the big picture.

Don't bring anything in your ruck you don't need. Period. It's just extra weight and ounces = pounds at long distances. Don't wear anything cotton, nothing that will stay wet once it gets wet. Good shoes, socks and insoles. I wore Merrell Moab Mids with Pinnacle Powerstep insoles and Swiftwick Aspire socks. Body Glide - rub it on your feet and shoulders, it'll help a lot. I brought a yoga block in my ruck that my bricks sat on top of, helped keep the weight a little higher.

Snacks - I brought a couple of packs of peanut M&M's and a couple of Clif Bars. You won't have time to eat much. Keep an eye on your water supply every time you get a chance, don't want to run out. If the cadre gives you a chance to resupply on water, take it, even if you're still halfway full. Bring a GOOD hydration bladder, I've seen cheap ones break or leak during an event. I bought the Source 3L standard profile for like $32 and am extremely happy with it.

Position stuff in your ruck where you can find it fast, don't have time to dig for stuff. Stay close when moving in formation, don't have large breaks between team members or the cadre will remind you the hard way. Always listen to the cadre and don't make him repeat himself. You may hate the guy's guts during the event but you'll love him like a brother when it's over. Just remember, what you're doing is NOTHING compared to what he's been through so don't expect a lot of sympathy from him during the event. He WILL find your individual limits and push you past them, that's what he's there to do.

If you're stronger in some portions than others, help them. There will be times you'll be weaker and they'll have to help you. Always keep moving forward. If your team weight is something hands-free that needs to be attached to the front straps of rucks (I made a 25-pound "smiley-face" out of a barbell plate, some paracord and duct tape), then have carabiners on the weight as well as carabiners on your ruck straps and make sure your teammates know to also. Trying to ring MOLLE webbing with a carabiner when you're in a hurry,wet, cold, whatever is rough. Ringing a carabiner with another carabiner is a lot easier.

Gloves - I wore Mechanix gloves, don't want your hands chewed up doing pushups on gravel and stuff. Just leave them on the whole time, trying to take them on and off is a hassle and not worth the time. Be mindful of the flag at all times when you're carrying it. If it touches the ground, even grazes it, the cadre will destroy everyone until he's sure you all understand the significance of not letting that happen.

dawg69
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Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:56 pm

Re: Goruck question

Post by dawg69 » Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:00 pm

2005RedTJ wrote:
dawg69 wrote:Thanks for the advise guys. I'll probably be keeping an eye out for some good trail shoes. I don't think I can do the whole boot thing due to the weight. I have to wear boots all day at work and do whatever I can not to wear them any other time.

While we're on the subject, do you have any other advise for training or the GRC its self?
As ODA said, get used to rucking a lot. Need to be able to put in 20 miles without any issues. Don't give yourself many breaks due to the fact you won't get many during the event. Work on doing a lot of pushups with your ruck on, also bear crawls, crab walks, low crawls, lunges, and squats. For crab walks make sure to reverse your ruck on to your chest but put it "crooked" so it's over one shoulder instead of directly backward as it'll choke you if it's under your chin. Practice fireman's carries with your friends.

Work on picking things up when training and carrying them for long distances, we did 20-ish pound rocks, and logs from a broken log fence. When you find a set of stairs, sprint them up and back down. Once you are signed up get on the Facebook page for the event and start talking strategy with the others who are in your class. The faster the team "gels" and starts working as a team the easier the event is on everyone. When things are sucking for you, just know that they are sucking just as bad for everyone else. The Welcome Party portion will end, just go with it.

And the one best piece of advice that I figured out and I have since heard even from some of the GORUCK legends like Mark Webb - Stop giving a damn, don't worry about how much longer or how much further you've got to go. Get out of your own head and just work on doing what's required RIGHT NOW. Setting and keeping short-term goals is a lot better than worrying about the big picture.

Don't bring anything in your ruck you don't need. Period. It's just extra weight and ounces = pounds at long distances. Don't wear anything cotton, nothing that will stay wet once it gets wet. Good shoes, socks and insoles. I wore Merrell Moab Mids with Pinnacle Powerstep insoles and Swiftwick Aspire socks. Body Glide - rub it on your feet and shoulders, it'll help a lot. I brought a yoga block in my ruck that my bricks sat on top of, helped keep the weight a little higher.

Snacks - I brought a couple of packs of peanut M&M's and a couple of Clif Bars. You won't have time to eat much. Keep an eye on your water supply every time you get a chance, don't want to run out. If the cadre gives you a chance to resupply on water, take it, even if you're still halfway full. Bring a GOOD hydration bladder, I've seen cheap ones break or leak during an event. I bought the Source 3L standard profile for like $32 and am extremely happy with it.

Position stuff in your ruck where you can find it fast, don't have time to dig for stuff. Stay close when moving in formation, don't have large breaks between team members or the cadre will remind you the hard way. Always listen to the cadre and don't make him repeat himself. You may hate the guy's guts during the event but you'll love him like a brother when it's over. Just remember, what you're doing is NOTHING compared to what he's been through so don't expect a lot of sympathy from him during the event. He WILL find your individual limits and push you past them, that's what he's there to do.

If you're stronger in some portions than others, help them. There will be times you'll be weaker and they'll have to help you. Always keep moving forward. If your team weight is something hands-free that needs to be attached to the front straps of rucks (I made a 25-pound "smiley-face" out of a barbell plate, some paracord and duct tape), then have carabiners on the weight as well as carabiners on your ruck straps and make sure your teammates know to also. Trying to ring MOLLE webbing with a carabiner when you're in a hurry,wet, cold, whatever is rough. Ringing a carabiner with another carabiner is a lot easier.

Gloves - I wore Mechanix gloves, don't want your hands chewed up doing pushups on gravel and stuff. Just leave them on the whole time, trying to take them on and off is a hassle and not worth the time. Be mindful of the flag at all times when you're carrying it. If it touches the ground, even grazes it, the cadre will destroy everyone until he's sure you all understand the significance of not letting that happen.
Thanks a million! That's the kind of info I've been looking for.

2005RedTJ
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Re: Goruck question

Post by 2005RedTJ » Mon Feb 10, 2014 10:12 pm

dawg69 wrote:Thanks a million! That's the kind of info I've been looking for.
More than anything else, keep in mind that every cadre has their own style. There's not really a set time or distance to an event no matter what the website states, you're done when he says you're done and that'll be when he's confident that everyone is fully performing as a team and crushed their own personal demons.

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Re: Goruck question

Post by 74 or more » Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:23 am

When I did a challenge I wore running shoes with good heal cushion/support. I wouldn't focus so much on finding stuff to carry. Your going to spend a lot of time carrying your ruck in front of you and not on your back (without straps), so just practice that way. And yes, low crawls, flutter kicks, and upper body strength are important. You'll be given a destination to get to in a certain amount of time, my advice is to try and move quickly at first so you can rest later. Help people on your team that need help. Offer to carry someone's pack for a while if they are having a rough time.

It's the suckiest bunch of fun your ever going to have. Enjoy :)
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2005RedTJ
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Re: Goruck question

Post by 2005RedTJ » Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:51 am

74 or more wrote:When I did a challenge I wore running shoes with good heal cushion/support. I wouldn't focus so much on finding stuff to carry. Your going to spend a lot of time carrying your ruck in front of you and not on your back (without straps), so just practice that way. And yes, low crawls, flutter kicks, and upper body strength are important. You'll be given a destination to get to in a certain amount of time, my advice is to try and move quickly at first so you can rest later. Help people on your team that need help. Offer to carry someone's pack for a while if they are having a rough time.

It's the suckiest bunch of fun your ever going to have. Enjoy :)
Definitely good advice on moving quickly. When I shadowed class 905 2 weekends ago, cadre Joel dished out a fair amount of PT for every missed time hack and the class learned quickly to move faster. They never lost strap privileges but did get to deliver a "nuclear device" (big log) to a location 2.75 miles away. I enjoyed seeing other guys go through it and push to the finish. Class 905 ended with a 100% pass rate and I was proud of them, especially one guy who was having a really hard time.

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