Rucking Thread

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Sangoma
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Rucking Thread

Post by Sangoma » Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:35 pm

I wanted to ask this question on the Juice thread, but BD suggested a separate discussion topic is warranted. Here it is: Rucking, how do you do it? Starting weight, distance, heart rate, speed, progression - what are the parameters and how do you tweak them? I am very interested in this because I want to improve my endurance base for grappling. AND - I have a dog, who will be very happy if I choose rucking as my training modality.
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Re: Rucking Thread

Post by Blaidd Drwg » Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:59 pm

I won't belabor this too hard. There are a lot of resources. These are just my thoughts on how it worked for me to go from walking an hour or so a couple times a week to chasing down and smashing the 12Miles in 3 hours ruck standard with a 55 pound(in my case 75 pound) pack...while still powerlifting.

This took a year and a half.
I started by walking fast...I'd measure cardio in halves of an hour. The minimum amount is therefore 30 min. An hour and 23 minutes is 1 hour.
I added a weight vest once I could keep a comfortable 3MPH pace. The starting weight was 20 pounds.
I would add between 4 and 8 pounds each week or so but would also back cycle. work up to a 40 pound vest, then drop back to 30. I did this entirely on feel.
I would nearly always Ruck after squatting, sometimes the day befgore but always after. (my squat went up during this time)
Once I was pushing a pace around 3.5 MPH with a 40 pound vest, I switched to an ALICE pack.
I stayed at 40 pounds for a solid 2-3 weeks. then slowly started adding.
At this point, (1 year ago) I was gettign 8 plus hours of rucking in per week. Never less than 1.5 hours at a shot. Sometimes 3.
I did not make the route intentionally hard. I would walk flats, hills, whatever but let my recovery dictate the terrains.
At this point i started working with a new coach and we tried a number of things, including intervals on the bike, running etc. We also tried running with the pack. Do Not Do This.

By March I was hitting 9-12 mile rucks easily. Able to hold a 4plus per hour pace off an on while carrying between 50-80 pounds all the time. I felt unstoppable. My resting HR was back in teh low 50's, BP dropped. Appetite was through the roof. My lifting was unaffected until....I did on long hard test loop with a very heavy pack cxhasing that 12miles in 3 hours target. To stay on pace I had to run. This caused the shoulder strap to crush some nerves in my brachial plexus.

I got this...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brachial_plexus_injury

I lost use of my tricep, delt, suprpinatus and a few fingers for a time. I went form benching 315x8 on New Years to gettign stapled with 135. It's been a long year rehabbing this.

My takeaways.

Keep load moderate , use the hip belt.
It's a very fast awkward shuffle, do not run unless chased.
Footwear...figure it out.
look for calf or shin pump. usually means bad load distribution on pack.
Increase volume by time, not distance.
Do not jump weight up more than 5 or so pounds a week.

Once of the reasons my shoulder injury was bad is that the years of benching had built a lot of mass to impinge the nerve within. If you are heavily muscled, be very fussy about straps. always wear a hip belt.
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Re: Rucking Thread

Post by dead man walking » Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:06 am

did you ever monitor your hr?
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Re: Rucking Thread

Post by Blaidd Drwg » Wed Dec 19, 2018 10:19 am

dead man walking wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:06 am
did you ever monitor your hr?
Initially, yes. I used a Garmin and tracked pace and HR, elevation etc. After a time I found like you do with all HR stuff, it becomes too wildly variable to rely on as an indicator of "work" but a good lagging indicator of general effort.

When I started I had a difficult time get my HR above 110-120. By the time I worked the loads up and became efficient at cranking miles, I could easily see it sit at 145-155 for a long stretch.
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Re: Rucking Thread

Post by Turdacious » Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:15 pm

My .02:
Build up slowly-- your shins really need to ramp up.
The fun of rucking is heavily terrain dependent: on concrete it kind of sucks, offroad there's nothing better.
Sand adds a fun element-- it's not something to do when starting out, but with very light footwear the benefits are incredible.
Running with a pack uphill is not as bad as running downhill. Do not ever run downhill.
Ruck technology has really improved in the last couple decades. You don't need a military style ruck, but something designed for backpacking will give you the best waist belt (rather than a day pack). A 10 year old pack from an second-hand outdoor store is not noticeably worse than the latest and greatest.
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Re: Rucking Thread

Post by nafod » Thu Dec 20, 2018 12:31 pm

I go hiking all the time, and just throw on the backpack with about 30 LBs in it (guess). It lives in my car, so always ready. Favorite hikes here start with a 500 - 1000’ vertical grind then some nice walking in the woods up top for 5 miles or so, followed by the return descent. Sometimes I’ll go to the local ski slope and do laps. There’s a lake I’ll hike around for 5-6 miles. Many of the trails are rocky with tricky footing. Usually shoot for about a 1+30 hike, with at least one kickass hill in there.

It builds up toughness, I find. The ability to just carry the load and go. Easier on the joints then running, and a nice day in the woods. Fun!
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Re: Rucking Thread

Post by johno » Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:47 pm

Good stuff above.

As already said, ease into it. Start with a light load & go for comfortable walks to let your body adapt. The older you are, the more time you need.

Running shoes with flexible soles may not be the best for rucking. Consider shoes with stiffer soles, or boots.

The heavier loads (40-60 lb) BD describes should be on the outer edge of what you should routinely ruck. Yes, there are young men in the military who must carry much more. But a good % of those guys have problems as a result.

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Re: Rucking Thread

Post by Sua Sponte » Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:11 pm

Mostly everything covered already. A few reinforcements.

As johno said, start slow, start light, start short distance. No need to rush. BD story is a cautionary tale.

After the WWII, a guy named SLA Marshall did a study and wrote a book about it. "The soldier's load and the mobility of a nation." In it he suggests max load should never exceed 40% of body weight. The load calculation includes everything on your body; clothes, shoes, hat. Everything. Don't forget weight of water and food are int there as well. The current Army (and Marine manual) on foot marching prescribes that a proper infantry unit should be able to move 20 miles/day in 8 hours, at that load, everyday, without loss of combat effectiveness. Note that's just 2.5 miles per hour over flat or lightly rolling terrain (but off the hard ball).

Just a personal recommendation, but don't exceed a 35lb ruck (plus water) and start at a 3 mile/hour pace. Up the pact over time but most people usually can't walk faster than a bit over 4miles/hr for any distance. The older you are, the more time you should take. Worthwhile at the start to use an HR monitor. Once you get to that load at that pace increases in difficulty should come from adding hilsl if you got 'em.

Ditto on the running with a ruck. Ranger Regiment standard is 12 miles, 3 hours, 55lbs ruck plus everything else (webbing, rifle, skid lid, water....)over uneven rolling terrain. For guys doing the job, you won't hang around long if you can't pull it in under 2 1/2 hours but I would not recommend it. I still know a lot of guys who have orthopedic and back problems. Me included.

You will get the most value going cross country. It can be interesting with map and compass. Be wary of twisted ankles, water, sudden drops, wild and plant life, sudden changes of weather, and extended sections dead fall- the last will kick your ever loving arse.

Squats go well with rucking until you start climbing hills Then choose your poison.

Rucking and Maffetone are made for each other.

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Re: Rucking Thread

Post by Blaidd Drwg » Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:02 am

Sua Sponte wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:11 pm
Mostly everything covered already. A few reinforcements.

As johno said, start slow, start light, start short distance. No need to rush. BD story is a cautionary tale.

After the WWII, a guy named SLA Marshall did a study and wrote a book about it. "The soldier's load and the mobility of a nation." In it he suggests max load should never exceed 40% of body weight. The load calculation includes everything on your body; clothes, shoes, hat. Everything. Don't forget weight of water and food are int there as well. The current Army (and Marine manual) on foot marching prescribes that a proper infantry unit should be able to move 20 miles/day in 8 hours, at that load, everyday, without loss of combat effectiveness. Note that's just 2.5 miles per hour over flat or lightly rolling terrain (but off the hard ball).

Just a personal recommendation, but don't exceed a 35lb ruck (plus water) and start at a 3 mile/hour pace. Up the pact over time but most people usually can't walk faster than a bit over 4miles/hr for any distance. The older you are, the more time you should take. Worthwhile at the start to use an HR monitor. Once you get to that load at that pace increases in difficulty should come from adding hilsl if you got 'em.

Ditto on the running with a ruck. Ranger Regiment standard is 12 miles, 3 hours, 55lbs ruck plus everything else (webbing, rifle, skid lid, water....)over uneven rolling terrain. For guys doing the job, you won't hang around long if you can't pull it in under 2 1/2 hours but I would not recommend it. I still know a lot of guys who have orthopedic and back problems. Me included.

You will get the most value going cross country. It can be interesting with map and compass. Be wary of twisted ankles, water, sudden drops, wild and plant life, sudden changes of weather, and extended sections dead fall- the last will kick your ever loving arse.

Squats go well with rucking until you start climbing hills Then choose your poison.

Rucking and Maffetone are made for each other.
ALL OF THIS.

Pushing those numbers at an age that has a 4 and a 9 in it was flat stupid. That said, I had a lot of fun. That said...listen to the actual professional soldier types above and stay below 40...90% of the benefits at something close to 15% bw is possible.
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Re: Rucking Thread

Post by Bobby » Fri Dec 21, 2018 8:28 pm

Blaidd Drwg wrote:
Fri Dec 21, 2018 3:02 am
Sua Sponte wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 9:11 pm
Mostly everything covered already. A few reinforcements.

As johno said, start slow, start light, start short distance. No need to rush. BD story is a cautionary tale.

After the WWII, a guy named SLA Marshall did a study and wrote a book about it. "The soldier's load and the mobility of a nation." In it he suggests max load should never exceed 40% of body weight. The load calculation includes everything on your body; clothes, shoes, hat. Everything. Don't forget weight of water and food are int there as well. The current Army (and Marine manual) on foot marching prescribes that a proper infantry unit should be able to move 20 miles/day in 8 hours, at that load, everyday, without loss of combat effectiveness. Note that's just 2.5 miles per hour over flat or lightly rolling terrain (but off the hard ball).

Just a personal recommendation, but don't exceed a 35lb ruck (plus water) and start at a 3 mile/hour pace. Up the pact over time but most people usually can't walk faster than a bit over 4miles/hr for any distance. The older you are, the more time you should take. Worthwhile at the start to use an HR monitor. Once you get to that load at that pace increases in difficulty should come from adding hilsl if you got 'em.

Ditto on the running with a ruck. Ranger Regiment standard is 12 miles, 3 hours, 55lbs ruck plus everything else (webbing, rifle, skid lid, water....)over uneven rolling terrain. For guys doing the job, you won't hang around long if you can't pull it in under 2 1/2 hours but I would not recommend it. I still know a lot of guys who have orthopedic and back problems. Me included.

You will get the most value going cross country. It can be interesting with map and compass. Be wary of twisted ankles, water, sudden drops, wild and plant life, sudden changes of weather, and extended sections dead fall- the last will kick your ever loving arse.

Squats go well with rucking until you start climbing hills Then choose your poison.

Rucking and Maffetone are made for each other.
ALL OF THIS.

Pushing those numbers at an age that has a 4 and a 9 in it was flat stupid. That said, I had a lot of fun. That said...listen to the actual professional soldier types above and stay below 40...90% of the benefits at something close to 15% bw is possible.
No need to go over 40-45lnbs if you aren`t a part/full time soldier.It does tend to tear up the body over time.
You`ll toughen up.Unless you have a serious medical condition commonly refered to as
"being a pussy".

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Re: Rucking Thread

Post by newguy » Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:55 pm

There's been talk of rucking on the 2020 goals thread but I didn't want to crowd that on with more questions.

I love to walk. I've been doing HH and building up some time mileage there. But for the sake of variety, what do you all think about rucking with about 20lbs? The reason I'm thinking that weight is because
1. I'm not looking to beat up my body
2. That's the weight for the go ruck 50 miles in 20 hours thing....

Would walking around with a 20lb pack beat the body up? Does it burn enough calories extra give/give benefits to be worth it or at the point is it just walk?

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Re: Rucking Thread

Post by Alfred_E._Neuman » Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:10 pm

20# would be perfect. No need to go heavier.
Don't underestimate what 20# on the back feels like. I've done a good bit of hiking on the AT and my pack for a few days was right around that at the start of a trip.
Build up REALLY slowly on the time spent with a load on your back. Even strong dudes will notice the fatigue from the shoulders/upper back needing to work extra to hold your normal posture.
Only other piece of advice is to get a pack with a good hip belt, or get a hip belt for your pack (most decent packs will at least come with loops for attaching a belt). This lets you carry the weight on your hips and use the shoulder straps just for stabilizing.
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Re: Rucking Thread

Post by newguy » Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:37 pm

Alfred_E._Neuman wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:10 pm
20# would be perfect. No need to go heavier.
Don't underestimate what 20# on the back feels like. I've done a good bit of hiking on the AT and my pack for a few days was right around that at the start of a trip.
Build up REALLY slowly on the time spent with a load on your back. Even strong dudes will notice the fatigue from the shoulders/upper back needing to work extra to hold your normal posture.
Only other piece of advice is to get a pack with a good hip belt, or get a hip belt for your pack (most decent packs will at least come with loops for attaching a belt). This lets you carry the weight on your hips and use the shoulder straps just for stabilizing.
Thank you for the input

Any shoe thoughts?

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Re: Rucking Thread

Post by Alfred_E._Neuman » Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:44 pm

Most of the hikers I follow have settled on Altra Lone Peak shoes for their trail hiking, but they'd work fine on the pavement as well. I've had several pair used for both hiking and trail running. Plenty of width, especially in the toe box.
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Re: Rucking Thread

Post by JasonC » Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:05 am

newguy wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:37 pm
Any shoe thoughts?
For me, the special sauce has turned out to be a Rocky S2V. Also popular in Goruckworld are Moab Ventilators, but they have no shank, which for my money means they're only good for distances of up to 25 miles.

Be very, very, very open to the idea that you'll need a larger and/or wider size than you wear in street shoes. I wear 9.5 normally, but I kept having less-than-perfect fit until I went up to a 10.5 Wide.
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Re: Rucking Thread

Post by newguy » Mon Dec 30, 2019 2:51 am

Thank you both AEN and JC.....

I'm not fully committed yet......but what I'm considering for my foray into weighted walking is fairly simple. I love to walk. My initial push has been...well.... i love to walk...let's weight the arms . So I'm doing more HH work. But as I've done that I've come to question a lot of the conclusions the good doctor Leonard Schwartz came to.

So my second thought has been to continue walking, but figure out other ways of increasing the rate of calorie burn and that has led me to rucking.

I'm not currently looking at crazy terrain. 98% of my walking time will be spent on a bike trail But as opposed to always relying on my arms for the extra sauce, I'm looking at giving them a break now and then and adding load to the back, hips, legs.

As I look to my 2020 goals I've got this idea of 3 to 4 endurance challenges and one of them may very well be a weighted walk.

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Re: Rucking Thread

Post by Gav » Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:59 am

I’ve tried a 10kg weight in a backpack and two 2kg dumbbells in my hands on a treadmill at Max incline. Good stuff.
What do you guys think about calorie burn doing this kind of thing? Someone said their appetite was through the roof so that might negate any benefits. Do you think it’s a valid tool for weight loss?
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Re: Rucking Thread

Post by newguy » Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:22 pm

I ordered a cheaper backpack that has a chest strap and hip straps. It may not last me forever, but it will be good enough for the moment. If I get more serious about this, I'll upgrade. I also ordered a cheaper version of the goruck 20lb plate. (both orders from amazon.) Again...it is weight and I'm not to concerned. If I end up wanting more weight I'll through a 5 or 10 lb plate in there.

Looking forward to taking a walk. It will be nice to be able to have a different option other than pumping the hand weights.

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Re: Rucking Thread

Post by nafod » Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:33 am

I’ve got my backpack right now filled with a bunch of climbing gear (ropes, cams, biners) some cheap plates off of an adjustable dumbbell, an actual 10 lb dumbbell sitting on top of the other stuff, a bunch of water bottles, and a fleece top in case it gets cold. Tools and rocks would work too. My backpack has a hard back so things don’t poke me.
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Re: Rucking Thread

Post by JasonC » Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:57 am

Gav wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:59 am
What do you guys think about calorie burn doing this kind of thing? Someone said their appetite was through the roof so that might negate any benefits.
IME, it's all about heart rate: I get hella lean (despite being naturally chubby) as long as I stay well inside the Maffetone formula (180 minus age, minus additional 10 bpm if on any prescription drugs). If regularly go above that, I eat more and get fatter.
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Re: Rucking Thread

Post by newguy » Fri Jan 03, 2020 5:40 pm

nafod wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 12:33 am
I’ve got my backpack right now filled with a bunch of climbing gear (ropes, cams, biners) some cheap plates off of an adjustable dumbbell, an actual 10 lb dumbbell sitting on top of the other stuff, a bunch of water bottles, and a fleece top in case it gets cold. Tools and rocks would work too. My backpack has a hard back so things don’t poke me.
How much does all that weigh?

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Re: Rucking Thread

Post by nafod » Fri Jan 03, 2020 5:57 pm

I'm guessing between 30 and 40 LBs? Never actually checked it. I add or subtract stuff based on feel. And if I need water. Water is about 8 LBs per gallon, so it doesn't add much weight fast.

I've also used a 40 LB bag on concrete mix wrapped in plastic trash bags. In that case, I knew.
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Re: Rucking Thread

Post by Gav » Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:23 am

JasonC wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:57 am
Gav wrote:
Wed Jan 01, 2020 9:59 am
What do you guys think about calorie burn doing this kind of thing? Someone said their appetite was through the roof so that might negate any benefits.
IME, it's all about heart rate: I get hella lean (despite being naturally chubby) as long as I stay well inside the Maffetone formula (180 minus age, minus additional 10 bpm if on any prescription drugs). If regularly go above that, I eat more and get fatter.
Cheers Jason. Makes sense. If I do a maffetone type run while intermittent fasting I don’t get hungry afterwards. If I do any kind of faster running, circuits, intervals etc I empty the fridge upon finishing.
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Re: Rucking Thread

Post by Turdacious » Mon Jan 06, 2020 3:32 pm

newguy wrote:
Sun Dec 29, 2019 9:37 pm
Any shoe thoughts?
It's really terrain dependent. If you're primarily rucking on the street, I'd want some cushioning. If you're doing some trails, you need something with ankle support, especially starting out. I'd start with a light hiker (I like Keen mid boots). Traditional hiking boots are something to work up to, not to start out with.

And Ebbets foot drills everyday.
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Re: Rucking Thread

Post by johno » Mon Jan 06, 2020 8:35 pm

Wear boots. Running shoes are for running or walking. They're not best for rucking.
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Are full of passionate intensity.

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