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Old 01-08-2009, 03:31 PM   #11
Ed Haywood
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Re: Running with X-Vest or Rucksack

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Well say by some impossible chance of the stars aligning right someone here joins the military.
There is no need for 99% of the military population to run with a ruck. You're not going to do it on the job. The only reason to run with a ruck is because someone is going to make you run with a ruck for time, usually in a selection course, and you don't want to fail. If you have reached that point, you'll be given training information to prepare, and you'll be given an opportunity to build up to it. It's pointless and self-destructive for some SEAL wannabe who isn't even in the service yet to strap on a ruck and go running just to see if he has what it takes.

The military does not ruck run for training value. The ruck run is an attrition device. It's all part of making things suck, to see who quits or slacks off. It has no more training value than sleep deprivation. I don't see anyone advocating 2 hours of sleep a night as a training method.

Now none of that discounts the possibility of some moron squad leader or platoon leader deciding on his own to show how manly he is by forcing his troops to ruck run. He should be slapped for stupidity. I should know, I was one of those morons many years ago. But rather than tear yourself down in anticipation of being torn down, I suggest you cross that bridge when you come to it.
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Old 01-08-2009, 03:49 PM   #12
Jason Lopez-Ota
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Re: Running with X-Vest or Rucksack

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Originally Posted by Ed Haywood View Post
There is no need for 99% of the military population to run with a ruck. You're not going to do it on the job. The only reason to run with a ruck is because someone is going to make you run with a ruck for time, usually in a selection course, and you don't want to fail. If you have reached that point, you'll be given training information to prepare, and you'll be given an opportunity to build up to it. It's pointless and self-destructive for some SEAL wannabe who isn't even in the service yet to strap on a ruck and go running just to see if he has what it takes.

The military does not ruck run for training value. The ruck run is an attrition device. It's all part of making things suck, to see who quits or slacks off. It has no more training value than sleep deprivation. I don't see anyone advocating 2 hours of sleep a night as a training method.

Now none of that discounts the possibility of some moron squad leader or platoon leader deciding on his own to show how manly he is by forcing his troops to ruck run. He should be slapped for stupidity. I should know, I was one of those morons many years ago. But rather than tear yourself down in anticipation of being torn down, I suggest you cross that bridge when you come to it.
Thanks for the awesome explaination. Seriously.

So it won't get you in better shape in any way?
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Old 01-08-2009, 03:50 PM   #13
Shane Skowron
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Re: Running with X-Vest or Rucksack

Ed, thanks for the information. I am not disagreeing with you, but I have heard from a current NSW officer that his Team guys do Crossfit and ruck runs for PT. He didn't suggest that wannabes do that before they even get in, but for those type of units do you think it is necessary to prepare using ruck runs?
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Old 01-08-2009, 05:02 PM   #14
Robert Peck Fletcher
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Re: Running with X-Vest or Rucksack

Gentlemen, If you are working on the government dime(the military is writing your pay check) go ahead and run with a ruck. When you get finished then you will go to sick call. The doc will then list you as officially broke. Listen to what Ed is saying. I repeat, listen to Ed. There has to be a really good reason to run with a ruck. Good Luck!
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Old 01-08-2009, 05:25 PM   #15
Ed Haywood
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Re: Running with X-Vest or Rucksack

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So it won't get you in better shape in any way?
It is a classic case of specificity training. It makes you better at running with a ruck on, and not much else, IMO.

Is there cardio and leg strength benefit? Sure. But not as much as you can get from other, much less destructive training methods.

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I have heard from a current NSW officer that his Team guys do Crossfit and ruck runs for PT.
I did it when I was in SF too. I think the verdict of collective experience is that they are doing themselves more damage than good, and they won't realize this until they are in their 40's and discover their bodies are breaking down faster than normal. Almost every retired SOF guy I know is rated disabled by the VA. All young SOF operators think they are indestructable, and SEALs are worse than most, but it is the job of the old guys to teach them otherwise.

Running with a ruck has no real purpose. When you get ready to run in combat, you drop your ruck. Running with your ruck in combat for more than a few hundred yards would be stupid in the extreme. It would just leave you exhausted and unable to fight.

Running with combat gear is a different story, and perhaps they are trying to simulate that without having to "jock up". But there are better ways to do it. Obstacle courses with body armor, IMT (individual movement technique - alternating sprints and crawls of 3 to 5 seconds), and other short, interval-based methods are much closer to combat conditions and less damaging to your body.

Finally, don't forget those guys built up to that during BUDs. They started short and light. I"m not saying they are wrong; they are professionals and ultimately they are responsible for their preparation. My point is simple: aspiring SEALS and other military wannabes should not be running with a ruck out of some misguided sense of enthusiasm. It's worse than a waste of time, it's counterproductive.

Last edited by Ed Haywood : 01-08-2009 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:48 PM   #16
Jackson Mayer
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Re: Running with X-Vest or Rucksack

well ed you pretty much answered my question. Now i just need to hope i dont win that ebay auction... There will be no ruck running for me.
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:53 PM   #17
Shane Skowron
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Re: Running with X-Vest or Rucksack

Thanks for the info Ed, your experience is appreciated for us wannabes.
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:28 PM   #18
Ed Haywood
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Re: Running with X-Vest or Rucksack

I hope I didn't sound condescending. Everyone starts out as a wannabe, nothing wrong with that. I did too. Just don't want you guys to get over-enthusiastic and injure yourselves before you ever start the actual training. In my experience with special ops selection courses, injuries are a major cause of failure. Generally speaking, if you are in reasonably good shape, don't get hurt, and keep going no matter how bad it sucks, you will make it. So don't put yourself behind the power curve with some developing orthopaedic injuries before you even start.

And I don't think there's any way to train for the "keep going no matter how bad it sucks." You either have that demented gene or you don't.
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:52 PM   #19
Caleb Johnson
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Re: Running with X-Vest or Rucksack

Ed, not to discount your knowledge or experience by any means, but why wouldn't you allow for a LITTLE ruck running ahead of time? I understand that a motivated 17 year old who wants to go to BUDs will overdo it and destroy his knees if he reads that some former SEAL advocates ruck running. I'll also agree that they're an attrition tool.

Keeping all that in mind though, we fail at the margins of our experience. I haven't been through BUDs. But I have successfully passed a STA indoc, and will tell you right now, I would have failed on the ruck run if I hadn't been doing it off and on, on my own. No point in overdoing things, but if you're planning on being a SEAL, why wouldn't you expose yourself to things like running with wet, salty cammies and boots? That's a special kind of suck, and I would argue that it's better to find out if SEAL training isn't for you BEFORE you've signed a contract and end up chipping paint off ships for 4 years.

Again, I'm sure I don't have your level of experience. I know it's not about accomplishing specific physical feats, it's about the die before quitting mindset. But I'm honestly very curious why someone wouldn't want every edge they can get?
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Old 01-08-2009, 09:58 PM   #20
Caleb Johnson
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Re: Running with X-Vest or Rucksack

Ed, I apparently was typing my post as you were doing yours. Disregard.
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