Training, equipment, and preparation tips for GORUCK Heavy?
August 3, 2017 2:17 PM   Subscribe

I'm signing up for a GORUCK Heavy challenge with my partner slated for Sept. 29th and I need preparation advice from those who have been in similar conditions (or even done the challenge themselves). Primarily concerned with endurance, sustained energy, and avoiding or treating blisters during the event.

My fiancé is a wildland firefighter and expressed interest in doing the GORUCK Heavy event in our area later this year. I had never heard of these before, but after I checked it out, decided it sounded like something I want to try as well. We both signing up for a Sept. 29th start date. That gives me roughly two months to get into better shape than I'm in already.

We're on completely different schedules and he's working the fire season right now, so it's definitely not likely that we'll be training together. That leaves me on my own to prepare physically and mentally.

Where I'm at right now:
  • Work out 5 days a week
  • Comfortably ran two miles in 20 minutes earlier this week, but I hate long distance runs and avoid them in favor of hiking
  • Able to do 4 pullups in a row, sets of 20 pushups, intermediate lifter
  • Strong hiker, regularly go on 7-8 mile hikes at 3000+ft gain with 15-20 lbs on my back and energy left to spare
  • Lost 10 lbs recently and still working on losing enough to get below 150lbs so I only have to carry 20lb of extra weight in my pack instead of 30lb
There's a 6-week rucking exercise plan that's recommended specifically by the organization running the event. I've heard that I should also train with sandbags cause we'll be hauling a lot of them during the challenge, and get a lot of long-distance rucking sessions in to build up endurance.

The weather is likely to be cool and crisp. I'm concerned about being wet the entire time (I've heard this is common) and what it'll do to my feet, so I'm open to gear recommendations to keep blisters at bay (or treat them while we go). Also concerned with staying awake for that long and still able to push -- what should I bring for sustained energy?

If you happen to have a program or approach that you think would work well, please share it! I'm willing to consider anyone's advice based on experience with similar events, military style training, etc.
posted by Snacks to Health & Fitness (3 answers total)
I would not do a 'Heavy' without having done a normal 'Tough'. It sucks, bad.
posted by so fucking future at 4:16 PM on August 3, 2017

I haven't specifically done one of these but have done lots and lots of long distance light weight backpacking. We routinely do 20+miles per day (100miles in 5 days etc) with packs in that range so this looks pretty doable. I would recommend doing some longer hikes starting asap, injuries and soreness start to show up for everyone at different distances and mentally a lot of people crap out around 8 miles. But mostly you need to do work the support muscles that help with your gait and start cranking out the miles. People get hip bursitis and sore SI joints and sore psoas muscles after long hikes if they don't work into it. Hiking 10-12 hours in a row back to back is a lot more than doing one 7-8 mile hike.

And eat real food, not goop or powerbars or you'll poop funny. And that's no fun
posted by fshgrl at 5:29 PM on August 3, 2017

This is an obvious one, but take care of your feet. Don't be silly and rely on new boots before breaking them in. Don't skimp on quality socks.

You're already lifting, so that's great. I find people's lower backs tend to go fast. Strong hamstrings and spinal erectors will be a big help. If you're doing deadlifts and kettlebell swings, that'll be a big help.

Agree with the above advice; start slow and build up. Just like any program. Also agree regarding weird "performance food". Eat things you know you like. Things that don't upset your stomach.
posted by Telf at 1:45 AM on August 4, 2017

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