BackBlast from Custom GoRuck Tough 3/16/18
Cadre: Chuy and TJ
Organized by F3-MECA
Start Time 930pm, Friday night
End Time 930am, Saturday am
GasHouse Pax: Freight, Woody, Boudin, Whoopee
Total Pax for event: 31
Required Gear: ruck with 30# weight, 2 liter hydration bladder, 1 liter Nalgene bottle, reflector bands on ruck, headlamp with extra batteries, photo ID, quitter cash ($20) in case you cannot complete
Extra Gear: snacks, food, windbreaker, gloves, extra clothes/socks/gloves, boots vs running shoes
After the event we thought it would be helpful to share notes about how we trained, what seemed to work, what did not work, what we brought, and basically anything we learned about this event and a few things we wish we had done differently. This is a summary with input from all 4 of us. You can also find a lot of ideas on the internet/GoRuck website. This is written by Whoopee (my perspective) with a lot of input from the other guys. In retrospect, we really approached this as a team-we tried to do EC together, pushed each other to do extra stuff, and shared things that worked and didn’t work as well as talked a lot about gear and packing while we were training. Overall, I REALLY ENJOYED THIS (both the event and the training). Hope this helps you.
We all did F3 workouts as much as we could knowing this would serve us well. I think that was the single most important part of training for this. That being said, it is NOT ENOUGH. We all did some extra training-running, rucking, and even swimming. We all agreed we should have spent more time rucking with weight and carrying heavy things. Rucking 5-10 miles with > #50 repeatedly would be my suggestion. During the event we carried jerry cans and stretchers with heavy things on them. The jerry cans were carried individually but the stretchers required 6 people to work together so practicing this would have been helpful. I think we all agreed this was probably the toughest part. Having a #45 ruck on becomes an afterthought-you really don’t realize you have it on after awhile.
I thought the swimming helped me a lot as far as cardio preparation-I don’t remember being short of breath for the event except during the 2 mile run for time on the Army PT test. I think I should have spent more time running also. I think 5 miles runs 3 times per week would have been fine. We did not really go long distances all at once during the event, but it would have helped with leg strength and endurance. We logged somewhere around 20 miles over the event.
Again, rucking while carrying things would have been helpful and should be part of your training. Suggestions included doing exercises to improve grip strength while rucking: pull ups, hanging from the pull up bar, deadlifts, kettle bell swings, and farmers carry.
Wrapping hot spots on feet with leukotape was a life-saver for all of us: thanks Woody. Look this up if you have never used it. Some of us used body glide to prevent chafing-I did not and did fine but would suggest trying before the day of the event if you are going to use it. I wore a Jocko rash guard, exercise short sleeve t shirt, spandex shorts, ruck pants from GoRuck website, Salomon trail shoes, and Mechanix gloves. I did not change anything and put on a windbreaker immediately whenever we stopped and were not exercising-see below. I believe the temperature was 45-55 degrees.
Chuy sent out some info for us to review beforehand. I don’t think any of us really took this serious enough. A tough part of this event is thinking after you are physically exhausted and functioning on little sleep over the last 24 hours. I think there would have been more fun and less pain if we had known the answers to more of the questions related to what he sent us. We all made mistakes and this led to more exercise.
We went to a meeting a month or so before the event and heard from 3 experienced F3 guys who all had different opinions on gear, however the most experienced guy (>75 events) gave us the best advice which was “less is more” when it comes to packing. We did a 12 hour event so besides required gear, I needed a windbreaker to put on when we stopped to do some teaching plus some food-that is all. The food for me was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and 3 Kind bars. I had half a sandwich and a Kind bar at the end. Pack your ruck before and get a dry bag (or 2) to keep things in. You may not need the “dry” part but having things in your ruck that are easy to find in the dark and then get back into your ruck so you are ready to go quickly. I left my windbreaker in the large section (not in dry bag) and only put my food, extra batteries, and license/quitter cash in the dry bag. My sandwich was in a ziplock bag and the kind bars were individually wrapped when I bought them. My batteries, license, and cash were in a ziplock bag. I put gatorade in the Nalgene bottle and preferred that during the event instead of water. I brought an extra set of gloves but had no need for them.
Remember you signed up for this, you trained hard for this, and it is “fun” so enjoy it. As Woody put it, it is all a game. Play it all the way to the end. It is over when they say it is so no matter what, keep going until it is clear that it is over. Chuy was our lead cadre and it was clear he put a lot of time into planning our event. He wanted to work us hard but also learn a lot and have fun. These guys are all patriots and have been through a lot so we can learn a lot from them.
That is about all I’ve got. All 4 of us had a great time, were exhausted after the event, I said I would never do again, and then within 24 hours had basically planned to do another one in a few months.
Top 5 things I would do differently:
- Run more
- carry more while rucking more frequently
- prepare for Army PT more (specifically MANY more sit-ups and push-ups)
- study info sent by Chuy before event
- be more assertive during event-speak up, lead, be more verbal